Teresa’s Note: I want to introduce you to a brave woman who happens to be super morbidly obese. The difference in Karen Fritzemeier is she has decided to do something about it. Today, she is publicly declaring her intention. Know that this is not a step she is taking lightly. It is after many sleepless nights and much struggle. She is sharing her story to give each of you hope to begin your own LIFEstyle change. Watch for her updates on her progress on this site once a month. And give her some virtual hugs as she goes forward!
I weigh nearly 400 pounds and I want to live. Today, I am choosing life. Today, God has called and I have answered. Today, I step out in faith and declare my intentions. Today, I share my story, a story that is just beginning.
I’m going to tell the truth. Writing this makes me so uncomfortable, that I want to run into the kitchen and gobble up all the candy sprinkled cupcakes my daughter brought home from a birthday party. However I will not do that because, I want to live.
Shouldn’t I be writing this after I lose 200 pounds when I can once again fit into my wedding dress? Shouldn’t I be writing this when I’m wearing my skinny jeans? Shouldn’t I be writing this when I can fit in any waiting room chair, anywhere? Instead, I sense the call of the Holy Spirit, asking me to share the beginnings of this story. Because Jesus has already accomplished everything I need on the cross over 2,000 years ago,1 I want to live.
I want to share my story so God alone will have all the glory. I want to share how He has redeemed my life. I want my life and body to reflect how someone can be forgiven and transformed after a deeply rooted lifestyle of food addiction. I want to live.
Although I write this from an exhausted, painfully inflamed, arthritic, heavy frame, I believe what He has done for me. I believe He is able2 and I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.3 I want to live.
I am learning how to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.4 I am ready to move forward because the power of God that saved me is able to help me.5 I want to live.
I believe I was called to be a writer many years ago. Yet God is arranging it so that I am writing about THIS!? My most embarrassing “elephant in the room” issue of my life? I planned to write a victory story, instead of the “starting now” story, but God had other plans. So here I am! Use me Lord, even now.
I want to be a grandma! I want to enjoy my grandchildren and I want them to know me. The brutal truth is that unless I change now, it’s likely I won’t live to see my grandchildren or that I will be too debilitated to be an active part of their lives.
I want to travel with the love of my life. Right now walking through a grocery store without pain seems impossible. I want to fit in stadium seats so my husband and I can watch our beloved Chicago Cubs play in ball parks all over the country.
I want to PLAY with my children. I want to explore nature together, to go to the beach without a pounding heart from walking back to the car when we are done swimming. I want them to have a mom who is active, instead of asking them to always run and get things for me.
Because I did it before. About 10 years ago, I lost 180 pounds. Owning the fact that I allowed the weight to come back on has been one of the hardest parts of getting started again.
Ultimately, it would be amazing to fit into my wedding dress again. This means I must make changes now that will continue for the rest of my life.
What I’m Doing
1. I joined the Sweet Change Weight Loss Group. This is a place where I can share honestly, and won’t get pat answers, but real support. The best part about being in the Sweet Change group is that we discuss both heart issues and the physical challenges of losing weight. We have a mentor who encourages and challenges us to move forward in deliberate, specific ways. Yes, I am invested in this. I have to participate and take the time to be actively involved, but the benefits are real.
2. Something I learned from Teresa is the principle of stop/start. So far my stop/starts are as follows:
- Stop sugar/Start meditating on Scriptures
- Stop reading my Nook in bed at night/Start praying (increased intimacy with God).
- Stop taking on extra activities/Start swimming 2-3 times weekly at the YMCA.
3. I have been honest with my spouse about my struggles. No more sneaking food.
4. I gathered a close group of friends and family that know me in real life. These are women that I see at the church potluck suppers or at family reunions. They pray for me and understand why I’m not eating like everyone else.
5. I have made a commitment to care for myself. This shows that I am honoring God and caring for my husband and children, too.
Today, I choose life. Today, I want to live.
1 2 Peter 1:3
2 Eph 3:20
3 Phil. 4:13
4 Gal. 5:16
5 Rom 8:11