Today I celebrate 63 years of living on this earth. For the first time in my life, I feel like, with God’s help, I really am on the other side of food addiction. It’s that place where even though I am a sugar addict I ask the waiter to bring the free sundae for my husband and son to share and not only do I not want a bite or crave a bite, I am not in the least bit tempted.

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Roy and Teresa Parker

I’ve written three books and two study guides about my 250 pounds plus weight loss. I coach two different online weight loss groups, but to say I am on the other side just never occurred to me.

Let me be clear, I know full well that at the drop of the hat, something might happen to tempt me and if I fell for the temptation, I could easily go back to the place I was before. I have not arrived and I never will arrive until the day God calls me home, but I am moving forward.

Here’s why I feel like I’m finally on the other side, wherever that is.

I Own My Addiction

I have finally faced the monsters hiding in the closet, under the bed, inside the refrigerator and at every restaurant I go to. In other words, I fully admit I am a sugar and flour addict. I am not ashamed of it.

The more I own my addiction, the more I am free of its control over me. I have put perimeters around myself, good boundaries I will not cross. For me to cross those boundaries for a bite of something that might look heavenly, would be hell itself. It is not worth it. Not at all.

One reason I have my before picture everywhere, on my website header, Facebook cover photo, Twitter cover photo, Pinterest boards and business cards is that it reminds me from whence I came. I do not hide my biggest failure because I never want to go back there.


This keeps me close to Jesus. It causes me to rely completely on the power of the Holy Spirit. And it has made me fall madly in love with Father God. Who causes all things to work together for good because I love Him.1

I love the way The Passion Translation says it, but I’m going to personalize if for me. “I am convinced that every detail of my life is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into my life, for I am His lover who has been called to fulfill His designed purpose.”2

I trust God with everything that is within me. To the best of my ability I listen to His still, small voice directing me, reminding me of what His word says, instructing me in the way to go whenever I turn to the right or the left3 and stray off the path He has laid out for me.

Crazy Faith

My faith has grown to this crazy, over-the-top kind of trust that allows me to just do what tells me to do. How do I know what He’s telling me? Here’s the deal. Ever feel like you should do something, something good and kind, like stop and say, “Hello” to a lonely elderly and very obese woman sitting on a park bench?

What do you do? Do you go sit and talk or do you second guess yourself a million times and argue with yourself that you don’t have time, that you wouldn’t know what to say, that she would probably be offended if you sat next to her because she might ask where you work and you would say I’m an author. And she might say, “What do you write?” And you would say,”Weight loss books” and she would be offended.

What Spirit do you think was whispering in your ear to go talk to that woman? What spirit do you think is trying to keep you from doing it?

See, I never want to lose the divine encounter moments by overthinking. I have learned to listen with an ear of faith. I have learned to trust His voice because I have had many such divine encounters that ended in long and fruitful discussions.

One of the biggest truths I have learned is that God is not a God of confusion. No, I add that part all on my own.


It’s in trusting God that our paths are made straight and our focus is clearer. My path is becoming clearer and through the fog I can see glimpses of my destiny, words whispered around me and echoed from above. What I have been through the last 20 years felt like walking on a tiny edge of a gigantic cavern. If at any moment my foot would slip, I might slip off into the abyss again.

I’m through that part of my journey. I’ve crossed over. I’m not going back. I’m going forward. There is no spiritual armor for the backside. It is all for the front. I do not make light of the fact that my maiden name is Shields. I have been fitted with the shield of faith passed down to me from my father and mother. It is to be used to extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy.4


This sense of destiny of being headed in the right direction and not caring what I encounter on the way is the final reason I know I’ve crossed some kind of line drawn in the sand. I will cross many more on my journey. It’s always a joy to know I have made it to the next point on the map that I cannot see.

The other day I handed my business card to someone. Pointing to the super-sized version of me, she said, “And is this your writing partner?” I answered, “Well that’s me before I lost weight, but yes she is my writing partner. She will always be a part of me.”

Truth is as I get farther and farther away from where I left her, she is not calling me back, but urging me on to whatever will happen in my 63rd year.

Left, Teresa Parker, 2004, at 430 lbs. Right, Teresa today after losing 260 lbs.

The best gift I could give you on my birthday would be a gift of health. I announced last week that I would be pulling the FREE version of #KickSugar. To be honest it’s one of the most valuable tools I have. I wanted to beef it up and offer it as a paid course, but God said, “No.” Leave it as as free. This course alone can change your trajectory regarding losing weight. So, it’s my birthday gift to you and I’m leaving on the website until God says different. Download it HERE. In addition, be sure to get on the waitlist for #KickWeight, the low-cost six-month weight loss coaching group. There is no cost to be added to the waitlist. It is simply assures you will be notified when the doors open. There will be a limited number of spots available. Just go HERE for all the information.

1Isaiah 30:21 NASB

2Romans 8:28 NKJV

3Romans 8:28 TPT

4Ephesians 6:16 NKJV

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.