Too Many Fat Tuesdays

It is Fat Tuesday.

All over people are scarfing down their last bit of forbidden food that they will then give up for the forty days of Lent.

Chocolate, Pizza. Desserts. Soda.

Paczkis (pronounced “POONCH-key”) are all the rage by us. They are Polish pastries of delight filled with all kinds of goohey goodness–custard, lemon, chocolate, raspberry or the traditional prune. (Yes, prune)

They are big in mid-Michigan where I live.

This scarfing and stuffing—-because tomorrow the deprivation begins—-isn’t just limited to Fat Tuesday.

In my life, I’ve had a lot of Fat Tuesdays.


Maybe hundreds.

And they don’t always fall on a Tuesday.

You see, I’ve been embattled in a knock-down, drag-out fight for over a quarter-century now. Sometimes, I feel the little daily battles that are part of this clash completely defeat me, leaving me helpless and hopeless. And I feel alone in my battle.

What is this battle that consumes me? It is one that many women face. My constant, decades-long skirmish is with food. Or rather with my desire for food. Bad foods. Wrong foods. Or just vast quantities of food.

Six years ago, I felt I’d come to the end of my rope. Severely overweight and reeling from seven different medical conditions, I finally determined to do something decisive so one day with desperate determination, a pair of hand-me-down walking shoes, and my trusty calorie counter in hand, I set off to religiously follow a weight-loss and exercise regimen. And follow it I did — to the T!

Eleven months later, I’d dropped over 100 pounds. All my health conditions disappeared without any medication and I felt better than I had in my twenties. I boldly determined that never, EVER again would I let that weight creep back on.

Fast forward a few years. And a few life stresses, husband’s layoffs and periods of laziness later.

I hate to admit that, sadly, I again turned to food instead of to God. I made it my comfort; my distraction; my tranquilizer; my friend.

However, this familiar “friend” quickly became my archenemy. Over the course of these few years, I’ve  gained back almost half of the weight I’d lost! Now entrenched in the thick of the battle again, I am weary and weak; embarrassed and embittered.

And so I vow to start again.

But before I start, I have myself my own little private “Fat Tuesday” (bad-food binge) and vow that TOMORROW, I’ll start over and give up the fattening foods.

Only tomorrow I feel such guilt and shame that I don’t start over. I spiral down.

And I vow to start over.


I want to stop starting over. I want to stop needing to start over.

It amazes me that with all the fabulous resources out there (even good, spiritually based ones like Made to Crave and Reshaping it All—both  written by friends of mine!) so many of us gals still struggle.

Friend, I have no clever tips for you today.

No three-step plans or sure-fire cures.

Just understanding.  And empathy.

If you are someone who too is embroiled in the battle. I get you. I’m with you.

I understand. I know what t means to vow to start over. Again and again and again.

Pray for me? I’ll pray for you.

Tomorrow is a new day.

(and tomorrow the paczkis will also be half-off so lets stay away from the bakery!)

photo credit


  1. Oh Karen….how I can so relate. January 2011 I started on my journey to weightloss, good health, and a closer walk with the Lord – all thanks to “Made to Crave”. I found an accountability partner in my cousin’s wife who lives 3 hours away. Each week we weighed in at home and reported in to each other. Almost daily we sent words of encouragement, new recipes, etc. via email. I did SO well – with God’s help – losing twice as much as my cousin’s wife (and she’s 20 years younger than me!) She constantly slipped, while I stayed stedfast to my plan to eat healthy and exercise. I refused to put anything in my body that I could not justify its nutritional value. A little over a year later, I’d lost 75 pounds! I felt great, I was able to go off my BP meds, I was healthier, etc. You’d think the great success would be moviation for me to work on the last 30 pounds I needed to lose…but instead, I started becoming much more slack in my eating, eating more, and eating food that were nothing but empty calories. Soon I began gaining a few pounds, then I’d get back on track, then the cycle repeated. Most of last year was spent gaining and losing the same 1015 pounds over and over again. Right now I’m 10 pounds heavier than my lowest weight. My “tomorrow start-over” was yesterday. I whined to the Lord about my problem, and He quickly reminded me that I’d started turning to food again instead of to Him. He very clearly led me yesterday to go on a water fast for the day. I asked Him if it’d be ok for me to add those little flavor packets, but He let me know real fast that HE was all I needed…nothing more, nothing less. And that instead of getting my strength and sustenance from food, I was going to totally depend on Him for everything I needed. I drank water – plain water – all day Monday. Each time I felt the least bit hungry or weak, I reminded myself that He is all I need. I spent time before work, during lunch, and after work in prayer and Bible study. I turned off the TV and turned on Christian music. I made it through the entire day fine…including an hour long kickboxing exercise class! This morning, I stepped on the scales and found that I’d lost 5.6 pounds! Now, I’m not advising anyone to starve themselves…but if the Lord is leading you to fully lean on Him, it can truly be an eye-opening experience. Today I started back eating sensibly – and eating nutritous foods. I want to be healthy and I want to feel good – so that I can be of better service to my Lord….because He truly is ALL that I need.

