How to go from a size 24 to a 4

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Many of you know my story of losing 132 lbs. of excess weight.  I’ll admit I’ve been rather shy about the process about out how I’ve changed over the years.  Some of you are just now seeing me in my new found freedom, and I tend to forget myself how far I have come.

There’s a TV show called “My 600 lb. life” that tells the story of food addicts and their journey through weight loss surgery with the help of Dr. “Now” in Houston, Texas.  I am mesmerized by their stories.  I find a piece of my past tucked into almost every episode.

The common theme is that each addict goes to a substance for comfort.

I once realized a long time ago that I was an addict.  And as a Christian that didn’t feel right to say out loud.  I wanted to cover that up, and not let anyone into my personal pain.  I felt like a freak, an odd ball, and alone.  There was no way that I could invite you into my emotional turmoil for fear of your opinion of me.

Many of the stories I hear these days were true for me, I looked at food for my comfort.  I was looking for approval in everything except the right place.  I can’t tell you how long I lived with those unmet emotional needs.  Longer than you think.  Like every addiction, many lies lure you into believing you have no options, all hope is lost and you were just made to live this way.

That was my old way of thinking.  There was a day of hope that came disguised as a dumb radio contest that gave me a new outlook on life.  I am writing a book about I how went from a size 24 to a 4, but it’s not a “how to” book.  It’s a unveiling of my addiction and the roadblocks from my past that contributed to my past captivity.  The book will address my addictions but it will give greater focus to my solution.

I’ve always said that my battle of the bulge was not only physical but also spiritual.  By declaring that, it seems that the battle to get my story out has become the same.  A personal battle.  I’m not giving up in this fight.  It’s that important, so personal and I have realized that my story could actually help one more person.

In tackling the hard work of this emotional journey I’ve had to really search, discover, and find me.  And in this process of faith, I have found me.  And honestly, I’m going to admit to you I haven’t always wanted to know me.

So why is it important to start here?  Because this sin-laden world is full of ideas of who you are.  Psalm 139 talks about the inmost parts of how we were created.  So when I wanted to find out what I was made of and how I got to be overweight, I basically had to go back to my beginning and remind myself of who God created me to be.

That was something I had forgotten about and given over to my own selfish design.

Friends, that day, this process of discovering me, well, it changed everything.  Once you understand the deep love of your Heavenly Father, you too can open a new place in your heart that has been so torn apart by the enemy.  I still remind myself of His truth everyday.  And it’s in those reminders have helped me keep on track with my weight loss and maintaining a size 4.

I am not who I once thought I was.  I am not an addict anymore.  “They” say once an addict always addict.  But I’m telling you, you can have success in any area that you put before the Lord.  If you put the truth of your life before His truth and align your heart, soul and mind with His character, He will change you from the inside out.

This is not easy and it takes faith to start, but God honors every start to change the way He has designed you to be.  And this doesn’t happen overnight, neither did your gaining all the world’s ways.  So the undoing of you will be a process, but you must trust the process.

Practically speaking I had to make some changes.  I didn’t like the failures I was headed for  and I put my entire being on the line and let God change me.  By seeing others in personal prisons, it reminds me how far I have come in so many areas and shows me there’s a common thread our lives.  Every day I have to remind myself of who I am in Christ and how far I have come.  I don’t weigh 244 lbs any more, and am wearing a size 4 in clothes.

How did I get to this release?  I had to adopt these three steps to kick start my success:

1.  Start.  There is no better place to change than right where you are now.  Even if it’s not a Monday, or after a wedding, cruise, vacation, or holiday.  You don’t have to wait until January 1, 2016 to get your new life started, you can start today.  There is literally no time like the present.  But the best place to start is with all of you.  Laying your entire being on the line of sacrifice and letting God into your addiction, problem or bad habit.

2.  Practice.  Perhaps you did start last week and then the weekend came and you hit a few bumps.  That’s okay, we all make mistakes.  Go back to what you know works for you.  The truth is that if you take in number of calories and don’t use them all up in a day’s time, it will be stored as fat in your body.  If you take in the right food choices, you are fueling your body for the day.  If you take in more than you need you are fooling your mind into thinking you need a certain food to sustain you.  Practice the good habits that worked and drop the bad habits that sabotage you.

3.  Repeat step 2.  Practice, Practice, Practice!  Practice does’t always make for a perfect life but it makes for many bad habits morph into good habits.  You didn’t gain those 100 lbs. or 10 lbs overnight did you?  It’s going to take more than a week to get those unwanted pounds off.  This will take focus, determination, sweat and a lot of hard work.  But you can do it and you can do more than you think you can.

What I found at the end of these steps and 8 years later is that these steps work.  You will get tired, you will be worn, you will learn to love steamed broccoli, and you can change a habit.  But the good news is that YOU TOO can change.  You can do more than you think you can if you give yourself permission to succeed.  You have to allow change to be wholly changed.  You have to be willing to learn new things.  You must be willing to stick with it, and you must persevere through the roadblocks.  You have to redo some habits, you have to be willing to be changed the right way.

After all, covering this up isn’t working anymore is it?

Once you have come so far, and you can see the new you, there’s no going back.  It’s one thing to know freedom from an addiction, it’s another thing to live free.  Freedom releases us to live as God has created us to be.  Think like a victor instead of a victim.

Choose to be set free, your freedom is worth fighting for.  At least that has worked well for me and I practice this everyday.

How do you deal with addiction issues? Please share your success in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “How to go from a size 24 to a 4

  1. As a person who struggled with addiction for years so many people got me hung up on…is it genetic? Learned behavior? Is it a disease or a choice? SEMANTICS! Regardless it was a problem that was slowly killing me. Oddly getting on top of my addiction took a TON of hard work. And with God’slove, like Janelle, am beginning to know ME. And that God loves me in my broken places. Am I still an addict? A recovered addict? Former addict? SEMANTICS! I am living a life of freedom and happiness to be a father to my children and salt and light in the world. Love you Janelle, can’t wait to read your journey.

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