Teresa’s Note: This month Karen Fritzemeier talks transparently about how she is ready to give up fear and embrace faith. She admits it won’t be easy, but with God it is possible.
I’ve looked at this weight thing from thousands of angles over the years, and things are finally starting to sort out. With God’s help, I’m ready to write a better story for my life.
One thing that I know concretely is that I can’t do sugar and it is also better when I limit carbohydrates. Some years ago, after a victorious weight loss of 180 pounds, I made the choice to go back to sugar in a painful season of life. That brings me to where I am today—sadly overweight again, by more than 180 pounds.
The only success seen on the scale through the years is when I’ve given up sugar. There are other physical obstacles: I’m hypothyroid. I’m now in my 40’s with a slowing metabolism and an auto-immune disease. Beta blockers for high blood pressure don’t help matters either. There’s no getting around it. This weight loss is going to take a long time. However, I am thinking more clearly and slowly regaining energy this past month. My outlook is brighter, even though the pounds aren’t pouring off the way they did in my past.
Sugar has been like a drug to me—a little respite, a little break from reality. A way to avoid pain, to have some temporary relief from the boredom or difficulties of life.
So I’ve been off of my “drug of choice now for three months. I have days where I feel ambivalent. Had two or three times where I ate an entire bag of chips, but it’s not an option to stay there. I start the next meal and do what I’m supposed to do. The only choice for me is to keep moving forward.
The excitement of starting a new plan has diminished. The hard reality of quitting sugar has settled in, allowing all sorts of emotions, feelings and grief to surface that I was unknowingly avoiding. At present, it feels a little bit like wading through heavy mud and manure on my family’s farm after a rain storm. It’s exhausting. I’d like to avoid suffering, please. I’d rather not deal with pain from the past or even the physical suffering that I have now.
You see, food—especially rich, sweet food–always gave me that little bit of respite to “avoid” suffering. It numbed me out and covered up my negative emotions so I could avoid both physical and emotional pain.
So this sugar thing. This weight. This is what keeps me humble. This is my thorn in the flesh1 that keeps me clinging to God, going to Him over and over, begging for His help. Has He helped me? YES! There has been progress in all areas, but overeating has created a mountain of pain for myself as well as my family, and it’s going to take some time to recover and heal.
This is about as transparent as I’ve been.
Truth is, I’m in the thick of it, and I need a breakthrough.
It is only in the past week that I have come to admit how much fear plays a part in my life. I’ve spent many years, believing that Jesus saved me from my sins, learning how dearly He loves me, yet failing to TRUST that He is working out all things for my good.2 The topic Teresa has been sharing on in the Sweet Change group this month is Intimacy with Jesus. I actually avoided the first video, but then she talked about it again in the second! No getting around it. This is an area where the enemy has had his way with me.
You see, I have had this crazy idea in my head that holding on to fear will somehow keep my family safe, prevent disasters, and in general, prevent evil in all it’s forms. I have a twisted idea that if I keep myself in an fretting state of mind, God will, by some chance, feel pity and make things come out the way that I prefer. I’ve even had the idea that if I avoid God, perhaps He won’t notice me and, thus, won’t visit me with pain or suffering. It’s not logical, but fear is not logical.
It is the exact opposite of faith and trust.
The realizations this week feel like I’m merely brushing at the surface. Worrying, anxiety and fear have stolen my joy and zapped my energy. I’ve let them be the catalyst for me to keep running into the kitchen to make another sweet snack, vainly trying to insulate myself from inevitable pain that would result from fears coming true. It’s similar to when one of my kids closes their eyes and covers their ears and hollers “I can’t hear you!” They can do that as long as they want, but at some point they have to open their eyes, settle down and face the truth.
This week, I came to God with my anxieties, one by one, and have learned that He is giving me a new story to write. A story of faith instead of fear. A story of trust instead of anxiety. Here is a key verse Teresa shared with me:
What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.3
I don’t yet know what it looks like to walk out in this freedom from fear and anxiety, but I’m ready to take that step, by faith.
Karen Fritzemeier is a homeschooling mom to two children. She and Dean have been married for nine years and live in Michigan. She blogs at http://blueandgreentogether.com/.
12 Corinthians 12:7
3Luke 12:29-32, MSG
Losing weight and becoming whole body, soul and spirit is a goal most of us have. However, something somewhere along the way always seems to derail us. This month in Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching Group we are talking about those embedded lies that keep us from moving forward. Join now and get the first two weeks videos FREE. Let’s do this together. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/1J5MiDC