God doesn’t care if I am fat. He wants me to enjoy my life. He wants me to live, love and be happy. Food makes me happy so I’m just doing what He wants me to do.
That was just an excuse and at its core it is untrue.
God really doesn’t care about our outward appearance. When I weighed over 430 pounds God still loved me, but He was very concerned about my health. I was going downhill fast.
Many I know have died of heart issues. A heart issue was the thing that caused the cardiac surgeon to stamp an expiration date on my body and that hurt really badly. He gave me five years to live if I didn’t lose weight and keep it off.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that was 22 years ago. By changing what I ate and still eat, I extended my life by 17 years and counting.
God Never Called Me Fat
God never called me fat, even when I was extremely large. He always spoke to me in kind and loving ways. However, don’t tell me God doesn’t care if I am fat. He doesn’t care what I look like but if someone is super morbidly obese like I was, He does care. He wants us to be healthy.
If we are Christians, His Holy Spirit lives inside of us. Our bodies are His temple, His dwelling place, His home. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (TLB), “Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that He lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So, use every part of your body to give glory back to God because He owns it.”
For years I treated my body like it was a garbage dump. I ate fast food and sugary treats. That was my steady diet. It’s no wonder when God told me to stop eating food made with sugar and flour, I thought He was crazy. That was all I ate. I thought I’d starve.
When God sees us, He sees our potential. He also sees the real probability for us to ruin our potential. I was doing a really good job of that. I’m not talking about a small amount of weight I had to lose. I’m talking about over 250 pounds that I needed to lose. It was too great of a number for me to even think about.
Small Successes Are Great Motivators
An Overcomers Academy member asked me if I had a specific amount of weight I wanted to lose when I started my transformation journey. I said, “I just wanted to lose the next pound. Any more was too much for me to think about.” I really didn’t think about the total amount of weight I had lost until God asked me to write my memoir, “Sweet Grace.”
Then I counted and from the highest weight I knew I had weighed, which was when I weighed on a freight scale, to where I was right then was 250 pounds. I know I weighed more than that because I had gotten to the point where I couldn’t weigh even on a 500-pound scale. When you are that large you don’t want to know what you weigh. Focusing on the next pound I needed to lose was all I could do.
Small successes are great motivators. I counted every small success. Every pound counted. Every clothing size I went down counted. Every time I cleaned out my closet and put my fat clothes in the garage counted. Every time I passed up dessert even though I longed for it counted.
I was finally on God’s side, which was really my side. He wanted me to stop eating foods made with sugar and flour because He knew they were killing me. More than that, He wanted me to lose that monstrous amount of weight and not be afraid to write and speak about it because He wants others to get this same message. God wants all of His children to be healthy because He has a purpose for every one of us.
Surrender Is More Than Necessary
In order to fulfill the purposes God has for us we must surrender our selfish desires to Him. If we don’t, they will become more important to us than God. Jesus told us this in no uncertain terms in Matthew 6:21 (NLT): “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
If we don’t surrender to God, we will find ourselves surrendering to something that will wreak havoc in our lives. There are so many things on this earth that can take us under: money, sex, food, drugs, pornography, alcohol, job security, retirement funds, fame, glory, just to name a few.
Only following God will satisfy our deepest cravings for belonging. Not fame. Not excitement. Not glory. Not stuff. Not money. Not food. We must surrender to God anything we have allowed to be more important to us than Him.
God Loves Us
We surrender to God because He loves us. In Isaiah 43:4 (ESV) God says, “You are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you.”
I can submit to a God like that. I can surrender the things I desire for what He knows will fulfill my longings. I can do that because I know He loves me and knows me better than I know myself. The same is true for you. He loves you. He really loves you.
For more on this subject, check out episode 152 of Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast, “God Doesn’t Care If I’m Fat.” https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/podcast/
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don’t miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on CPN. This article first appeared on teresashieldsparker.com.