Am I alone in thinking this Thin Within journey is like the kids’ board game, Chutes and Ladders? Move your pawn forward to a particular space, then shoot up the ladder onto victory. Or land on a bad space (like eating too many cookies) and the pawn slides down the chute cause you have a tummy ache.

That’s me! One day, I’m moving ahead. Controlling my appetite. Tightening my belt. The next day, I over indulge and slide backwards. Drats! Foiled again! Takes forever to win. However, unlike the game whose progression is controlled by a spinning needle, I’m doing this to myself. Unless of course, the “devil made me do it.”

What is so difficult about not eating until I’m hungry and stopping when I’m a satisfied? The way I whine and limp along this 0-5 journey, you’d think someone asked me to race around the track in a wheelchair or swim freestyle with my eyes closed as though I’m blind. If anyone watched the Paralympic Games, you’ll understand. These disabled Olympians push their physical limits to win the race.

What’s my excuse for crossing my boundaries and giving up before I’ve reached my goal and won the prize? I’m not an athlete. But even the Apostle Paul writes in terms that inspires me to finish the race. 

“Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave….” (1 Cor. 9:26,27).

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Phil. 3:14).

Hebrews 12-1-3

The cost of reaching and maintaining my God-ordained weight means I may have to suffer. But what’s wrong with suffering if the prize is a thinner, healthier me who feels good in her skin from the inside out. What if suffering is the means to help me listen to God so He enables me to walk in the Spirit instead of submitting to my fickle flesh which entices me to eat…what I want when I want.

Besides, does an empty stomach cause more (or less) suffering than a bloated belly ache accompanied by a heavy dose of guilt and regret? And why should emotional comfort and eating to numb my pain override my common sense to do what’s best for my body?

Great questions to mull over when I’m salivating for that Godiva chocolate.

The wonderful thing about Thin Within is that no one expects me to fight this battle or win the race/game on my own strength. The lessons constantly bring me back to God’s Word which teaches and trains me in the way I should go. 

That said, I’m also realizing the victory isn’t about self-discipline and buffeting my body as much as focus. Where am I looking for victory?

If success depends on human efforts alone….doing every lesson, filling out truth cards, my God list, my hunger charts, my not eating too many cookies…I’ll keep slip sliding backwards.

Instead,I must look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith—who suffered and died for me—that I might live victoriously.

One step forward, and day at a time.