Most people don’t want to admit they have a problem even when it’s evident. Enter me in 1999 weighing 430 pounds and feeling like I was going to keel over at any minute.
What Is the Problem?
The obvious problem to anyone looking at me was my weight, which they thought meant the real issue was what and how much I ate. Although I couldn’t deny I was fat, I was looking for another reason I felt so bad and could barely breathe.
My doctor sent me for an echocardiogram and a ton of other tests. The results indicated a mitral valve prolapse, my heart doctor said. I needed a mitral valve replacement, which would necessitate open heart surgery.
You might think I was fearful of this. On the contrary I was hopeful this would fix me and all my problems would be over. I was game for having an operation, which at my weight could be fatal. Because I felt so bad and thought I never wanted to live without being able to eat sugar, I felt this operation was my ticket to some sort of improved health.
I have to stop right here and say, even as I tell this story I can’t believe how misled I had gotten. I had allowed starchy, sugary foods to not just be my drug of choice, but to become my master. I loved God, but I definitely didn’t love Him with all my heart. Comfort foods had edged Him out.
This verse kept coming to my mind because I knew it was true, but I wasn’t listening to all its implications. “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me but i will not be mastered by anything,” (1 Corinthians 6:12 NASB).
I didn’t want to connect the dots to the over-emphasis I placed on what I ate. My somewhat skewed thinking said, “We can’t live without eat and all of these foods are what I eat. I would die without them.”
I wasn’t worried at all when the doctor scheduled me for open heart surgery with an angioplasty to see exactly what he was dealing with. I thought I would finally be able to breath without having extra oxygen.
The morning after the angioplasty the cardiac surgeon along with his entourage of medical students, residents and nurses entered my room. I was expecting him to tell me that the next day they would do the surgery.
Instead the very rude surgeon made his way directly to my bedside and said mincing no words. “You don’t need open heart surgery. You need to lose 100 pounds and keep it off or you will be dead in five years. Your heart was never designed to pump blood through a body of your size.”
And he turned and walked out of the room. The resident who had been in to see me that morning, patted my hand as the rest of that gang left the room. He was nice. He’d be back to make sure I understood what was happening.
My World Collapsed
Up until that point in my life I felt my problem was just that I loved to eat. I mean who doesn’t like cookies, pies, cakes, sweet breads, homemade rolls, homemade noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, spaghetti and macaroni and cheese. Of course, throw in fast food and chips and the list went on and on.
I’d been on diets and I knew I could lose 100 pounds easily. The impossible part was keeping it off. Lifestyle change was a foreign concept to me. To change what I ate felt as impossible as changing my genetic makeup. Awesome extended family get togethers always meant an endless supply of the kinds of foods I loved. How could I give those up.
I had no earthly idea. The only thing I knew that day in that moment was if I wanted to live, if I wanted to see my son and daughter grow up and if I wanted to grow old with my husband I was going to have to find a way to change my life completely.
The Rest of the Story
If you know anything about my journey, you know that with God’s help I eventually did lose 250 pounds and turned my life around. I’ll be sharing more about that in the next few days in blog posts and Facebook Lives over on my Teresa Shields Parker Facebook Page.
Today, the main point I want to make is nothing changes until we realize we have the problem and know what the problem is. We have to accept where we are and realize we need an intervention of God in order to transform.
You may see yourself in my story. Many people have told me they either have been where I was, have known family members who were in that place or know in their hearts if they don’t change what they are doing they will be there soon too.
I am nothing special. I’m just someone who finally hit rock bottom and allowed Jesus to pull me out of the pit. Nothing in my life would have changed without Him. Because of that, I want to help you and those you love who are in the same predicament I was.
I’m going against all the prescribed protocols by giving you two things I want you to do both of which are designed to help you on your own personal journey to transformation. First, this Friday, Feb. 8, my brand new Journey to Transformation Course is opening to the public and I want you to signup.
If it’s not open, then just register on the waitlist. Waitlist folks will be notified when we open the doors early. Then you can get in before the rest of the folks and go through the first lesson in the course. Go HERE to find out more and signup: https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/JTT.
Second, on Monday, Feb. 11 I’m inviting you to a FREE live, online workshop complete with a question and answer time when I answer your questions. Go HERE to register and get the join link: https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/free-workshop.