I wonder if you can relate to these thoughts:
“I just decided to quit Thin Within for a while. I just couldn’t do it right.”
“There is something I am not getting about eating 0 to 5. I am not losing any weight.”
“There is too much freedom with this approach to eating. I do better with counting calories/points/blocks/fat grams” (etc., etc!).
“I haven’t lost any weight yet. I don’t know what is wrong with me!”
“I gained back all the weight I lost when I did Thin Within before. What is wrong with me?”
Many of us who apply ourselves to living the principles taught in Thin Within often struggle with thoughts like these. Sometimes, we stop and start the book or workbook numerous times. We visit the forums, this blog :-), the Thin Within Facebook page, maybe even the Thin Within SparkTeam, or a Thin Within Yahoo group–earnestly for a few days, a few weeks, maybe even a few months, before we again become discouraged and thoughts like those above fly through our heads.
Let’s recognize what is going on here! This is perfectionism rearing its head. Are you, like me…not having ever considered yourself a perfectionist really? Thoughts like these are tell-tale indicators that perhaps we are!
Not only that, but I want to suggest that these thoughts reveal that our focus needs to shift. Is the physical–our bodies, weight, size, shape–really what God wants us to spend such energy on? Even if we were at our “ideal body weight” (whatever that is!) would this be freedom, to constantly be clinging to the size and struggling not to gain an ounce? God calls us to freedom and He defines that that is!
Truthfully, in Christ, I believe we all have a longing for our eternal heavenly home–for perfection. It is a godly longing for perfection. But this godly longing becomes a roadblock when we stop and allow it to determine what we will do next. Or when we focus on the things in this world that are temporary (such as our body shape and size). In fact, it isn’t just a roadblock–it is an idol of our heart. Let me explain.
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God is in the business of sanctifying his people. He justifies us. He declares us holy and righteous in Christ, but our Christian life does not stop there. God is in the business of progressively leading us to a holy life. One moment at a time, one choice at a time. We are being cleansed, sanctified, practically washed up, if you will.
Something we have to realize is that when we insist on perfection–“Doing it right”–or else we will quit, we are not allowing God to direct our paths. We are leaning on our own understanding. We are not acknowledging him or the eternal work he is doing within. We are elevating our pride in our performance above his personal leading in our lives.
The truth is even when we aren’t reading or “doing” Thin Within, God is at work in our lives. Perhaps he is doing something deeper–a work that must be done in order for me to get to the next level of freedom.
God values faithfulness so highly. When I know that God has called me to respond to my hunger and satisfied signals and to invite him into my eating experience, when I am convicted that I need to be rid of my bathroom scale because it is an idol in my life, when I am called not to give in to the pressures to have a Barbie body even at 48 years of age and 2 kids later…even when I don’t do any of these things well, FAITHFULNESS is what really matters! Hanging in there. Please, this is not “doing it perfect.”
Faithfulness means, every time I wander, every time I fall down, I allow GOD to lift me up again. It means that I rejoice in my weaknesses, because in my weaknesses, HIS strength is clearly seen. It means that I know that even when my weight isn’t where I want it to be, GOD IS FAITHFUL AND IS AT WORK DOING WHAT MATTERS INSIDE OF ME.
The following passage, one I quote here frequently, is the antithesis of perfectionism. Yet here it is! God’s thought on this matter!
Let’s reject the mentality that we must bail if we aren’t “doing it” perfectly!
Let’s be faithful and trust the Lord that He is at work in us doing a new thing!
How about you? Do you struggle with wanting to quit when you aren’t “doing” this thing perfectly? Will you take a moment and affirm what is true about the work God is even now doing in you? Will you allow your weakness to be a showcase for His marvelous strength?