Most of the time, I prefer to focus my eyes and my blog posts off of the scale. I believe the scale is, typically, not our friend. Many of us who may be walking free from dieting and counting calories or points, still struggle with obsession with thin and with weight.
I hope this post will bridge the gap a bit between obsession with numbers on the scale and the focus that really does make the difference in life, in eternity *and* in weight.
This may sound totally cheesy! This may seem ridiculous, in fact, but I assert that:
Praising God can help further me toward my weight loss goals!
It isn’t any secret: I don’t believe in dieting. God removed 100 pounds from my body just by my finally (it took many years for me to “get it”) eating between the parameters of physical hunger and physical satisfaction. I am returning to basics again, as some of that weight has returned to my body. Some of it, as I have shared, may be due to hormonal fluctuations, but some of it is a result of my choices outside of godly parameters. I know God will show me what weight he intends for me to carry and what isn’t, but I will get there by praising Him and obeying Him. This I know. He doesn’t want me thin nearly so much as he wants me to be his. Sometimes, in an extreeeeeme effort to be thin, I keep my heart from him. What I write about here is also an antidote to that tendency!
It sounds simple to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are not. And it is simple.
But it is far from easy!
Why is that?
There is a well within me…and within you. A well that calls to be filled. It *demands* to be filled. It is a well, an empty open space that I believe Solomon refers to when he says “He has set eternity in the hearts of men” in Ecclesiastes 3:11.
We were made for eternity! That is why so much on this earth grates against us, why we long for beauty and peace! If we realize that these longings are satisfied with Him and go to Him to fill them, then we will stop misinterpreting them as something that is answered with a physical solution–like food. Often, we turn to food to quiet the hunger in our hearts that is really for heaven.
Conversely, we may be tempted to look to *diets* to quiet the same hunger for beauty, perfection, or success in our hearts. If reason that if we can only string together enough “good” diet days to lose weight and get thin, we think, somehow, that the ache in our hearts will subside.
As I have been slooooooowly developing a life of praise and gratitude–what I was born to do–there is a deep, abiding sense of satisfaction that has taken root… It is the “magic” solution for the emptiness I have often fed with food, in fact. The days when I don’t sense this satisfaction are the days when I have taken my eyes off of God and placed them on my circumstances. It is so obvious that there is a connection for me.
As I choose to focus on God’s amazing attributes and choose to give praise and thanks to him, there is a transformation going on in my heart *and* mind *and* body. I begin to think of *my* food, *my* body, *my* way, *my* will less and less. And food and body issues don’t seem to be such a struggle.
Here is how it works: My teenagers and I homeschool. We are together a lot. In my “hypothetical” situation, let’s say my kids start fighting. I don’t handle this very well (partly due to my own upbringing). I get agitated. (This happened yesterday. It was amazing how it just clicked on with the fighting that was happening in my home!) My natural inclination is to get irritated with God, “I don’t care what you want me to do right now. I want food. I like food. Food makes me happy and since you aren’t answering my prayers about peace in my family, I will do what I want!” (Can you hear how spoiled and “tantrum-y” this is?)
Truly, I tend to want food to comfort and numb me to the pain that emerges (partly from my past).
But, the way praising God helps is in these moments, I choose, instead, to say, “Lord, I thank you that you have given me two children who are precious to my heart. You are creative and king over all conflict and king of all peace. You are the precious shepherd who leads us beside the still waters. You delight over us with singing. You have given yourself so that we could live the abundant life and be free from having to sin. I am so thankful God that you have given me a new life in Christ…”
I cry to you, O LORD;I say, “You are my refuge,my portion in the land of the living.Psalm 142:5
Ok, if I am honest, it typically isn’t *that* easy either. Sometimes it is just a “You are God. You are my helper, so help me, please!”
Sometimes I pick up my guitar and sing “And I….I…I..I..I.. I’m desperate for you. And I…I….I…I..I.. I’m lost without you…” Truly…I have to choose to do this with an act of my will. But as I choose to focus on Him instead of the yuck happening in my face, something changes in me. As I do this, I am swept up in my heavenly calling…to worship God. My desire for food dissipates as I discover something that satisfies the ache that I have. It is a spiritual and emotional hunger that He alone can address.
I don’t end up grabbing for the food when I am not hungry.
How about today? Will I? Will you?…choose to praise the Lord when we aren’t hungry and exalt him for his greatness, his provision, his presence in our lives?