Hi, I’m Teresa and I’m a foodaholic.

There I said it. My soul feels much better. Confession is good for the soul. Golden, actually.

Scripture says to confess your sins to one another. So, now you know mine. I’m addicted to food. Maybe you are too.

Homemade Chocolate Fudge 1This sin has brought me to my knees many times. At 430 pounds, a cardiac surgeon sauntered into my hospital room and had the audacity to tell me if I didn’t lose weight I’d die in five years.

That was 15 years ago.

Today, I’ve lost 241 pounds and I’m still counting, still losing. However, weight loss though an awesome byproduct is not my ultimate goal. Being whole and healthy in all areas, though, is the goal.

I’ve done some pretty drastic things but they have freed me from slavery to those things that pull me under. Every change I have implemented has been with the goal of the rest of my life in mind.

“What do you want,” Russ Hardesty asked me.

“To be healthy,” I answered.

“What is one thing you will do this week to start towards being healthy?”

“I’m going to stop eating candy.”

“And what is one think you will start doing instead?”

That was a harder answer. I thought for awhile. I wasn’t sure how my answer would fit with the idea of for every thing you stop, you need to start something else. “I’m going to start exercising three times a week for 30 minutes.

That was two years ago and though I had done the drastic measure of gastric bypass surgery in 2004 and lost 230 pounds, I had gained back 50 pounds headed straight back to 430 and beyond.

Just like an alcoholic is never free from their addiction, I discovered even cutting off my stomach and rebuilding my God-given body does not free me from mine. I am a foodaholic and always will be.

Healthy eating

There have been times I have wished I were an alcoholic. All an alcoholic has to do is stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol is not necessary for survival; food is. I can’t stop eating.

That last statement is true in so many ways and most of them are not funny. Still, I can stop eating foods that trigger nonstop eating. For me, these include overly sweet things like candy, cake, cream cheese pies, cinnamon crunch bagels.

For the same reason, I stopped eating sugar, I eventually stopped eating wheat and other gluten-laden items.


Some of these are not as much trigger foods as I’ve found they are just bad for me. With every item I stopped, I increased my exercise.

For many reasons, it’s difficult for me to exercise except in the water. In the water, I can walk over two miles in an hour. I can stretch and bend and feel like I’ve taken 30 years off my life.

Exercise is addicting in a good way.

Change for life

This is not a 40-day fast or even a long-term diet, this is a lifestyle change. Everything I start now is the way I will live for the rest of my life. Do I slip up, occasionally? Sure. Do I make exceptions? Rarely and judiciously. I know my triggers. I stay away from them.

Bread is a big temptation, especially great hot rolls. My family and several friends went out to eat recently at a buffet. The waitress brought two baskets full of huge buttery hot rolls. She sat them right in front of me. I looked at them and instantly moved them to opposite ends of the table.

I sat the bread aside so it wouldn’t stare me in the face. There are habits I have formed through years of eating what is bad for me. In visiting, laughing and talking I could without thinking grab a roll and start chowing down.

Instead, I set the bread on the side of the table. I put temptation out my reach.

Being a foodaholic has become an easy thing to manage once I realized not all food is necessary to survival.

Recently, a friend suggested we meet for lunch at Panera’s. I explained I couldn’t go there because Panera’s, for me, is like going into a bar for an alcoholic.

Remember me? Hi, I’m Teresa and I’m a foodaholic.

“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.” I Corinthians 6:12 (Living Bible)

What strategies do you use to put temptation out of your reach?

The day I decided to live
Fences, faith and freedom
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.