Over the years I’ve invested a lot of time, energy, money and worry on my weight. God has blessed me greatly in this area and I know He is not through with me yet. In a series of upcoming posts, I’ll share my most helpful and hard learned lessons regarding weight loss, fitness and healthy living. If you have issues with weight, I hope they are helpful to you. Here’s the first that outlines:
MyTop 3 Tips for Weight Loss
1. Let God be God
I battled weight and yo-yoed for almost 20 years – even spent a decade in a career that required me to weigh in monthly as part of my effort to keep myself in line. Watching my weight went from a hobby, to a personal goal, to part of my career, to what some would call a semi obsession. Things did not really click, fall in line or proper priority until I made it a God thing. I would pray as I started a new diet or joined another health club or tried a new plan. But I was carrying the load. I was asking God to bless what I was doing. Now I’ve accepted that God is not just our Help. He wants to guide and more importantly get glory from all areas of our lives. When I decided to give it over to Him. All of it. Things changed. I went beyond asking Him to bless my food, to asking Him to guide my food choices before I selected or prepared what was going on the plate. It changed from exercising because I know I should, to exercising because I enjoy and count it a privilege to offer that time as an act of physical stewardship. We are called to glorify Him with our bodies and when God calls us something, He equips us and makes it possible. Let God be God in your health and weight loss journey. Truly invite Him in, talk regularly to Him about it, and aim to glorify Him in your efforts.
See: 1 Corinthians 6:20, 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Hebrews 13:20-21
2. Let food be food
God gives us power and the freedom of choice to impact the state and direction of our lives. This is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly and we must be cautious about who and what we give that power to. This applies to all areas, and for many, (myself included), it has a strong application regarding food. God created food for our benefit. For our nourishment. We are to have control. Yet for many this thing has been turned around and food has dominion over us. WE make food much more than it is.
“Girl – that pound cake is calling my name!”
“Once I take a bite, I can’t stop eating that peach cobbler.”
“I can’t live without chocolate.”
I’ve made similar statements countless times and thought it was just talk. But it showed the stronghold I allowed food issues to become in my life. So I started self talking right back (yes sometimes it was out loud – I talk to myself often).
“Girl – that pound cake is calling my name!” No it is not. It is a baked good and has no voice.
“Once I take a bite, I can’t stop eating that peach cobbler.” Yes I can if I want to.
“ I can’t live without chocolate.” Really! Don’t eat a piece today, bet I won’t drop dead.
Another big turning point occurred when I accepted that food is just food. I need it for nourishment and I sometimes choose to use it for enjoyment/celebration. (Note the ‘choose to use’ part of that). But food is not my friend, it is not my comforter, it is not my stress relief etc. – unless I give it that role. Here’s some shouting news: Since I chose to give it that place of importance, I can remove it.
See: Genesis 2 and 3; John 15:15; John 14:16 KJV
3. Change your mind and your butt will follow.
As a man thinketh so is he.
If we think something is hard, it will be. For years, I bid into the line of thinking that losing weight/ healthy living was a hard challenge and on the flipside gaining weight/unhealthy living is a breeze. I’d say things like:
“Girl – if I look at a cookie, I gain 2 pounds.”
“I can gain 10 pounds like that.” (Said as I snap my fingers.)
“Since having that baby at 40, I have 0 metabolism.”
I took on this defeated belief that I had a body designed to gain weight… by just being. In my head gaining was easy and automatic and the size of my butt followed. I also had it set up in my thoughts that losing weight was a hard challenge I would have to persevere to overcome with God’s help. But look at God. In the past year or so, He has truly helped me by flipping that script in my mind. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made. He did not create these temples to gain weight effortlessly and be doomed to the disease and dysfunction that comes from carrying too much body fat. I realized that I actually WORK consistency to gain weight. Here came the self talk.
“Girl – if I look at a cookie, I gain 2 pounds.” No. It doesn’t work like that. I have to EAT the cookie, (probably several cookies along with a bunch of other stuff), to gain 2 pounds.
“I can gain 10 pounds like that.” (Said while snapping my fingers). Please! Gaining 10 pounds takes many poor choices made consistently over a sustained period of time.
“Since having that baby at 40, I have 0 metabolism.” That is not possible. Everyone has a metabolism. Mine may be a bit slower, but I still have one – and there are things I can do to increase it.
Excluding certain medications or medical conditions that cause weight gain – weight comes on because we WORK at bringing it on. We have to consistently choose foods/beverages with a high energy density; and/or regularly eat beyond satisfaction (perhaps to the point of discomfort); and/or sit around instead of move as our bodies were designed to do. The bottom line is that we have to do things that lead us in that direction, over and over and over again. It just doesn’t seem like work because those behaviors have become habit… and we enjoy them. Here’s some more shouting news. We can take on behaviors that take us towards a healthy lifestyle. We can turn those behaviors into habit by doing them again and again and again. And I’m a witness, that through committing those steps to Him, we can come to enjoy them as well.
See: Proverbs 23:7; Psalm 139:14; 1 Corinthians 6:20
If weight is a stronghold in your life, have you truly surrendered this issue over to God?
Does food meet non-nutritional needs in your life? If so, what other ways can those needs be met?
Take an honest look at your lifestyle and habits. (Perhaps journal everything you eat or do for a day or 2 to see patterns). What choices are you making that cause weight gain or hinder your health? Which of those choices are you willing to change?
If you are on the path to weight loss, better health or improved fitness, I sincerely hope the things that have helped me the most are a help to you. Trust Him to guide you on this journey. And please reach out to me if I can be of any support and encouragement in this process. I’ll be happy to work with and pray for you.
©2012 Nettye Johnson
Excellent post with some interesting questions for self.
Very well written and I AM HEARING YOU!! Real talk…
Thanks Daphne! Hope all is well with you and the family. Take care.
Thanks Lanewt. Hope the sharings are helpful.