So much is happening right now that I kind of forgot it was th beginning of the holiday season. My husband is remodeling our basement family room. Yes, I’m writing this in the midst of hammers pounding downstairs and scraping as concrete filling is going on the floors.

I’m thankful our family room will be more functional and better able to be utilized by our extended family. I’m not thankful for the noise, but I endure that for the prize in the end. That reminds me of a Scripture.

“Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”1

One main thing I’m thankful for is that after losing 250 pounds I know without a doubt that Jesus is the Overcomer and helps me become one as well. The main thing I’m NOT thankful for is sugar and high carbohydrate content foods.

I see those foods as tools of the enemy. He knows my propensity for them. He didn’t have to do much to stop my influence for God in the world. For 30 years I wallowed in sugar addiction. All he had to do was whisper in my ears, eat that, buy this, bake that and I was killing myself, slowly but surely.

The holidays were always the worst for me. I felt like I couldn’t get through Christmas without Mom’s fudge and Grandma’s great pies. Overeating was what we all did. It was embedded in us as celebration.

However, we all know the celebration is not complete without family and friends to share it with. Instead, I would focus on the food and forget about all the wonderful people around me.

This holiday I challenge you to connect, really connect with those around you. Are you thankful for them? But do you really know what’s happening in their lives, how they are feeling today? During your celebrations, this week and the coming month, take time to talk to each person.

Do you know where they work or go to school or what they do with their days? Intentionally start a conversation with every person at your celebrations. Ask them things like what’s the best and worst part of your job, school or days. Or just ask what Facebook asks us every day. What’s on your mind.

Before you know it, as we begin putting the focus on other things besides food, the weight that so easily entangles us will be a distant memory. Of course we also must fix our attention on God because only then can we really be changed from the inside out.2 

Focus more on growing your soul and spirit so that your body will shrink instead of expand during this holiday season.

By the way, I’ve been blessed to do coach some awesome people these last three months. I began VIP Freedom Coaching in September. That group is ending this week. We’ve had so many breakthroughs.

One was Jaimie, whose story I hope to have on the blog soon. She came into her first coaching session sad and hopeless. She left the last session with hope and joy for her future. In the three months she began her weight loss journey and lost 12 pounds, that’s one pound a week. She has further to go, but now she knows God is willing and ready to remove the obstacles in her path.

Many have asked me when they can begin one-on-one coaching with me, so I opened a VIP Freedom Coaching Intensive for the months of December and January at a price reduction from the regular three-month sessions.

VIP is the only way I do one-on-one coaching. I understand it’s not doable or everyone, but if it’s for you sign up now. I have limited spots, Coaching begins on Dec. 1. Go HERE for all the information.

1Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV

2Romans 12:2 MSG

Confident Hope for the Hopeless
Secret Truths
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 To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking Tab.