Behind The Scenes – Cathy Maher’s Testimony

 

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Not all that long ago described myself as being “borderline depressed.” I wasn’t down all the time, quite the contrary. I had joy, but it was always a little overcast. I wasn’t living in darkness, however I did have various areas that were gray and sad. I was running well, when I caught a glimpse of the finish line. Seeing the flag wave me on to victory, I always tripped on my own shoe lace moments before crossing the line to be declared the winner.

Because I lacked satisfaction emotionally, I was always asking, “Is that all there is?” Spiritually I felt a deep shame because I believed I let God down by losing and gaining weight. Physically I was out of shape and scarred by self hatred. I felt condemned daily, regardless of how successful I was. Food was more than a best friend, it was a spouse. And I wanted a divorce. We no longer got along and were always in conflict.

Cathy in November 2013

Cathy in November 2013

My weight skyrocketed to 222 pounds in 2005. I tried every way known to woman to diet. I lost weight and got down to 150 lbs. Like so many others though, I regained 39 of what I lost.
The saddest part was because my heart never really changed, I felt like I was 222 lbs again. Inside I had never changed or grown, so all my “issues” came back bigger than life.

A year and a half ago we decided to relocate closer to my husband’s work place. So we left our church home and friends visiting different churches to find out where God wanted us. All with me feeling like a 222 lb woman. We found a lovely small church plant that we felt at home in and joined. It was a young church trying to get various ministries underway. The pastor was especially good at identifying peoples gifts. He asked us if we would share our testimony at a newcomers dinner. Afterwards, I was asked to give the announcements on Sunday mornings. I so enjoyed it. But a battle always raged behind the scenes. Because of my poor body image, I felt judged every Sunday morning, knowing I’d be up on stage in front of everyone. It remained behind the scenes, and I seemed fine to all the onlookers. I was fine doing the announcements. I just wasn’t fine with my body.

Six months later I began leading the women’s ministry at our new church. I had the gifts from God and I did well, still the battle raged. I constantly dealt with insecurity and comparison, feeling like someone 222 lbs should not qualify to stand in front of other women and lead.

I see that now as my “silent hunger.” No one knew and no one heard me cry. But I was hurting for my own body to be restored. Out of pure necessity, I cried out to the Lord again to help me loose weight and get fit. I joined another very helpful Christian program and started slowly loosing. They gave me some good steps to take toward letting go of the worldly diet mentality.

Sometime in August of 2013 I found the Intuitive Eating Facebook Group. More seeds of hope were planted within me. But I needed more. I purchased the Thin Within book that was mentioned in the group. I thought it sounded too good to be true. But God used it to water those seeds of hope. I began to eat using the hunger graph and leaning on prayer to recognize the signals of zero being empty and five being satisfied. I started loosing weight again. In Oct I was at 188, Dec, 178 and Jan 168.

Cathy is on her way!

Cathy is on her way!

In the Intuitive Eating group I heard about Heidi opening up a new Thin Within class. Without hesitation, I joined. I’m learning to apply a lot of truths I already knew. I had the tools but never learned how to use them in this area of life. The biggest areas God is changing is how I renew my mind and how I look at failure. Replacing lies from our past, diet rules we learned, and from the enemy who constantly tries to sabotage us is essential. My truth cards and truth journal are my personal swords of God’s truth I use daily to overcome the lies that once overcame me. I have a lot my joy back. There’s no gray lining behind the Son. It’s bright and hope filled and honoring to God.

On days when I struggle now, I unpack the words on my Truth Cards or I make new ones. God’s truth is the final say on my freedom and victory. If you face similar issues with your weight or relationship with food and how it fits into your Christianity, try Thin Within. It’s real and it works. It’s packed with rich resources to draw from in any struggle our journey presents to us.

cathyprofileCathy lives in Lakemoor, IL, a suburb of Chicago, IL. She and her husband, Joe are empty nesters, not counting the three cats they adobpted. They have a total of six children and nine grandchildren. She enjoys prayer walks and great fellowship. Reading and writing are still her favorite subjects.

How About You?

Can you identify in some way with Cathy’s testimony? How so? What is God leading you to do?

