My Thin Within journey hasn’t been so much about the physical weight, but more about the mental “weight”. The weight of worrying about my body image, obsessing about food, fighting the diet mentality and temptation of going back to a diet, and bowing down to the skinny idol. I’ve had people ask me why I’m so interested in this subject. Like, why do I feel compelled to encourage others in their journey toward freedom when I *look* fine? And my response is this: We all deal with the same lies, whether you are overweight, underweight, or even at your ideal weight. The enemy is right there saying that you are too much or not enough. So my journey has been more about releasing the”weight” of my thoughts and surrendering the obsession. If I could weigh my thoughts, obsessions, struggles, and lies I have dealt with over the years, they would be considerably very heavy.
I did, at one time, have physical weight to release. I’ve been 25-30 pounds overweight. I’ve dealt with emotional eating. I’ve dieted and then sought freedom from counting, weighing, measuring. I’ve dealt with fears about food. I know what it feels like to never feel good enough and to keep on reaching toward those temptations. I know what it’s like to eat when I’m not hungry and then to keep on eating because of guilt and shame. And I know what it’s like to have God’s peace in this journey, to taste the freedom He has offered. I know what it’s like to be free from worrying about food and to no longer overeat.
But I still struggle. I still find myself tempted to research about diets. I still think I need to be a certain size and look a certain way. I still worry about the unknown. I compare past success on a diet program with success while eating 0-5. I want the guarantee that this works. And I compare myself with others.
Sometimes, for encouragement, I will skim through parts of Hunger Within. Recently, I found myself in Chapter 6: Dependence Not Addiction. And even though it’s a hard truth to swallow, I realize I have been dealing with addiction in this. As stated in the chapter, addiction means to “give assent–to give up or to give over”. Somewhere along the line, I had surrendered myself to body image worries, to comparison, the researching diets, etc.
If we give ourselves over to food, performance, relationships, or other compulsive behaviors, we may experience initial relief, so then we cling to them, making them the objects of our desire.
I have done that. And it’s crazy to think I have found “relief” in researching and obsessing over my body, but I have.
As these objects grow in importance, our behavior becomes habitual and we can no longer satisfy or relieve our needs in healthy ways. Even if we want to break free, we find ourselves enslaved. Herein lies the greatest risk to our relationship with God: the addiction itself, rather than God, becomes the driving force or focus of our life.
That statement right there is an eye-opener to me. I have looked to something outside of the Lord to try to satisfy my needs. Some of us do this with food: we eat outside of our physical hunger because there is a need–but only God can reach that need. Wow! I really want to redirect myself (change my habits) so that I’m not reaching toward the avenues of addiction, but instead, I’m reaching toward my Lord and Savior and His Word!
The objects of our addictions become our false gods. These are what we attend to, where we give our time and energy, instead of love. Addiction, then, displaces and supplants God’s love as the source and object of our deepest true desire. (Gerald May, as quoted in Hunger Within)
I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of going back to the same old behavior. It’s that old rut of thinking. But God wants us to get on His path of righteousness. His WORD is a light unto our path! He wants to pull us out of that old rut and onto His path of life. I want to release this “weight” over to the Lord so I can be free! And I know that will happen as I continue to press into Him and seek His truth. HE is the one Who will change me from the inside out. I want to press into HIM, not into the diet books and lies that I’ve believed for so long. I want to go to Him instead of putting hope in something false. I know it starts in my mind. That’s why it’s so important to renew my mind. That’s where the change starts.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor 10:4-5
I cannot tell you how many hours I’ve prayed or how many journals I’ve filled (at least a few), asking the Lord for help, digging into His Word, seeking His truth as He dissolved lies. But I do know this–GOD is the One Who will change you. Your part is to go to Him, and HE does the transformation work! I cannot emphasize that enough. Renewing your mind is a vital part of this journey! Take those lies to Him. Lay them before Him and trust that He will reveal truth! Don’t give up! He will change you and one day you will realize that you aren’t struggling with certain things anymore. You will release “weight” and the physical weight. He will change you from within and it will not only be evident on the outside, but we will think and live changed. Praise God!
My journey isn’t over yet, in fact, recently it’s turned a corner and I’m so excited to share about that…but you will have to wait until next week. Stay tuned!