Lysa TerKeurst, the president of Proverbs 31 ministries, wrote a book entitled Made to Crave in 2010. I’ve read it three separate times, but decided I needed to read it again and prayerfully, slowly answer the questions at the end of each chapter. It is a jewel of a book, filled with humor, personal anecdotes, tips, challenging thoughts and inspirational Scripture. It’s an easy read in terms of difficulty, but can be a bit convicting at times. You see I never thought I wanted anything more than God, and certainly not food. I’m a good American girl that doesn’t believe in idolatry. I put my God and family first. It wasn’t until I really begin to take a look at myself and dive into thoughts, patterns and behaviors while looking back at my past, and praying about my present that I saw the truth. Until I was ready to share openly in Celebrate Recovery about my food addiction and emotional and compulsive eating my weight loss efforts had been in vain. You see Weight Watchers only helped temporarily. Walking daily and portion control helped with a bit, but then when I stopped that program the weight packed on again with some extra pounds in the mix. I had to find the root of the issue. Pride, unforgiveness, and idolatry were all at the heart of the matter. I was allowing food to comfort me in a way that it was never intended to and I was selfishly thinking that I could control my body and make wise decisions apart from boundaries, healthy rules and God’s guidance.
Apart from recommending the book I wanted to share a bit of info that I think will be helpful to anyone on a weight loss journey. I’m also sharing it so I can refer back to this post myself. I’ve written before about my struggle with the scale and how the numbers can affect me. Those posts are entitled “One Size Fits All” and Crunching Numbers. Chapters 7 and 8 have resonated with me in a profound way and there is a quote from chapter 7 that I want to share with you. “I’m a Jesus girl who can step on the scale and see the numbers as an indication of how much my body weighs and not as an indication of my worth. WOWZERS! Doesn’t that sound awesomely liberating? Some days I’m there. Some days I’m NOT, but I’m praying to be there more consistently. See people look at me and see a woman who has lost 100 pounds. I’m grateful for every ounce. However, my lens is still blurry. Sometimes I see through the viewpoint of a morbidly obese woman, struggling with perception and a victim mentality. Sometimes I see the past rising up and I view myself in an unhealthy way. I still see the OLD me, and it can be debilitating. I still see the numbers that I want to see. I have a dream, a goal and sometimes I allow it instead of motivating me, to consume me. I’m praying for balance and the eyes of Christ to see myself as HE does. As this internal dialogue ensues I need to apply 2 Cor. 10:5 that states “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Lysa says “We can literally say to a thought that presents itself to us, ‘Are you true? Are you beneficial? Are you necessary?’ and if the answer is no, then we don’t open the door of our heart. We make the choice to walk away from the negative thought that could harvest if we let it in.”
So what can you and I do when the numbers on the scale aren’t budging? Maybe worse, they are moving in the wrong direction. What about when the tag in the back of our jeans says a number that is different from the one you’ve imagined? Perhaps someone you love said something hurtful to you. How do you manage all that in the midst of trying your hardest and making consistent, healthy choices? Chapter 8 deals with this very thing “Making Peace with the Realities of My Body” has a clue that might be helpful. Make the shift from accomplishment to motive . Are the numbers important or is delighting the Lord the ultimate goal? I can define my days, my weeks by obedience and not the numbers. What a better, more accurate gauge. Here is a list of six questions that Lysa gives to stop and ask yourself when you are in a place of plateau or struggle.
- Did I overeat this week on any day?
- Did I move more and exercise regularly?
- Do I feel lighter than I did at this time last week?
- Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration?
- Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God?
- BEFORE I hopped on the scale, did I think I had a successful, God-pleasing week?
If I can remember to use this checklist I know I will be a much more fulfilled, peaceful God’s girl. Yes I’m going to continue to work towards goal weight and I have some BIG dreams, but the most important motive is obedience. I want to live a life, resting in reality of who I am in Christ, not the parts of me that I want to change. May I view my body as a good gift from God and use it to bring him honor. As I share my heart and vulnerable struggles with you, may He receive the glory and may our good come to pass. I’m finding my beautiful a little more everyday and I’m grateful….so grateful.