 

 

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15 Responses to Behind The Scenes – Cathy Maher’s Testimony

  1. Molly Wells January 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Great story, Cathy – thank you for sharing!

  2. Carol January 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    Thank you so much for this!!! I really struggle with how I perceive myself. It’s a continual renewal of my mind!!!! I wish I could just stick a USB stick in my ear and automatically update the files in my mind!!!! Walking with God takes so much work….but it’s worth it.

  3. Carrie January 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is inspiring!

  4. JOY January 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing Cathy. I have also lost weight on a different “diet” program. I felt really good physically, but I hadn’t addressed any of the spiritual things in my life which was the real issue in the first place. I have gained 15lbs back. It’s disheartening, and I find myself fighting the diet mentality all of the time. I hear that lie that the diet I did before is my answer, but the Holy Spirit won’t let me go there. I asked for true freedom and I know this is where it is. In Him! I pray you continue to walk in His freedom.

    • Cathy Maher January 21, 2014 at 8:59 am #

      Joy, It’s so great that you recognize the lie. Isn’t that the first step? So now just make up some truth cards and read them and recite them and take them with you and you will see the lie loosing it’s influence over your thinking. This battle is not really over a diet, it’s over who we will serve and worship for the rest of our lives. Be strengthened and encouraged today. You WILL make it this time.

  5. Mary Anne Endeman January 20, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    I can so relate to Cathy and her story. I feel like I have this subtle depression that’s always hiding behind my smile & I know it steals my joy. I get anxious very easily over issues that most people wouldn’t give a second thought to. I hate going to the doctor because I’ve gained so much weight and even as I write this I have an appointment in 45 minutes and I can feel my blood pressure shooting up over it. But, I will tell her about Thin Within and how much I am learning about my body and what it really needs to be satisfied and healthy. I sure would appreciate some prayer from anyone who’s reading this! Thank you so much Cathy—you have given me much encouragement!! Gonna take my truth cards with me to the doctor! To God be the glory!!

    • Cathy Maher January 21, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      Mary Anne, I know how to pray for you since you relate to that low grade depression I shared about. I just wrote your name in my TW notebook to remind me each day. I used to always dread going to the doctor too. Now that my approval and acceptance is more wrapped up in he Lord, it’s not painful. But I do still get a bit nervous. Everyone does. Keep me posted how you’re doing. Maybe we cann exchange emails and become prayer partners in time.
      Blessings! Cathy

  6. Mikela January 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Your testimony is inspirational. I found that I could relate. You have shown me that this is indeed a journey, and patient endurance is required. I am often amazed that the old Tortoise and Hare story applies so accurately to dieting vs. 0-5 eating. God brings us to the finish line if we let Him 🙂

    • Cathy Maher January 21, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

      Mikela, yes, so many of us can relate to these struggles. You’re absolutely right, it does take time. So try not to be in a hurry. God will always be right beside us, offering His help every step of he way. I hope you have an amazing journey as the inches melt off of you.
      Cathy

  7. Jamie January 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    Very encouraging story Cathy. So thankful that God is patient and loving towards us. He does not condemn or punish us. He is loving Father God who disciplines us and leads us gently into His truth. God has lead me to thin within. I feel so free now and am growing and learning how to let go of my past way of eating and thinking that has been destructive to my health.

    “With God are all things possible”

    God bless you Cathy. My prayers are with you.

    Thank you for sharing with us all. Jamie

    • Cathy Maher January 21, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

      Jamie, your kind words refreshed me. You are a real encourager. Thank you for taking time to read my testimony. Joys shared are doubled.
      Cathy

  8. Adriana January 20, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Hi Cathy:
    Thanks for your story. That’s how I feel all the time.inadequate. And i know it’ sspiritual, but I don’t know how to change it. I will continue on this journey.
    Thanks
    Adriana

  9. Cathy Maher January 21, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    Hi Carol! Thank you for you kind comments. As far as the usb to change your thinking…in a way that is what we are doing with our truth cards. But we have to keep at it daily and then God will show results. Write some truth cards out today and use them. I bet you’ll be amazed. Praying for you.

  10. Loren G January 22, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Amazing to hear the ‘new thing’ GOD is doing in your life. Thanks for sharing….

    • adriana January 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

      Hi. Loren.

      I also have been diagnosticated borderline. I hope this new approach will change our view

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