God tells us in His Word that everything works out for us if we love Him. There were times though that I wasn’t sure this would be the case for me. My story wasn’t looking like it was coming to any ending that could be considered good. Something was missing.

I did have a scriptural promise, but I could not see how it could be true. “So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are His lovers who have been called to fulfill His designed purpose,” (Romans 8:28 TPT).

My True, But Crazy Story

I’ve told you how God spoke to me through scripture when I was in college and let me know that I had a lust for food that needed to be resolved. Then in 1977, He gave me the plan to solve my food issue, but I didn’t follow what He said.

In 1994, He made it clear to me that to reach my dream of being an author I needed to be whole, healthy and happy. At 430 pounds I was none of those things. Then in 1998, a rude cardiac surgeon gave me only five years to live if I didn’t lose weight. God used those words to light a small fire under me.

So I went on another diet and lost 100 pounds, but I started gaining it back. In desperation, I took the next major time God spoke to me to mean that I should have weight loss surgery.

Lost In The Issues

Even knowing that this was a man-made intervention, not the God-sized intervention that He was alluding to, I went ahead and had the surgery. Then I negated it by drinking soda and eating candy. I was in a much worse situation than before.

I had greatly changed my body. I couldn’t absorb vitamins and minerals from food. I was constantly tired from not getting the nutrition I needed. Even though I lost weight the first year, I started putting it back on again.

By this time I was convinced that not even God could rewrite my story and weave the details together to bring anything good out of it. However, I hadn’t asked God to fix my problem. I was still in do-it-myself mode.

God didn’t leave me to flounder though. My God-sized intervention was coming.

Life-Changing Words

I had gone with a friend to hear my friend, Russ, speak. It was an introductory session for a group he wanted to form for those with harmful life patterns like alcohol, drugs, pornography and food issues. I was going to support my friend, not because I thought I needed anything.

I was halfway listening because he was sharing his story of being a sober alcoholic for 25 years, but alcohol is not and never has been my problem. So I was thinking about other things.

All of a sudden he had my attention when he said, “Alcohol is one molecule away from sugar. Alcohol is liquid sugar.” Everything stopped in my world. I had a visceral feeling of the Holy Spirit in the pit of my stomach, like I had been sucker punched.

If no one else in that room needed those words, I did. I knew God had him say them just for me.

The Pieces Snapped Together

All the pieces of my life snapped together like a magnetic puzzle. I saw every time I had gone on a diet where I stopped eating sugar and bread. I’d done that at least five times and each time lost 100 pounds.

I also saw how every time when I’d get to my goal weight I’d bake one of Mamaw’s oatmeal cakes and eat the entire thing. This would throw me back on the track of eating everything and anything I wanted.

I saw myself sitting in my bedroom by myself secretly eating bagsful of candy while my family was downstairs watching television or playing games together. I saw how I’d go through fast food drive-ins and get French fries, cheeseburger and cherry pies or ice cream after a long day of working.

Then, I’d take a drive through the country to eat and de-stress before going home to fix a full meal for my family while sampling what I was fixing, eat the meal and then eat any leftover dessert afterwards.

I also saw how I lived for any event where I knew there’d be great food, like church pot lucks, family dinners, reunions, birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

I Am A Sugar Addict

It all flashed through my mind in a second. Then I realized, “An alcoholic gets over being an alcoholic by giving up alcohol. I am like an alcoholic only with sugar. If I am a sugar addict, then I have to give up sugar.”

Then, I remembered what God said to me years ago in 1977. “Stop eating sugar.”

Suddenly, it all made sense. God wasn’t trying to be mean to me by telling me to stop eating sugar. He was trying to save me from the living hell I had just put myself through.

I didn’t hear much else Russ said, but at the end of the program, I asked him, “Can a person be a sugar addict? Is there even such a thing?”

This was around 2009. I had not heard anything sugar addiction. It’s not like today where we hear it everywhere.

Russ said to me, “I don’t know about all the physical ramifications, but I know you can be addicted to anything that controls you.”

That cinched it for me. There was no doubt about it, sugar controlled me. At that moment I knew I was a sugar addict. I was going to have to give up sugar. I didn’t know how because sugar was my go-to food when I was stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed, overworked, felt like I’d failed, felt ashamed or lonely. I used it as an energizer when I was tired and needed to stay awake to meet a deadline.

What Masters Me?

I left the meeting as quick as I could. I sobbed as I took the back roads home. The pain I felt was as deep as the pain of losing my first best friend.

Sugar had become more than a substance to me. It was as real or even more real to me than any person because it was always there whenever I needed it. My cabinets were readily stocked with it. I was never without it.

Like a flash God once again spoke to me through scripture. “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 Cor: 6:12 NASB).

After my Master told me to stop eating sugar, I had stopped listening to what He said regarding managing food in my life. I had heard His voice. He knew me, but I did not follow what He said.

I clearly saw how I had thumbed my nose in God’s face. I had rebelled against Him and caused Him sorrow.

Like A Loving Parent

I thought of my own kids and how I would feel if they were following an addictive lifestyle and I tried to tell them how to get free. If they didn’t listen to me, I wouldn’t be mad at them. I’d be sad.

I’d do everything I could to try to get them to turn around. Every time they fell, I’d try to help them back up again without enabling them. I’d want to point them back to the right path.

I saw how that was exactly what God had done for me. Every time when I’d go on a diet, lose weight and then gain it back plus more, my God would gently call me back again and point me in the right direction. He did that time and time and time again.

He never gave up on me. Each time when I’d get to the end of my rope and cry out to Him, He’d give me the same plan. He was so consistent.

My mind settled and I dwelt on the goodness of a God who never gives up on me and keeps calling me back to Him,

Repentance Leads to Surrender

Sometime on that drive I pulled off on the side of a deserted road and cried tears of repentance. I mourned for what I’d done to myself and to my God. I had denied myself nothing. I had followed my own selfish desires. I had made my stomach my god. (See Phil 3:19.)

That night on the side of that road, I surrendered sugar to God. I laid it on the altar. It felt like I cut out my heart and laid it there. In a way, that’s exactly what I did because sugar had become my passion.

I said, “God I don’t know how, but right now I’m telling You I’m surrendering sugar to You. I admit I am scared I will mess up again. I don’t know how to do this.

“I want sugar out of my life. I see it has become a habit, a stronghold, a fortress and I know it will take work to remove it. Still, I lay it down. Teach me how to do this so I stop making a huge mess of my life.”

Beginning My Journey

This was the start of my journey towards learning how to change my habits, give up sugar and live a healthy lifestyle. I learned that giving up sugar takes time. It is a process we have to work at each day. I learned much more about myself and what God desires for me as I walk through this life.

Surrender is at the heart of it all. Without surrendering the things that we’ve been putting above God, we really cannot serve Him.

When I finally surrendered everything to Him, He rewrote my story. He will rewrite yours if you will let Him.

My story is not done yet. Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

 

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 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 four more books, "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "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 and under the book tab on her website. Her Coaching Programs can be found under the Weight Loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab. Also check out her blog at TeresaShieldsParker.com.