“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.'” John 14:6
I’ve had lots of folks ask me my secret to the success of my weight loss. I sometimes feel like it’s an awkward question because I’m still a work in progress. Sure, I’ve lost weight. But, having been obese most of my life, I still often struggle on this journey to lose and/or maintain my weight. So, while I can share with you some portions of my journey, I am by no means an expert! I am simply a child of God and have left my hopes and dreams at the feet of my Creator.
If you want what has been the key to my weight loss, it’s found in John 14:6 when Jesus said He is the way. For me, He has been the ONLY way. I didn’t see any hope for my future. I was eating and not feeling satisfied (Leviticus 26:26). I loved food. While food is a gift from God to be enjoyed, I was also using it to celebrate or to soothe my anger or to help my boredom or to cheer me up. I would crave something salty, then something sweet would sound even better. I could eat even when I was full. And I didn’t feel like I could ever change. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to give it up…
But, God started working on my heart. I started reading the Bible and seeing what He had to say on being healthy. Was it a worldly matter to want to be thin or was it for God’s glory? I began to journal what I found. I started to write it on the blog. Eventually I made the blog public to share hope with others who were also struggling.
I also read other books on the subject. Some diet plans say cut out all fat. Others suggest cutting out all carbs. Some say to only eat what you can pick off a tree or pull out of the ground or kill with your own hands. Other friends of mine have had tremendous success with pre-packaged foods from a weight loss company. One author promoted fasting as the way, while I’ve heard others say that fasting slows your metabolism. I skipped the diet plans, even though there’s probably truth to most of them. Honestly, if you get overwhelmed or bored with a diet, it’s probably not going to be your ultimate lifestyle.
What I needed was a lifestyle change. What I TRULY needed was a heart change. I begged God to change my heart. I asked Him to satisfy my desires. I asked Him to lead me. What road should I take? How should I start? And, do you know what Jesus answered? He said “Turn from your selfish ways and FOLLOW ME” (Luke 9:23).
It may sound too simple; it may sound too hard. But, it is THE way! In a sermon this past Sunday, the pastor told us that Jesus didn’t give directions like, “Go down the road a couple miles, turn left at the barn, then go straight and turn right at the stop sign and bear left at the Y and then a few more miles go right, then take the second right and….” We would get lost too easy! Instead, He said He’d take us personally. Just like if someone said “instead of giving you directions, I’ll jump in my car and you just follow me there.” He is the way! We need to just follow Him.
So, what does that look like? How do we follow Him and lose weight? Well, again, I’m humbly no expert. But, I’ll give you a few things that have worked for me. (And I say again that I’m still a work in progress!) First, the Lord has been speaking to me lately that I’m not to worry so much about all the details. Only One thing is needed, as He spoke to Martha in Luke 10:41-42 “But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.'” If I’m going to be on the right path, I’m going to have to discover a heart of worship and be in connection with God. So, I start my mornings with reading the Bible and praying. I ask earnestly for Him to speak to me through His Word about this area. And I highlight in different colors the different subjects that I feel He’s speaking to me about.
Then I pray. I ask God what is the “one thing” for the day. I don’t want to miss it! He is the “ONE” thing, but sometimes there’s an area of focus that He asks me to think about. Instead of it being a starve-yourself-until-you-feel-faint-and-work-out-until-you-feel-like-you’re-going-to-vomit solution, I may feel convicted to give up a particular fast food restaurant that I’ve spent too much time at. I may feel like a walk outside with the kids is a good item to put on my schedule. It might be looking at my menu and seeing if there are healthier choices like fruits and vegetables that I can add in for myself and my family. Sometimes God asks me to remember that He is able; even if I feel like I’m failing in the natural, He is working the in the supernatural. If He has the power to raise people from the dead, He can certainly take a few pounds off someone who desperately needs it! I have to believe that He can change me! Maye I wasn’t called to be the fat girl! I need to change my perspective on who I am. The one thing might be fasting. It might be adding more water intake. It might be spending an hour in worship and setting some time aside to be at His feet. My one thing for the day may be different from yours. But, each step is a victory. Each step brings us closer to where we should be.
And I’ll be honest that life has its ups and downs. I’ve gained weight on vacation, I’ve lost a few pounds and then gained them back, and I’ve had some wild successes that I didn’t even think were possible. But, I am still simply a work in the Master’s hands. He created my body and knows what it needs. If I listen to His Spirit when I’m thinking about how to fuel my body, if I’m spending quality time reading the Bible and praying, if I’m open to new things He might show me in my life, then I’m hoping that I’m finding the Way, the Life that I’ve always wanted.
This, my friends, is the key to my success. This quote sums up how I feel: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:12-14.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your compassion for us. Thank You that Jesus said He came for the sick and those who needed help. I’ve felt frustrated (and maybe some of my readers can relate) that I’ve been overweight because of my own selfish sin – why would You care to help? But, we thank You that You do care. Your love for us goes deeper than we could imagine because You have called us to be Your children. Thank You that You sent Jesus to die for our sin and set us free from it. If we’ve committed our lives to You, there is NOTHING impossible for You. We can change at Your hand! Lord, you know our dreams, our desires, our bodies, our will and the plans You have for our life. We ask, sweet Jesus, for You to lead us in the way we should go. Help us follow You. Help us make healthy choices each day to achieve that which You have called us to do. May we glorify and honor You each step of the way. Thank You, Lord, for Your help in making us healthy and thin. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!