For the first time in my life I weighed over 300 pounds. It would not be the last.
I was married, working for a call center, in my twenties, and quickly moving into poor health. I had anxiety issues, blood pressure issues and high cholesterol. And my wife wanted me to lose some weight.
Someone suggested I buy a book by a man named Dr. Atkins. I immediately began a diet where I starved my body of carbohydrates and measured the amount of ketones released into my urine, but did nothing to curb the alarming quantities of food I was consuming.
It worked. I lost over 50 pounds. I was eating six slices of bacon for breakfast every morning, taking entire packages of cooked breakfast sausage and cheese to work for snacks and eating chicken, veggies and beef at the local Chinese buffet for lunch. After work I typically ate about a pound of meat for supper and another snack or two before bedtime.
Then I hit a plateau. I gradually reintroduced more carbs through the Chinese Buffet and the sausages I preferred over other meats. I ate additional cheese and nuts. Before I knew it, I was starting to gain weight again.
Then I got really sick. The diagnosis was severe, chronic sinusitis. The treatment was surgery. A major one. Holes were drilled in my skull to open up the sinuses for proper drainage, a double deviated septum were corrected and polyps removed. It was the most painful physical pain I ever experienced. But something magical happened. I just would not come to realize it for another 13 years. More on that later.
And then, a child was born.
I stayed off and on again with the Atkins diet for the next decade, until, finally, the yo-yo went to a weight gain of over 100 pounds. Sugar-free cheesecakes were introduced. Eventually, my chocolate habit returned with a vengeance. Still, nothing could fill the vast, empty pit.
Another marriage dissolved. The divorce was bitter. False accusations were made. Custody battles persisted.
And more excuses were made to eat my way into disaster.
While attending a support group for those recovering from abuse, I met a woman, actually she was someone I worked with. We realized we had much in common. She attended a Baptist Church. We both survived past abusive relationships. I finally found the one, or so I thought.
Then the church I was attending lost their pastor to a scandalous affair. I was asked to step up and fill the pulpit while a search was made. With my own marital history, it never dawned I me I would be asked to interim as a pastor. A year later, I was elected pastor for a more permanent basis.
God kept his promise and restored me to my calling.
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed. – Joel 2:25-26 NIV
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