I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I am notoriously undisciplined. I don’t have any genetic disposition toward neatness. I do not enjoy exercise. And I’ve never been able to accomplish a goal simply because I just decided to get it done. Pretty much every accomplishment I’ve made in life is because it was attached to something I enjoyed doing. If my heart is in it, it gets done. If it’s not, it doesn’t. I’m not necessarily proud of that, but it’s the reality in which I function.
I am overweight. Not obese, but overweight. I’ve known this for years–since my oldest was born over 4 years ago. And it’s particularly hung over my head since my youngest was born 2 1/2 years ago. I’ve tried a lot of things–multiple different exercise plans, joining a gym, low calorie diet, sugar busters diet, the cabbage soup diet, atkins diet, etc. I tried the treadmill, the stationary bike, weights, walking in the park, walking in my neighborhood, Wii sports, etc. But while I saw an occasional pound lost, it always came back and my weight has been stuck in a 5 pound range for years.
I’ve had friends tell me (repeatedly–ad nauseum) what worked for them. There is always something new to try–some miracle diet that really works. It’s the smart, moral, wise choice. Because it worked for them, it should also work for me. I always feel pressure in those conversations that really stresses me out. Usually instead of feeling motivated, I feel condemned.
So I’ve prayed. Alot. For months I have wrestled with God over my weight and lack of consistent exercise. God, how am I supposed to think about this? God, I keep failing each time I try to follow a program. If I’m ever going to lose weight and get in some kind of shape, I need your supernatural help, because all I ever do is fail.
And an odd thing has happened. I’ve have slowly started to lose weight. Now–I want to stop right here and point out that this post is NOT about how to have success losing weight. Because I personally think my “success” (if that’s what you want to call it) started long before I ever lost a pound. I believe it started the moment I began to wrestle with God on this issue. When I began to look to the gospel instead of a diet program, the Lord began working in my heart in a peaceful, sustaining way that has affected my outlook on much more than just my weight.
After months (maybe years?) of wrestling with God on my weight, He has answered me. He has changed my heart so that the lifestyle changes I’ve made are not chores, but pleasures. I can only attribute this to His grace and mercy–to the gospel itself. I’ll tell you the specifics of my lifestyle changes, but let me preface it by saying that I would HATE if you read this and felt contrained and burdened to do the things that I have done with diet and exercise. I hope instead to simply encourage you to wrestle with God on your knees with your Bible open about how He would have YOU to think about these issues.
When I tried the stringent Atkins diet, I noticed that my blood sugars stabelized (I am a type 1 diabetic). So after giving up on the strict Atkins, I have generally kept to a low carb, high protein diet. Thankfully, I am a certified carnivore (my dad used to raise beef cattle), so this has been easy for me. Then, for my birthday, my husband gave me a Wii Fit. It’s been fun, entertaining exercise for all of us in our family. My two boys and I especially enjoy working on it together–certainly a gift of God’s grace and mercy because I have banged my head against a wall for a year or so trying to figure out exercise that I could do with the boys.
Now, again, I hope no one reading this who struggles with their weight feels motivated simply to start a low carb diet and buy a Wii Fit. THAT is NOT the answer. My hope is to encourage you to wrestle long and hard with God. Endure with Him. Persevere in pursuing Him on this issue. Ask Him to saturate you in the truth of the gospel as you seek His face on this issue. And may the hope of your calling and your inheritance in Christ give you His perspective on this issue. May His grace and mercy meet you on this issue for your good and His glory.
Ephesians 1 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.