Teresa’s Note: It is very appropriate on this July 4 weekend, that Rhonda Burrows shares more about her journey to freedom from sugar addiction. I am so excited for you to get to know Rhonda better. She is an amazing woman with amazing insights from our God.
Today is a celebration of my own Independence Day. Inside of me it feels worthy of a parade and a fireworks display. But it is really only a celebration between me, God and Teresa, my weight loss coach. Today marks one year of being sugar-free. Can I just say, it is amazing!
Now that may not mean much to you, and I don’t expect it to, but this is major for me. I have struggled with my weight almost all of my life and have been on a “diet” of some kind since at least 1979. Either dieting or feeling guilty for not dieting, that was the story of my life. Now I will tell you emphatically, I am done with diets forever. I have been set free.
Beginning the Journey
Just over a year ago I saw something on the internet about Sweet Grace, Teresa Shields Parker’s book about how she lost 250 pounds and stopped trying to earn the favor of God. It caught my attention, so I looked it up on Amazon and ordered it and the Sweet Grace Study Guide. I also joined her Sweet Change Weight Loss and Accountability Group, an online coaching group. I made a commitment to myself with a prayer seeking God’s help to do it. On July 1, 2014, I began by stopping all sugar and bread, which includes all products made with flour.
I have learned so much over these past months that it is hard to put into words. I learned a lot about good, healthy nutrition. I also learned that I had to start from scratch and throw out just about everything I thought I already knew in order to allow God to help me develop His plan for me. I believe that has been a huge key for me.
Instead of trying to follow everyone else’s rules, regulations and diet plans, I allowed my Heavenly Father to form my plan using sound information from many sources, including Teresa. What I believe today is that I was created by God and He knows what it will take to fix me in all areas of my life, including what I eat and don’t eat.
Allowing God to draw up my plan does not mean it is willy-nilly or “if it feels good do it”. It means He operates through the Holy Spirit with the fruit of self-control1 in my life. I never did really like that particular fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace were okay, but self-control was one I avoided. I learned that for me to be honest with Him and stick to what He had lead me to I needed to be accountable.
I used My Fitness Pal, an app on my phone/tablet, to journal all my food and exercise. It also showed me how much nutrition was in the foods and helped me make better choices in what I ate. I learned that good protein and healthy fats are essential to keep me satisfied. I learned to replace sugar, which was the bad habit I was stopping, with eating fruits and vegetables and exercising. These were the good habits I was starting in place of eating sugar and flour.
It’s A God-Thing
My relationship with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit has just taken off. My mind is clear. My ears are open to hear Him2 and I am filled with joy on a daily basis. You might think I’m overstating this, but I am not. I realized when I would fast I had a closer walk with the Lord and experienced clarity like at no other time. After the fast the clarity would be gone.
Now I choose to live a fasted lifestyle where God ranks way above what I eat. I learned I had made food an idol. I used it to calm my storms, stuff unwanted feelings, be my companion when I was lonely and avoid any problems that I had instead of taking them to Him. It was also my entertainment. Idolatry is a sin.3 I have repented and been forgiven for years of idolatry and washed clean. I am made new.
I have also learned God really does have a plan and purpose for my life. I knew that all along, but was mostly too preoccupied with food to seek out what it was. Ministry opportunities are opening up all around me and I have begun the adventure of writing my first book.
Oh, and I failed to mention I have lost 55 pounds with about 20 more to go. I have lost the sugar and the pounds, but have gained a whole new life.
Nothing tastes as good as this freedom feels. Nothing.
1 Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
2John 10:27 NKJV
3Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV
Rhonda Burrows lives in Palestine, TX, in a log cabin in the woods with her husband, six Shetland Sheepdogs and five cats. They have six children and seven grandchildren. Her Facebook page is Ark of Grace.
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