I just finished reading an article over at Reforming the Feminine titled “Body Shame…Legitimate or Illegitimate” written by Adriel (http://voxpopnetwork.com/reformingthefeminine/2008/06/13/body-shame-legitimate-or-illegitimate/).
This article was timely because it has actually been on my heart a lot the last few weeks. I have struggled with my weight for the last five years. Actually since high school but many years of consuming diet pill helped keep my weight manageable. When I stopped taking the diet pills, I gained 100 pounds in less than one year. Now there were some compounding issues that I believe caused an exponential weight gain but I still think the heart of the matter stemmed from gluttony.
In the last five years, I have had periods of gluttony, fasting, crash dieting, and a lot of praying! I recall making a comment last year that I knew I could lose weight by sheer will power alone but that would not cause a heart-change. I now know differently and that is what is inspiring this writing. Having come across the right book and the right Naturopath I have learned some significant things about my body and I want to shout it out to everyone who is struggling with weight loss. I will address this in my next article.
About a year ago I felt that I had acknowledged, recognized, and addressed my gluttonous behavior. I searched my heart and my desires and could see how food was a treasured idol in my life. As I would eat a meal, I would be fantasizing about what my next meal would be. If I missed a meal, I was grouchy and not so nice to be around. Food consumed me. I finally got the phrase “eat to live, not live to eat”. Changing my eating habits came quite easily once I re-orientated my heart.
I just knew that within one year I would be 100 pounds lighter. Well it’s one year later and guess what? I weight about 10 pounds more than I did last year. What? Has my heart changed in the last year? Yes it has, but even more I see food as a source of energy and not a source of comfort. Is it an idol? That’s a good question. I spend a lot of time thinking about food but not in the same way. I think of ways to eat healthier and what my body needs as opposed to thinking what would make me feel less pain and give me more comfort. I believe there can still be an idol in there somewhere if my thoughts of food are consuming me (even healthy foods). I don’t think it is at this point but I’m always hyper aware of that tension.
My desire with this writing is to share my story of gluttony and the consequences of sinful eating, but I must first give credit where it is due. My ability to turn from a gluttonous heart only comes from Jesus Christ. By turning my heart towards Jesus and worshipping Him instead of myself, I am able to overcome sinful eating habits without “willing” myself or “behaving” better. It really came naturally. Better food choices and portion control are not so calculated, it’s just what I know my body needs to feel its best.
With all that said and the expectation that I would be much lighter now, I have been extremely frustrated and confused to why my body has not responded to a change in heart. I am now more aware of what my body looks like than when I was eating whatever I wanted and however much I wanted. I know my heart is in the right place, yet my body tells a different story. The enemy feeds me lies that are so believable! The lies I hear and sometimes tend to believe are that when people see me, they see someone who has no self-control, who is lazy, and who must overeat all the time. I want to walk around telling people that it isn’t true. I have always believed that overeating was probably one of the few sins that are an obvious sin to others.
Adriel mentions in her article above that when you have mistreated and sinned against your body with sinful eating, your body works AGAINST you to retain the extra weight. This should be an AH-HA moment for anyone who has struggled with gluttony and now has a heart centered on worshipping Jesus. I will be saving my AH-HA moment for Part II – To Be Continued…