If . . . . . Then
“If I can just get down to my goal weight. . .”
“If I can just fit into a size ___ . . .”
“If I can just look good in that bathing suit next summer. . .”
“If I can just get back to what I weighed when I was in high school. . .”
Then . . .
I’ll feel better about myself.
I’ll be happy.
I’ll be more attractive to my husband.
I’ll feel comfortable around all my skinny friends.
Do you have a list of “If . . . then” statements that you dream about over and over again. I did! I just knew – if I lost the weight I had gained over the years and returned to a “normal and acceptable” size, all my troubles would “fly away.” I would love myself. I would not be fearful and insecure during times of intimacy with my husband. I wouldn’t embarrass my children. I wouldn’t be embarrassed in public, etc., etc., etc. And the list goes on and on – all the things that would just “fly away,” if I could only get my weight under control and down to a managable size.
I am Karen Kincaid. Over the past ten years, I have lost 45 pounds and maintained my weight-loss successfully. I am actually thinner than I was in high school.
And . . .
…my dreams didn’t come true with the weight loss.
Once at my goal weight, I was even more unhappy than before I had lost it. My husband and I still (even today) struggle with intimacy, because of my insecurity. When I look at other women, many of them look better than I do and I still feel intimidated when I’m with them.
UGH!!! WHY???? It didn’t work. All my hard work at losing the weight – and I actually feel worse than before. . . Here’s how my journey plays out . . .
About ten years ago, I was determined to lose the weight I had gained since high school. I became obsessed with diet plans, diet/nutrition/recipe books, health and wellness info, counting calories and fat grams, eating fruits and veggies, the scale – and I drove my family crazy making them listen to my obsessions. I would drive to the book store on purpose – to buy another diet/nutrition/recipe book – because I still hadn’t found satisfaction in the 100+ diet/nutrition/recipe books I already had on my shelves at home. I was constantly frustrated and confused because information contradicted information. And what I heard on the health report in the media didn’t agree with what I read in my books. It was always changing:
“Eat eggs – no don’t eat eggs – too much cholesterol.”
“Eat low-cholesterol – no, choloesterol is not the problem. Sugar is!”
“Eat low-fat. Well, some fat is good for you, but which is and which isn’t?”
My mind was a mixed up muddle of diet disaster! In all of this – skipping from one plan to another – I lost my weight on my own power.
Notice I have said nothing of God so far.
Oh, I had myself convinced He was part of the process, but I was fooling myself. It was ALL about me!! And what I had counted on coming my way after my weight-loss? – it didn’t happen – any of it. I was still unhappy. I was still insecure about my body. I was still full of guilt because of the walls I had erected to keep others away from me. (They might see something they didn’t like if they got too close. Then they would reject me!) And all of this turmoil made me one negative, unkind, angry, frustrated, guilt-ridden person to be around. My poor family!!!
Well – having said all that – here I am at Thin Within. I’m still at my goal weight. But I need Thin Within and, of course, God. Why? Because the change that really needed to accompany my weight release did not happen. I’m still working on it. I didn’t realize how important it was to focus on my heart and mind on the right things in this journey. I thought changing my physical appearance would solve every other problem. Wrong!!
Thin Within has led me to change myself from the inside-out. That’s where the lasting and fulfilling change has to begin. God was not my focus during my weight-release years. I was! My body was! But now – God is the centerpiece for all other changes. I don’t invent or discover my own plan through reading countless books. God has the plan for me – it’s in His Word. And the most wonderful thing about following His plan?
His plan NEVER changes. His truths stay the same, because they are REAL TRUTH that works in all situations for all people. The “truth cards” are awesome!! Instead of 100+ diet/nutrition/recipe books — I have my Bible, my Thin Within workbook, and my truth cards. Simplicity is bliss!!
I was caught up in a frenzied mess with no peace or joy. Yes – I had reached my weight goal, but while my outsides slimmed down, my insides were becoming over-weight with sins and emotions that were going to destroy me.
All this to say – When God see us, He sees a whole person: body, spirit, mind, emotions. He seeks to change ALL of us. If we only concentrate on one part – the body – the imbalance will prove to destroy us. ALL must be surrendered if complete transformation is to take place.
“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of all the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies (presenting all your members and faculties) as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) well-pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.”
Romans 12:1 (Amplified)
I am certainly not where I was ten years ago. Praise God for that! He is working on me and to the extent that I surrender myself to Him – to that extent He is able to change and mold me into who He created me to be.
God desires a healthy body to serve Him, but a healthy body without a healthy mind and spirit will grieve the Holy Spirit who lives in me. Those things that I don’t surrender keep me chained and unable to grow. It takes time, but the chains must be broken. What I do not surrender will not bring glory to God.
Piece by piece by piece – surrendering all to Him, I look only to Him for the results.
How About You?
Are you snared by the dieting trap? If not, what is the TRUE focus of your journey with God and in Thin Within? Is it your body and releasing the weight to look better and feel better? Is your focus on God and His plan, and the changes – inside and out – that He wants to make in you? What parts of you – physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally – are you holding back from God? Which of God’s truths can you embrace today that will help you surrender those parts?
Karen lives in northwestern Illinois with her husband and favorite Bassett Hound, Dolly. She has four grown children who have “left the nest.” Until recently, she worked full-time, but now enjoys time at home studying God’s Word, worshipping at church, sewing, quilting, reading, and fellowshiping with her Thin Within family.
Editor’s Note: If you are on the fence about jumping off the “dieting ship,” or if you are struggling with hanging in there with Thin Within, here is an audio file about Heidi Bylsma’s own dieting story and why you can be confident in quitting dieting forever!