If you’ve listened to me anytime at all, you know I am the proud momma of 2 daughters. Haley is my oldest & Abbey is my youngest. They couldn’t be more opposite in personalities, yet they both keep me laughing all the time! I love them so much, and being their mother is the greatest JOY of my life!

Haley just recently graduated from USF. She is a bright, articulate, and talented young woman. Her leadership skills are second to none, and she’s taught me a thing or two the last few years! Seriously, there have been many times, I’ve sat and listened to her dissect or talk through something, and I think to myself, “where did she learn this?” Besides being extremely smart, Haley is the most caring person I know. She’s compassionate, tender, and loyal to all the people in her life. She’s quick on her feet, and I know if I need something done – and done right – I can call Haley.  She’s also extremely anal JUST LIKE ME, and her OCD kicks in often…which I personally think is a positive!  Because she’s my daughter, I could go on and one, but I’ll end with this: The thing I love most about Haley is how much she loves Jesus. In some ways, Haley is not only my daughter, she’s also my best friend, and my sister in Christ. Some of our best conversations have been talking about Jesus and what He’s done in our lives.

But like all of us, Haley’s not perfect, and she has struggles too. Actually, one in particular that she’s battled her whole life. I’ve invited her to share what that struggle is here on my blog. I am convinced there are people in our community who struggle with the same thing. I’ve encouraged Haley to write. I think writing is powerful, cathartic, and healing. And I’ve encouraged her to write about it as it’s happening, as opposed to looking at it through the rearview mirror. As a mom, I want nothing more than for my daughter to be free from anything that is holding her back from all that God has for her! But on the flip side, it’s also very hard, as her mother, to let her put herself out there like this (and just FYI, all negative comments will be deleted – Momma Bear says!) But for those of you who struggle – or have struggled with something similar – I hope you can encourage my daughter, or perhaps she can encourage you to join her in the journey she is beginning.

Meet my daughter, Haley…..

Haley, I am so proud of you! This takes so much courage, baby! But, I know God is gonna bring you unimaginable blessing with your willingness to be so vulnerable. As I’ve told you every year on your birthday, YOU made me a mommy! And I am so thankful God picked me to be yours!

haley & I running the princess half this past year with team freedom!

haley & I running the princess half this past year with team freedom!

I am not a writer. I’m not even sure where I want to begin and what I want to say but I am going to be completely honest. And being this vulnerable is the scariest thing I have ever done.

I’ve had one major battle I’ve fought my entire life: my weight. I went on my first diet in the fourth grade and haven’t stopped looking for the magic solution since. Over the last five years, I’ve been on several weight loss journeys that have all ended after some considerable progress. I quit on myself before I even gave myself a real chance to succeed. I would slip up and convince myself that I’d failed once again.

Another reason this is hard is that I am fully aware of the stigma that comes with being overweight. I don’t want pity. And it’s really hard to draw attention to something you’ve been trying to hide your whole life.

But as a twenty-two year old college graduate, enough is enough. I haven’t quite found my place in this world, so for now I’ve decided to focus on me. I’m finally deciding to lose the weight once and for all. It’s hard to write this number because it’s a lot of weight to lose, and I could easily get down on myself and quit before I start. But here’s the number: 130. Yep, I need to lose over a 100 pounds. It’s overwhelming to think about it, but every journey starts with one step, right? I don’t know what this next year is going to look like but I know it won’t be pretty… or easy.

Something about this time feels different, though. I’ve realized that until I deal with my problem head on and bring God into the center of my food addiction, I will never succeed. So for me, this is more about my spiritual journey than my physical one.

About a week ago, I started “Made to Crave: 21 Day Challenge” by Lysa TerKeurst. If you are struggling with ANYTHING, go and start this devotional immediately! It’s available on the YouVersion Bible app and online. From the first day this devotional has broken me. I want to share a little with you now:

“I had to get honest enough to admit it that I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. I knew it was something God was challenging me to surrender to His control. Really surrender. Surrender to the point where I’d make radical changes for the sake of my spiritual health perhaps even more than my physical health. Part of my surrender was asking myself a different question, a really raw question. May I ask you this same question? Is it possible we love and rely on food more that we love and rely on God?”

I want to surrender my food addiction. I want to finally be free.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139: 23-24

Today starts my journey to freedom. I hope this is a safe place to do it. I do fear what people will say. But, I told my mom, “nobody’s going talk bad about an alcoholic who’s in rehab….” So, I hope by acknowledging my struggle, I can do two things:

1. Call it out into the open.
2. Find a community where we can encourage one another.

Thanks for your prayers. I will pray for you too!

89 Responses to “haley.”

  1. Tina Rorie August 19, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    please tell Haley that my daughter also struggles weight problems. She has been on many diets only to fail for the same reasons. She gave up on herself. We will both be praying that she is successful.


  2. Sue Neal August 19, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    I’m on the same journey and, belueve it or not, look to lose the same amount. I wish I had done it years ago at your age. My 21 year old senior at USF is on a journey too but with much less to lose. Praying and looking forward to hearing more from you.

  3. Laura slaback August 19, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    Haley!!!!! This is awesome!!! So proud of you!!! You are going in the right direction! I am almost 50…just lost 80 lbs last year and its changed my life. You can do it one day at a time! I believe in you
    Blessings, blessings, blessings!!! Laura

  4. LIZ August 19, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    My weight is something I have also been struggling with since Middle School and I am now 32.
    I have vowed to make me a priority this year – focus on my health (physical and spiritual).
    I am going to get that devotional.

    • Audrey August 19, 2013 at 3:13 am #

      Haley……..you know I love you…support you and will include you DAILY in my Prayers. I’m so proud of you. Miss you and big hugs from IOWA. I’m going to do the “Made to Crave: 21 Day Challenge” but on a different level. Will share with you soon. Thank you for your courage, your vulnerability and YOU. XOXOXO

  5. Rebecca B. August 19, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    Oh my goodness do I relate to you! I’ve even gone as far as having lap-band surgery. Due to complications (me out-eating the band,) I had to have the band un-filled rendering it completely useless as a Weightloss tool *smh.*. You can do this! Thank you so much for sharing the devotional, I will definitely have to check that out. Your observation that you crave food more than God really resonates with me and gives me a vastly different perspective that I must address.

