charismatic in a way few ever are. The recent weight loss is not a matter of vanity. Mandisa, like many, often turned to food in trying times. Thus the root of the problem and the solution go much, much deeper. “I don’t remember food ever not being an issue,” she says. “I was abused in early childhood. My parents divorced. I turned to food. It’s what I’ve always done. It’s a thorn in my flesh.” After seeing some pictures of herself and realizing the result of years of emotional eating, both internally and externally, she put into motion a plan to get healthy, stronger and more confident in five easy steps. Step 1: “I started memorizing a lot of scriptures to help me when I was tempted. I quoted them outloud…especially 1 Conrinthians 10:13.” Step 2: “I started seeing a therapist to help me get to the root of the compulsive eating.” Step 3: “Eating right…eating healthier…” Step 4: “I made exercise a priority in my life. I do it at least five times a week.” Step 5: “The last thing was a lot of praying. I feel closer to the Lord now. I made it about my obedience to Him.” If you’re like a lot of folks reading this, you’re probably thinking—Wow, what an organized, on- track, focused, positive and encouraged woman! I could NEVER do that! If so, you’re right. She is organized, on-track, focused, positive and encouraged. But she’s God-ron•ic (def.): Irony with a twist of divine humor A journEy froM SELf-ConSCIouSnESS To SELf-ConfIdEnCE wITH A TwIST of dIvInE HuMor ALong THE wAy Call Mandisa a wordsmith. This teller of tales and creator of catchy catchphrases sums up the last five years in a word all her own— god-ronic. “I was eliminated on April 5, 2006,” she says. “This album came out April 5, 2011.” In case you didn’t know, the elimination in reference was from Season 5 (2006) on the staggeringly popular “American Idol.” “I don’t think much was expected of someone who finishes in ninth,” she says with a laugh. If that be the case, consider us all wrong! The last five years have brought along a string of successes. from recording shoulder- to-shoulder with industry vet and artist extraordinaire TobyMac to collaborating with the likes of Michael w. Smith, Kirk franklin and Matthew west, Mandisa is proof positive that numbers aren’t everything. At the same time, with a twist of “god-rony” yet again, she also shows that some numbers, especially ones like 120, can be life changing. “I’ve lost close to 120 pounds now,” says the singer. “I’m not gonna lie…it feels great!” Let’s be clear here—Mandisa has always been drop-dead gorgeous, attractive and drops the m