One thing I know for sure – there are so many documented ways to lose weight. Whether or not the latest fad is a diet or to eat only “certain” foods, there are certainly many opinions of the steps that you need to take. Regardless of popular advice, God has a desire to see you “set free” from this battle. In order to begin take that journey, there are some things that you might need to recognize:
#1: Learn to distinguish your body’s way of telling you of your hunger.
Would you believe that God has equipped your body with all the necessary tools in order to help you maintain a healthy weight? I know I didn’t believe it when he tried to tell me all those times I was crying out to him to help me lose weight. It just seemed a little too “good to be true.” It took me stepping out on faith to realize that God can be trusted and he knows what he is doing when it comes to our bodies. Somewhere we have believed that eating the right foods and exercising are the tools in order to maintain a healthy weight. While they are of some benefit, nothing can replace the role of “eating when hungry and stopping when satisfied.”
#2: Eat only to satisfy your physical needs.
Food is only supposed to be used as fuel in order to provide energy so that our body might accomplish our daily tasks. Many of us have supplemented food’s original usage with a new job description: “making me feel better”. Our only problem is that food never seems to be adequate in accomplishing its job. We must begin to believe the truth: Food WILL NOT make it better. It doesn’t have the power. Recognizing leaves quite a gap in our psyche, as we’re left to wonder, what are we going to do with our emotional needs? That leads to #4. . .
#3: Learn to bring God your emotional needs and begin to cultivate your relationship with him.
If food is not going to satisfy my emotional needs, what on earth am I supposed to do my feelings? I’m going to refrain from offering the trite answer of “just pray about it.” While that is basically true, I think it fails to encompass all of what a relationship with the living God offers. Having a relationship with God is an active and dynamic process. You must talk to him, be honest with him, and acknowledge the reality of the gap that exists between you and him. Some of you might consider yourself close to God and some of you haven’t spoken to him in years. Whatever the case, if you struggle with recurrent food and weight issues, it is likely that there is room to improve.
#4: Start paying attention to your body and eat as it requests.
How many times have you gotten salad at a buffet in attempts to be “good?” If you were being completely honest, you would have likely chosen a different meal. You eat your salad, and leave the table unsatisfied, as that is not what your body truly wanted. I know this might sound strange, but beginning to eat what your body wants is the first step in beginning to establish a relationship with it. We were created with the desire to have various foods and there are times when your body will alert you to the fact that it needs “something.” Some of the first steps in establishing this awareness is to begin to pick one thing on your plate that you really want to eat, and start the meal by consuming that. You will likely feel full sooner you expect, and you do not want to leave the meal with regrets regarding what you chose to eat. Some of you might be wondering if you will be subjecting your body to loads of sugar and unhealthy food. As you start to “eat when hungry and stopped unsatisfied,” you will find yourself not as susceptible to feeling out of control. You will be surprised at your ability you have to make better food choices when you allow yourself the freedom to choose.
#5: Learn to “put the fork down.”
We must learn how to stop when we have had enough. Some of us go overboard in regards to our eating on every meal. When you receive the first indication that your stomach is getting full, you need to slow down and start putting the fork down. You should leave your meal feeling satisfied, not stuffed. You will feel hungry again. And when you do, that is permission to eat what you want.
#6: Deal with your reasons for eating.
As I stated earlier, for many of us, food has been the thing that has hidden our emotional wounds and pain. That excess weight you carry might be a sign that something is just not right with you. What are you ignoring? In order to finally be free from food, you are going to have to “dig out” of that hole and choose to see what you are facing. Whether that means you talk to a friend, seek professional counseling, or break out your journal – please choose to acknowledge your emotions and take care of yourself. You matter.
#7: Agree with God: Gluttony is sin
I save this one for last because honestly, it is the hardest to acknowledge. If you want to live as God outlines, there are some things you have to recognize. Gluttony is a sin. Harsh? Perhaps. However, the sooner you begin to believe this and recognize that “overeating” is not just something you do because you are having a good time or you just love good food, the sooner you will begin to start tasting what it means to be “free.” Believing that gluttony is “okay” allows you to to feel comfortable with the very behavior that is causing you to become enslaved to food. Gluttony equates to lack of self-control and is the action of telling God that you love this food more you love him. Acknowledging your behavior as sinful prepares the way for repentance and helps you to walk away from that sin once and for all. You must tell the truth.
These are some beginning steps to help you start the journey in walking in your freedom. God is able and he can help you get rid of this weight – for good.