  6. Cindy August 19, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    Thank you for sharing. I also struggle. I will be praying for you.

  7. Melissa August 19, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    Haley, I think it’s awesome that you’re focusing on you and are determined to get healthy. I’ve had several friends do the same and really focus and get their weight under control this year. And for as many times that they tried in the past and didn’t succeed, they have all done wonderfully this year. Maybe it’s something about 2013! Best of luck to you in this journey. And remember, even if you slip up once or twice, that doesn’t mean you fail. It just means that you’re human. Trust yourself and trust God and you’ll do great!

  8. barbra August 19, 2013 at 2:55 am #

    Haley – you can do this. Sister, I am in the same boat. I need to lose weight myself, about 100 pounds. I know if I lose weight many issues will resolve themselves. Thank you for being vulnerable. You got this!

  9. Cari August 19, 2013 at 2:55 am #

    You can do it! We will all be here praying for and with you! Keep your head up and know that with God ALL things are possible! Blessings, Cari P.

  10. Alma Robertson August 19, 2013 at 2:59 am #


    I just want to say what an amazing person I think you are for putting yourself out there for the world. I have also struggled with my weight, from the time I was in the 4th or 5th grade. I am now 34. It was easy to blame my parents’ divorce, the sexual abuse I went through, my grandfather’s death–anything and everything but the fact that it was easier to eat the food than to exercise it off. Like you, I also need to lose over 100 pounds, but you inspire me to want to stay with it. Losing weight is not easy, especially when you have so much to lose. God bless you, and God bless your mother.

  11. Debbie Keiper August 19, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    Haley, first of all as a mother of six and grandmother of 14, I am so proud that you are willing to bring this out in the open. It takes a lot of strength and courage to do so. I have always had a soft spot for anyone that has had difficulty with their weight and have tried to teach each one of my kids that they should never say anything about someone’s weight because they never know what that person is suffering from as far as their weight is concerned. There are many reasons why persons may have a weight issue. I myself have had issues in the past few years in regard to my weight because of thyroid problems. I congratulate you on taking a stand and I know with you leaning completely on our Lord you WILL win the battle. Just remember to claim God’s promises because HE is faithful. Every journey begins with the first step and just repeating step after step. :)

  12. Tina August 19, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    Hi Haley! I’m almost twice your age & wish I had your courage. Thanks so much for sharing your story. You’ve inspired me and I can’t wait to check out the “made to crave” challenge. I’ll be praying for you. God bless you!

  13. MommaG August 19, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    God is good and His love endures forever! Blessings to you Haley!

  14. Joy (CanadianMom) August 19, 2013 at 3:06 am #

    Haley, we all have issues. Good for you, choosing to face yours head on. Be encouraged! For Christ who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. Don’t give up!

  15. Denise W. August 19, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    I can completely relate to you as I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I managed to lose a significant amount of weight during my junior and senior years of high school, only to begin gaining it back in college. I lost over 120 pounds about 8 years ago with Weight Watchers. I kept it off for about five years, before I started creeping up again. I knew I was and couldn’t seem to get my head back in the game and fight back. I also recognized that I lost most of my weight on WW while using sugar-free products and artificial sweeteners like Splenda. I didn’t want to do that again, but wanted to learn to eat “real” food and manage my life. I was also resistant to going back to WW because of the guilt and condemnation I put upon myself.

    I bought the Made to Crave book awhile back, but never finished it. You have inspired me to pick it back up. I am also purchasing “Trim Healthy Mama” tomorrow. My middle child is following in my footsteps and I want to break the cycle.

    Please know that you are not alone. Until you decide YOU are worth it and decide that you want to be free, it will always be a struggle. Hugs to you!!!

  16. Audrey August 19, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    I am so proud of you. Thank you for sharing and for encouraging me to start “Made to Crave: 21 Day Challenge” (for a different reason) An anchoring issue I’ve had for the past 8 years. I appreciate your strength, vulnerability and honesty. I Love you and Miss you…BIG HUGS from Iowa, will keep you in my Prayers Daily….. XOXOXO

  17. Tara August 19, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    I want to give you just one piece of advice: just take one day at a time, and maybe one meal at a time. I do not have a food addiction, but as a child of an alcoholic who never managed to kick his habit, I KNOW how hard addiction can be. You can do this with God’s help.

  18. Sylvia August 19, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    Haley, I commend your courage to speak & talk about a struggle that is very personal. I have struggled with weight all my life. God has been working with me to release strongholds in my life knowing that this will make a difference. I started Beth Moore’s Breaking Free series. The verse He gave me was Psalm 45:10-12. It says that the King is enthralled with your beauty. Haley know that God is captivated by your beauty. Keep searching for God’s guidance & lessons & you will succeed with your goals & dreams. Be blessed.

  19. Helen August 19, 2013 at 3:26 am #

    Haley, thank youbfor sharing your story. I believe we all have things in our life that we struggle with & food addiction/weight issues is a huge one for all of us ..someway somehow. I’ve always struggled with my weight too, & even at my smallest healthiest weight, I weighted 185 but seen much bigger in the mirror. Needless to say I’d love to be that weight again. I want to and Need to loose at least 80+ lbs to see that number again and I struggle daily. Just now that opening up and having supporters will actually give you hope and keep your focused, even on a bad day. Actually, reading your story just opened my eyes because I’m on my journey all alone. So, if I have a bad day or lazy day .. I’m still giving up on myslef. I need to be brave as you have been and reach out! So Haley, I wish you the best of luck with your personal journey and will pray that everyone of us that struggles can hear Him teach us about our heart, wants & anxieties to live that path of everlasting life! God bless you all!

