To most people who want to lose weight, “gain” is a dirty word. The last thing you want to hear or see is that you gained weight. In fact, dieters often live for those “loser moments” each week. All seems right with the world when that little hunk of metal says, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
But what happens when the scale doesn’t budge, or worse, we gain a pound (or two, or ten)?
You know exactly what happens. We fall apart. It doesn’t matter what kind of week we’ve had, it is now an utter disappointment. We’re annoyed. We’re frustrated. We’re a failure and we think, “What’s the point”?
Which, actually, if you think about it, is exactly what we should be asking ourselves. What is the point of bowing to a hunk of metal each week, praying it will deem us worthy to spend another week striving for the opportunity to please it again seven days from now?
Many of us have heard it said that when you lose something, there is always the chance you’ll find it again. Did you just feel a bit nauseous? Are you picturing all the times you’ve played “lost and found” with extra weight? Yeah, me too. And yet, we keep saying, “I’ve got to lose this weight.”
Can you think of any other area of your life where you are so set on “losing” something? If given the choice to lose or gain love, family, friends, knowledge, wisdom, money, a job or self-esteem (and the list could go on) what would be your choice?
Obviously none of us wants to gain extra weight, but perhaps you would agree our “loser mentality” is what has gotten us to where we are in the first place.
We lost control of certain areas of our lives, and we’ve paid for it with expanding waistlines, deteriorating health, and captivity.
Wait, what? Did she say, ‘Captivity’?
That’s exactly right. We become slaves to our habits, the scale, and diet plans. The Bible says that Christ came to set the captives free, but how many believers do you know who feel “free” as they fight the battle of the bulge? Instead, don’t they feel like losers, but not in a good way?
I was in this camp for decades. I lived in the pit, even put up curtains and spent time sweeping the dirt floor. I believed if I could just lose the weight, then I would be free and could live free. If I didn’t lose the weight, I felt I deserved that pit.
I thought I had a weight problem, an addiction, a justifiable struggle, a lack of willpower; when what I actually had was a “lie” problem.
“Being overweight is the worst thing that can happen to me.”
“All fat people are lazy and unattractive.”
“I don’t deserve to eat because I should be punished for allowing myself to become overweight.”
“The only way to get in shape is to work out to extremes.”
“I can’t control anything else in my life, but I can control food.”
“Having a ‘fat barrier’ will insulate me from being hurt by others because no one will want to hang around a fat girl.”
“I’m too ugly or too fat to go to that function… or be photographed.”
“If I’m not miserable, I must not be working hard enough to lose the weight.”
“Life sucks, but food is always there to comfort me.”
“People will reject me, but food will always be there for me.”
“Food numbs the pain and makes me forget my troubles.”
“I must follow my diet perfectly or I won’t deserve to lose weight this week.”
“I ate that cookie so I’ll gain five pounds on Friday.”
“I can’t stick to this diet for more than a few days, so I must need to try something else.”
This doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of lies I had running rampant through my mind. I wanted to be a “loser” so badly, I lost sight of all I had to gain as a child of God.
As I’ve mentioned numerous times on this blog, God has been bringing me to a place of Truth for a while. He’s planted seeds that have grown, and then in June of 2015, I decided I was sick of striving to be a “biggest loser”. I decided I needed to become a “Truth gainer“. It was time to allow God’s Truth to set me free from my pit dweller mentality.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” ~ Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
I started with a concept called “renewing the mind” based on Romans 12:2. I agreed that I had spent far too long being “conformed to this world” and I wanted my weight transformed.
Well, I made a commitment to build a daily habit of renewing my mind to the mind of Christ. You can read about that in my series called Renewing the Mind=Transformation.
I don’t know what I thought would happen. I guess I thought the weight would just fall off and that’s how I would be transformed. Sure, I wanted my thoughts to change, but that scale was really important to me. Six months in and I had “lost” and “found” the same few pounds several times. Ugh.
Did I want to quit? You bet.
I had never worked at weight loss for so long and not gotten the results I wanted. I was frustrated. There were days I absolutely refused to keep my “renewing of the mind” appointments with God because I was angry He wasn’t keeping His end of the deal.
“If You’re not going to show up to this party, why should I?” I thought.
Of course, clinging to my “must be a biggest loser” attitude earned me a longer stay at this phase of the process. God would allow me to be humbled and I’d plant my rear back on the little loveseat in my room where I had my appointments with God.
God gently reminded me through Barb Raveling‘s book, I Deserve a Donut, that I had been living in a pit of lies for far longer than I had been renewing my mind with His Truth. He told me to be patient.
Yes, God could have had the weight melt off like butter on a pancake fresh off the griddle, but He didn’t. He opted for the long route because He knew I needed to learn a few things:
Nothing, and I do mean nothing works at rooting out “biggest loser” mentality like being forced to be patient. I’m still a work in progress, but He’s brought me a long way already.
Having spent years putting my trust in everything but God where my weight/food/body image issues were concerned, I absolutely had to learn to place my trust in God. Did I trust Him with everything or didn’t I? Did I believe He was who He said He was? Did I believe He could do what He said He could do? Did I believe I was who He said I was? I had to face these questions with the truth that my actions did not match up with what I said I believed. Ouch.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”
~Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
I still don’t do this trust thing perfectly, and doubt I will this side of heaven, but I actively do my best to trust Him and then ask Him to help my unbelief when I fail.
This one was the turning point. I had already noticed some changes in my thought life and behaviors not related to weight loss, but after six months of no tangible scale results, I had to make a decision. Either I learned to be content despite living in a body with at least seventy extra pounds, or I was going to be miserable until the good Lord took me home.
I had to decide if I believed God was worthy of my praise, honor, devotion, and trust even if I never released another pound. If I spent the rest of my days obese despite spending every day walking with Him, abiding in Him, and renewing my mind, would I still love God? Would I still call Him faithful? Or would I eventually walk away if I didn’t get what I wanted?
Yikes. He offered no guarantee of physical change, but asked me to lay down my “biggest loser” attitude and follow Him no matter what.
When I let go and decided to be content, big girl jeans and all, transformation took on a whole new look. I started noticing my thoughts about weight/food/body image changing. My actions followed. It would be about three more months before God answered the question I’d been asking over and over: “What food boundaries would be best for me right now?”
Why did He wait? Because I wasn’t ready. I needed to learn how to gain patience, trust, and contentment first. Otherwise, I would likely worship the boundaries like I worshipped the scale and every plan I’d ever done. I would put my trust in them instead of in the Lord, begging them to deem me a “good and faithful servant”.
Yes, the weight is releasing and to date God has removed just shy of forty pounds of lies from my body. That visual only represents a fraction of what I’ve gained in Christ since making that commitment to build a simple daily renewing of the mind habit.
His peace alone would be worth walking with God in this way the rest of my days.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7