I suppose that for most of my life my focus has been on food and the number on the scale. My love/hate relationship with food consumed my thoughts. It was an obsession…a true addiction. Diet after diet failure; planning a diet, trying a diet, breaking a diet, failing at a diet. Repeat. Again and again and again. My attention was on my failures, which kept me on a circular road always going in the same way, never arriving anywhere.
That lifestyle takes a toll on one’s self esteem. It’s hard to live a happy, successful life when your confidence is so low it hangs around your ankles where you trip on it when you try to take a step in the right direction. And it is impossible to be a light for Christ when you live in defeat.
One day I realized I was just weary. I had counted enough calories and carbs to feed a third world country. I really needed freedom…mentally and physically…and I needed it desperately. I began praying earnestly for deliverance from my life-long battle with food preoccupation.
A few years ago, I wrote a post about changing my focus. As a Christian, I knew my focus needed to be on Christ and not myself, which is true, but we do have to pay attention to what we are doing, as well. While I was on the right track with the plan of changing my focus, I didn’t really know how to get off the circular road. I tried to keep my thoughts centered on scripture and prayer, but my behavior was pretty much the same: At the end of the day, I wanted to lose weight. The way I was going about it was basically another diet based on controlling my thoughts, but that didn’t change my heart. My heart was lusting after both ends of the diet spectrum: Eating and losing weight.
I kept praying for freedom, begging God to deliver me. I wasn’t sure what freedom looked like, but I sure knew I was in a prison located in a deep, dark pit. When I found success in a new eating plan, I might begin to emerge from the pit. But when success is based on the number on a scale, it is fleeting, and it is not freedom. It’s just a number, and numbers cannot change lives. No matter how it is candy coated, if my ultimate goal is weight loss, I will eventually find myself licking the sugar coating off to find only a bigger number on the scale.
If, however, my ultimate goal is a relationship with my savior, I will begin to see light…beautiful, beckoning, wonderful light. True freedom.
I had repented of my gluttony so many times before, but it was a repentance based on regret about yet another binge and a strong desire to lose weight, not really about a heart change. I had no clue how to let go of my gluttony.
Late last September, I ate my last package of cookies. While I was eating those cookies…I may have single-handedly kept Nabisco’s profits in the black…I didn’t realize that would be my last cookie binge. God was doing a work in my life that was getting me off the circular road and on to my true destination: Relationship. But that road didn’t begin last Fall, that’s just when I realized where the off ramp was located.
Getting to that point was quite a journey. Have I arrived? Oh, no! I pray this journey toward deeper relationship with Jesus continues until the day I die, and I hope that I learn to be a light in this dark world, bringing hope and encouragement in the name of the Lord to people who live in the pit. People who have a lifestyle change are successful…but are they truly free? I want both.
This post is almost 700 words, and I haven’t even touched on changing our focus. But I believe the intro is important. To understand where I’m going, you have to know where I’ve been.
Here’s a sneak peek:
It is not about the weight.
Step away from the scale!
Scary thought, isn’t it?
Stay tuned. More to come.