  20. Cassie August 19, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    Haley, I too have struggled with weight my entire life. I don’t recall a single time in my life where I was an “ideal” or “healthy” weight. And now, I’m 24 years old, heading back to college soon, and I too, needing to loose over 100 pounds, about 140 – 150 actually. I’ve been going through a program with my doctor, and have lost 47 pounds so far, but I’ve kind of hit a plateau. Admittedly, I haven’t been as strong in my walk with Christ lately, I’ve just been busy with life and putting God on the back burner… and my healthy lifestyle change, too. Thank-you for your courage to open up about this struggle we share. You’ve given me encouragement to keep on fighting, and I will definitely be looking up “Made to Crave”. Times are going to get tough, that I can promise you, but just remember that you have a God who is bigger than all of that, after all, He created us. This is something I have to remind myself quite frequently, as well. If you need a friend or some encouragement, let me know… we can help each other. I will keep you in my prayers. Stay strong, keep on, and change long!
    Cassie B.

  21. Sheila Manter August 19, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    I went to see a Diabetic Nutritionist on 1/3/13 because I am very close to being diabetic. I have been gaining and losing weight almost my entire life. I am now 56 and have lost 35 pounds. I am on a strict 1,200 calorie or less healthy eating plan which I will remain on for the rest of my life. No more diets for me, just healthy eating the way God intended. I also found out my kidneys are only functioning at 50% a few months ago and it took a couple of life threatening diseases to finally have the self-control I need to lose weight and keep it off. I also exercise and get my heart rate up at least 3 times a week to burn fat. I have never been able to lose weight like I am now. I just keep telling myself “Do I really want to eat that piece of cake because it will take me 3 or 4 days of exercising to work it off”. It’s not worth it. I would suggest you visit a nutritionist to help you make a plan that will work for you, too. It’s the best thing I ever did. Don’t wait until you have some diagnosed diseases to get serious and get healthy. I’ll be praying for you.

  22. Allie August 19, 2013 at 5:02 am #

    Haley, I have dealt with the same problems. I started gaining weight in the 4th grade, too, from the stress of my mother’s miscarriage. I’ve never been able to “get back” to the body shape I had back then… I don’t even know what I would look like! I, too, have to lose around 100 pounds.

    My family is very image-conscious. From even a very young age, my mom had me trying to eat low carb, or very small portions to “help me.” Everything I did centered on my weight. I hated clothes shopping because my old clothes had a familiarity to them, and if I found out what my new, bigger, size was, I’d get very frustrated and ask to leave.

    How many times have I heard, “oh, that would look so beautiful if you could just lose a few pounds.” But one if the most painful things I heard was, “you need to lose weight, or else you won’t be able to attract the right guy.” I would regularly tell my family that I wouldn’t want the guy who only found me beautiful because I was thin.

    I’m very happy to tell you I found a wonderful man, and became his wife just a few months ago. But even now, even as I’ve reached that “promised land” of marriage, I still struggle with self image.

    I read Made to Crave about 2 years ago, and it really changed the way I see me weight loss journey. But somehow we, especially women, tend to remember the bad and very quickly forget the good. Why do I so deeply remember the names I’ve been called and the implications that I’m less of a person just because I’m “more” of one?

    I needed to he reminded of this book. I need to go back to it, and re-read it in this new chapter of my life! Thank you for your open honesty. Know that I will be praying for you, only if you promise also to pray with the others here who are struggling with the same deal. Nothing keeps a purpose in sight like prayer for one another.

  23. Lauri Hofschneider August 19, 2013 at 5:57 am #

    Wow Haley, how you’ve grown! I think you were barely a teen when I met you. I know your struggle, for it has been mine for decades. I wish I had confronted it and gotten serious at your age and had it behind me. I am so proud of you! You are such a brave young woman to face this struggle in such an open forum and expose yourself with such grace. We are all praying for you hon, for strength and success. We have faith in you…always have faith in yourself. <3

  24. Leslie Prieto August 19, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    Hey Haley, I think it’s so cool that you’re wanting to deal with this issue now than later. It’s been quite the battle for me too. I’ve heard great things about Made To Crave and I think I’m gonna jump on board with ya. I’ve always heard and believe there’s a root to every surface issue. I’ve also grown frustrated trying to figure out the root. The interesting thing is I can’t narrow it down to one root. There’s many roots & to try to figureém all out would take foreverrrr, so the other day I was like, “God, what do I do with what I already know?” and it’s basically just allowing God to show you what’s up (your bible verse you posted is right on), confessing whatever roots pop up, over to God, then moving forward in His grace that’s more than sufficient for us…helps to have support so I’m game! Congrats on your graduation & determination!

  25. April August 19, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to write what you wrote. What a blessing it was to me and I am sure so many other people that you were willing to be so vulnerable. I also struggle with my weight but God is helping me, just as He will help you. Praying for you!

  26. Beth Willis Miller August 19, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Praying for you, Haley <3

  27. Heidi Boettger Schultz August 19, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Haley, congratulations! I have a ton of cliches in my head – thousands steps, and all that. Just remember that Jesus is there through all of it. I pray you succeed. I’ve been there, done that, and am still doing it! I restarted last week for the umpteenth time. And food is still more important to me than the sacrifice Christ made for me. Just don’t give up. Someone up there in the comments before me said one day, one meal at a time. Sometimes it’s one BREATH at a time. My only advice – treat yourself like you would your best friend. When she slips up, you don’t tell her she’s worthless. You encourage her and remind her why she’s on this journey and you kick her butt to try again. No matter how many times it takes. I’m praying for you now and every time your mom mentions your name!

    Your sister in Christ; your sister in getting healthy – and staying there!

