For much of life, I have believed that with any attempt to lose weight I was embarking on a plan that had a start date and an ending one. I took comfort in the fact that I would only have to do _____ for _______ weeks/months. I liked looking at my issues with weight like that. Temporary.
I have realized that by not accepting food and weight as something I need to consistently manage, I am more likely to become unexpectedly caught in its grasp. Whenever I believe that I have arrived (either by achieving my weight or clothes goal), I am already in a dangerous place. My sense of “arrival” ushers in a slow complacency that makes it easier to not eat the wise things, and not choose to physically exercise my body.
Additionally, you know when it has been the hardest to manage my weight? After I have lost it all. I think its challenging because I no longer have the power of motivation to work with me. My mind now tells me “I can eat this, and I don’t have to do that”. I start to believe that I’ve never had any weight problems (LIES). I become very, very comfortable. I start missing gym visits. I begin making food choices that are unwise – simply because I know that I have a bit of “room” to work with now. The crazy thing is that this process is almost automatic. I don’t even have to try to do it. It’s like the switch turns off – and I’m back to believing that the lie that living a healthy lifestyle isn’t hard for me.
Look at this passage with me. This was written by a man named Paul, who admitted to feeling that he had much to boast about. However, in this passage, he recounts something interesting:
“So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong”. (2 Corinthians 12: 7-10)
Managing this “thorn” of self-control and food can be trying. However, what I am learning is that I need to accept that this may be a God-designed weakness/thorn (self-control around food), and keep offering God an opportunity to show himself strong. I will always be managing my issues of self-control. Always. And that’s not a bad thing. It keeps me humble. It keeps me praying and asking God for help. And that’s the thing – It is when we finally realize that we need God’s help with everything that we really start to be transformed. Oh, I love to think I can do it alone. But no – I cannot. And God has used my natural lack of self-control around food to remind me I will always need his help. The “power of Christ” working through me…
Guess when I’m doing the best with managing my weight and health – when I’m talking to God about it. Regularly. My best health decisions are made when I realize my ability to take care of myself well is fleeting, and I know I need God. When I am humble enough to say that, I usually start to turn things around. And I am fully aware that things are starting to turn around now because I am now relying on God’s help.
What about you? What weakness do you consistently manage that may really be an opportunity to seek God?