Eat to Live

First, a bit of history. When I was 27 I was an almost 400-pound diabetic, deeply depressed, extremely sad and in desperate hopelessness. I was required to be in a room full of people all the time, yet, I always felt like the only person in the room. I was consumed with all types of fear. It ruled my life. It was the main thing from which I desperately needed freedom. Fear preaches in the first person. Instead of you hearing “you are…” in your head, you hear “I am...” It’s crazy and probably the reason why I could not articulate what was wrong with me or how it originated. I just knew that I was a Believer, I hated my life and I was felt guilty about it. Then, I found myself in drug cartel controlled, Bogota Columbia; guarded by a heavily armed army of soldiers to be transformed. It was there, that I had my first encounter. An encounter is a weekend retreat where I got to discover the Truth about Jesus, the lies I have lived and the life He designed for me to have. Needless to say, I will NEVER be the same.

After a month of living in Columbia, our pastor, Pastor Castellanos, asked us a few questions and determined that the work was not finished. He proceeded to prophesy about when I was conceived. He told a story that I had been hearing all my life. It was the story about what my father said when my father first saw me. He said, “Oh she’s so beautiful!” But then Pastor Castellanos proceeded to talk about when I was conceived and how my father was sure I was a boy. He made many plans for my future – as a boy and when he heard that I was a girl, his first emotion was disappointment. The seed of that disappointment was immediately sown into my heart, even as an infant.

I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. My Mom says I have his eyes and his mind. But there has always been a nagging thought inside my heart – that I am a disappointment to my father. Pastor Castellanos prophesied that this was why I had treated my body so badly. I found in food what I could not find from my father. Deep huh? What was even deeper was to also realize that when I was conceived my mother was very afraid. She was pregnant with twins 5 years before I was born. She carried them to term and lost them both. Discovering these 2 deep truths about my life before I was born was only the beginning of my transformation that would take more than 10 years. Honestly, it only took that long because I wasn’t intentional after my freedom.

When I left Bogota after 6 weeks I was a different woman. I was filled with love of purpose, a keen focus and profound hope for my future. In fact, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I went home and got busy accomplishing God’s purpose for my life. Pastor Castellanos gave me a scripture that changed my fricken life. Matthew 15:11 It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” This scripture rearranged everything in my mind concerning my life, my weight and my relationship with food. First, I was astounded that the Bible had something to say about food in a way that I could apply to my life, that alone has become a lifelong discipline that I am still mastering. I went home and lost about 100 pounds in about a year – BY FAITH, not by exercising, or eating in a particular way. By sheer faith I went home, got busy doing my purpose and then I looked up a year later and I was 100 pounds lighter – CRAZY! It blew my mind. I don’t believe it was all good because I got comfortable. I figured that I’d lose the rest eventually. NOPE! I don’t know if the Lord was saving me from death, if He just wanted me to participate in my own miracle, if He wanted me to develop healthier habits or all of the above. However, the weight stayed and I fell in love with food – good food.

My family are the quintessential foodies. We are always discovering new great places to eat. Some of our fam faves are Houston’s. If you love chicken fingers, they have the best. Flaky egg-battered tenderloins of chicken lightly salted, iron skillet beans and skinny fries. You will not wonder what’s in the batter. At Carol Street Café I order the grilled chicken pesto pasta with spinach, tomatoes and capers. No Mas is gourmet Spanish restaurant. Last on this very small list is Stoney River. You will never go anywhere else for a steak. It’s marinated overnight in salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary. Food so good, there aren’t salt and pepper shakers on the table. I, had fallen in love with food. I looked up again and I was 40, 296 Pounds and a diabetic on 8 different medications and about to lose a toe.

For the next 3 weeks I will tell you about my relationship with food versus my relationship with God; and how I came to the decision that I had to change my mind or lose my life. I could no longer live to eat. I had to be delivered so that I can Eat to Live.

I’m Tifiny and iambutNaked…

Tifiny Johnson1 Comment