A Flashpoint Moment That Changed Everything

I come from a family of fairly large people. When I was growing up, Thanksgiving dinner with my uncles looked like a room full of major appliances gathered around a turkey! Almost everyone present was overweight, and everything on our table seemed to be either fried or served with gravy. I ate what was on my plate and never thought much about it.  But looking back, I can see that food, love, and relationships were definitely intertwined in my development. The result was that by the time I was twenty-two, I’d managed to pack 210 pounds onto my five-foot-ten-inch frame.

I was ashamed of my body, and it hurt to know that others were laughing at me. I felt I was destined to be heavy all my life, because, after all, I came from a heavy family.

But the summer before my senior year in college, when I had my picture taken for the yearbook, I experienced a flashpoint that changed everything. When I received the proof, I was stunned to see the overweight, acne-pocked, oily-haired creature in the photograph. I was so ashamed of what I had become, until I realized I didn’t have to stay that way. In that flashpoint moment, I recognized that I was responsible for how I looked, and I could make myself look different. I had heard all the stories about people who lost weight only to regain it later. I was determined not to repeat that pattern because I knew that most people ended up heavier than they were when they started! Instead, I made gradual changes that caused me to see myself in a different light.

I began to walk every day. I changed my eating patterns. The flashpoint was instantaneous, but the resulting action took some time. With persistence, slowly but surely, the weight began to drop off, my waist narrowed, and the mirror stopped being my enemy.

First, I went down to 190 pounds and lived there for a while. A few years later I slimmed down to 175 and stayed at that weight for a few months. In my last stage of weight loss, I moved down to 160, the weight I maintain today.

Permanent weight loss occurs when you change your heart and mind before you attempt to change your body. The secret to weight loss, you see, isn’t following rules or a plan, any of those will work temporarily. Permanent weight loss occurs when you change your heart and mind before you attempt to change your body.

So another day goes by and you haven’t picked up your gym shoes! You skipped your quiet time, and grabbed a donut on your way out the door. What is going on here?  What is it that keeps us in the cycle of defeat?

Lack of accountability:
If no one asks you about what is going on in your life, (lack of connection) you lose a sense of obligation. How did you feel when you read the sentence about skipping your quiet time? Or not exercising? When we invite someone into our life to encourage us to live our best life, we build in structure, a plan to succeed.

Lack of motivation: This is a challenge! Why should we exercise, eat right, spend time with God? The end result, that’s why! Are you just going through life without any plan and letting things just happen? Don’t react to life, be proactive. Find your motivation from looking ahead in your life, what do you want to see, how do you want to glorify God in your life? Set small doable goals and before you realize it you will be on the path for your best life!

Lack of encouragement: Who is an encourager in your life? Not just those accountability partners– friends and loved ones in your life who are just happy you are alive! If you are missing these types of people in your life, today is the day to build those connections. If you feel like there is no one in your life that could fill those needs, you might need to forgive old hurts, and pray for God’s direction to who would be an encourager in your life.

The writer of Hebrews says, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Heb. 12:1-2) We all have a race marked out for us. When we delay the start of our race, it doesn’t mean that just because we aren’t running in it, that it goes away.

Today, do one small thing towards beginning the race God has marked out for you! What are you ‘weighting’ for?!!

Lose It for Life was developed by best-selling author and radio personality Stephen Arterburn, who lost sixty pounds twenty years ago and has kept it off. In this revolutionary book, he and Dr. Linda Mintle, who is known for her clinical work regarding weight issues, will help you accomplish what you desire most: permanent results.

Click here to find out more about this Total Solution-Spiritual, Emotional, Physical-for Permanent Weight Loss 


Or better yet, get a jump start at our Living Light weekend intensive.  Get all the details CLICK HERE  or call (800) NEW-LIFE (639-5433).

Permanent weight loss occurs when you change your heart and mind before you attempt to change your body.


Steve Arterburn is a nationally and internationally known speaker and has been featured in national media outlets such as Oprah, Good Morning America, CNN Live, The New York Times, ABC World News Tonight, GQ and Rolling Stone. Steve is a best-selling author of books such as Every Man’s Battle, Healing Is A Choice, and The 7-Minute Marriage Solution and recently co-authored Take Your Life Back with Dr. David Stoop, and The Mediterranean Love Plan, with wife Misty. Along with Dr. Dave Stoop, Steve edited and produced the #1 selling Life Recovery Bible. With over 8 million books in print he has been writing about God’s transformational truth since 1984, and has won three Gold Medallions for writing excellence.

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