Weight loss of 30 lbs. Set free from bulimia, control, depression, negative body image and over-exercising
Weigh Down helped me completely overcome an extreme focus on my body and also overeating! As a kid, I was always self-conscious about my body and was always aware that I was slightly bigger than other girls. During my senior year is when I can pinpoint a rise in an obsession for food. I worked at a daycare and I can remember sneaking the snacks out of the pantry while everyone was outside playing. I would go home and sneak snacks at home too, hoping my mom wouldn't notice the diminishing bags of chips. But I was very active, so I didn't really gain any weight.
It wasn't until I got to college and my active lifestyle changed to more of a sedentary style that I started to gain weight. I gained 20 pounds in the first year of college. I tried almost everything to get it off: eating only vegetables, running 5 miles a day. I even tried other "Christian" diets that limit intake to "natural" and "Bible" foods. But in college the food surrounds you and the options are endless. The longer I was there, the more my mind would be distracted from my studies by an insatiable desire for food. I was on the front step of the cafe restaurant at 10:30, the second it would open, just so I could get to my food.
I was miserable and growing increasingly depressed. I knew that the obsession I had with food was wrong, but I didn't know how to lay it down. I had no clue God had a way! I did go to the leaders of my church to try to get help with it, but was told that I was ok. There was no hope that I'd ever get out of the prison. The emptiness I felt with God grew and I would go out to my car and cry saying, "I’m supposed to be a Christian, but why am I so depressed?"
Shortly after, I went to a book store as a last effort to find a diet that might work. God led me to the Weigh Down Diet book! I bought it because it said on the cover I could eat chocolate and potato chips and STILL lose weight!! I was so sick of salad and the thought of that freedom to eat regular food excited me!! I started reading the book and the principles made so much common sense that I KNEW it was the truth!
However, I was not quick to put into practice what I read in the book. When I got to the end I saw the 1-800 number and called it. I couldn't believe that someone picked up on the other line and was even more thrilled to learn that there were online classes I could take! I signed up right away and dug in. I began to put into practice what I was learning and steadily lost 15 pounds in the first half of the class.
Unfortunately, I still toyed with diet gimmicks and lost focus. I started binging uncontrollably. I felt like I "had" to binge. Somehow the simplicity of hunger and fullness was no longer simple. I started extreme exercise again, but the weight wouldn't come off and the binges got worse. I was so scared to gain weight that I taught myself to throw up. So my life became consumed with binging and purging. While at work, all I could think of was the next binge. I started skipping work and calling in sick just to continue this cycle. I was an awful employee and even lost a job because of it. I was completely wrapped up in my world of binging and purging. I tried laxatives for a little while. I didn't like the way they made me feel and I was terrified of an overdose. For the next two years, I couldn't break free. The pull was soo strong.
In the back of my mind, however, I knew that it was all a sin and I had to stop. I started trying to find a church that could lead me out of this destructive behavior.
One day God had someone from the Weigh Down office "randomly" call me. They asked me how I was doing and I told them the truth of my struggles. It was then that I was introduced to Remnant Fellowship, the church that sponsors Weigh Down! I longed for teaching that would help me overcome the bulimia and find a new life. I was excited to try it out. I started attending, listening, and putting into practice what I learned. I was finding God! I had so many answered prayers that I knew God was reassuring me that truth was being taught so I just kept listening.
My pinnacle turn around moment came out of fear for God. I knew I had to stop my patterns because I knew they would kill me and it wasn’t right for God’s body. I repented immediately and prayed that God would just let me live and I would be done with it. He did let me live and I never ever looked back. He also led me to Psalm 116 to remind me of my vow.
It was at that point that I knew had to be done with my old ways. I was getting married in a month and my wedding dress didn't fit and there was no more controlling to make it fit. Even more than that, I did not want to bring my old destructive patterns into a new marriage. I fully committed to stopping the binging. Then I began to focus on following the natural hunger and fullness cues. What helped me was to keep a pen and paper at my desk and when the strong temptations came to sin, I would write out to God my temptation and beg Him for help and let Him know that I was not going to go there. After I wrote it all down, the temptations would flee and I found joy!
Many years have passed since then and it’s hard to believe how amazing my life is now! I don’t worry about my body image and I feel amazing! I have peace with God and myself. Also, I now have been through 3 healthy pregnancies following the Weigh Down principles and returned to the same weight each time. These tried and true principles really work! I am living proof that following God’s ways, as taught in Weigh Down and Remnant Fellowship Church, resulting in a healthy and beautiful life!
During this time I remember listening to the Rise Above tape from the original Exodus out of Egypt class. In it Gwen said that if you just put these principles into practice, you would be out of the desert and into the Promised Land in 6-12 weeks!! I was cut to the heart. I couldn't believe that I had wasted two years "struggling". I thought, "You mean I could've been done with this two years ago???" That conviction and HOPE prompted a commitment to God and a STRONG focus that I could have freedom in 6-12 weeks if I would just obey and stop trying (because I was never fully committed). So I set my mind every day and it was my single focus. Within three weeks I was done with any struggle to binge, overeat, or eat when I was not hungry!!! The pull was gone!!
It has been so sweet to lose the focus on the body as I have continued to be refined! Both of my pregnancies were beautiful and peaceful. My cravings were so clear when I was pregnant and I learned even more how to listen to what the body is calling for! I lost my weight again without controlling. At times if I see myself going up a few pounds, I just listen closely back in to hunger and fullness and make sure that I am obeying God. Now I have no pull to food. I get disgusted at the thought of eating something if I’m not hungry, even the foods that in the past were the "favorite" binge foods. There are no more "voices" in my head making me think I’m crazy. It is God's voice now that I yearn for and pray that I am finding day to day. I am FOREVER thankful for Gwen Shamblin, Weigh Down, and Remnant Fellowship! I have learned how to get up every day now for God and to walk in His Spirit and seek out what He wants! It is such a more filling and fulfilling life living for Him then filling up on food!!!!
For more of Shae’s story, watch Remnant Fellowship TV — “God’s Voice” – You Can Overcome Season 2 Episode 42