I have been overweight as long as I can remember.  I recall seeing pictures of me as a child, one of me holding a package of M&M’s and having chocolate on my face, and the other of me with a look of excitment as I’m eating Baskin Robbins Ice Cream.  They are cute, and I laugh at them, but they also show that my love for food, especially sweets, began early in life.

             

The last time I recall being under 200 pounds was in Junior High.  I remember getting on the scale during P.E. one day and being shocked to learn I was 195 pounds.  Throughout Junior High and even into High School, there were a group of guys who would always laugh at me and make “MOO” sounds, implying that I was a fat cow.  I went home in tears all the time.  I’ve come across my class picture from my 8th Grade graduation in 1992, and I remember clearly that day once again being laughed at and called a cow.  I was not a happy girl that day!

  

Fast forward about 17 1/2 years to the end of 2009.  I stepped on the scale and saw that I was 291.5 pounds.  I thought to myself, “No way am I getting to 300!”.  Of course I waited until after the holidays to get serious.  On January 1, 2010, I began exercising and tracking my calories, trying to eat less and make healthier choices.  I lost about 30 pounds in the first few months, and then continued to go up and down into 2011. I was down to 254…37 pounds from my beginning weight of 291…during the first few months of 2011.

I soon lost that motivation and began to gain my weight back.  I have fluctuated between the 260’s and 270’s for almost two years now. I have constantly struggled with shame, embarrassment, and sadness over my weight and my appearance.  I remember going with my husband to a Dallas Stars game in October 2011.  I was excited and looking forward to the night out.  We arrived and found our seats, but could barely squeeze into them.  It was so uncomfortable.  To make it worse, there were a group of young guys next to us who seemed just as uncomfortable.  They soon got up and moved to another section.  I was so embarrassed.  I couldn’t enjoy the game.  I cried the entire time.  I didn’t sob… it wasn’t obvious to those around me that I was crying, but the tears kept flowing down my face. I just kept my head down or turned away so no one, including my husband, would notice.

That should have been enough to light a fire in me and make me want to change, but it wasn’t.  I mean  I “tried” to lose the weight, but with little effort and little success.  My love for food overpowered any desire I had.

On December 18, 2012, I came across the website for Overeaters Anonymous.  I explored it a little and then joined in on an online meeting. The theme for the night was “The only requirement is the desire to stop eating compulsively”.  I had the desire, which is what brought me there, but the desire was not very strong.  Not strong enough to keep me from over-indulging at work two days later when everyone brought in tons of goodies to celebrate Christmas.  That day I was the definition of a compulsive overeater.  I declined some of the goodies at first, but later, when no one was looking, I ate everything that was left…donuts, popcorn, brownies, candy.  I was sick to my stomach later that night and felt like such a loser.  Over Christmas, I continued to indulge.  It’s hard to say no to my aunt and my grandma when they offer so much good food.  I didn’t want to say no…so I ate.

December 27th, 2012, I stepped on the scale and the result was 277.3 pounds.   I spent time in prayer and decided this was the day to surrender this area of my life to God.  I began tracking my calories again and started the “Made to Crave” Bible study again.  I had done it before, but didn’t really let the information sink in.  I also “attended” another OA meeting online and began reading the book about the 12 Steps.  Step 1 says, “We admitted that we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable.”  I can relate that, but I can now say I am 5 days abstinent from compulsive overeating.

I am grateful to God because of the new hope and desire He has given me.  I realize that I cannot do this alone.   I need Him.  My own desire, my own strength is not enough.

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