BY KAREN FRITZEMEIER
Freedom is so close I can taste it. Yes, I’m talking about freedom from carrying more than 200 pounds of weight around. It’s more than that, though. I’m looking for total freedom and complete transformation—body, soul and spirit.
I’m beginning to see it is possible. My doctor had good things to say at a recent visit. “You’ve lost 20 pounds since your last visit. You’re doing great!” We even discussed the possibility of cutting back on high blood pressure medication. Body transformation has begun!
Doing It My Way
Still,I can’t go back to the old habit of trying to do life on my own. Teresa has said many times, “Losing weight is not just about losing weight.” There is emotional baggage that needs to be lost, too. When I was a kid I was so strong-willed that my mom would sing the song to me, “I Did it My Way”. In fact, at age 45, she still sings it to me every once in awhile. Yes, I’m the independent one of the bunch.
The past few days I find myself wanting to resort to old habits, but this is the time when it’s most crucial to keep going, and call in reinforcements. I have learned to share even the small struggles with my Sweet Change group, to ask for their prayers and accountability. This can be humbling, but it is necessary.
Emotions and God
Above all, I need God. I need to connect with Him through reading His word and prayer. Only in giving up my favorite comfort foods have I realized how much I had been running to food instead of His comforting presence. I am experiencing spiritual transformation, which is the true “sweet” spot on this journey.
I crave God. I need His help to handle all the emotions I’m beginning to experience. Because I’m no longer eating my sorrows away, I have to process through some deep emotions. The tears (and laughter) are coming more easily these days. I consider this a good thing, and even considering it good has been a long time coming. I was surprised to realize how blunted my emotions had become. Fear and pride have a way of cutting out the tenderness and joy in life. I’m finding soul transformation to be one of the most difficult, but most freeing parts of this journey.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Sweet Freedom, Teresa’s newest book. I had several “aha” moments. You might think that because I’ve read her other two books, participate in the Sweet Change group and have watched her weekly videos for nearly a year, I wouldn’t learn anything new. That is simply not the case. Teresa really goes into the ‘nuts and bolts” of what it takes to overcome addiction.
In the chapter, Intimacy, she says, “I cannot truly love another person until I love God and myself. How can I love God with everything which is in me if I don’t love myself? How can I bond with my husband if I feel like I am not worth bonding to? This issue goes to our core. We stop at the outward appearance and don’t look any further.
“God does not look on the outward appearance, but on the heart.1 If God’s focus is on my heart, shouldn’t mine be as well?In essence, my outward appearance did reflect how I felt about myself. I wasn’t sure I was worth the energy it was going to take to get healthy. We all need to know we are enough. We all need to know as a child of God we are loved, cherished and accepted just like we are. When I changed my negative mindset to a positive one, things began to change on the inside and spread to the outside.”
I am thankful for a mentor and friend who knows what it takes to lose a vast amount of weight. I’m thankful God is using her years of struggling to help others like me. And for the first time in many years, I have hope that this weight issue can be conquered, once and for all, through submission to my Savior who has loved me through it all. He is calling me, not to my own ways of independence, but to His freedom.2
If you’re ready for complete freedom, you’ll find Teresa’s new book, Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God’s Help to be a great place to start. Where Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds was mainly about the physical journey, Sweet Freedom goes deeper into the emotional and spiritual journey necessary to not only lose weight, but not return to the addictive foods that may just take you right back to where you where. With these books and Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching Group you can be well on your way to your very own total transformation—body, soul and spirit!
Karen Fritzemeier is a homeschooling mom to two children. She and Dean have been married for nine years and live in Michigan. For other posts by Karen, go here. She blogs at http://blueandgreentogether.com/
1I Samuel 16:7 NIV
2Galatians 5:1 ESV