I am an overweight Southerner. I guess it’s appropriate we begin our journey with that simple confession. Much like the alcoholic who admits for the first time he is powerless over a bottle of whiskey, I am powerless over that last slice of buttermilk pie hidden in my great grandmother’s pie safe. I am powerless over those biscuits from Cracker Barrel oozing real butter and blackberry jam. I am powerless over my Moma’s baked beans and my Daddy’s pork loin, a pairing that goes as well together as my parents’ almost 40 year union. The list of what I’m powerless over could go on and on and if we continued to talk about it, I might end up at the nearest Waffle House in the middle of the night devouring an order of hash browns scattered, smothered, covered and chunked. For all you non-Waffle House aficionados or those too ashamed to admit you know exactly what I am talking about, translation is extra crispy hash browns with sautéed onions covered with the most processed American cheese known to man topped with bits of ham that would more than likely withstand a nuclear holocaust.

Why this fascination with food? I could have used the word obsession but we Southerner’s reserve that term for important things like hunting and college football. This fascination with food is more problematic than my husband’s “obsessions” with Crimson Tide football, shotguns and duck blinds. For me, this fascination started as a child. A good grade got cookies after school, your birthday got a special meal cooked in your honor, someone hurt your feelings and Moma shoved brownies down your throat. And, guess what? It worked! Now as an adult, get a promotion and celebrate with a fancy steak dinner. It’s your anniversary, skip the sex and carb load at your favorite Italian bistro. Vacation, eat until your clothes don’t fit. Bad day at work, swing by the nearest drive thru. Of course, being Southern only exacerbates the situation. I can name at least 100 social situations where the correct etiquette is “take food”. Someone’s sick. Take food. Someone had a baby. Take food. Someone’s dead. Take food. Someone moved in next door. Take food. It is my duty as a Southerner and moral obligation as a God fearing Christian to make sure that every person in a hospital bed has a fruit basket, all new parents have Southern Living’s latest casserole, every mourner gets a bucket of the Colonel’s original recipe, and every newcomer to the block gets a butter laden batch of chess squares.

Now you know what you are dealing with, a self-proclaimed Southern belle who loves food almost as much as she loves Jesus. Over the course of the last year, I have lost 60 pounds and still have about 40 more to go. We’ve jumped into the story about halfway through but don’t worry, I’ll catch you up on how the journey began with me, Jesus and a set of scales.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.