I’m a sugar addict, and addicts don’t get a break or an hour off. If I take even a minute off, it’s time to start over again. I’ve accepted that I need to lose weight, owned the fact I am a sugar addict and now I must walk out the journey of overcoming my food addiction. That’s where the hard part begins. Thank God I have people in my life who love me, encourage me and tell me the gut-level, honest truth.

Last month I finished up with my elimination diet, which I found helpful in reducing inflammation, but then I started bumbling around a bit with the food. It is so easy to take a few steps in the wrong direction. That includes readily available sugar-free candies and chocolate or something as mundane as dried fruit.

Teresa Parker, left, and Karen Fritzemeier on a windy day in South Bend, IN.

Teresa Parker, left, and Karen Fritzemeier on a windy day in South Bend, IN.

The World, The Flesh and the Devil

One of my friends in the Sweet Change Weight Loss Group told me that the sugar-free things triggered sugar cravings for her.  I’m pretty sure that was the culprit.  Did you know that there are lots of pretty wrapped-up sugar free candies and cookies available?  The world makes this available to us.1

I made some choices to benefit my own flesh2 in the form of sugar-free treats. I reasoned that didn’t make much difference, so why not do it again? One morning I ate a handful of Cheerios. By the end of the week it had gone from Cheerios to finishing off my husband’s box of Honey Nut Cheerios and all the raisins for my kid’s oatmeal.

One thing us food addicts like to do is eat in secret. In our minds, it’s a little respite from the troubles of life. But really, it’s not. It’s all a lie. That seemingly harmless little bite ends up causing more grief and pain in the long run. Naturally, after indulging, I started feeling guilty, depressed and defeated. This is where the enemy comes in and tries to steal and kill and destroy.3 I wallowed in that mode for a week or so.

Then one night my husband sweetly kissed me goodnight. He told me I was beautiful and he loved me like he always does. How could he say that when I was despising myself? This time, though, I heard him, really heard him. I thought about how my son had said to me earlier that day, “Hi my pretty pie.” I guess that’s his version of the term “sweetie pie”. He is nine years old, but still sweet on his mama. I recalled that my daughter had said, “Mom, I wish you could play baseball with us.”

The Best Support

It occurred to me: Right now I have the best support and the best reasons to undertake this battle. In fact, just a month ago I met Teresa in person for the first time and I was encouraged and challenged to keep on this journey. I have family and friends cheering for me and encouraging me. I can’t give up now. Eating sugar and bingeing leads to nothing but defeat, inner turmoil and condemnation. The enemy loves this churning of discontent in my life.

There was only one way to get out of that mud pit in my mind, and that was to submit to God.4 It was time to repent to God and tell my accountability group what had happened too.

Repentance and Honesty

I went to the Sweet Change Weight Loss Group private page the next day and was forthright about what I ate and how much in recent days. I told them  I wanted to use a certain diet with certain categories and I was trying to figure it out. It was a long post to the group. I won’t copy it all here, frankly, because I am embarrassed about how much food I ate. It was hard enough to tell them about it, but after saying to the group that I should follow this new strict diet, I had a reply from Teresa. With her permission, I copy only a portion of the reply here:

“We are addicts, Karen. There is no waffle room for a food addict. There is what we can eat and what we can’t. No in-between. Now that said, it has to be what you can live with because if it’s not, you will rebel against it. You have to know in your heart and understand your why. Diets are like a harsh taskmaster and what you are suggesting to yourself is you need the harsh taskmaster instead of the freedom found in Christ. We need guidelines for sure. But what I’m hearing you say is, ‘Just tell me what to eat and I’ll eat it, but then I’ll get mad at having to eat that and get what I want anyway.’ So on some level, Karen this is still a surrender issue.”

Teresa was spot-on. The last sentence hit hard. I knew she was right. She also provided some practical advice to help me get back on track. I simplified things, and since that day, by God’s grace, I have been eating healthy again.

Living in Obedience

There’s a big difference in my state of mind between now and three weeks ago. It’s as different as night and day. When I’m indulging in my addiction, then spending weeks berating myself, the enemy is gleefully in charge. Being double-minded5 causes instability and misery. When I live by faith and walk in the Spirit,6 I have peace and contentment.

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

Karen Fritzemeier is a homeschooling mom to two children. She and Dean have been married for nine years and live in Michigan.  For other posts by Karen, go here. She blogs at  http://blueandgreentogether.com/

1I John 2:16 ESV

2Ephesians 2:2-3 ESV

3John 10:10 ESV

4James 4:7 ESV

5James 1:8 ESV

6Galatians 5:16

Karen Fritzemeier