Destiny In Bloom

Do these GENES make me look fat?

Do these GENES make me look fat?

posted on January 12th, 2011 / by Vanessa Howard / 32 Comments

My mom and I were chatting on the phone about Thanksgiving preparations when the conversation swayed to one of my cousins.  My mother expressed her worry over how my cousin was just “too thin,” and my mom stressed concerned for her health.  “Well, mom, she could say the same about us,” I joked, “only the pendulum would swing the other way about how much we weigh.”  We both giggled, but that joke has really bothered me.

I come from a stereotypical Hispanic family; every reason is a reason to celebrate – with FOOD!  I love my peeps!  Fried food, butter, bacon, cheese, and lard are a few of our favorite basic cooking essentials.  Then we always finish off with something sweet (fruit does not count).   And for the most part I can’t think of many members of my family who are “thin.”  By the world’s standards, you could say, we have “fat genes.”

As a young girl, I was “skinny” (no haters please), could eat whatever I wanted, and not gain a pound.  I graduated high school a whopping 89lbs, granted I’m only 5’ tall. Enter freshman year in college, again the stereotype; however this time it was the “Freshman 20.”  No big deal, a little meat on my bones.  I finally could “fill” in a dress in places I never could before, and I was enjoying my curves a bit.  Then came the “Sophomore 15”, “the Junior 10”, etc.  The spiral was becoming more dizzyingly out of control.

I continued to eat as though each day should be a day of all out feasting.  “Eat, drink, and be merry,” I had always heard growing up.  “You must not be hungry; you didn’t scrape your plate clean?” “We’ll start the diet on Monday.” “It’s just a few bites.”  “You’re young, you can eat whatever.”   There was a problem, I was beginning to not like my curves, and food was beginning to consume my every thought.  Giving birth to two children, gravity and age, multiplied the toxic cocktail of foodaholism.  Monday came, and went, the few bites turned into more than I could count, and it was all about just making myself “feel” good or not “feel” at all.

Sound like an addiction? Is it a behavior, a habit, am I a demon-possessed glutton?

Fast-forward my life to present day:  I’m 35 years old, and have spent $1000’s of dollars on books, seminars, personal trainers, diets, doctors, pills, vitamins, drinks, foods, programs.   I’ve spent countless hours playing mind-games, in tears, stressed, frustrated, and well … here I am still hanging’ on to my freshman 40+.

Many days, I have to honestly admit I have felt like a complete failure … I’ve hidden, been shameful.

One morning last week, the inaudible Whisper came, “Why do you believe everyone else, but ME?”  The Voice of Truth.  I have spent more energy and dollars on “trying things” that quite frankly, money can’t buy.  Trust.   I was humbled as The Holy Spirit entered in and showed me I haven’t trusted that my Creator has ALL of the answers to the perfect chemistry of my body.  He has counted every hair on my head, and declared it good.   He loves me more than anyone on this planet ever could.  He defends me when I don’t even want His help.  He gives me The Right Answers, when I ask, but He never pushes Himself on me, no … He waits.  He’s waited for over 35 years, and now I WANT to listen.  Inconsolable places, addictions, behaviors, patterns, dead places of my heart, He – in an instant can/will/ and does Heal.  I don’t want to walk ashamed, and He says we shouldn’t.

Hear my heart, this journey, my story, is a long one of going down the wrong path.  “I am the Truth, The Life, and The Way,” He whispers.  My way has led me down the wrong road, the long road, the off-the-beaten road, and if your journey has too (with food, or any other substance), please know this:

James 1:5 “If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”

He answers you, sweet child, without shaming … freely He gives … – says The Whisper.

For so long I have made agreements with the liar, who said, “Well, you’re just like everyone else in your family. You have fat legs just like…  You have fat cheeks just like…  You have a big butt just like… You’re destined to be fat. You just have fat genes.  Most of your family has died from complications of obesity, and you probably will too.”

The thoughts that have crossed my mind have gone even deeper, even worse, even uglier; but know this: They are lies!  And they come from the Father of Lies! (John 8:44)  Hopefully you, too are tired of the agreements that have cheated, and left you feeling empty?

John10:10 (The Message) “The thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy.  I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

Look at ME, Love Me, Trust Me, Obey Me – says The Whisper.

Be encouraged, Jesus has already rebuked the liar and given us the Authority to do this.  When a thought comes to you, join me in saying out loud (because Satan cannot read our minds), “Thank you, devil, I know that you are a liar and a murderer, and you have been from the start, but My Jesus already dealt with you.  You know He shed His blood, for me, He defended me “in public” and made a mockery out of you, He stripped you, dis-armed you, and now all you have are your lies … I am NOT just like everyone else in my family because I am a co-heir with Jesus, so now I have His genes, He even put a tattoo of me on Himself, and that overrides all of your lies!”

