Wouldn’t it be great if God wrote a weight loss book? I’d totally be willing to spend a few weeks on a mountain with Him while He inscribed it into stone tablets. Although I’m sure there are others more worthy than myself for such an honorable task, I wonder, would it be high carb, low carb, high fat, low fat…
…actually, I think man came up with what is considered high or low in those categories, not God.
Speaking of mankind, have you walked down the “diet” or “weight loss” aisle in a bookstore? If you want to be overwhelmed and more confused, just take a gander through those rows of books. So much conflicting information in one place, yet the colorful covers are attention grabbing. The bylines and credentials are convincing. And the claims, well, they are enough to make you believe you’ve finally found the answer to your waistline woes.
We take on a different set of boundaries (or add more rules to our existing set) and maybe we even make it a few weeks. The dailiness of it all sets in and we announce, “this is just another diet” or “this is too hard”.
We run into a friend and she looks great. She’s obviously lost weight and while our first thought might be one of jealousy (come on, we’re being honest here), our second thought is probably, “Maybe I should do what she’s doing”.
Our latest weightloss “bible” gets pushed aside for a new one (or we keep adding rules) and we’re off and running again. That is, until we start looking for greener pastures or catch an interview with Dr. Oz on some breakthrough “power food” grown in a remote region of the Amazon Rainforest. This cycle could go on for the rest of our lives. Flitting from one plan to the next and never actually breaking free of anything.
Have you ever considered why there might be a myriad of weight loss plans out there? Sure, part of it is about money. Weight loss books and tools are highly marketable. It is also true that some of it is just “snake oil”.
But maybe, it has something to do with weight loss not being a “one size fits all” sort of deal. There is a thought that no one knows us better than ourselves, but I beg to differ. God knows us better. He knows exactly what those of us with food/weight/body issues need. He also knows that what works for me might be a stumbling block to you (and vice versa).
This is why it is so important to go to God when choosing our boundaries. I wrote awhile back about taking a list of needs to the Lord and how He led me to the right boundary for me in this time in my life. Even though I know God has me at Weight Watchers right now, that doesn’t mean I’m never tempted to consider another set of boundaries.
When I see someone having quick success on the scale or hear someone bash tracking points, it’s tempting to think, “Maybe my boundaries aren’t ideal”. Worse is if I think that person thinks my boundaries are somehow “less godly” because they are based on a manmade plan.
Let’s get something straight. Food boundaries themselves are not gospel. They do not make us holy. They do not make us righteous. They do not transform us. They are a tool. As a gal in the Taste For Truth Support Group put it, “they are a means, not an end”.
God led me to Weight Watchers because He knows the ins and outs of every fiber of my being. He knows my background and the influences in my life. He also knows the season of life I’m in. Who better to decide?
I can have confidence in knowing I’m walking in the way He’s leading me, and at the same time recognize that what is freeing to me (yes, I think tracking points is freeing), might feel like a prison to someone else. Likewise, there are things God has led me away from because they negatively affect me (trigger my old disordered eating patterns), but these might be some of the very things He knows will speak to someone else.
Of course, there are things which are unhealthy. God is never going to lead us to a plan which will harm your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual well being. So, if that’s happening, it’s not God’s plan for us.
Besides, as Barb Raveling often says, we aren’t transformed by the perfect keeping of our boundaries, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. It’s really easy to make it all about our boundaries, but that’s just exchanging one idol (food) for another (boundaries).
Keeping my eyes on Him is the only way to see clearly and experience freedom while living with food boundaries.