  2. Thank you for sharing your struggle. I too struggle with relying on food instead of my God. Made to Crave was such an eye opener for me; this will be a daily struggle forever because God wants me close to him, not anything else.

  3. I do thank you for sharing today. It resonated with me and made me thankful that we are able to voice our weakness and still celebrate our strengths. Weight concerns make this journey “weighty” and “burdensome.” I am grateful for the encouraging words you write. I am with you on this journey of one-more-pound, then five-more-pounds. We will persevere. We will be successful.

  4. You are not alone! I lost over 190 pounds have kept it off for five years but still live in fear of relapse and going back-know I am a compusive overeater… my mental obsession with food and food fears still exist… thin is not always well. There is a solution and I believe it begins with honesty and the truth that I am not perfect-and I must be willing to surrender specificially the real stuff around why I go to food as a drug and idol (tough stuff and past pains). I fear for my future with this deblitating disease! I am having a hard time accepting the truths of that and celebrating life without excess food is scary but I am in a fellowship that does not focus on food or weight only the spirtual stuff and the reasons behind the illness and how to recovery that is my support one day at a time! or more like one abstinent healthy meal at a time! Thanks you all are loved, loveable, and loving….

  5. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. I was always thin growing up but a few years after getting married the pounds started to creep up on me. I now have gained 70 pounds (that I have kept) over the last 28 years and 2 children. I want to be healthier so that I may serve God better (and who am I kidding I want to look/feel better too). My goal is to be healthier by the time of my mission trip at the end of July. I keep saying “THIS fat girl isn’t going to the rain forrest”. Now, I must DO something about it, one bite/step at a time. Praying for your success as well.

  6. Sweet Karen,

    I also fight the food batle. God helped me win the cigarette battle 16 years ago – Praise you Lord! But the food battle still exists. I have also read Made to Crave, tried Weight Watchers (which is where I am again because it works), etc. One thing I have done that is helping is that I am committed to exercise. I work out twice a week with a personal trainer and 3 other friends. Costlyl? Yes. Worth every penny? Yes. I also think of “Discerning the Voice of God” by Priscilla Shirer and how she talks about being radically obedient to what God is asking. If I want God to show up in my life, be radically obedient. That is how I started exercising (also exercise 2 more days a week with 2 friends for free) and how I went back to Weight Watchers online and actually use the program. Progress is slow but the satisfaction of obedience is sweet. Lifting you up in prayer!!

  7. Karen,

    I just have to say Wow! I sat in my bed lastnight just crying out to the Lord asking why oh why can’t I seem to conquer my addiction with food? I have been on this weight loss journey for a little over 20 years now and I have lost weight to have gained it all back. Reading the blog today was like me writing my very own story. Thank you for all the encouragement, you are truly a blessing. I am lost for words right now but yes, I will be pray for you as well. I reside in PA Dutch Country and Fasnachts are being sold everywhere in this area. A matter of fact, I just returned from one of the country stores and they had a whole display of fasnachts in front of the checkout stations. I just wanted to again say thank you and blessings to you!

  8. The simple act of saying a mindful prayer, asking a blessing each time you put food in your mouth, not just at the beginning of an actual meal but right down to that one Hershey’s kiss or handful of chips, can be miraculous. Eating food consecrated to God becomes a holy act and a great aid against gluttony. As a diet coach and wellness counselor, I give this advice to my Christian clients- with amazing results. God bless your efforts, Lenten or otherwise.

  9. Karen, like many of the other readers, this SO resonates with me! I am a processor by nature and have been trying to process what it is that I am afraid of…success…failure…inability to maintain…why I can I not just start doing what I know to do? Why won’t I draw a line in the sand and start? Reading this today, made me think…do it for the Lord…do it for Lent…just start. Thank you for the encouragement.

