Today is a testimony by Stephanie Wetzel. Stephanie is a writer and entrepreneur on a mission to help women trade in their excess pounds for the life they want to live. She has lost over 145 pounds by eating real food, changing her habits, and blogging about it all on Trading Pounds. Here is her story:
By all accounts, I should not be here today. I weighed in at 411 pounds, trapped in a private hell where no outsider was welcome. My body was a prison; my soul rotting away within that self-created cage. For years I tried to control the outcome of my story, attempting one restrictive diet after another to lose the weight. I did lose on occasion, but would eventually gain more back because I couldn’t sustain the rules of whatever diet I was on. In the end, those old habits would win out and I would be right back where I started. I kept everything bottled up inside.
The emotional and physical tolls of this weight roller coaster left me broken and alone.
I had pretty much given up my life so that I could be fat, accepting my fate and preparing for the inevitable outcome of early death. One cold January day, I finally came face to face with the girl in my mirror. She was scared because she didn’t want to die. She wanted to know what it felt like to be alive. She had sacrificed over twenty years of her one precious life to the weight, and she didn’t want to do it anymore. She wanted to be saved. There are moments when God’s voice is but a tiny whisper in our ear. It’s then that He reveals to us His greatest plans for our lives. Standing in my bathroom, looking upon the face of the girl in my mirror, God told me to rise up and fight for her. I didn’t know how, but I knew that I would help save her life.
No One Said It Would Be Easy
It started out with the tiniest of steps. One little shift towards a better life. I cleared out the junk food and brought home more vegetables and fruits. For quite some time, I felt like I was doing what needed to be done, making positive shifts on my own. But something was missing. I kept pushing forward, recommitting each day
to eating right and learning how to care for my body. I wasn’t really tracking how much I ate or exercising, but I was losing weight because of the new foods I was eating. Somewhere along the way, God started building a community around me. He started giving me the courage to let others in on my journey. Little by little, I started opening up more and more to the people closest to me. I still protected my number—hiding the reality of how bad things had become over the years. Honestly, I was ashamed of what I had allowed to happen. I wanted to “fix” it before I opened up about it. I want to say to you that my positive attitude and commitment to healing brought me here today, but that wouldn’t be the truth. While I was focusing on food and nutrition, God was rightfully steering my path.
Giving Up Control
Although I have always been a person of faith, through the years my relationship with God had become almost non-existent. It was about mid-way through last year when I realized how much influence God had used to get me back on track. In this time, I felt my relationship with Him growing stronger. I wanted to trust in Him with all of my being, but I was still very scared. I can only describe it as being trapped between an old and a new life. He showed me the way. He asked me to have faith in Him. And when I didn’t take that leap of trust, He had to push me off the cliff. Around September, my entire life changed.
I had just started working with a life coach when a seed was planted in me. I was overcome with the idea of using my personal weight issues to help others in the same situation. The mere idea of it terrified me. To do this meant to open up about everything; to share my number with the world. The more scared I felt, the more I turned to God for strength. The more I turned to God, the more strength I was given. I knew what had to be done. In reflecting on all the days of my life, I could see how this was God’s plan all along. Every moment, every job, every experience gave me the skills and understanding to take on this mission. That night I said one simple prayer, “God, please use my life to serve others.”
A Greater Purpose
By all accounts, I should not be here today. I shouldn’t be telling you about how emotionally and physically challenging it is to be an obese person. Or sharing with you that I’ve lost over 145 pounds in the last eighteen months. Or writing about how much my life has changed as I’ve healed my body. Or working to teach others what I have learned along the way. But God had a greater purpose in mind that cold day in January 2010 when He told me to fight for her. As it turns out, He wasn’t just talking about the girl in my mirror.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” ~Ephesians 2:8-9
Learn more about Stephaine at her blog: Trading Pounds. Download her free guide full of details on exactly how she did it. She’s also chatting away on Twitter and Facebook.