It was Christmas time and we’d been invited to another party. I couldn’t wait. The thoughts of all the yummy appetizers and rich desserts made my stressed out heart sing. All was well until I couldn’t zip my Christmas dress. No amount of sucking and tucking mattered. It wasn’t going on. Surely I hadn’t gained that much since last year?
Oh for heavens sake, it must shrunk at the dry cleaners. Only, I hadn’t taken it to the dry cleaners. Since I’d only worn it once the year before, I just hung it back in my closet.
I sat down and cried and dreaded the impending new year with all the resolutions and weight loss commercials and blah, blah, blah.
I knew that I needed to make changes not because of the number on the scale, or what clothing size I was. I knew it, because of the battle that raged in my heart. I craved, I desired, I thought about, and arranged my life around food.
Yet, I was a Bible teacher. I was a woman who loved Jesus. Why couldn’t I figure this out? I had found victory in so many areas of my life, but this area alluded me. I constantly asked, “Why shouldn’t I indulge? What does it really matter anyhow?”
One day, I looked up the definition of the word “indulge,” which means unrestrained action. And, for me it was unrestrained eating. You see, eating in its proper context is not the problem. God gave us food for nourishment, strength, and even celebration. But, when pleasure becomes unrestrained, there’s a problem.
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. Chocolate was my comfort and deliverer. Cookies were my reward. Salty chips were my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness.
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?
Now before you slam your computer shut, hear me out. This question is crucial. We have to see the purpose of our struggle with food as something more than getting to wear smaller sizes and receive compliments. Shallow desires produce shallow efforts. These good things are nice, but not as appealing in the moment as a cinnamon roll, or those chips, or that brownie.
The process of getting healthy has to be about more than just losing weight and focusing on ourselves. It’s not about adjusting our diets and hoping for good physical results. It’s about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change for the right reasons.
I’ve realized that a healthy eating plan can be one of the most significant spiritual journeys I’d ever dared to take with God. Starting in Genesis, I read the Bible from the perspective of someone desperate for God to speak to me about this issue. And something amazing happened. I lost 25 pounds in four months and have kept it off for nearly two years.
But that’s not the real victory. Even better, I’ve stopped that incessant bouncing between feeling deprived and guilty all the time.
I’m at peace. And this peace tastes better than anything else in which I’ve ever indulged.
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This post is taken in part from Lysa’s new book, “Made to Crave- satisfying life’s deepest desire with God not food.” This is not a diet book. “Made to Crave” is the missing link of spiritual motivation that will help you find lasting victory.
For a chance to WIN TWO COPIES of “Made to Crave” – one for you and one for a friend- leave a comment and tell me to which friend you’d give the second copy!Leave a Comment