I was kidnapped at age seven.
I had just been released from the ICU to a general ward in our local hospital after having a ruptured appendix. I asked the nurse for an orange. Her response was (a) this is a not a restaurant and (b) anyone as fat as you should be pushing away from the table. I was a normal weight little girl and after three weeks on IV certainly hadn’t gained any weight.
At that point my mother turned away from me. Her view of me as fat and an embarrassment was set in stone. My body image was distorted for life. No matter what my weight I always saw myself through that lens. Food became the source of comfort I should have received from Mom. Food and the eating or not eating also became a battleground. Mom would make cake and serve it to the family. If you ate it you were bad but if you didn’t eat it she was offended.
I gave in to my captors: the external authorities; the endless list of diets and diet books that promised freedom; promised the answer; promised that this would be the last diet I would ever have to do.
In 1985 I purchased the first edition of Thin Within. It was revolutionary thinking at that point. It gave hope but also seemed ‘too good to be true’. I tried the principles but it was still a matter of me ‘getting myself together’. As the current Thin Within says it was a matter of trusting in ‘My Performance’ not in ‘His Provision’.
I was in the first online version of the Thin Within study in 2002. I have my journals of attempts with Thin Within in 2002, 2004, 2006 etc. etc. etc. My book is annotated with my promises of ‘I surrender’.
In spite of the failures I kept coming back to Thin Within. I knew it was truly God’s design and the legitimate door to freedom.
The breaking point and the breaking out into freedom came one month before my 65th birthday on June 12, 2010. Over the next year I lost 70 lbs . I have kept most of that weight off. I have good health and an ability to enjoy life in ways not previously possible.
But the real freedom is in my soul and my spirit. I am free of the weight-loss captors. I no longer bow down to the ‘scale god’. I don’t even have a scale. In writing this article I realized that I haven’t read a diet book or looked at a weight-loss website in months. The magazine covers are no longer magnetic. I’m at peace with food, myself and God. How did that happen? What was the breaking point that turned me in a new direction? Here is the ‘rest of the story’.
On June 12, 2010 at about 3pm MST I received one of those unthinkable phone calls. It was a cousin telling me that my only brother had been found deceased in his apartment. He was 61 years old. You can imagine my shock and grief. David was massively overweight and had been a chain smoker all his adult life. The autopsy results were inconclusive but we suspect an aneurysm or stroke. There was no foul play.
My milestone 65th birthday was a few weeks later. I felt the Lord clearly leading me to ‘choose life’. He was leading me to freedom. But how? A few weeks later I came upon a website inviting participation in a six week challenge called Restoring Honor. It was a call to get our lives in order physically, emotionally, financially, relationally but most importantly spiritually. I took up the challenge as it pertained to my weight.
Why was it different this time? It was different because it was not about losing weight. It was about Lordship. It wasn’t about my ability to ‘do the program’. It was about trusting Him to empower my choices moment by moment. His Provision not my Performance. As Lysa Terkeurst says in Made to Crave: ‘ I’m Not On A Diet, I’m On A Journey With Jesus’.
Here are some of my disciplines on the journey:
- My primary boundary was 0-5.
- I spent intensive time each day with the Lord ‘renewing my mind’.
- In December of 2010 and again December of 2011 I went through the Thin Within book and recorded insights.
- I kept my journey private. This was a love affair with Jesus not Linda’s success story.
- The spiritual disciplines aided me in dealing with the emotional and comfort eating.
It took some time to learn what 0-5meant for me.
- There were a few weeks of counting ‘points’ to figure out how much food it took to move from 0-5.
- I used a 6” plate and 1 cup bowl
- For awhile I followed simple NoS guidelines- No Snacks, No Seconds, No Sweets except sometimes on days that begin with S (Saturday, Sunday, Special Days like Thanksgiving)
- Today I enjoy simple 0-5 eating- generally 3 times per day with a small snack if needed. There are no restrictions or rules. I trust my body and walk in freedom .
His Promises To You:
I have assigned your portion and my cup,
Boundary lines for you fall in pleasant places;
I have a delightful inheritance for you.
Psalm 16: 5-6
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
Plans to give you a hope and a future.
What About You?
When were you kidnapped? Was there a defining event that trapped you in Diet Prison?
What would freedom look like?
Psalm 16 says that God’s boundaries fall in pleasant places. Which of God’s boundaries have you found pleasant? Financial boundaries? Sexual boundaries? Principles of forgiveness? Contentment?
Seeing the goodness of His fences around our lives in other areas will give you the courage to embrace principles concerning food and eating.
Father, I choose to believe that you are who you say you are and will do what you say you will do. I choose to surrender to the pleasant plan you have for me concerning my relationship with food. I choose freedom.
Linda Fode ~ Linda lives in Calgary Alberta, Canada. She has been married to Allen for 45 years; has 3 children , 4 grandchildren & 2 grand puppies. She retired from full-time ministry a year ago. She is a writer, blogger, motivational speaker & counsellor.