This past week I posted two important pictures on social media. One was a picture of me in a pair of size 6 jeans- not 26 or 16 (two sizes I have worn twice in my life)- but a size 6. It was truly a mindful high of the week… until Saturday when I posted the second picture…
That’s right, I hit the 150lbs lost mark.
I was ecstatic about that milestone- and I still am- but I realized that many others may not share in my joy, so this post came to mind.
Earlier this year I was supposed to be writing a book about my weight loss journey but in true procrastination fashion, the book is not finished. For now, I want to give you a bit of the book and pray that it blesses you. As a reminder, I am not a doctor, dietitian, nutritionist, or tenured scholar of the Bible; I am simply a woman who trusted God and wants to share my lessons in trust with you.
For several years I had been feeling pain in my abdomen whenever I ate. I came up with many excuses for the pain or completely ignored it- anything to be able to indulge in the food that made me feel good. After three endoscopies and a colonoscopy, I was finally able to admit in November 2016 that I needed to make a change. I gave up meat and dairy and began my plant-based (vegan) lifestyle. As a black woman from Baltimore, whose family is Jamaican, giving up dairy was hard…but parting from meat was harder. What motivated me then was my desire to not be in excruciating pain anymore however, what motivates me today is a little different.
As the months went by, weight fell off, but I realized that I had substituted my previously bad habits with plant-based bad habits.
Did you know that these products are plant-based?
Cap’n Crunch Cereal (original)
Corn Pops Cereal
Nutter Butter Cookies
Dark Chocolate (85% or higher in most brands)
Chinese Fried Rice (sans egg)
Yeah… I soon found that out and began to over indulge in vegan things that would not physically hurt my body…but they damaged my spirit.
I should add here that I am severely gluten-intolerant, and I have IBS. Despite my many food restrictions, I continued to eat what felt good or what was easy. Weight was still coming off and I wasn’t eating the things that caused me the most pain, so I was good, right?
In January of this year, I entered a 30-day fast with a local church and realized that I had a problem- I was addicted to food. There was no other way to explain my propensity to eat things that I knew caused me severe pain just because it felt good in the moment. That moment of pleasure was normally filled with days of discomfort and many cries to Jesus, asking Him to remove the pain.
Make poor eating choices…
Suffer in pain…
Pray for pain removal…
Make poor eating choices…
But in January God gave me the strength to break that vicious cycle.
Right now I’m sure you are wondering what my dietary restrictions and bodily issues have to do with YOU… well, since you asked, here you go:
What are you continuing to do right now that is causing you pain? What has God told you to walk away from- that you continue to entertain- because it brings you momentary comfort?
Is it gossiping?
Abuse (whether giving or receiving)?
What is it in your life right now that you have chosen to be your source of comfort instead of God? Beloved, please do not think I ask that question with an ounce of judgment. I ask so that you can mediate on it and seek God for deliverance. Personally, I battled all of those at one point of my life. And truth be told, I still battle with some of them today… even as I type this message.
The steps that I took to lose 150+ pounds can be applied to you at any stage or in any area of your life. I pray that these steps bless you and help you find freedom in Christ.
Step One: Acknowledge that there is a problem. When we step out of the will of God, there is normally some type of sign or indicator. Let’s journey back to Genesis chapter 3. God had created the world and then man in His image; He had even created a help-mate for man. Yet here in chapter 3, verse 7, we see the result of their sin- their eyes were open, and they knew that they were naked. INDICATOR! It was at that moment that they knew they had done something wrong and had stepped outside of God’s will. Beloved, this point can be literally painful or emotionally painful, but it is very necessary in order for deliverance to happen.
Step Two: Repent and ask God for His plans for your life. I just love to read 1 John 1:9 (NKJV) that says, “if we confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When (not IF, but when) we fall, we must come to God in all humility and repent. Repentance is just agreeing with God that what we did goes against His word. We stand in agreement with Him, humbly, and He forgives. This does NOT by any means excuse any consequence that will come, but this does allow God to cleanse us and continue to use us in His service.
Step Three: Walk in God’s will for your life. At one point I had planned to preach a sermon on following Christ (truth be told, I still might, if the Spirit leads). This is the underlying point of that message: daily we must choose to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Christ (Matthew 16:24-26). Once we repent and agree with God, we must walk in His will for our lives by denying ourselves and choosing to cling to what He wants for us.
Beloved, I pray that you are able to be set free from whatever held you bound. Liberty and freedom exist in Christ when we choose to give everything over to Him and walk in His will. For me, I had to realize that my food lifestyle was killing me in more ways than one. I had to acknowledge that I was living a gluttonous and physically unhealthy lifestyle, ask for forgiveness and ask God to help me change, and then fully embrace the change that He desired. From that “small” food change, God has birthed so many new things in my life… this ministry, being the biggest blessing.
Yes, I gave up the cheesy mac & cheese, pints of Cookies n’ Cream ice cream, plates of chicken wings, and my weekly date with pepperoni pizza… but I found the joy of the Lord in being able to do something as simple as run after my niece at the playground. So, no, I don’t need the junk food anymore; I prefer the healthier and more natural food choices of the earth. But I do have one question for you:
Can a sista get a strawberry???