  28. Missy August 19, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    YOU can do this! YOU are amazing!
    I have had a weight issue since I graduated high school. I am now 33.
    16 months ago, I decided I wanted to change, I pray everyday that my Jesus keeps me strong and I depend on Him. I have lost 70 pds and have never felt better about what I have done. Changing my eating habits was very hard and now I hard out 5-7 days a week for almost a year now.
    It is FUN!!! I am proud of you for a

  29. Susan Nations August 19, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Dear dear Haley!

    Wow! What courage you have! I have BEEN there…and am, in many ways, trying NOT to head BACK there! I have been overweight most of my life. It’s awful! I lost almost 60 pounds a couple of years ago—partially due to joining Team Freedom! But now I am watching it creep back up on me. While i know some of that could be that I’m a middle aged woman, the rest of it is simply what you said, sometimes food comes before God. I applaud you for your determination to do it now while you’re young. I applaud you for your amazing vulnerability! And I applaud you for being a young woman who wants to share her struggle, but also her faith for the world. I’m praying for you and hope that you discover just how much JESUS LOVES YOU (right here, right now, just the way you are) in this journey!

    Much Love in Christ,

    Susan Nations

  30. barbara August 19, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Haley you are on the right track for sure! Surrendering this to Jesus is the best way to go. We did the Made to Crave as part of a Bible study and watched Lysa in videos. I also always struggled with my weight and was called Titanic in grammer school. Over the years (I am 65 now) I have gained and lost weight over and over. I found a way to ‘clean’ it and made it my personal life change. The book is called “The Whole 30″ and for the first 30 days it is pretty extreme but I can tell you this…..after those 30 days you know what your body responds to and I have made this type of eating my life. I weigh now what I have not weighed since I was in my early 30s. You can do this because you want to do this so take charge sweetie and keep updating your progress. Lord give Your daughter the strength she needs to do what she needs to do for her health and well being and all the Glory goes to You Lord in Jesus Name Amen!!!

  31. Alice August 19, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    I just want to thank you for your transparency! I too struggle with my weight and have for a long time! The past couple of months have been the worst! I don’t know why I’ve let my weight get a hold of me so much lately, but I’m tired of it! Reading your testimony and seeing how transparent you are, has been a true inspiration to me!
    I will be praying for you through your journey! Please don’t be shy about your feelings! (You are an amazing writer!) Please keep us posted! You’re a true inspiration!!

  32. Beverly August 19, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Haley, I commend you for the courage it has taken to be vulnerable with us through your Mom’s blog. I am 52 years old and have had similar struggles and some success, at times. But, like you, I think I would often give up on myself before I got to the goal. I am proud of you for seeking God in this area. This is something that God has been speaking to me about and the devotional you shared was very helpful. I have never thought about my food cravings in quite that way before….that I relied on food more than God. This is an eye opening idea that I will continue to ponder and speak with God about. I am praying for you and thankful that you love God as you do. Mom and Dad have raised you well. God bless you.

  33. Angela August 19, 2013 at 11:07 am #


    I have had a battle with weight my whole life. I will be 37 years old this December. I decided a little over a month ago, to try to lose weight again. I have lost 16 pounds so far. My goal was 100 pounds to start with. I know that you can do it!! Just remember Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

  34. Christine August 19, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Go Haley! With God’s help you can do it. Praying for you. Thank you for being vulnerable. What a great example for others.

    P.S You’ve chosen a great book.

  35. Jeanette August 19, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    I am totally with you. In 2012 I lost 105 lbs. it took the whole year & I am struggling with the last 40 lbs. you can do it!!!!! Take one day at a time & don’t worry about tomorrow. Much success to you. XO

  36. Jennifer Keovongsa August 19, 2013 at 11:48 am #


    You are an incredible young woman to be able to share your vulnerability. What an example you are! I have struggled with some of the same issues and it is hard! I was the same weight you said you are when I started and am down, but still have a ways to go. There hasn’t been one “solve all” for me, but quite a few things and it is a journey I am on every day. Anyway, I just want to encourage you…

  37. Lee August 19, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Way to go Haley! I am just struggling to have a healthy lifestyle – more fruit and veggies – less sugar. More movement less sedentary lifestyle. I’m praying for you. One of my best friends had about the same amount of weight to lose as you and she is down 70 lbs today – it has been a long journey, only a little comes off at a time, but boy has it been rewarding. She’s been able to do things she never thought she could do. Ran her first 5k a few months ago and regularly participates in a boot camp style fitness program. She loves how strong she has become. We are praying for you.

  38. Sherry August 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    You go, girl!!! I wish I had done it at your age, but no! I spent 52 years fighting it and finally had surgery to lose the weight. I am still not as thin as I would like to be, but I wasted so much of my life “dieting” (unsuccessfully) and now I am living a life I wish I always had. Praying for you, Haley.

  39. Cathy S. August 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Praying for you Haley!

  40. Trish August 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    God Bless YOU Haley! Your strength and courage is such an inspiration to so many people. You are truly a beautiful light that will keep shining brighter and brighter. I am praying for you.

    I hope you run with Team Freedom again this year!

  41. Carole August 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Praying for you Haley! You. Can. Do. This. Yes, it’s a hard journey but when I read this line that you wrote: “I don’t know what this next year is going to look like but I know it won’t be pretty… or easy.” I thought well, yes, it’s going to be hard but as you begin to have success, which you will, you are going to start to feel so happy and successful and empowered. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    ~ carole

    p.s. I have always had friends that I meet up with to exercise ~ various things over many years (from aerobics, to running, walking etc) and the friends have changed also due to work/kids/etc. but over the years it has kept me dedicated to exercising. If you ever need someone to walk with, just call me. (your dad has my number)

  42. Candice August 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    First I want to say, you are Beautiful! I am 35 and I too have struggled my whole life with my weight ( I need to lose about 85 pounds more), I recently read the Made to Crave devotional and it helped me a lot too, to admit I was focused more on Food. It is a struggle, I have made some changes in my diet and started exercising and counting calories. I will be praying for you as you are starting your journey, please pray for me too. I know you can do it! Stay positive and if you fall off the wagon you haven’t messed up, get back kn and keep going. Sometimes it just then jump start your body needs.

