Fat, I hate that word! I hated it when I it was used as an adjective before my name, but more than anything I hated the way people said it, with a kind of disgusted look on their face.

Teresa Parker on left in 2004 at 430 pounds. Today, she has lost more than 250 pounds and she's still planning on losing more.

Teresa Parker on left in 2004 at 430 pounds. Today, she has lost more than 250 pounds and she’s still planning on losing more.

I’ve heard the “f” word thrown at me plenty of times. When little kids ask, “Mommy, why is that lady so fat?” they do it out of innocence most of the time. I’ve had my share of those who do it just to raise my hackles.

“Crisco, Crisco Fat in the can,” the kid in my neighborhood yelled. A bunch of us were playing Hide and Seek. He was trying to get to the base faster than me. He wouldn’t stop with the taunting, though, even when I got there ahead of him.

I was livid. I wasn’t fat. Really, I wasn’t. Was I? It didn’t help that even though I was one of the younger kids in my class that I always seemed to be larger than most of the others. Not significantly larger just a couple of clothing sizes larger, which was significant when you are in first grade. It always made me feel fat, even if I wasn’t.

I was the oldest child and grandchild. There were no others to pass clothes down to me. I always heard my parents discussing how they could not afford to buy me new school clothes since, I had outgrown “every stitch of clothes” I had.

In high school, I wasn’t one of the popular girls. I always thought it was because I was larger than the others around me. I can remember weighing 140. I felt huge!

Fast forward to my wedding day, I weighed 180, which is more than I weigh today. I was concerned about not being the beautiful bride everyone dreams they will be. Still my new husband and I were happy.

Weight gain seemed to come with happiness, life and the struggles everyone goes through. More weight came with each child and more weight with additional stressors of juggling career, home, ministry and bills.

I distinctly remember a bunch of college boys mooing one time when I lumbered by. I turned to see where the cow was and one them pointed at me and said, “Fat cow, get off the sidewalk before you break it.”

I hurried as fast as I could, collapsing in my car and crying out of the pain of moving so fast and the hurtful remarks.

Several years later I found myself lying in a hospital bed weighing 430 pounds looking at open heart surgery. That was in 1999.

There’s a lot to my story which you’ll be able to read in my memoir, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor. More about that later.

Last week I was reminded of a lot of these facts, when I discovered that Facebook has been disapproving my page ads because I had a profile picture of me in the pants I wore when I weighed 430 pounds.

They say it shows unrealistic expectations. I worked hard to get where I am. I haven’t arrived yet and even though I’ve lost over 250 pounds.

They have not lived in my skin, been called the “f” for fat word in as many ways as can a person can be called that. They haven’t lumbered in my shoes. They haven’t done the work I’ve done to get where I am today. 

2large pants cropUnrealistic, really? Is it unrealistic to think that when you’re diet has consisted of candy, cookies, cakes, brownies, bagels, cinnamon rolls, hot rolls, banana bread, potatoes and a little bit of meat for most of your life and then make a switch to eating just baked, broiled or grilled meat, salads, vegetables, fruits and nuts that you not lose more than an 1/8 of a ton of weight?

I’m here to tell you right now, you will lose weight. If you make healthy eating a lifestyle, if you cut out sugar, flour and starches and eat only meat, fruits, vegetables and nuts you can’t help but lose weight.

If you change your mind about how you view food and realize it is not for pleasure but for fuel you will lose weight. If you realize you treat yourself when you eat healthy foods, not when you eat a cookie, you will lose weight.

It feels almost like I’ve been slimed again, but this time by rules that are meant to keep people safe from being lied to. I will work within Facebook’s perimeters in order to get my message out to the millions of people in the world who need it.

All of my rantings, though are for you. If you are one who has gotten spit upon your whole life because you were somewhat larger than others, I am here to tell you that you are beautiful. It doesn’t matter what size you are. It matters what’s inside. You deserve health. If you want to lose weight, you can because you are worth it!

I promised I’d mention more about my memoir. Sweet Grace will be available on October 23 in limited quantities. In the meantime, enjoy a FREE chapter by entering your email in the header on this page. If you’d like to reserve your copy, click the ad in the sidebar and you’ll be able to pre-order. I’ll personally sign all pre-ordered copies.

Favored, funny, fabulous, famous, feelings all good “F” words. But the best one has to be forgive. I’ve forgiven all those who called me names. I’ve forgiven Facebook for their lack of concern over my journey. And, I’ve forgiven myself for having eaten myself into a food coma on more than one occasion.

Friend (another good “F” word), forgive yourself as well. Stop using that other “f” word to describe yourself. From now on you have a new name. It is BEAUTIFUL!

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Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 260 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. She has three more books, "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing An Appetite for God." Sweet Grace and Sweet Freedom study guides are available as well. All books are on Amazon. Her Coaching Programs can be found under the Weight Loss tab at TeresaShieldsParker.com. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking Tab.