My name is Catherine Zanoni. The Christian principles taught at Weigh Down are how I found a very real relationship with God through answered prayers and I’ve kept 80 pounds off since 2002 as a result! My family has lost over 200 pounds so obviously we were passing down this reverence for food to our children too. I’m hoping you can relate to my story and be filled with HOPE that you too can get out of this prison of overweight, depression, anger and substance abuse.
I was thin growing up, but started having babies at a young age. Being pregnant and falling for the lie that I was “eating for two” is how this greed for more food than what my body was calling for started. I would gain 60 pounds and loose 30 with each pregnancy so that after the birth of our fourth child when I was 27 years old, I was 100 pounds heavier than I am today. Running to food is how I tried to cope with stress of every day family life. I ran to food for comfort when I was bored, tired, lonely and stressed out. The extra weight left me depressed, angry and unhealthy but I felt that I couldn’t break the cycle of wanting more food. Dieting only increased my preoccupation with food. It strained my marriage and my relationships with family and friends because losing weight preoccupied my heart, mind and body. I had no time or energy left to give to anyone other than myself, so life and my family seemed like a burden to me.
When food and more food no longer comforted me, I turned to alcohol. However, no amount of food or alcohol was going to sooth my hurting heart and I spent another ten years searching through money, shopping, food and alcohol to fill me up. These false-comforts gave me a temporary feeling, but left me increasingly empty and I was unable to connect the dots to turn my life around. Despite all kinds of diets and obsessive exercise, I could not lose my extra weight and keep it off. I felt trapped and hopeless.
I’m so thankful that a friend told me about Weigh Down. I was introduced to mere Christianity in Weigh Down and everything this ministry produces is designed to help you find this relationship with God! For the first time in my life I experienced a direct connection between eating within God’s boundaries of hunger and fullness and losing weight permanently. No more yo-yo dieting! God really did care that I was turning to food instead of Him. I learned to turn to God when my emotions were running high and eat food for fuel only. It was a very foreign concept to “stop in the middle of a candy bar and have no ‘desire’ for the second half,” but I kept putting the Weigh Down principles into practice and I truly was able to make that transfer from a passion and preoccupation with food to a passion for God Almighty.
My “desires” changed and I no longer wanted the extra food which was a miracle and total freedom. I learned to go to God for whatever I needed to “cope” and He would answer my prayers! I personally experience this ongoing relationship with God everyday and that’s how my weight loss is permanent. My life with four children and now four grandchildren is still very full and demanding. However, food, alcohol, money and shopping are not used to cope with life anymore. Now my relationship with God allows me to deal with whatever comes my way and I truly ENJOY this life!
I promise that I’m nothing special and you can do this too, but like Gwen Shamblin has said, “I made a special choice.” A choice to put food in its proper place far below the wishes of God Almighty! As a result, I am a thin eater again. I’m healthy and happy. My marriage has never been better. I’ve taught my children and grand children to eat this way and they will not feel the pain I did. Instead they know how to get their prayers answered too which is a priceless gift. Through Weigh Down, I learned to turn to God and God was able to turn my life around! You are on the right path. This is real and practical and attainable. I hope everyone who reads my story will contact the Weigh Down office and start losing worries AND weight today!