With the New Year upon us, the dieting ads are abounding! It seemed fitting to share this post, which is a re-posting from September 6, 2011. If you are interested, come on over to my new blog where I give three reasons why I won’t be making resolutions ever again and what I am doing instead!

Are you a dieter, hoping to find a blog that will offer you support and encouragement? I must apologize. I want to support YOU, but I don’t have the resources to support your diet. I would love to talk you OUT of being on a diet. I would love to talk you into being FREE for the rest of your life. Not free to be overweight, but free to lose the obsession with food and dieting AND free to find your natural God-given size, all the while growing in a closer relationship to the God who created you!

I would be so blessed if you would let me talk you into ditching your diet–forever!

I bet you know how to diet with the best of them. If you are like I was in 1999, you have lost weight a bunch of times. The trick is, we just can’t keep the “performance” up. It wasn’t until I began to believe that my list of “good foods” and “bad foods” was NOT helping me and that I had to try a different approach that I was finally able to lose the weight for good. I lost the *thinking* that had kept me on the pendulum swing, too!

Many of us are fearful about throwing away fat-gram counters, diet books, the special foods, measuring cups and food scales. Having a meal where we don’t have a death grip on our food content FREAKS US OUT! We are terrified of what the scale will say in the morning, even if we have “been good!”

I just don’t believe that God intended us to live this way…in fear. Fear is not of the Lord!

He wants us to experience the provision, presence, and power of His Spirit in our lives. As we walk in dependence on Him, asking Him about our body’s need and what fuel He has provided to meet that need, we come to see Him as He is…a GREAT provider! He never intended food to TORMENT us!

This is part 4 of a series of posts about how “Junk Food” is a myth. My view is there is no such thing as JUNK food. In fact, I don’t believe some foods are fattening. Over-eating IS! 🙂 You can over-eat and get fat on ANY food.

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If you are afraid that if you start eating burgers or fries or whatever else, you will expand to double your current size, let me share with you how this works. 🙂 Before I stopped focusing on the nutrition content…back when I was having to step out in faith and start eating according to my physical hunger and physical satisfaction cues without counting points, calories or whatever else, I kept a loose mental note of nutrition facts relative to my eating. I did this as a sort of “insurance” policy and also to see if this thing was really likely to “work.”

Here is what I found: If I am physically hungry and slooooowly eat a more calorie-dense food, and really listen to my body as it signals physical satisfaction…well, it doesn’t take much of a calorie-dense food to satisfy my hunger. This translates into fewer calories than some might think. The thing is, many of us assume that if we order a burger and fries, we will eat the entire thing! But we don’t need to do that. We can eat only what our body needs and it knows that it isn’t hungry after just a few bites. It may not take many bites of a calorie-rich food, but those bites are deeply satisfying! I don’t end up frustrated and ready to indulge at the first discipline failure.

Dieters know that fat has more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein. So it stands to reason that things with more fat are likely to sustain me a bit longer and it is likely to take less of it to get me to a place of physical satisfaction. LESS of it. That makes a huge difference! If I eat LESS of a regular hamburger…say 1/4th of it, isn’t that better than eating TWICE as much of a fake-burger? When I eat the entire fake-burger even though I am not hungry, is that really healthier? Overeating diet foods or eating smaller portions of regular foods…which keeps me healthier mentally and spiritually? Well, for me, it has been smaller portions of regular foods. In the past, eating the diet foods, just resulted in me giving in later out of frustration and eating BOTH…the “diet” food AND bingeing on the “bad foods.”

With the dieting mentality, food was my god…either because I was over-eating it, consuming massive quantities out of the sheer compulsion to do so … OR I was obsessing about counting this or that, weighing this or that and being sure I had special foods with me when going out with friends. That is a “god” there, too! I wasn’t free of my idol just because I had switched from over-eating to counting everything. With both mentalities, my focus was FOOD FOOD FOOD! Not to mention the worry of losing or gaining and weighing. It drove me nuts!

When we embrace the freedom to which the Lord calls, we are free to be grateful and thankful with a humble heart and to enjoy any food. We begin to care more and more about how our bodies feel and begin to gravitate toward foods that we know intuitively make us feel better–more energetic and less bloated (for instance).

The “forbidden” foods no longer have a hold on us because they are not forbidden! We can have any food any time we are hungry and suddenly when I know I can have Chocolate Turtle Empanadas at On the Border any time I want, I don’t need to have them all the time! When I order them, I don’t need to overeat…I can slowly enjoy a few bites and discover that I am physically satisfied…not to mention emotionally *gratified* that I got to enjoy something so wonderful! Spiritually, I am praising GOD for the incredible tastes and textures in the food as well–AND that he has made my body so efficiently that it doesn’t take much food to sustain my energy!

I can keep this approach up for the rest of my life. That is why I don’t gain back the weight! This is a lifestyle change. And I continue to eat with gratitude and joy just as the Scriptures seem to indicate I should! I am not taking on a form of legalism as if it is godliness. Instead, I am learning to depend on the Lord as I seek His leading in the moment.

It just plainly takes less calorie-dense food to satisfy me than it does something that I don’t want in the first place just because it has fewer calories!

What do you think? Are you willing to give it a try?