This blog post is actually from an email that I received. Jill Robbins shared such valuable insights with me in her email that I asked her if I could share them here at the blog and she graciously said yes! Thank you, Jill!
A month or so ago I had decided to return to eating mindfully, but then I decided one day, that I knew best, because the weight wasn’t budging, and started counting calories. Then when that wasn’t working as I’d hoped, I started using my old weight watchers material. In the midst of all this, I heard a message on the radio about how you can lie to everyone else, but you can’t lie to yourself. I can’t lie to myself!
Back in November God called me to quit dieting and assume a proper attitude about my weight, food and exercise. I wrote it down and emailed a trusted friend so I couldn’t deny it. I’m not sure I struggle with food as comfort, though I’m sure I do at some level. I struggle most with using diets to gain control of my life. I guess I’m a control freak. I try and grab the reigns and say, “OK, Lord, I’ll take it from here.” Then I inevitably fail an beat myself up over it.
Yesterday I came across something online and it totally spoke to me. It was an article by Mary Louise Bringle. In one paragraph she states, “Diets also don’t work for the psychological/spiritual reason that we cannot heal an obsession by replacing it with a counter obsession. Compulsively scrutinizing what we may and may not allow ourselves to eat merely perpetuates our consuming preoccupation with food.” That is something I felt and knew in my soul, but I didn’t know what to do with it. She also said diets are the path of works versus grace. I totally get that! I tried to deny it by justifying in my mind that I wanted to be healthier, but really, I just wanted to be thinner. I tried to justify it by asking my husband if doing weight watchers was spiritually wrong. He looked at me, head cocked, and I think he had to suppress a laugh, but for my sake he answered honestly from his knowledge. He didn’t think it was sinful. But one thing he did say was that anything that you (or anyone) obsess over IS a sin. I left off the last piece of information and continued on my way until the guilt consumed me and I gave it again to God. I asked God to convict me. I asked him to fill me with guilt if I should not be dieting. And true to His character, he did.
I’m really not sure where to go from here. One thing I do know is that I have to make peace with the body I have right now. I have be willing to take care of my body by eating properly and exercising appropriately even if that means I will not ever be thin. I will respect my body even if it doesn’t get skinny. That’s where I think God wants me right now. I need to do what’s right even if I don’t see the fruit of my efforts, but instead look to God for my hope, my peace, my comfort. Thin is not good, fat is not bad. God is good, sin is bad. If I can focus more on that then I think I’m going to be ok.
How about you? Do you find yourself exalting “thinness” over freedom? What do you think about what Mary Louise Bringle says in her article? “Diets also don’t work for the psychological/spiritual reason that we cannot heal an obsession by replacing it with a counter obsession. Compulsively scrutinizing what we may and may not allow ourselves to eat merely perpetuates our consuming preoccupation with food.” Thanks again, Jill!