Many people in America find themselves praying for God to help them lose weight, and in the end find they are blessed with so much more. Just as each of us who comes to Christ has a personal saving relationship with Jesus, we each are uniquely individually sanctified. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6. Considering that God made every snowflake different, how much more is each person a divine unique creation?! My story is just that, my story. The Lord may instruct you in a totally different way, based on your physiology, psychology, genealogy, sin patterns or circumstances. However, I hope I can encourage you to embrace how He is leading you and working in your life.
In the late 1990’s Jesus saved me for eternity and sealed me with the Holy Spirit and shortly thereafter (probably minutes) I began praying about losing weight. Of course initially I was hoping and praying for divine intervention in such a way that one day I would wake up 100 pounds thinner. Or lose that weight in just a few weeks. You know, sort of like a reverse fishes and loaves story. What I found was that although my faith was obviously not too little, my understanding of God’s way with me was.
Initially He sought to teach me about physical discipline and it’s relationship to spiritual discipline in my life. We started with the lesson, “eat when you are hungry… stop when you are satiated.” This took about nine years for me to truly accept and actually practice. (Thank You Lord, You are so patient with me!) This way of eating is totally different from dieting. While dieting I would focus on the rules, and then how far I could go to bend them.
The Lord used many (many) Scriptures to instruct me, I will share just two “…didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” 1Corinthians 6:19-20(message)
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” 1Corinthians 9:24-27 (NASB)
Next the Lord began teaching me about appreciating the food I intake. How different foods and activities effect my body. I tried a lot of different ways of eating or not eating. No matter what Is tried nothing, seriously nothing, seemed to allow my body to actually lose weight. At one point, I was fasting six days a week and eating one day. The one day of the week I did eat, I was always so incredibly sick it got to the point that I dreaded eating. Curiously, I only shed twelve pounds in twelve weeks, which I of course, gained back in one week after I resumed eating.
During that time of trying various ways of eating I began realizing that for my body when I eat sugar I experience intense cravings to eat more sugar, leading to a physical desire of wanting to eat everything, most of the time. I also learned that sitting too much of the day or having too little activity causes my body to become stiff and off-balance to the point of barely being able to walk. It got to the point where I would hobble around, I had to be helped up from a sitting position and going to the grocery store was a painful event. Graciously, God kept using the Scriptures and His Holy Spirit to teach me. Two I will share with you are:
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” 1Corinthians 6:12-15 (NASB)
“Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.” 1Thessalonians 4:4-5(message)
It was about three years ago when He revealed that for me eating sugar and breads was keeping me in a never-ending cycle of fighting cravings. Constantly experiencing defeat over self-discipline. This time It only took me two years to accept His guidance and begin practicing His guidance. I hesitated so long because honestly I didn’t want to give up bread, pasta, crackers, fruits or sweets, I even literally would say, I can’t give up pizza. Yet, I knew from experience following His guidance had always worked out best in my life. During that time He kept bringing me the message that different people need different types of nutrition and patterns of eating and that each person has unique responses to various foods. I believe with all my being that I cannot take what works for me and expect it to work the exact same way for any one else.
I was also having such a difficult time embracing the idea of ditching breads and sugars because I had a lifetime of “education” in the food pyramid and “healthy eating.” We all know that breads are the largest portion of the American food pyramid. My whole life I believed lies like this: “milk and cereal are healthy,” and, “it’s just not a meal without bread.”
“Sometimes it’s not the things we know, it’s the things we know that just aren’t so” …. Truly that has been the case for me regarding wheat, corn and sugars. I won’t try to play expert here. Instead I will put links below to some of the resources that have been helpful to me. They have been helpful because for the first time, the research matched my own personal physical experiences. Unlike the research and information gathering over many years that just never materialized into reality no matter how hard I tried to apply it to my life.
The physical aspects of my journey had been difficult, but not nearly as hard as changing my mental paradigms. As I wrote earlier, my focus had been that I needed God to deliver me from my overweight. Truly, I was so focused on the idea that I didn’t have the power over my will, and needed Him to be my Deliverer that it never occurred to me that I may be missing something.
It had been 17 years of praying for deliverance from my over weight. Seventeen years of trying and failing in my own power when I didn’t see His deliverance. When one day everything changed! In His mercy, He revealed to me that this wasn’t about Him delivering me. This was about me overcoming with Him.
From that moment forward everything has been different. I AM overcoming by the blood of the Lamb! “For everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world—our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God]. Who is the one who is victorious and overcomes the world? It is the one who believes and recognizes the fact that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1John 5:4-5(amp)
He has empowered me to follow His guidance and transformed my mind along with my body. It has been astonishing! I am not nearly finished on this journey yet … actually I have quite a bit a road ahead of me on this journey … but I am definitely not where I started! I have several markers to demonstrate how far I have come on this journey:
• My adventure with God has been amazing – a fresh experience of His grace and mercy with a new depth of moment by moment intimacy with Him
• My chronic (for 20 years) IBS is gone
• My energy level is soaring, for the first time in years I am not daily exhausted,
• My mental clarity has dramatically improved, no longer battling brain fog
• My short-term memory is functioning properly again, no longer grasping for words mid-sentence or trying to hold onto my train of thought
• My skin has dramatically improved, the “mothers mask” (melasma) is gone, my acne is nearly non-existent
• My hair has finally started really growing again, and it is strong with almost no spit ends
• My nails have also dramatically improved, they are stronger and no longer peel and split
• My body is healthy enough to routinely walk 13,000 steps a day and I can lift/haul all sorts of groceries/packages now, keeping my balance
• My inflammation has drastically reduced, and I have almost no joint pain,
• My weight is down more than 30 pounds
• My body has lost 40+ inches, going from a size 20/18 to a 12, (mostly I lost inches from my waist, belly and hips!)
• My true sweet sense of peace with God in an area of my life that has been anything but peaceful for decades!
Because of the size of my body frame and my genealogy I anticipate that I will lose significantly more mass and weight before I have arrived at the heathy weight and size God has created me to be, but for now, I just keep moving forward on this exciting adventure overcoming by the blood of the Lamb!
May you, find what God has for you to do, and overcome by the blood of the Lamb, so that I can cheer for you & Him on the day it is revealed in Christ Jesus!
I am not at all affiliated with any of these people, their companies, or their websites. However, I found this information helpful so I am sharing it with you. Informative Links to Check Out:
Fat to Skinny Book (my personal physician asked me to read this book)