Have you ever heard God’s voice? I don’t mean audibly, but have you heard His Spirit speak to your spirit? I did. When I was a member (for the umpteenth time) of the last commercial weight loss program I went to, I was struggling. You see, whenever I joined up, once again (for the umpteenth time, because this time was going to be different, yes, ma’am!!) I rejoiced in my ability to follow the program righteously. Yes, sir’ee, I was LEGAL!! I weighed and measured my food. I wrote down every bite and sip. I listened with such attentiveness at the meetings. I contributed to the discussions with my wit and humor (and of course all the extensive knowledge I had learned and retained throughout the many, many years I was on that journey). And then, life happened. Life caught up with me. Life grabbed my shirt tail and pulled me back into my failure. I fell off the “perfect” bandwagon. I cheated. I was back to being a failure. I couldn’t do it anymore if I couldn’t be righteous. If I ate my 30 points at the breakfast buffet, then I was done for the day. Who can live that way?? (I just wanted to go back to eating the way I had always eaten. After all, I had lost a bunch of weight already. Wasn’t I cured??) So off into my own self-will run rampant I went. Oh boy, the abandon!! But the next week I would have to face that horrible scale!! Of course, the scale was my BFF when I was legal and righteous!! I could get tendinitis from all the times I patted myself on my back!!
Let me tell you a little bit of my history, and maybe you will understand why this group only fed my pre-set view of myself. I was raised by a mother who was very conscious of body image. She was never larger than a size 16 (and many years ago, a size 16 was smaller than it is today). When I was 9 and going through puberty, my mom put me on my first diet. She really just wanted a diet buddy, and I was her youngest so I made the best choice. We dieted and lost weight. I heard for the rest of her life how she lost her weight and never gained it back. I have dieted on and off from that day on. Needless to say, I lost and gained many times over. My mother also taught me how to be bulimic.
So, I was at my favorite weight loss club, and had fallen off my pedestal of righteous eating and was back to playing games in order to get the scale to remain my BFF instead of my own worst enemy, and in a moment of clarity, I cried out to God, my Father, my Great Physician and Lover of my soul. I cried out, “God, I can’t do this anymore!! I am slowly killing myself playing these games with food and food restrictions, and trying to get the scale to obey me. I am so weary of trying to control this area of my life!! God, help me!!” Clear as day, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to my heart. He said, “My daughter, only in America do people pay money to not eat.” This statement of truth crushed my heart. I don’t want to get into how people are starving around the world and even in parts of our country. We all know this is true. I also know that we are blessed in this country in so many ways. My own life has been blessed with always having enough, even though we had long periods of my husband being unemployed. God always saw us through. We always had food on our table. What God was pointing out to me was what was in my heart. Even though I had enough, I wanted more. I was greedy. I was a glutton. I wanted more than my fair share. Even in my hunger within, my spirit wanted to be filled to overflowing with God and His love and true intimacy with Him, but my flesh wanted to be filled with what the world could give me. And sadly, this filled me physically, but left me feeling so empty. Only in America is what I heard, but in my heart of hearts, what He was really saying was, “Only in your heart are you driven to pay others money to keep you from eating what I have given you to eat with thanksgiving, in the way I designed your body to eat when hungry and to stop eating when satisfied. Sweet daughter, when you eat more than that, you are seeking a filling that doesn’t come from ME.”
Hearing His voice speak to my heart with truth about what I was doing, led me to the beautiful program of Hunger Within and Thin Within. I had never experienced before this time any freedom from the compulsion to overeat or not obsess about food. God, in His great mercy, called me forth from the tomb I was in with my food and eating history. He has unwrapped my grave clothes that have kept me bound up for most of my life, and through eating the way He designed me to eat, all foods with thanksgiving, within 0 to 5, I am truly living a life of freedom. My chains are gone. I’ve been set free.
How about you? What is keeping you held back from hearing His voice? What chains around your eating and food obsession are keeping you from totally surrendering to 0 – 5 boundaries? Are you ready to hear Jesus say, “Sweet daughter, Come Forth!!”?
Wow, talk about convicting. I’m currently “off the wagon” because I’m going on vacation soon and it’s no fun to diet during such a time of fun. Earlier today I was figuring out how many calories I get once I return and jump back on the wagon…for the millionth time over the last few decades. I wasn’t excited as I planned the next diet. I was crying out in rebellion, but kept stuffing the screaming voice down as I tapped on the calculator. When I plot my next diet move, it’s not success. It’s me ignoring God and trying to do this myself (how well has that worked?!). Thank you so much for this post. You truly helped me humble myself and cry out to my loving Savior.