It’s very exciting to have lost over 264 pounds. However, it’s not very exciting to think I let myself get to the point that I had that much to lose.

Recently, I wrote a post geared towards the super morbidly obese person. Today, I’m writing to those who have less than 100 pounds to lose.

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You know you need to lose some weight, but you can still function and may even be able to fit in clothes you buy off a normal rack in a department store.

It concerns you a little, but not enough to change your lifestyle.

When I think back through the years, I remember when I went over 200 pounds and had a mild point of concern. Then 250 crept up and I went on Diet Center and lost 100 pounds. Then some man at work seemed to leer at me and I once again started eating candy bars like they were going out of style.

Soon I had sped past the 250 mark again and went all the way to 300 before I went on Atkins diet and lost 100 pounds again. Then Christmas came around and I celebrated my weight loss by going off the diet.

Soon I had passed 300. Then I got pregnant and well, you know how that goes. I was passing 350. After my son was born, life began moving crazy fast. I couldn’t seem to get a handle on how to get everything done and take care of myself, so I put my weight issues last and just ate whatever I pleased.

My thought process went like this: Life is too short to bother with limiting the one thing I really love, which is food. God obviously made me this way, so I’ll just endure.

I stopped weighing. I didn’t even weigh when I went to the doctor’s office. I avoided yearly physicals.

Sooner or later, though, the self-indulgent lifestyle always catches up with you. I was 45 when my body started rebelling against the foods I was put in it.

All of a sudden in one year, I had diabetes, congestive heart failure, sleep apnea and major digestive issues. Things continued to go downhill fast.

At one point it looked like I would need open heart surgery. After doing an angiogram, the cardiac surgeon told me, “Your heart was never designed to pump blood through a body of 430 pounds. You need to lose 100 pounds and keep it off or you will be dead in five years.”

I’m telling you this now so you don’t allow yourself to get to that point.

Processed sugar has been shown as a major cause of death by heart disease for normal weight individuals as well as obese individuals.

It is easier to stop a little Honda than it is a freight train. Stop now while you’re still a Honda and before you do major damage to yourself.

Even though I’ve lost 264 pounds and am nearly normal weight range, I still have problems with my joints, folds of hanging skin and some other issues related to the extreme obesity I lived with for years.

Although I hesitate to call overeating a sin, I know I was in sin for years. When I prayed about my issue, God gave me clear instructions regarding how to fix the issue. I felt He told me to stop eating processed sugar. I have that in my journal at least five times through the years.

I would do it for awhile and then take up exactly what I knew was problematic once again, praying it wouldn’t have the same effect it always had. So in my book that is disobedience and disobedience is sin. What I want to say is sin always has consequences. I live with those consequences every day.

In a way, though, the scars I have remind me of where I was and that I never want to go back again.

The hanging skin on my arms becomes angel wings and flappy skin on my belly becomes love handles. My digestive issues become reasons to continue to eat sugar-free and gluten-free. My creaky joints become reasons to exercise in the water every day, a time I love to commune with my Maker.

The consequences stay, but they can turn into lessons for me and others to understand that God’s ways are always designed to give us a hope and future. Thankfully, I have both now that I’ve chosen life.

Right now, would be a really good time to make a commitment to a lifestyle change that involves giving up processed sugar and flour. What have you got to lose, but a whole lot less than I started out with.

Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.

Barriers to Destiny
When You Have A Lot to Lose
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 TeresaShieldsParker.com. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking Tab.