Whenever I set New Year’s goals, a part of me knows I won’t accomplish them. But I pull out that new planner anyway, think through all my plans and ideas, and analyze my areas of weakness. Then I summon my inner grit to actually put feet to plans for longer than, oh, I don’t know, a week. And while I personally am not that concerned with weight loss, I do love her focus. What if, in whatever goal we set, we focused on God first? If we sought His help with every step, followed His lead, and moved closer to our goals by moving closer to Him? Imagine the men and women we’d become!
Lose Weight God’s Way
Guest Post by Cori Dickess
It’s the New Year and what better time than to make some New Years resolutions. You know the usual resolutions like wanting to lose a few pounds, start exercising, cut sugar out of your diet or maybe even read the Bible in a year. You get the idea. I am going to be trying to lose some weight but to lose it God’s way, not my way.
So many times I have tried to lose a few pounds by exercising or cutting back on the carbs. But every time I return to my routine of eating that cookie after dinner or having something sweet after breakfast. That is if I don’t eat a chocolate covered cake donut FOR breakfast. Hahaha. And yes you have probably guessed that I have a sugar addiction.
Me loves some chocolate.
But I don’t want to succumb to my desire for chocolate after every meal and between meals. I want to be strong and fight that urge to eat that cookie. Yet, I know that I can’t do it in my own strength. I need help. Lots of help!
I need God’s help!
Why is it that when we exhaust all of the other ways to try and lose weight we finally decide to ask God for help? Why can’t I ask God for help at the beginning of my weight loss journey? Well, this time I am going to allow God to change the way I think about food.
The Bible says we were made to crave (Psalms 84:2). To pine after and to be homesick for something. But we weren’t made to crave after the things of this world (1John2:15-16). We were made to crave after God. Satan will try everything in his power to replace our craving for God with the things of this world. He uses food to keep us from experiencing God’s love.
Could it be that we love and rely on food more than we love and rely on God?
Yes, I believe that can be the problem. Food is what I turn too when I am feeling sad, lonely, or upset. It temporarily gives me the comfort that I am longing for. I will even use the excuse when we are celebrating something to have a piece of cake. I mean who says no too some birthday cake? I can’t pass that up!
The body God has given us is good. I believe that our body will never be perfect this side of heaven. But it is still a gift from God. Being faithful in eating the right kinds of foods and taking care of your body honors Him. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” While, in context, this verse is specifically referring to sexual sin, I believe the principle of self-care applies.
Would you not take care of a gift that was given to you by a loved one?
I had to see my struggle with food as more than wanting to wear a smaller size or getting compliments from other people. I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. Food was my reward. Food was my comfort.
I must be willing to change the way I think. We are not capable of doing this in our own strength. Scripture says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4: 13). God’s strength is the only way we are going to be able to conquer this thing. Those excuses or rationalizations of “It’s just one piece” or “I will do better tomorrow” need to be replaced with “I was made for more.”
We consume what we think about. The more I thought about that cookie or piece of cake, the more it consumed me to where I had to have it. So I prayed that God would show me a plan to help me with this addiction. He reminded me of my doctors guidelines to eating. She told me to visualize a plate. I was to fill half the plate with veggies, one quarter with protein and the remainder with carbs. God also gave me some boundaries to go by:
- Eat only when physically hungry.
- Stop eating before you are full.
- Eat slower (it takes your brain 20 min to tell your body it is full).
- Do not deprive yourself of sweets or you will binge eat.
- Limit the amount of sweets you eat.
Each time I craved something I knew wasn’t part of my plan, I used that craving as a prompt to pray. I was persistent in asking for God’s help. He needed to be on this journey with me. I needed to ask for his wisdom and revelation when making food choices.
Now that I had a plan I also needed to find a friend to hold me accountable for when I start to back slide. Someone who gently and lovingly spoke the truth and prayed for me.
Friend, I hope and pray this article helps you in your weight loss journey. If you’re anything like me you’ll need all the help you can get. These were just my guidelines. The Lord may lead you differently. So I encourage you to pray and ask yourself, Am I willing to sacrifice the feeling of comfort that food gives me for a closer walk with the Lord?
Yours in Christ,
Let’s talk about this! Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? Whether you do or don’t, how might analyzing your cravings, those things you allow to act as a substitute for time with Christ, and your increased reliance on Him help you conquer your areas of temptation?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another.
Get to know Cori Dickess
Thank you for sharing!
I have struggled with my weight since birthing children. I’ve tried dieting, several different versions, but I haven’t been able to stick with one for any appreciable time. I’ve walked miles and miles to get the exercise I need.
However, in 2020, around July, I was introduced to what works for me. Intermittent fasting. I read a book detailing the method. I designed the “eating window” that works for me (and whatever works for you is fine, according to the book). I worked to narrow my eating window down to 2 hours each day…between 4pm and 6pm. I fast the other 22 hours, drinking lots of water, with a cup of black coffee in the morning.
During that eating window, I eat whatever I want…meaning I don’t count calories or eat certain foods or avoid certain foods. What I usually do is have a small, healthy, protein-rich snack at 4:00, like a boiled egg, a bit of ham or chicken, maybe a protein drink, or crackers and peanut butter. I use a small plate. I eat until I’m satisfied, which doesn’t take much anymore. Then, we eat dinner between 5 & 6, and again, smaller than usual, and I eat only until I feel satisfied. I might even allow myself a cookie, or a small piece of brownie. Once 6:00 comes, I stop eating.
I have lost about 35#, and have 10# to go to reach my goal of 125#. When I reach that weight, I’ll do what the book says to maintain.
This method might not appeal to everyone, and as always, talk to your doctor. I did, and she gave me the go-ahead, but told me to make sure to drink enough water, take my supplements, get exercise, etc. I like it because it’s easier to just not eat than to count every calorie and worry about what foods to avoid.
I’m so glad you found this post helpful and also that you have found tools that work for you! God’s blessings as you continue to pursue your health goals!
I really needed this nudge. Food has always been a comfort for me. Low carb, no carb, the struggles are real. For the past 6 years since I have had other relational changes going on it has been very difficult. 3 years ago I made the best decision ever. I found an amazing church, discovering the gift of prayer and His words have truly brought me Joy. No man or carb can compare. I still eat that cookie, but not because I am crying and need comfort. Thank you for this.
Thanks for taking the time to stop in. I’m so glad you found Cori’s post helpful. God’s blessings as you seek to find strength in Him in this journey!