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.
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.
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.
Cathy 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?