  10. Thank you Karen for sharing your story. After I was married I packed on the pounds and over 18 plus years of marriage gained 30 plus pounds and 3 or 4 pants sizes. Aaaargh!! Just recently I discovered “Divine Diet” based in Texas. I was inspired in the way that the first three letters are D-I-E and yes sometimes us women feeling this ways when we are dieting. However, they go on to say there is a better way of thinking about this the “LIVE IT Plan”. Choosing to eat healthier, choosing to weigh in everyday to stay accountable, choosing to HONOR OUR LORD (how can we serve God when we are not healthy). I don’t know about you but I desired to glorify God in all I do. So I seriously started this LIVE IT Plan and have lost 12 pounds since July (or two pounds every month) and have kept it off. Hope this is some encouragement for you and other women who struggle with this issue. God Bless and Happy “fat” Tuesday!!!

  11. Karen, thanks for your honesty. It is very comforting to know that someone that I admire so much struggles with some of the same things that I do. (Though I am so sorry that you do!) Thanks for “keeping it real!”

  12. Praying for you and with you, Karen. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I, too, struggle every day. I want to get off my tush and walking. I need to lose at least 50 lbs. and need to be in better shape as well. Looking at a possible hip replacement that really affects my ability to walk but if I plug along at it and get this weight off, maybe the hip replacement won’t be necessary??!!! Thanks for your encouragement and honesty with us every day.

  13. Oh Karen, I walking along side of you thankful that God gives each new day – a new start. This week I am tracking my food again trying to keep the weight I have lost off & battling with the remain lbs. Praying for you and thank you in advance for praying for me. Love you and all the ladies at Proverbs 31 ministries.

  14. Karen – thanks for your honesty! It’s encouraging I don’t fight this battle alone. I too am there with you. It’s such a frustrating battle because I know what I need to do, but executing it isn’t always easy. I’ll be praying for you.

  15. I am right there with you!!! I chuckle at the ads talking about losing baby weight…I could say I have baby weight to lose, too, only my “baby” is 9 years old…so I have had the extra weight around for a while…some of it since my 17 year old came along! :) Aiming to make this Lenten season the beginning of a “new season” of life for me…a healthier one as I remember that God created my body as a temple and I should treat it as such! I rationalize that I “deserve” treats at times, but truly, I would give my body a greater reward to deprive myself of them and turn to God instead!! Praying for you and for everyone else facing this challenge with me!

  16. Oh, girl, I feel you. I really do. I have been laid up with the stomach bug to end all stomach bugs, and the thing I was most excited about? Not that it was over… not that I could actually keep food down… but that maybe, just maybe, I’d lost some weight. lol

    I will definitely pray with you, and just love your honesty. God has our backs in this. I need to remember that this is God’s temple… I need to take care of it like it is instead of treating it like garbage. Pray with me that I’ll remember that!!!

  17. Karen, one of the things I so love about all of you “Proverbs 31” gals, is that you are so willing to share your struggles and your humanity. I know how hard it is to be open with our issues and our failings and our starting over. But when you share a little, and keep going, it makes me feel like I am not so hopeless, I can do it too. I walk that walk every day myself. And many other walks. Prayers for you my friend. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I am starting over again today as well. Not because I need to lose weight (although a few pounds wouldn’t hurt!) but because I’ve let my cholesterol rise again. I have six months to bring it down on my own. If not, we’re talking medication and I’d really REALLY like to avoid that. Too many people in my family are on medication for one condition or another (some through lack of control/discipline) and I don’t want to be one of them. Wish me luck girls!

  19. This so resonates with me. I just “started over’ again yesterday and am determined to stick with it this time. I’ve also been reading the Made to Crave devos on the YouVersion app for the last week, so that helps. When it gets a little warmer out maybe we should lace up our tennies and walk together :)

  20. Dear friend.
    I have always had to watxh what I wat. GOD used it to teach me discipline. I am praying for you that you will see yourself your perfect weight and thia was alewady defeatwd at the cross 2000 years ago. It is finished. So a man thinks in his heart so he is. Thank the Loed everyday for you making right choices and for being your perfect weight. Also. Plwase break those vows you ve been making and say by the grace of God I will not pass this way again in jesus Name. This worked for me and Jeaus loves as much as me. Cant wait to hear of the BREAKTHROUGH

  21. Karen, thank you for your honesty. I get it too. I really do. Feels like a daily battle and while I keep telling myself that it is a worthy fight, I only sometimes believe those words. Walking with you…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *