I have read that the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, yet I have never personally known someone who made that resolution, then stuck with it to the finish. I am so guilty of this! Let me say right now that this isn’t just another post for the New Year about why you should get healthy, that it should be a lifestyle, not a diet, and that you will feel so much better if you take care of yourself. While that is all very true, that’s not why I chose to write this.
In my experience, nobody, myself included, makes a positive change in life without getting to the heart issue, then letting God work on it. Right now I am overweight. I am not where I want to be, and not in a vain way. I am medically in need of some healthier habits, and was technically on the obese side of the BMI chart, although I’m not a fan of those things (there is so much they don’t take into account!) before I recently lost a little weight. My personal goal is to drop two more pant sizes, but why have I had such a hard time getting there? Why did I just suddenly give up the fight and stop trying, even after I saw some success?
Because that is how far my willpower will take me. It isn’t enough.
Why? Because I got this way by allowing food to comfort me during the discomforts of pregnancy, and then again in the pit of postpartum depression, and in the throes of motherhood, and when my marriage was barely held together, and when God felt so far away. I also used food to celebrate everything from birthdays to my husband’s success at work. Everything was an excuse to pig out, but I refused to admit it. I had every excuse in the book for eating this way, but my biggest one was the fact that I am a mother of three small children, and I don’t have time to worry about this. Besides, I am not too overweight, I’m just not where I want to be, and that’s okay for this season of my life.
When Willpower Isn’t Enough
In the last month, God grabbed a hold of my heart and gently whispered, “no”.
He brought me a book through a good friend. Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. He worked heavy construction on my heart through her words, and I began to see the real issue behind my eating habits. I have never been so grateful for a move of God in my life, and that is no exaggeration. My heart is changed, and it’s not about the size of the dress I’ll wear to the wedding I’m going to next month. Getting into something smaller will be a wonderful benefit, but this is about something more, something bigger, something that matters, and best of all- something that has nothing to do with my willpower.
God has empowered me with his Spirit to overcome gluttony, if I’ll only admit that’s what this is. My willpower is nothing compared to the power in me through my acceptance of Christ. All I have to do is depend on it. I went from sending my husband out nightly to buy me chocolate, to baking my kids my favorite kind of muffin, letting the tray sit in the kitchen all day long, and not even tasting one. Not even a pinch or a lick. And you know what else? I truly and honestly, didn’t even care. God changed my heart regarding food, and my focus was somewhere else, not on those muffins. Of course, not every day is that simple. This morning I wanted a doughnut more than I’d be okay admitting to you. I was literally salivating and on the verge of tears because I knew, if I ate one, I would have a busted eating plan, and worse, a broken commitment to my Lord that I made on a journey I am walking with Him. You see? Even in temptation or failure, it isn’t about being skinny. It’s a spiritual journey toward holiness, and away from a problem I have with food.
I encourage you, sister, to be honest with yourself before God. Do you have a problem with eating? Is it replacing Jesus in your days? In any way at all? If so, you’re not alone, and you’re not a freak. You are human- in need of a Savior and made in His image, empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome this. Bring your health issues to Him this New Year, and let Him change your heart, so that you can have true success, and stop the cycle of defeat the enemy has you trapped in.
I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
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