“Are you kidding me? Just kill me ‘cuz I’m never drinking that,” I kind of blurted out.
She looked at me. In fact, everyone looked at me.
If only you could get full by putting your foot in your mouth.
The looks on their faces answered my question: Did I just think that or did I say it out loud?
Losing baby fat was always a struggle. I was a few weeks into a new weight loss program, and I wasn’t off to a glowing start.
After the birth of my second child, I was having some trouble.
I’d tried dozens of weight loss programs, but months out, I still sported my pregnancy jeans. They were all that would fit over my unflattering muffin-top. My desire for donuts and chocolate wasn’t fading. If anything, it grew stronger. The more I denied myself food, the more I wanted it. And the more miserable I became.
This particular night in class they’d suggested a lemon juice-syrup-pepper cleanse. I’m all for healthy eating .. . within limits. I was only half paying attention when my spontaneous utterance popped out. It was only supposed to be a thought. Somehow it shot off my lips and fell flat in the middle of the room.
The facilitator gave me a steely-eyed glare. I looked around the room, feeling awful. I sensed this was my last night in class. I really wanted to lose the weight. Why couldn’t I commit?
I drove home discouraged. Another failed weight loss attempt. More money down the drain.
“Lord, why won’t you take away this extra weight?” My accusation was disguised in the form of a prayer. At one point I was 40 pounds overweight. I’d tried diet after diet but nothing seemed to work for long. I was mad at God. I felt like He didn’t care.
A few days later, I shared my frustration with a skinny friend over lunch. I complained about a slew of failed attempts.
She told me I looked great, which is what friends do. Then she said something few friends say. She said (in so many words), “Maybe food’s not the problem. Maybe you ought to indulge more in God instead of that bag of chips.”
I slowly put the chips down (and licked the salt off my fingers).
“You can’t eat God. You know, Jesus was speaking met-a-phor-ic-ally when He said Eat. His. Body.”
She smiled again and explained, from her own struggles, sometimes food’s not the problem; it’s a desire for something else, something more. I was pretty sure my desire was for food. “After you lose weight, then what?” she asked.
I thought I’d be skinny and happy. But I’d lost weight before, so I knew that wasn’t true. If that was the case, all skinny people should be happy and should stay skinny. But they aren’t and they don’t. According to the American Journal of Public Health, most people who lose weight don’t keep it off.
As women, we’re always on a quest to look better or drop pounds. In most programs I’d used, I’d lost weight by trying to make the food behave. I still wanted to eat what I wanted to eat.
I didn’t realize I was trying to fill a God-sized hole in my life with donuts.
Even if I eventually lost the weight again, I wouldn’t win the battle with food. I knew I’d never be satisfied as long as I refused to put the focus where it belonged, not on my weight but on obedience.
I’d never associated God with weight loss. But everything in my life should point others toward Him, including my eating habits. I needed to put them under His control.
I found a program that focused on putting my desires–for food and anything else–under God’s control. I focused on letting Him fill me. I began to lose weight.
I don’t have perfectly healthy eating habits. I’m still tempted to eat more than I should. And sometimes I do. But, I have way better God habits. I go to Him with my desires and let Him fill me.
Losing weight is far better for my heart than I first thought.
Which weight loss programs have you tried and how have they worked for you?