I really can’t remember a time when my life was not focused on food, weight, negative talk and condemnation. When I was born I was only six pounds and I am told that my Daddy thought I needed to put on some weight. So I am sure that the focus on food with me actually started before I can remember. My earliest memories of myself and weight were of being compared to my sister, who was fifteen months older. My family wondered why I was fatter than she was. Pictures from my life when I was under ten reveal that I was, indeed, a chubby kid. My older brother, whom I worshiped, sang “fat” songs about me in front of his friends, which stripped me of all self-dignity, and ignited a lifetime of shame. My family was very religious, but love was never demonstrated or spoken about. I believe my parents loved me, but never to be told as a young child that they did, perpetuated my devastation.
I went on my first diet when I was twelve–grapefruit and boiled eggs. Soon after that, I started playing basketball. It was hoped that this would help take off the weight. Continued dieting and basketball succeeded. But even with a new slimmer body, my esteem remained low. I still saw myself as the “fat girl.”
When I was a senior in high school, my class went to a career day at our local college. Considering my future, a friend suggested I should be a dietitian because I was always on a diet. Considering his suggestion, I thought that entering the nutrition profession would be a great way to discover a way to fix myself. Since I have always been a caring and compassionate person and wanted to help others, I thought I could start classes and help fix other people. Unknowingly, this started me on a huge path of pride.
I did have success with weight loss, twice losing fifty pounds, twice losing thirty pounds, then smaller amounts numerous times. Each time I got down to a weight that was good for me. Everything seemed good, but the weight loss was always short lived. I never stayed at a lower weight long enough to even wear out my new pretty clothes. So the search continued to find that “Magic Answer.” After becoming a Registered Dietitian I gave each of these a fair shot: Weight Watchers, Weigh Down Workshop, First Place, exercise, and my popular “go to” – counting calories. I even tried to become a Certified Athletic Trainer thinking that would offer the path to freedom.
I can NEVER remember a time when I did not judge myself as good or bad based on what I ate, the number of calories I consumed, whether I exercised, or what the scales said. The negative talk was always there. I condemned myself constantly. I was also a people pleaser that couldn’t stand to let anyone down. Needless to say I had not found that “Magic Answer” that would cure myself and enable me to fulfill what I thought at the time was my calling in life–to help others. God never asked me to do this. It is one of those things that I just thought I’d do “for” God.
A few years ago, I just gave up. I knew that the world did not have the answer for weight loss. I realized an inside change was required, but I still couldn’t put my finger on exactly what needed to happen to be free from the continued misery I lived with.
My heart was broken, my (self-imposed) life calling was shattered. I was at the end of myself, knowing that I had to give all my life to God. All my hopes, my dreams, my talents, my desires to help people. I must do this His way, or no way.
—Then I happened upon Thin Within.
A web search for updated news about Weigh Down led me to the Thin Within website. I couldn’t believe that there was a Christian weight loss program out there that I did not know about, especially since Thin Within began in 1975! I now know that I was not ready for this program until the very moment that God led me to it. Pride and doing things my own way would have been a stumbling block. God is such a good and personal, loving Father.
I am now in my first session with Thin Within, I can say that it is exactly what I have needed all my life. Someone at my church gave me a book a few months prior about “Who I am in Christ,” and I began to see freedom in my life that brought such relief! Thin Within continued this journey of freedom. I am amazed at the freedom I am experiencing from many things, including: Good Food/Bad Food lists, calorie counting, weighing daily, fear of being hungry, condemning and negative thoughts of myself, and having to do things my own way. I feel a closeness to God that I have never felt, even though I have been a Christian since I was nine years old. I hear his voice daily, and I truly sense that I am more than a conqueror because of His grace, His power, His provision, His presence in my life.
In the past I always tried to fix the outside, thinking that would fix my inside, which is totally backwards. God is healing my inside, which is causing a reaction leading to lasting change.
As of yet, I am unsure of my weight loss as I have removed the idol of the scales from view. I am feeling great; I know that the outward change is coming. Sooner, rather than later. I am so excited to be focusing on my God, my Creator, and the lover of my soul instead of my food, my life, and my way. I am very thankful that my plan for my life did not work out the way I saw it. If it had, I would have led people down a path of man-made laws that cannot lead to life. Now, I have in my possession something so much greater – the Spirit-led way to abundant life.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the founders of Thin Within. God knows what He is doing!!!!! Many will be set free!!