  43. Stephanie August 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    You Go Girl!!! Praying for you!

  44. TC August 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    God bless you, Haley! I too share this struggle and am starting on this journey again as well. Praying for the root issues to be dealt with once and for all. Be encouraged and stay strong in Him! We are more than conquerors!

  45. Lori Scialpi August 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    You are so brave doing this. Thank you for the encourage ment. I am 37 and have been struggling a long time with weight. I lost 18 pounds a few months ago got upset and ate my 18 pounds back on. I am encouraged by you and thank you for opening my eyes that it is about God. Good Luck……

  46. Alicia August 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Haley, first off…congratulations on your decision to leave your problem to our Lord, whom will help you all the way as you already know. I’m personally trying hardly to lose weight as well, to get to that “healthy” weight that won’t leave me short breath, and to be able to fit on my clothes without looking bad. Along with other issues in my life, I try to leave it to God so He can help me get rid of them.. and it’s just so hard. But I never lose hope and i know I can do it. I know in my heart that you will be successful and with HIs help and your supportive family you will make it girl! Just don’t lose hope, don’t give up and don’t dismay. Things are hard but know at the end, you will look back and be glad you never stopped working for what you really wanted. Wish you all the best Haley!!! Blessings!!!


  47. Melodie Pugh August 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Haley, I know where you are. Been there and done that and have the t shirts in every size from 8 (now) to 28+. I have lost 165#. It took God,Weight Watchers and a little over 2 years. But at 55 yrs
    old I did it!!!! I have kept it off 6 mos so far. You can do it too. Do it for you, set 10% goals, pray a lot and never look back. One bad day is just one bad day. Every morning you get a fresh start. Go for it!

  48. Janet Hottel August 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    So proud of BOTH of you! I have the same struggle myself, but I’m a grandmother now… Looking to be successful this year–50+ lbs. to lose… God bless you, Haley!

  49. Jude Mason August 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Way to Go Hayley! I’m so impressed at you putting it out in the open like this! Lots and lots and LOTS of love from Milly and I. We’ll be your Nashville Cheerleaders!! xxxxx

  50. Dawn R. August 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Praying for you as you begin this journey. I look forward to hearing more from you as you progress. Thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable, and for sharing both your struggles and triumphs along the way! Blessings!

  51. Geri August 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Sweet Haley! I so love listening to your mom talk about her girls on the air, but today especially. To admit this to the public you are a very strong girl!! I have struggled for most of my life and still have the problem of just handing it over to God. I do want to share with you though that a friend of mine did the Made to Crave bible study she started almost a year ago and she has lost 132lbs. She gave it to God and she is such an inspiration to so many. She constantly says that she can do all things with Christ and she surely has. I am a stress eater so I am still working on that :) but so want to just give it to God and get so close and open the fridge instead of my bible. I will be praying for you on your journey!
    God Bless!!

  52. Toy Heard August 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Good morning! I heard about this blog post as my husband and I were in our car on the way to work. It was very inspiring and refreshing to say the least. I couldn’t wait until I got to a computer so that I could read it! This is very powerful and so encouraging. I’ve never really had a huge struggle with my weight, but I have had other issues that added weight to my life that were too large of a load to carry…I’m currently becoming more active, eating healthier and exercising more. In High school I NEVER did any sports or attempted to work out! Just last week I swam for the first time in almost 32 years! I’ve always wanted to learn how and it was truly a spiritual journey for me…

    I ended up going into the army and surprisingly, with God’s help made it through basic training. It’s been almost ten years! I was 23 then..once I got out of the military I went back to my old habits and lifestyles..I too, am an avid lover of food and eating healthy didn’t sound too good to my taste buds at the time…and I HATED running and was terrible at it! Try being a slow runner with the last name FORREST in basic training! It was horrible! But I had to do it or get kicked out…Here I am today, deciding to start running again for my health and to overcome that FEAR of running or just doing it because I was forced to…I want to do it because I chose to, in hopes that it will become a vital part of my lifestyle…

    Today is Day 2 of this journey for me! I want to thank you for having the courage to write this blog post and share your story with the world. You are doing exactly what GOD wants you to do, you are taking care of the temple He gave you! And you have really motivated me to stick with the changes I recently made.

    I plan to pass this on to as many people as I can, because I know so many women that this will bless. It blessed me! Continue to let God use you and allow Him to shine brightly through you, as He already does! I am proud of you and this life changing step that you are taking! You have inspired me to go forth in my journey, and your post has encouraged me to “run” a little further! Thank you so much Carmen for sharing this and being such a huge supporter for your daughter. thank you Haley! Your obedience to God is already changing lives! God bless you both! And the awesome people who commented! Please excuse me for writing a blog post message! LOL! Thanks again! This gave me a new perspective! My prayers are with you! And I can’t wait to see you meet your goals! :-)

  53. Vanessa August 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    As a mother of girl who struggles with her weight, this definitely brought tears to my eyes. I’ve cried over and over feeling like I failed her over the years. The weight problem after I had our youngest who was an AWFUL sleeper and in the same year, we took in our adolescent nephew, who had lots of baggage requiring a lot of attention so Emma got lost in the mix of an exhausted mommy and new brother and sister. I would throw her a snack and move on. She’s now 9, entering the 4th grade today, and weighs almost 100lbs, however her height is on her side, thank God!!! She’s very tall but still has weight to lose. We put her into swimming a few yrs ago and she soared, joined the team and place First Place 98% of the time…but the weight did not come off. Her love for food prevailed and then I found myself becoming the food police…hated every minute of that! As a young girl, I was on the thicker and taller side as well and was made fun of for my weight so I walk softly now talking about “being healthy”. She knows we think she’s beautiful and smart and frankly she is very confident. But I can see that she’s realizing she’s not the skinniest chick on the block, especially among her friends. I’ve decided to help her say ‘no’ when she’s full, we pulled out of swimming b/c she was “done”…she’s very artistic and finds her passion in creating and painting! I’ve noticed w/ her the passion comes less and less snacking.
    I pray everyday that the weight will just fall off…but it doesn’t. We’ve had her blood tested as well. I am at my end and release it to God daily b/c I KNOW firsthand how cruel the world can be! She’s been homeschooled the last 2 years, the route we chose to “bring her back” after all the change we went through as a family and I can definitely see God’s Hand upon her and He reminds me, He’s got her and keep loving her unconditionally, much differently than I felt growing up chubby, struggling w/ diet pills and starvation in my teens.
    I’ll take any advice you can give! Thank you for your courage…the world needs more authenticity!

