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!
What an awesome article! Christina, you truly are a gifted author. Thank you for this article that not only touched my heart, but is good to have as a continual reminder.
Deanna, thank you for your kind words! I’m thankful that God has given me this passion to encourage others in their Thin Within journey. I love writing for the Lord! God has given me so much freedom and I know He wants to do the same. As we continue to press into Him, He will meet us and set us free!
This is so true, Christina–we make the very process of becoming healthy an idol. And your statement, “I’m so tired of going back to the same old behavior”, so am I! Thanks for this great post.
You’re welcome, Lisa! Thank you for taking the time to comment. 🙂
Yet another AWESOME-SAUCE article by Christina! Yup, another one that I simply must share with my TW Group this coming Saturday! Happy Valentine’s Day to Heidi, Christina, and our 2 Deannas! I’ve been praying for all of you, my TW Group, all TW Groups, and for all that need help in this area to come to know Him, and TW 🙂 Let us bless Him with a thankful heart today, and every day 🙂
Thank you so much, Mar!
Thank you, Mar! That was really sweet! Blessings on you!
WOW I love this blog post Christina, thank you so much!! It really hit home for me! I have definitely over the years made an idol of having a thin body and comparing myself to others!! With the Lords help I know I will overcome these!!
Amen, Janet! You will overcome with the Lord’s help!
Praise God!!! \O/
I have been in this struggle for half of my life. Obsessed with diet and exercise. Trying to control. I did some really horrendous things to my body in order to stay or get thin enough. I ended up with osteopininia at the age of 29. I also ended up with infertility.
I begged God to heal me & He did. I let go of the over exercise & did get pregnant. After my second pregnancy i picked up the over exercising again. My doctor sent me for a bone dexa. I begged God again for healing. This time promising to stop dieting if He would heal me. My bone dexa was normal! But laying down the dieting felt next to impossible. The obsession was so strong. I used a similar program trying to eat between hunger and fullness. I did feel a freedom eating within the boundaries of hunger and fullness and started to let go of the over exercising again. I didn’t lose any weight but i didn’t need to. I just had another baby & have gotten back into the obsession. But not wanting to go back on my promise to God. I have refused to “diet”. I was trying to eat within hunger and fullness again but I kept eating outside of satisfaction. Not getting full. But just over doing it. I realized last night as I was reading the blog that I was confusing allowing myself to lose weight with dieting. I do need to lose these last ten pounds from my pregnancy. But eating in obedience is not dieting.
I still have about a thousand pounds of mental weight to lose. But I just turned a really big corner.
Thank you for sharing your experience. It really helped me. So much!
Stephanie, praise God that you have turned a really big corner! That’s HUGE! I have turned many of those corners. And all of those turns lead us toward freedom! For me, the mental weight has been the biggest thing. The ginormous, HUGE thing! Ugh! But praise God, He’s helped me release SOOOOO much of it as I have turned to Him and sought His truth. It’s a journey. Keep pressing into Him! And praise God that you are refusing to diet! Diets are NOT NOT NOT the answer. They fail us. And I can relate to just having a baby (as I just did) and being tempted to fall back into obsessing. We can worry so much about that extra weight, but if we can just rest in the Lord, eat within our boundaries and trust Him, those extra pounds will be released and we will see our post-pregnancy clothes again. Trust Him. I’m saying that to myself as well. Let’s continue in this journey together. Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Means so much! I’m praying for you, Stephanie!