How can women resist the pressure to be culturally thin?
By getting our value and worth from God rather than from media and to renew our minds with His word daily by studying, meditating on, memorizing and believing passages of scripture, like 1 Peter 3:3-4.
When did you first realize that you wanted be healthier?
It wasn't really a sudden realization. If you ask anyone who struggles with weight if they want to be healthier, most would say it is their greatest wish. For me it was deciding to replace my "wishbone" with a "backbone" and do something about it rather than constantly looking back and wishing I had.
What was your routine to achieve this?
1. Changing my eating habits to "focus on the fiber" with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
2. Moving more through lifestyle habits (stairs instead of elevators, parking far from grocery store doors, etc.). Also, finding a form of exercise I love (Zumba) changed my life!
3. Dealing with the root causes of why I turn to food. For me, that meant working with a Christian therapist to face childhood traumas and learn to feel my emotions instead of eating them.
4. Fighting the enemy's temptations with the word of God. It's how Jesus fought (see Matthew 4) and it is the only offensive weapon listed in Ephesians 6. I memorize and speak a lot of scripture out loud when tempted and keep spiral bound note cards with scriptures in my purse. My favorite is 1 Corinthians 10:13.
5. Relying on the Holy Spirit's resurrection power inside of me through prayer. If He can raise a man from the dead, He can raise me from my couch and get me onto a treadmill!
How do you remain inspired on the journey?
I surround myself with like-minded believers on a similar journey, read books to continue growing (I highly recommend "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst), and choose to worship God with my body each day. When I fall, I don't wait until Monday to start over. I dust myself off and make the next healthy choice.
Do you feel people are deceived by diet fads?
Absolutely! For a long time I circled around on that endless merry-go-round of fad diets. It's hard to resist promises of quick weight loss. But I finally decided that it took me years of bad choices to put the weight on. It will be a process of good choices to take it off. Rather than wanting it off quickly, I want it off permanently. It doesn't matter how long it takes. Walking in victory each day adds up to success. It is easy to get frustrated thinking of how far I have to go. I take it one day at a time and choose to honor God with my body daily instead of worrying about it and waiting for tomorrow.
Most difficult part of losing 100 pounds?
Not resting on yesterday's successes or failures, but pressing on each day.
What weight loss tips can you give to other women regarding losing weight?
Instead of making the focus a number on a scale or reflection in the mirror, make it your aim to worship God through obedience and honoring Him with your body. And when you fall (as we all do), don't listen to the lies of the enemy saying, "you're a failure", "you'll never be able to do this," or "you're hopeless." Silence Satan with the word of God that tells you that you are blessed, chosen, holy, blameless, loved, adopted, accepted, favored, redeemed, forgiven and sealed with the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 1:3-11). And then remind the Accuser that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you and that God's power is made perfect in your weakness (see Philippians 4:13 & 2 Corinthians 12:9)!
What scripture would you recommend others reading to attain health and happiness?
So many! If I had to choose one, I'd say 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.