  54. Tammy August 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Haley – I will be praying for you on your journey. It really is mind over matter. Believe that you can do it and commit to it for YOU alone. I used to think this when I wanted something bad for me… Nothing tastes as good as being thin/lean feels!

    Only 60 days ago, I set out to lose some extra weight and with the help of an awesome natural nutrition and cleansing program Isagenix, and in the first 30 days, I lost 15 lbs and well over 30″, including 5″ in my waist. It is important to cleanse/detox your body from all the environmental pollutants and bad food choices over the years. I tried everything to lose the weight, but just couldn’t do it on my own.

    Send me an email if you want more information. God Bless!

  55. Rebecca August 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Wow, Haley – you have been called by God with an important task. I know, you’ve begun this journey for yourself, but by your courage, you’ve begun a journey for so many others. God does want us free, whole, and healthy – and because you have stepped out and left yourself so open and honest, you’ve encouraged so many to join you in this journey – me included. I, too, need to lose 100 lbs. I’m with you, girl, just like I know you’ll be with me! God bless you abundantly.

  56. Julia Spires August 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Hi Carmen and Haley, your story has opened my eyes again. I am 50yr old woman who has struggled with weight problems all of my adult live with all kinds of programs and pills. I would do well for a while and then for some reason give up on myself again and again. I have a special needs son who has multiple systems and now weight gain is on that list. He is 20yrs old with a mind of 7-8 yr old. As he gets older more problems arise and I guess I thought I was the only one with the food addiction. I would like to also go on this journey for the right reasons. I want my son and I to get right with this. The two songs that were played this morning really got me thinking. One is Stronger by Mandesa and the other is HOPE it was new I had not heard it before. I started crying while listening to it. God was really talking to me this morning in the car through the radio while I was driving my son to therapy. Thank you for sharing. My prayers are with you. I look forward to seeing how the progress goes for us all. God Bless you all.

  57. Sheila Rust August 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Haley, That took so much courage to just put it out there like you did. I am not sure I could have done it. I, too, struggle with being overweight. I was a small child and stayed a decent size until I was 27 years old. For the last 45 years I have been on all kinds of diets and eating regimens. I lose a couple pounds and then it comes right back. I keep saying to myself, I know what it is like to be a normal weight and to look good in my clothes so I ought to be motivated. But it doesn’t help. The older I get it seems the harder it is to lose weight. I pray that you succeed completely!!! You have inspired me to try again. I am going to buy the devotional you spoke of and get my head on straight. God Bless you and I will pray daily for you. Sheila

  58. AshleyHH August 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    I am so inspired by you. You are so brave and I wish I knew you.

    Hearing about this on my way to work this morning was totally a God thing. I usually have another morning show I listen to. (sorry Carmen!)I was already near tears thinking about how hard this week is going to be. I went to my first appointment on Saturday morning for medical weight loss. I have tried numerous programs… lost ten pounds, plateau’d quickly, given up and gained back more than I had lost. The program I am doing is going to be hard. And I am afraid of failing. But you are so encouraging by sharing your story. I don’t think I have ever thought of it as something I needed to let God take control of. I know we should lean on him in all things and I don’t know why this has escaped me. I just downloaded the Made to Crave reading plan and I am looking forward to digging into it this evening. I would love to follow your journey and be there as a support for you too. Let me know if there is away to do so!

    – Ashley HH

  59. Kathy Blandford August 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Haley, what a woman of courage you are. You went to the well to draw your strength! You will be in my prayers! Remember dear one, it is a journey. Not a 100 yard dash. No journey is without bumps, pot holes and bends in the road. Those are the miles God is waiting to carry you through! You are armed with the best equipment possible to succeed! The God of the universe, a praying family that loves you dearly, and now you have a great big fan club that will be your supporters and prayer warriors!!! Remember Princess, you are the daughter of the King of all Kings!!! You got this!

  60. Dave Heller August 19, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Haley, best of luck to you on this journey. You know you are not alone.
    Three years ago I lost 50 pounds and was so happy and proud of myself.
    Today I sit here and tell you I have put it all back on. I can blame it on a lot of things but it boils down to laziness and motivation.
    I do have to say though, that I so wish that I had a running buddy that I could lean on. Three years ago when I lost my weight I became a runner (Thanks to your MOM). I miss running dearly and try to motivate myself to get back out and do it today. I just get so “bored”. I know that if I had a running buddy to keep me accountable and motivated that I could do it again.
    I will look into the devotional and pray that God finds me a running buddy.
    Thank you for your honesty and openness.
    We look forward to hearing about your progress.

  61. Sharon August 19, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Haley: BRAVO!! What courage this takes!! I’m so proud and so inspired by you.

    I’m right there with you. God has been dealing with me that food is a god to me. Obviously that doesn’t work because I am to have no other gods in my life. Just Him.

    Usually when I “diet” I don’t tell anyone because I don’t have the confidence that I will stick with it, but this time (I’ve been at it about a month) I told many people and I find that bringing it out in the open helps keep me on track. But you are so right…it’s hard to reveal this weakness. You took a huge step and I just know you will succeed. You are on a good path.

    Thanks for the tip about Made to Crave. I’m taking advantage of that.

  62. Jan Swanson August 19, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    What an awesome, uplifting blog from you. When I read it, I was amazed at your articulate, forthright and honest thoughts. All of us have struggles in this life but all of us find it difficult to do something about them. It takes courage and surrender. You are on your way and have begun this journey…but not alone. You and God are a majority. And, you have all of us cheering you on and lifting you up to the Father. Way to go, Haley.