Start the New Year with me and let’s Trust The Lord with All of our Hearts, and All of our Minds, and All of our Souls!

Perhaps, you’re not sure how to get started?   Read the WORD, AND put on your favorite worship music, so you can know how to dis-arm the liar, take your “substance,” and place it on the altar of sacrifice and place The Source on the altar of worship.  You WILL do some damage to the “dominion of darkness.”   Perhaps you can start by reading Colossians, its 4 chapters, and it’s an Awesome display the “gene” transplant!   Last, but not least, put on your PHAT genes – the Pretty/Hot/ and Testimony kind (ok that’s my silliness), but tell somebody.  You are not alone in this battle, but we shall overcome with The Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony!

Vanessa married the love of her life and best friend over 9 years ago. She is the “eclectic” home-schooling mother of 2 hilarious and curious little boys.  She adores being the head cheerleader for her warrior husband and future heads of households’.  She loves to study the Word of God, biblical history, and is happiest with piles of books surrounding her.   Vanessa’s passionate about mother’s and young women being confident in the knowledge of their worth in the Kingdom of God.  She and her family foster their love of dogs by volunteering for a local Boxer rescue association.

Vanessa Howard

Vanessa Howard

32 Responses to “Do these GENES make me look fat?”

  1. Right on, sista girl!! It is and has always been a spiritual battle. God dealt with me many years ago on the issue of what and how I was eating. It wasn't about the number on the scale or how I looked in my clothes. He asked me a simple question – "would you walk into the sanctuary at church and throw a bag of trash on the floor?". Of course not! But that was what I was doing every day. I had lost sight of the reality that as new creatues in Christ, we are the temple, the literal dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. That moment changed my thinking and I discovered new willpowe – HIS will power- r to make God honoring choices. And I discovered too that if the enemy can shame us about how we LOOK, we will hesitate to step out and fill he call on our lives. " Can't lead worship, Lord – too many people will see me." "Don't ask me to share Christ with my coworker Lord- I'm just not comfortable doing that." it's not the sharing we are uncomfortable with – it's how we think we wll be perceived. He will absolutely work to empower you if you give Him place in your life concerning this issue.

  2. Great post V! It's a joy to hear some of the wonderful things the Lord has done and is doing in your life!

  3. Wow! What truth and encouragement and written so powerfully that all women of all ages will grasp the power of getting set free! Thank you for putting your heart, openly and willingly, into the written word to bring healing and wholeness to all to read. You are so young and what a warrior you are! I'm so glad to be a part of watching you become the woman of God who will leave her mark on this generation. God has to be smiling big! Love you dear Vanessa!

  4. What a powerful message. Thank you for opening your heart and mind to share this message. The LORD is and will continue to do amazing things with and through you!

  5. Amen,to that. What a revelation! Instead of a resolution, I need a revolution! I should start my day completely submitting myself to the Lord, and trust that He will give me the strength and courage to honor Him through good choices. Whisper or shout out if need be, "JESUS, I NEED YOU!" I want my body to honor You and live in gratefulness for the opportunity to glorify you in everyway, everyday. Thank you Vanessa for your transparency in an area that so many of us struggle. Your courage serves as a testimony to help all of us all take on this "food addiction" with Jesus by our side. Thanks and God Bless

  6. Awesome post. Sometimes it is so easy to believe the lies, but when we do it so destructive! I love that you have added a game plan to overcome those lies and you made it easy and accessible. Thanks again for a wonderful, relateable testimony.

  7. You know I had that same conversation this week with myself.. HE is the answer…Thank you for this article!! It was very timely!!

  8. Vanessa!!!! I loved this!!!! You are such a great writer!

    I could totally see myself in your story! I've had so many similar feelings, emotions and issues. I feel so encouraged after reading this. Hearing God and trusting and believing HIM about this issue is something I have to do daily. Thank you so much for encouraging me and reminding me once again how important it is to fully lean upon His word and trust Him with all my heart!

    Love you!

  9. Good stuff, Vanessa! I like how you demonstrated that so much of the battle is in our thinking. And with God's help, we can be free from all kinds of "genes". Thanks for writing for DIB.

  10. Deb, Thank you sooo much for this! That is exactly where I am – choosing to listen to The Voice of Love. I finally get that I am His Dwelling Place…and He is more than enough.
    He's teaching me to "crave Him" more than craving food.

  11. Thank you Uncle John! Looking forward to keeping up with you on this journey!

  12. Thank you my dear friend. You da bomb, girl! I love you!!!!!!

  13. Love you, mommy!!! I'm praying for our whole family…we have already seen His Faithfulness and willingness to set us free in so many other areas of "generational slavery" in our family. He has never let us down – and He never will!!