How About You?
- Are you leaving God’s desires out of your plans for what you see yourself doing for Him? Can you see how God would see this as prideful?
- Are you still trying to fix yourself? How successful have you been to sustain weight loss or other positive change? Why do you think that you can’t maintain success that was brought on by your own strength? Are you ready to give all your own plans, hopes and dreams to God so he can do more for you that you have ever imagined?
Tammy enjoys living in the countryside of Northeast Texas with her husband Kevin. She has 2 grown children. She works as a Registered Dietitian for a dialysis company. She and her husband loves to garden, hike, and camp. Tammy also enjoys reading, playing the piano, being outside, and finding new discoveries in God’s Word.
Great story, Tammy. I found Thin Within by doing an update search on Weigh Down as well, not knowing it had even existed since 1975. God doesn’t need advertising to do His work. 🙂
Anyway, I hear you about the “outward change is coming” but that you are feeling great. That is exactly what was happening with me. Unfortunately “the feeling great” part is wearing out by the frustration of not releasing weight.
I watch my 82 year old mother, who lives with us, who, mind you, is a skinny person, gain weight then lose weight, doing her strict diet every few months after seasons of binging. It’s such a stumbling block to me. I feel I need to start controlling my food like that too, as I see her strip off the weight she repeatedly puts on. She knows about Thin Within, she’s a very strong Christian, but sticks to the diet patterns that she has used for over 50 years.
Everyday, I see her eating separate meals apart from the family because there’s too much fat, or the protein isn’t paired properly with the side item. I am not wanting to renew my mind. I look at my lovely boundary truth card with the stone fence, thinking “boundaries schmoundaries.” I feel I am swinging on that silly pendulum Hallidays were talking about in their book.
Oh, that truth would take hold again and bring me peace!
Hi Stacy, I believe God is moving me to a different place. I have enjoyed the first phase of 1 Corinthians 6: 12, but now God is leading me deeper to the second & third phase. “Everything is permissible for me’, – but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but I will not be mastered by anything” I know I will need more and more of God to complete these harder phases, but that is what this is all about more of Him and less of me. I know that I am called to not push or stretch my boundaries. 🙂
It is hard seeing others dieting around you, especially when they are having what looks like success. I am sure there will always be those influences to try to call us back to the world we knew. Just keep reminding yourself, they are doing it man’s way, and that is not freedom or life. I keep reminding myself, I know the TRUTH and this TRUTH will set me FREE !!! That is exciting.
We really do need to be praying for each other, as we all need God’s wisdom and strength. You are in my prayer!! 🙂
Thank you. We can all use more prayer. 🙂
I see myself in the discernment phase also…God promoted me there quickly…..I didn’t ask Him for this…but I embrace it…and it is coming with ease…as I press into Him and not resist!! : )
That is awesome, Susan! 🙂
So true, Tammy! God is also doing so much more than changing our bodies. He is doing an eternal work through this process!
You are so right, Stacy. We lack peace so often like Isaiah 26:3 says… we need to “fix our mind” on the Lord and what He calls us to to experience peace. Sometimes, we keep eating in the realm of “dieting.” So we think it is something we can do what we want to about. If we pray and ask him about it, he may lay on our hearts with clarity, where peace is found. Peace is found in submitting to his good, perfect, loving authority.
Tammy, you have written my story! I long to be at the place you are – could you contact me privately??
I am sure many people can totally relate to our story in some degree. Sure I will be glad to contact you.
Tammy – your post had me in tears. I am so sad for the little girl and all of the struggles you experienced, but also thrilled to read about your awesome relationship with our Lord. Freedom has been my “mantra” during the past year of really following the Lord. He is so good – to lead you to the ministry of TW, to draw you closer to Himself and to provide you freedom as you live within His boundaries! I have found that living in His freedom leads to a peace and joy that we can barely understand. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much Carrie. Freedom!!!!
This phrase is going in my Truth Cards: Now, I have in my possession something so much greater – the Spirit-led way to abundant life.