  63. Becca August 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Haley… I am AMAZED by you. Sharing about this is so brave, though I know you said you feel broken. You encourage me. Food is most definitely something that I put as an idol. I often don’t worship God with it. Know that you inspire me and so many others. Know that I am praying for you and I am with you in this, along with lots and lots of other folks! Love you girl!

  64. Kathy Attaway August 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Yeah, Haley!!! I agree you have been called out by God,,,, your strength and courage to speak about your own struggle and yes yes yes to so many who battle. I am 45 and have battle my weight all my life from childhood to adult… I am proud as a mom and as a sister in Christ for you!! I could hear myself at your age….so glad and happy to begin this journey…. we need more fruits and veggies…GOD is our nourishment too… read Psalm 86 you probably already know it… I love it, it has carried me. I will look forward to seeing your posts along the way….for a healthier, and free you..free to be the woman God has plan …
    Blessings in Christ,

  65. Melissa August 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Hi! I think what you are doing is awesome! I am proud of you for making a positive change in your life. I wanted to reach out and tell you that I live in your neighborhood and I run so if you ever wanted to run with someone let me know. I wish you all the best.


  66. Christina August 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    Hi Haley,

    I am truly encouraged by your story and am deeply grateful for your willingness and courage to share. Just over a year ago, I was in a really bad place. I realized I was extremely overweight. I battled with my weight my entire life, but this is when I hit my peak. To date, I have lost 55 pounds, by no means has it been easy. I have another 50 – 80 pounds to go. I have a food addiction, and am just realizing that is what it is. I am going to look at that devotional you suggested and rely/call on Gods strength, as I have been trying to do it on my own.

    The biggest thing that has helped me on this journey is a dear friend who was struggling with her own weight loss battle. She has met het goal, but we still encourage, support and work out together.

    I will be praying for you.

    God Bless,


  67. Kathy August 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Everything happens in God’s time and I fully believe he has chosen now as his time for Haley. You can do this and we are all pulling for you. It will be tough but by the grace of God you will hit your goal. #Team Haley

  68. Amie August 20, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    August 19, 2013 at 11:54 pm #
    Was listening to the radio on the way home today and heard Carmen talking about The Made to Crave book. My ears perked up and a smile came to my face.

    Two years ago I read the same book. God used that bible study to change my life. I had to ask myself some pretty hard questions. My journey has been hard, but I know I am blessed and God has carried me the whole way.

    When I started the book I weighed 245 lbs. Two years later I weigh 155. everyone’s journey is different but I believe if you ask God for help and you are open to being real with your feelings and obedient to God and His instructions you will see the blessings.

    I encourage keeping a journal. I kept one for the first year and I have shared it with a few very special people. My journal is very real, very raw feelings and emotions poured out on paper. Many tears have been shed. Healing will come. I even had the honor of mentoring a few women as they read the book.

    I share my story with anyone that will listen. God has changed me inside and out. His will, His plan, may God bless all that come to him with open hearts and minds.


  69. Michele Ervin August 20, 2013 at 1:18 am #

    You go, Haley! Made to Crave has played a big part in my journey of losing 100 pounds (and counting)! It’s taken 4-1/2 years, so it’s very slow, but that’s okay. I’ve read the book 4 times and co-led a study of it at my church. Jesus is the answer to any issue, and I now love Him more than I love food. Here’s a link to my blog if you want to read about the changes God is making in me. http://moreofjesuslessofmichele.blogspot.com/

    I look forward to following your journey. God and you can do this! :-)

  70. Ashley August 20, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    What a inspiration! Thank you for sharing the beginning of your journey! I am praying for your Haley.

  71. Sandi Burke August 20, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Carman, I love the realtionship that you and Haley have and I thank you both for being willing to open up to the public and be so vulenerable. It always amazes me how many people will often struggle with the same thing. I am praying for you Haley and I know the Lord is going to continue working in a powerful way in your life.

  72. Judy B August 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    I can’t add any more than what’s been said. I will join you in this, Haley! You go, girl!! I can do all things thru Christ…

  73. Ashley August 20, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    I totally understand how you feel. I am also overweight and have been for as long as I can remember. I remember the doctor telling my mom when I was very young that I needed to go on a diet. It seems like for most of my life I have been off and on diets. I also need to drop 130lbs but I am a bit older than you (30). I started my weight loss journey 4 weeks ago and it is slowly coming along. I have to wake up every morning and as God to help me and give me the strength to continue on this journey. It is so hard and I can say I truly understand how you feel. I know it can be done, I just have to stay motivated. I will pray for you and I know God will help you and give you the strength you need to do this!

  74. Donita Adams August 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    You started this journey and just look at how many you have inspired!! Being brave enough to step off that mountain believing that God will give you wings has helped so many of us. I am joining you, as are many others. As a 62 year old mother of 3, grandmother to 11 and great grandmother to 5, I only wish I had started when I was only 22 like you! Thank you so much! God is using you in ways you never expected, but oh my, what a wonderful blessing for all of us!! You will be in my prayers sweet girl…

  75. Rhonda Stephens August 20, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Haley, Just wanted to let you know that I was looking for the info about running in the half-marathon and I saw your post. Even though I run and exercise I can never manage to control my eating for very long. I have been praying for God’s help. I know that tonight he answered my prayer through you and what you guys are doing. I never come to this website! And it started Today! It was late when I came here. (I’ve already had a twisty treat today:.() but tomorrow I’ll do better. Prayers for you, sweetie. God will be are strength!

