I had no intention of going on a diet, but I went to the meeting as a guest of a friend who said that I simply had “to hear her”.
Within half an hour, I had signed up. It was the stereotypical month of January when everyone was committing to eating better in the New Year and the meeting room was swollen with people. Except that I would come to see that for Dolly’s class, this was typical every month.
It took me a year and two weeks to reach my goal. I was single, footloose, and fancy-free, so my food choices and exercise schedule were up to me. It was far from easy, but it was doable. Along with the food plan, I would come home from work every day and run three miles. I was in the groove, buying food, preparing it to my liking, and committed to my exercise routine, and every Saturday morning at 7:00 AM, I drove 40 minutes away to hear Dolly. This woman who was 65 pounds overweight began to shed both the physical weight and the emotional weight of an addictive over-eating that soothed me when it should have simply fueled me.
When I think of Dolly, I could easily weep. I wonder if she even knows how she changed my life. I kept the weight off for 9 years.
But here I go again. My husband and I had 3 boys in the span of 4 years. I was able to bounce back fairly well after the first, and even the second. But this third time combined both a body that had been through three recent pregnancies including recovery from three C-Sections, the turmoil of a career change for my husband, moving out of our house, and a new role for me as a writer. Even though the many changes incorporated a lot of wonderful dreams coming true, there was a lot of upheaval, stress, and almost no predictability to our schedule. And so I ate like I used to all those years ago.
It was the one thing I could control, and so I found comfort in letting it get out of control. My muffin-top is a battle wound. And everyone can see it, because you simply can’t disguise 45 extra pounds with a peasant blouse.
But for me, it’s also about surrender and sacrifice. In a year when I felt I was sacrificing so very much, though for a good cause, I just didn’t want to sacrifice that too. Not the pleasure of food. Not the comfort of cooking and baking. Not the momentary satisfaction of taste.
Except that it’s sin for a season. And when we go there, we can never have lasting joy because sin is in direct opposition to my new nature as a believer. Its momentary satisfaction always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, no matter how sweet it is in the beginning.
For me, the weight loss battle is one of the most significant Spiritual battles I can face. It requires truly setting my mind on things above, not on earthly things. It demands relinquishing the pride of doing what I want, for humbling myself to honor what God wants. It means calling on the Holy Spirit for self-control when the human urge is consuming. And it means dealing with the feelings of loss in an honest way with God, allowing Him to comfort me, instead of food.
It’s never really been about how I look, but so much more about being healthy and taking care of the body God has given me. But the central issue for me is about control. It’s about wise choices, and not allowing anything except my loving God to be my master.
And writing this post is part of my path to sanity again. It will look different this time, I know. I have four other people I cook for now and a limited schedule that hinders me from those days of running, not to mention a thirty-something metabolism. And even though Dolly is still breathing life into people who are struggling to lose weight, I simply can’t make that drive every weekend anymore. But my goal is within reach because one day at a time, I can honor God by my choices. And when the zipper zips without tugging, I can run faster with my kids, and the evidence of my issues with self-control slowly fades away, then it will be so much more than a new body. It will be the outward display of an inward heart surrendered and the image of a woman who can do all things through Christ who is my strength.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31
You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred-and you, remember, are the temple. I Corinthians 3:16-17 The Message
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. Proverbs 25:16
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
YOUR TURN! Do you also struggle with keeping your eating under control? How is this more of a Spiritual issue than a physical one for you? Share your story with me! I love to hear from you!!
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. Psalm 115:1
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