I am the older of two daughters, my parents having accepted Jesus Christ when I was about 5 years old. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour at the age of 10, in 1962.
I was a normal-bodied child, although born a preemie, but as I was not a heavy child, I remember being called “Fatso” by a boy once in grade 2 (and I wasn’t overweight in the least–I think it was simply a boy’s silliness) and it entered my core and hurt me.
I did become about 30 lbs. overweight in high school, but it never kept me from being outrageously social and I always had a boyfriend and dates!
At 18, I became engaged to a fellow I loved from afar since I was 14 and he jilted me, which caused me the most pain ever (up to that point!), and it took me about 5 years to get over it. I cried myself to sleep endlessly and one night in particular, I remember a major turning point: In the dark, I sat up and looked at myself in the mirror (couldn’t see!) and declared, “I HATE YOU!” I believe that was a demonic entry point.
From that point on I really did hate me. It was a very dark time. I succumbed to promiscuous sex (after all, I was saving myself for my husband-to-be and he didn’t want me, so who cares?), drinking, when I should have been studying at University–then I flunked out, and then I got kicked out of my own home.
I was a mess. Underneath all of this, I harboured the very strong belief that my father never loved me. He did, of course, but he had a very real difficulty showing it. He would never answer my curious questions, preferring to say consistently, “Ask your mother”, which was an evasive tactic and I took it as such. He was a harsh disciplinarian and would bluster and yell and slap me, and of course, I wouldn’t shut up, either. I remember him slapping me even when I was 21 and then I took a stand against both him and my dear mother for allowing it.
I don’t blame my mother. She saw my part in the behaviour–I would egg my father on and not back down.
Well, as time went on I became about 40 lbs. overweight, but it didn’t stop me from looking good and having boyfriends.
At age 22, I was convicted by the Holy Spirit of my sin and that I need to get right with God if I am ever to find a good husband and have a life that God will bless. I love the fact that the Holy Spirit can come and speak directly to us about what is separating us from the Father without one person saying it! I knew that I was playing a deadly game! So it was in June 1975 that I got down on my knees and gave my all to Jesus Christ and was willing to be a single woman all my life as long as He was in it! Two months later in August, my husband walked into my life, a man who loves God and whom I knew and went to school with way back in grade one–in fact, he was in the very classroom the day that boy made that cutting remark to me! Four months after that, on January 2, 1976, we were married! Jesus was invited to that wedding!
Now I was content, and as most married couples do, gained weight in the first couple years of marriage and thought not too much of it. I was already shopping in the over-sized women’s stores. We had 3 baby girls within 5 years and between the last two, I lost about 45 lbs., but had to stop due to a surprise pregnancy. After that, I began to gain, due to the stresses on us, where we lost a house and had to undergo a foreclosure and eventually a bankruptcy, strikes, and the ensuing depression.
Amongst all those trials we also had to deal with my husband developing a severe case of Anorexia Nervosa. He lost so much weight that he was sent to a cardiologist due to a continuously low heart rate. It was a scary time! I earnestly asked the Lord what I could do to bring him back, and God gave me some things I could do to help him practically, and He gave me great words to speak to him, which reached into his deepest self and began to turn him around! It was an amazing healing, and all the glory goes to God Almighty for that!
One day I went to my husband and confided, “Do you realize that I have gained 100 lbs. since we were married?” To which he replied, “Oh, I didn’t notice!” We laugh about that, but really, it is a symptom of how I think that he has very much enabled me, as a codependent, and I know he loves me very much.
So, that 100 lbs. of excess has ballooned to over 200 lbs. of excess cargo! About 4 years ago I asked the Lord to help me lose the weight and I began to use a fat-absorption inhibitor called “Xenical” and embarked on a great and successful journey of weight loss! I lost 105 lbs. in about 18 months-2 years, but then I got cocky, and also my mother became ill and I had to travel 300 miles weekly to help in her care. She died and then I kind of stopped. I got a good job and then was permanently laid off after 9 months so that the woman who left the job I took could come back! That hurt–especially as the woman is a wonderful Christian leader I worship with at church! Then my daughter hurt us terribly by “divorcing” herself from us and then she and her husband had a baby without telling us, and when that happened, my world fell apart. I succumbed to the demon of depression and for two years I spent my time pretty much in bed. I gained all the 105 lbs. back and 30 lbs. more!
In April of 2009, however, after I had been extremely troubled by thoughts that I would die like that, I decided to ask the doctor for barometric surgery that banded the stomach, to which he said no, that I am too healthy for it and I wouldn’t even qualify for it. One thing he said which helped me was that I had proven to him more than many of his patients that I could actually lose the weight, and that I can do this! So–I went home and began to do it! I am doing all the things I did before, except I am not taking the Xenical. I have to lose about 205 lbs, but will stop when Jesus says to stop–and so far I have lost 75 lbs. The numbers aren’t nearly as important as what is happening in my mind and heart–healing and restoration!
God is a friend beyond all friends! It was just a few weeks before my depression lifted that I sat here before my computer and lamented to the Lord Jesus that I have not been pleasing to Him–I had avoided His house, and his people, and stopped reading His Word daily and worshiping as I did before. He spoke to me and stopped me short. “I am pleased with you, Nancy!” I answered Him, “How can you be pleased with me after all my neglect and lack of trust through this hard time?” Jesus spoke to my heart and said, “I am pleased with your faith.” Immediately I was buoyed up by that–I knew that was the truth! I know that God sees the heart of man! He is pleased to see faith in our hearts! In our deepest trials, He glories in those who do not give up on God!
What a glorious realization!
These scriptures came alive to me:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
1 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I have my daughter back as of August 2009, and now I have two new grandchildren to love! I am back in the Lord’s house and enjoying my spiritual family again also–what a blessing!
Journaling everything I put in my mouth helps! It is actually fun! I record the water intake, measure and weigh foods, record calories and fat grams and keep my totals within my standards for myself. I record my feelings also, which helps me with the overview on why I may eat, but I have not had any trouble with eating emotionally, which I am surprised by! I do believe the Lord Jesus Christ is my healer and He has come alongside to honour my efforts.
I remember my mother quoting scripture to me one day long ago: “He will crown your efforts with success”. I could never find it in the Bible until just a short time ago! I believe it is a word for the Lord for me and I offer it to you!
Psalm 90:17 NLT
And may the Lord our God show us his approval
and make our efforts successful.
Yes, make our efforts successful!
Overall, my history has been that I looked to food to assuage my feelings of being unloved and unlovable–very deep pain indeed. I felt unworthy and so unlike everyone else. Food was a comfort, and I became a spectator of life, rather than living it.
I also believe I had a demonic stronghold on various fronts, and only the power of Jesus Christ can topple such strongholds. Taking the steps necessary for freedom in Christ is the key–which I did!
Hebrews 12:1 has renewed meaning for me now:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
Now I know it is Jesus who wants to comfort and I don’t have to self-comfort, and He finds me entirely lovable and lovely.
The Lord says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you.
Ahh, Jerusalem! I am that city!