“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.” (Ephesians 6:14)
Recently I had the pleasure of spending some time with a dear friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in several months. We have done a couple weight loss programs together in years past and hold fond memories of times spent encouraging each other in the faith. She continues to be one of those godly women I’m honored to call my friend. When we met I wasn’t surprised to see she looked like her beautiful self. Only now she’s skinny! She’s arrived at that physical destination I’ve longed to return to!
As we caught up on life over the past several months and she told me all she’s done, and continues to do, with regard to losing weight I realized that while one of the programs we’d done together was Thin Within, she had only chosen a couple of the “Keys to Conscious Eating” to abide by. Other than that it is a very restrictive set of rules to adhere to all day every day. Rules like, drinking 32 ounces of water before you have your first cup of coffee, then drink again throughout the afternoon, drinking lots of green tea, eat no carbs or sweets, and nothing in the evenings (perhaps a cup of tea), no red meat, and exercise as often as you can, nibble on almonds and apple slices throughout the day, etc. Granted she’s learned to enjoy living that way, and obviously it’s paid off physically. Heck, I even enjoy some of these things and found myself encouraged to drink more water. However, because I am still further back in my journey toward freedom in this area I found myself teetering off the solid ground on which I’ve been trying to stand on since returning to Thin Within. To be honest, on my way home I stopped at the store and bought almonds, apple slices, and a 32-ounce water bottle! After all, so many of the things she’s doing are good for our physical body, and are “whole body pleasers” for many of us.
The scripture referenced above is written in the context of spiritual warfare. There is a whole section of Ephesians 6 (verses 10-20) that talks about the need to put on the whole armor of God so that we can be strong in his might, standing against the schemes of the devil. Paul reminds us that our wrestle isn’t against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, this present darkness, and spiritual forces. Therefore, we are exhorted to take up the armor of God and stand firm.
My girlfriend is doing what works best for her. And I’m so happy she’s happy and looks great. But for me, I can easily be swayed between various programs if I’m not careful. The reason I can be easily swayed is because many times I want quicker physical results and don’t like having to let God deal with my heart, which inevitably takes longer. Frankly, over the past 15 years I’ve done countless programs and on a bad day I might be drawn back toward any one of those programs and even aspects of two or three at the same time. That’s just how unstable a man’s ways can be when not fixed on Jesus! This is exactly why it is imperative for me to stand firm on what I believe to be God’s truth. And for me that truth is Thin Within and the principles of 0 to 5 eating. I know that I will drive myself nuts going back and forth between this program and that program if I get lazy and unfocused. I have to remind myself that the truth I have chosen to stand on and where I’ve chosen to place my focus daily is “Obedience to Glory”, “Living Responsibly” and “Godly and SMART Goals” as stated in Workbook #3 “Building on God’s Truth”.
What about you? Are you vacillating between weight loss programs, even if only mentally? Or are your eyes fixed on Jesus and the truths of Thin Within? Are you easily swayed when you see the physical results of others further along in their pursuit of freedom? Let me encourage you as I encourage myself to stand firm right where God has planted you. Believe with me that we serve a God who knows us better than we know ourselves (Psalm 139) and has the results we’re looking for as we stay committed to the process we’ve embarked on.
I love your article! It so reminds me of myself as I will toy with the idea of going back on one of those “diets”. But, I know in my heart that Thin Within is the only way for me. God is the only One who can really help me realize my natural size. If only I would turn to Him instead of food, during those tempting times. You have inspired me to keep on pressing toward the goal that is set before me. Thanks, Cathie!
I admit to being tempted to go back to dieting. I KNOW I will lose weight and look thin and be complemented etc. by diet and exercise. I know how to become thin. I know how to be fit outwardly. BUT at what cost to my soul and my emotions? That is what God is teaching me. Being thin isn’t the goal for me anymore. [ Wow…I can’t believe I just said that and I really mean it! Wow…revelation to me! 🙂 ]
Anyway, the goal for me is to be able to truly surrender the food and my body to the Lord. For me to be able to eat things that nourish my body but use food as fuel and exercise as a means to be strong…not to look a certain way. It is all to glorify Him.
I’m not saying that anyone who lives on a diet can’t glorify God. I just know for me, I become focused on the food and on the way I look to others.
You are so right that this is a process. It is a slow journey. But one that is worth it!
I am so very thankful that God is rescuing me from this obsession of diet and exercise that I once had. His grace and mercy and love are so overwhelming at times that it is hard to believe. But….it’s true! PRAISE BE TO GOD!
Oh, how I needed this today! I clicked on an article on my Facebook feed this morning called, “The Path to Success: 15 Rules for Weight Loss”. It included Drink a Gallon of Water a Day, No Fruit After 4 PM, Eat Every 3 Hours, and obviously a dozen more rules. Ugh! I am finally coming around to the belief that God put this thorn of food and weight issues into my side so I would constantly reach for His strength and rely on Him completely. It’s the only way for me.
Thank you for this! I really needed this reminder.
Thank you Cathy!
I know that routine so well-forever switching from one “routine” to the next, but never dealing with the root issues of comforting myself with food. You are so right and I appreciate your Godly attitude towards your friend’s success. I like the other comments too! I am standing firm in Christ Jesus with you all. 😉
you have described me to a “T” ! I have so much knowledge going through my head that at times I don’t know what direction to take at times. I had started the Thin Within near the end of the summer and got half way through and had released a few pounds. Then as you put it got swayed to some of the other things that I have swirling around in my mind. I know that it all comes down to me trying to hard BY MYSELF and that has to stop. Thank you.