  76. Pastor Jonathan Malanowski (Pasta Jon) August 21, 2013 at 2:09 am #

    Hi Haley, My name is Jonathan and I understand the challenge you have faced and will face as you journey to a healthier you, both spiritually and physically. On January 23rd I got a call from my mother-in-love who was very concerned with some of the things she saw in regard to how my weight was impacting my ability to do life as a dad, a husband, a Pastor, and just a guy in general. I have always struggled with this but in recent years it had really overtaken me and before I knew it, I went from being overweight to being overweight with some serious health issues developing. Anyhow, she took time to talk to me and whereas many would think, I would have thought even, that I would be offended or upset, I was not. I could not be because she was simply affirming what I had already known and that was something had to change. So on that day, I began a journey that is proving to be both a growing and a shrinking experience. I don’t comment here to brag or boast but only to show you, as I have been shown by many others, that your goal is possible and that as He has helped me, He will certainly help you. Since January 23rd, I have lost 110.6 lbs on my way to a goal of losing 186.6. I started out at 366.6. There is a lot of learning and relearning that is having to happen along the way but God has been my guide and my support and I am so thankful. Haley, I am proud of you, even though I don’t know you. You are taking on a very real challenge and it will not be easy but it is possible! Never believe for a moment that it is not. Trust God for strength and watch and see how He will reveal that He is ALL we need! Blessings my friend!
    Pastor Jon
    The Revolution Church of Lakeland, Florida

  77. Terrie August 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    God bless ya girl! I can so relate to your struggle as I’ve lived it as well. I remember being as young as seven years old and being teased by my parents about being chubby. I’m sure it wasn’t intentionally mean but it planted a seed.

    I’m now 44 years old and wish that I had done what you’re doing now, twenty-two years ago! I didn’t know Jesus then, like you do. This is going to be an amazing journey for you Haley and I am so excited about following along with you!

    Thank you for having the courage to share this with all of us and I will be praying for you!

  78. Keya August 21, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    I heard your story on the radio and came straight home to read your blog. I found the app on my phone and I’m starting with you today. I have tried to change my eating habits and lifestyle but I never gave it to God. This is our time Haley!! I’ll keep you posted.

  79. Jessica August 21, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Haley, I read your blog yesterday and I woke up praying for you this morning. You and God have totally got this underway and under control! God bless you. I am excited to see your success!!! In Him, Jessica

  80. Debbie J August 24, 2013 at 2:01 am #

    Way to go Haley! I too need to lose 100 pounds and understand the battle. I have been struggling with this for years and did every diet there was to do and failed each time. I am determined to succeed this time. I am also the nurse for my church and have started pushing a healthy lifestyle program in our church. I am going to start a exercise class for the church, what better way to motivate yourself to exercise than to have the whole church watching? LOL Will keep you in my prayers and will do the 21 challenge.

  81. Janette August 24, 2013 at 5:05 pm #


    The news of this journey blessed me. I, too, have a lot of weight to lose and have found it so difficult. I have 5 herniated discs in my low back and the pain gets worse and worse so I know the first thing I need to do is lose weight but as you know it’s easier said than done. Hearing about your journey you’ve started prompted me to get serious. I picked up a copy of the Made to Crave book and started the 21 day challenge. I’ve never thought of food this way before and it’s a definate wake-up call. Thank you so much for being courageous enough to share this with us all and I will most certainly be praying for you.


  82. Sandy August 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Haley, You should be so proud of yourself. I know how hard it is to be humble and transparent the way you have been. I was in Weight Watchers at 10 like you and I am 54 now and still battling. I only found Jesus 6 years ago so I am on a journey too. I am now the same height as you and just a few pounds more. I have taken a rest from dieting and in fact will never “diet” again. I know I need to change from the inside out.When I do that it won’t be a diet but will be caring for myself in a new way. Your profound statement is a nagging and deep question for me though. Why oh why God do I choose food over you? That makes me pretty upset and sad. I have a lot to work on but I will be doing this devotional beginning today! I will be praying for you. Blessings, Sandy

  83. Laura September 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Since I have known you & your dad for many years now at the YMCA, I want to say that you are a BEAUTIFUL person. You always have been strong, sweet, and courageous!!! I know with your mom, sister, dad, friends, listeners, & especially God backing you, you can do anything you set your mind to. Look how much you have accomplished so far… Don’t stop now!!! I myself have to get back in the gym so maybe I will see you there. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you. I am super proud of you to put yourself out there, many of us struggle with that. Keep me posted and if you ever need anything, you know how to reach me.
    Lots of Love,
    Laura O.

  84. Twanna September 18, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Haley!!! What you are doing is spectacular!! I have struggled with my weight for the last 11 years. 3 years ago I lost 35 lbs., however in the last few months I have put all but 10 lbs., back on. I was just stating last night that I have to do something!

    God will help you and I know he will help me to overcome this battle that we have and face. He will give us victory and we will be able to glorify his name to others for what he is and will do. I know this comment finds you past your 21 day challenge but I will keep praying for you and I know you will be praying for me.

    High Five & Great Job for taking the first step!

  85. Teri November 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    I am late to the party apparently, I need to read the blog more! Carmen, I hugged you yesterday at Tshirts for Turkeys in Ocala (you may or may not remember me, but I was with the family that had 16 turkeys waiting for you when you pulled up), can you pass your hug onto Haley for me, please? I’ve always struggled too. I am not as fortunate as Haley to have such a loving, supportive family to go through this process with. My husband is great. My extended family.. not so much. Often my weight is the negative example “She’s my height (super tall) and your weight (I am the chubby girl that is used as the example)” That always feels good. I’ve been praying through my journey, but don’t seem to be able to get myself up off the mat. Haley, you’ve inspired me! Your courage is amazing. At twenty two you are way ahead of the game. I’ll be praying for you, sweet lady! You’ve got this!

  86. Nerlie May 26, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    You are truly an inspiration! I am sure there are plenty of young women out there that want to do the same thing but don’t know where to start. I, myself have been struggling to lose weight that I gained from having my baby girl about 11 years ago. It keeps on adding year after year. Through it, I have faced infertility and you name it. I am still looking for motivations to lose the weight and I think you might be it. Thank you for putting yourself out there to chance the life of so many. May God bless and guide you to continue loosing but know that you are loved by He who created you.


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