For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:20
I've tried starving myself. I've tried laxatives. I've tried throwing up. I've tried the soup diets. I've tried the crazy, intense aerobic exercises. I've tried the T-Factor. I've tried Slim Fast. I've tried The Zone. I've tried diet pills. I've tried the no carb, low carb, no fat, low fat. I've tried just about every way possible to stay thin. Sadly, it all started as a teenager, and for years, what I ate, what I drank, and how much I worked out was always on my mind. I'm sure many of you can relate.
|My junior year in high school is when it all started...|
What I learned about myself during those 10 years was:
*I like food too much to starve myself.
*I'm not sure why people use laxatives to lose weight...it was gross and painful and you never knew when you were going to "blow"!
*I hate to throw up.
*I really don't enjoy intense exercising.
*And I can't stand thinking about food and working out all the time.
The more I focused my mind on those things, the more distracted I became from other, more important, things in my life. Obsessing over my weight and food and working out became a very dark area for me. I found myself feeling constantly discouraged, distracted, and dissatisfied with my "performance" every day.
So, I threw out my scale and asked the Lord to help me!
He showed me that when I focused on what I was doing or not doing...eating or not eating, I became less focused on Him and what He was trying to do. He was right...of course! I needed the bigger picture.
I thought that focusing on food and exercise were so good for me (and when those things are balanced in our lives, they are!) But the enemy was using those "good" things to distract me from those God things!
I became more focused on my meal plans than on God's plans.
I became more focused on my exercise gear than on putting on God's protective gear.
I had to change. I had to shift my focus. I had to find balance.
So, here are 2 goals I've decided to never set for myself again!
I want to lose weight.
No. I can't do it. I can't set that as a goal. I can't make that be my focus. I'm not sure why I'm like that, but I am. Maybe you are too? All I know is that the second I set "losing weight" as a goal, I end up eating more...doing less...and all my thoughts are on food. Once I quit setting that as a goal and started focusing on other things (especially things that God wanted me to do with my life), my weight began to level out and was easier to maintain.
I will exercise _____times a week.
Oh, I hate this one. I can't do this one either. You know what...I take that back...it's not that I can't do it...it's that I don't want to. I hate exercising! Man-it feels so good to say that out loud!!! I know people who run every day or do aerobics or really push themselves with rigorous exercise routines. I used to be jealous of them and think "Wow, I wish I could do that." But now I think "Good for them". I've realized that having a work-out routine works really well for some people, but it's just not for me. And it's ok for me to admit it. It's been so freeing! It's not a passion of mine, and I don't enjoy it in the least bit.
So you might be thinking, "That's great! So, you're telling us that you stay thin without watching what you eat and without exercising. I now hate you!"
No, I assure you. I am not one of those lucky people who is just naturally thin. I do have to work at it, but I can't obsess over it. I can't let it consume me.
What do I do then?
*I've learned to love myself no matter what. Admittedly, I do still struggle with this sometimes--especially after gaining 45 pounds with my 3rd pregnancy. But I have to love who I am and who God created me to be no matter what size I am...even if I can't fit in my "skinny jeans."
*I have to keep it simple: I make healthy choices and stay active. Period.
Once I let this obsession go, loved myself, and just lived my life healthy and active...I felt free. And, my weight?? Well, I couldn't tell you since I don't own a scale, but as long as my clothes fit ok, I'm not going to worry about it!
Maybe your struggle is the same...maybe it's different. Either way, I know that you've probably struggled in some way with your weight, body image, self-esteem, exercising, or food (over-eating/under-eating)---especially if you're a woman. We all seem to struggle at some point...maybe you're struggling right now.
I want you to love yourself. I want you to find balance in your thoughts of food. I want you to find something to keep you active that works for you! I want you to find freedom from thinking about food and exercise all the time like I did!
If you can relate to my story, then maybe you should throw out your scale too, and never set losing weight and exercising as your goals either...focus on God...and see what happens...
Do you feel that you obsess over food or exercise? Do you feel that those things are distractions in your life? Do you need to find balance in your thoughts?
Father, I invite You into our thoughts. Show us if the enemy is using food or exercise as a way to distract us from You. Lord, bring balance into this area of our lives. Help us to be healthy and whole and free. Give us joy in eating and exercising, and help us to be in the best shape for You! Help our bodies to be ready for what You are calling us to do with them. Keep our focus on Your plans for our lives. Lord, shine your healing light into our pursuit of weight loss and exercise. Help us to pursue You and glorify You in all that we do! In Jesus' name. Amen.
How has your weight been a distraction in your life?