  14. Kitchen and Kids,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. He is so much more accessible, than we will choose to believe! He meets us (He wants to meet us in that place), and draw the line in the sand with the enemy. I am praying that we will all stay close to our Shepherd, that none would stray, because His Way is the best!

  15. Thank you Ashley! I think He is whispering to so many of us right now!

  16. Thank you, thank sweet Stacy!!! Highly blessed by your words of encouragement!!!!!!
    I love the Cycle of encouragement, that we are to lock arms in this battle, take the Word at His Word, and all be empowered to OVERCOME!!!!
    Let's you and me put on our PHAT GENES!! The One's our King bought for us!!!

    Love you so much!!!

  17. Thank you so much Pam! I need Him to crucify "my thinking" daily.
    Bless you for taking a moment to encourage with your comment! :-)

  18. And I didn't think I could love you any more! Way to go, Vanessa! Gosh, I just love, love, love having a front row seat to your life right now….I mean God is just having His way with you and I can see the fruit! Thank you for writing so transparently on a topic so many of us identify with and the message needs to be out there again and again! I love you friend….

  19. I second this! My thoughts exactly. Thanks for writing for DIB, Vanessa! I love your heart for the Lord and for His daughters!

  20. Deb,
    This was actually me (vanessa) – not John who typed the first response…sorry! He was on the computer before me this morning :-)

  21. Okay, I'm a dork ! I was logged on after my brother in law, and didn't realize I was typing responses in his name – oops! Pls forgive my goofiness :-)

  22. Beth, I just love, love, love that you are in that front row seat of my life right now!!! What an encourager and model of a hungering and craving for the Lord instead of "other things." I love you too, sweet friend!

  23. Renee, thank you for centering me with "boundary kindness" (yes, I totally just made that up, but it's true). Seriously, your wisdom, and confidence is a beacon!

  24. Wow! What a powerful testimony to the Lord and myself.!
    To see women get free is my passion as well.
    I will be praying for you Vanessa. Stay strong girl.
    I believe that this year is year of God molding His Body of believers.
    Whispering His promises to those who seek Him.!!!
    Love you my friend.

  25. "For so long I have made agreements with the liar.."

    This one line makes this article related to EVERYONE! Wherever our bondage is, there the enemy is … lying to us.

    But Jesus has overcome! and we are overcoming by his blood and the word of our testimony! Amen! Thank you for sharing yours with us…

  26. Vanessa rocks!!! What a great way to start this year-free from agreements with the dealer of all lies, and shouting it from the rooftop-or at least, destiny in bloom!!! I hate how we negotiate ourselves away because of an "ideal" that doesn't even exist!?! We are ALL ideal because the Creator of heaven and earth made us to be!! My heart is happy to hear you openly share about the same dumb lie we all fight-that we are not who and how we are supposed to be-fat, thin, tall, short?? Puh-leeze-I'll take this freedom word to heart and be free myself!! i love you friend-make that, beautiful friend! xoxoxo m

  27. Vanessa. I am so proud of you. This article is just right and is so relatable to everyone, especially women. None of us ever see ourselves the way God sees us because we go by the world's standards. If we are to be in the world and not of the world then why in the heck do we listen?? But, we still do. I am so proud of you for being real and open and following Gods call to you on this. Even though we are new friends, I know we are friends for a reason. You inspire me everytime we talk. I am so glad that as a fellow follower/addict of Destny in Bloom…you are able to inspire others with your God-given talent. Keep it up girl. God in you is unstoppable. Love You!! Summer

  28. Really great…

  29. Ah, sweet V. I love this! I can SO relate. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    I was blessed.

  30. Woo hoo Vanessa! LOVED your article and loved hearing your story, precious lady! Your candor made this read both relatable and relevant, as the struggle with the area of physical identity is a kicker for most every woman, regardless of age, shape and size! The revelation of God's Truth vs. the enemy's lies is boundless, and applicable to everything we contend with that makes us ever question God's love and our worth. Thank you for sharing and definitely KEEP WRITING!

  31. Let's just start this with … I LOVE TAMALES … and well I have that GENE too! ;)
    5'1 and …ahem … a half, we shorties have to own our halves ;)

    Vanessa I love how authentically you shared you're heart, you're struggle and God's truth and provision to you! Being someone who has struggled with weight and worth only to have HIM redefine me … I loved this! Not to mention it was dripping with God's great love for us!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with DIB!

    Great Love! ~Ris

  32. Vanessa,
    I am weeks behind this post in reading it, but loved to see you on DIB! Loved what you shared and can relate in so many ways. I am celebrating with you on the new Genes we now have in Christ, and loved to read what you wrote in deflating the enemy with the Word! Love you!