This is How I Did It
Diets Don't Work!
No statement has ever been truer for me. This is not to say that you cannot lose weight from a diet, you can; but for me, the weight would always return (with a vengeance) and I wouldn’t feel healthy or at my physical best. I credit my husband for helping me to acknowledge the truth and to utilize the approach I eventually took to change my attitude towards food, forever.
During one of our chats while driving to New York, I mentioned how I can’t imagine why I gain so much weight sporadically. Joyfully, being tall, it typically takes a lot of added pounds before I would start to appear “fat” but unfortunately, it didn't take as many added pounds for me to get winded going up and down stairs, walking any distance or to get heart palpitations so I knew I had serious work to do. My husband, who never once complained about my weight, made a comment in the car that struck a chord. He said, “You’re not ready to lose weight, it you were, you’d approach it like you do everything else you’re serious about and it would happen.” A little intrigued and a lot puzzled, I asked, “I’d approach it how exactly?” and he said “Spiritually!” I cannot explain the spiritual revelation that took place at that exact moment.
So now, I’m facing the reality that I had tried various diets…everything from cabbage soup, no carbs, to detox drinks, but never had I tried God. I never imagined that God had anything to do with my weight so even though I had complained a million times about how “fat” I look on my Youtube video or on tape while delivering His Word, I still never connected my ministry walk with my weight walk. I didn't realize that the Words that were coming out of my mouth held the power to what I was putting into my mouth and now I’m here to tell you that my relationship with God had and continues to have everything to do with my physical well being including my relationship with food.
Now I am not a medical doctor or a personal trainer but I can tell you that by re establishing my life with Christ, I have broken addictions to unhealthy eating habits, gained muscles, strength and endurance as well as became healthier (blood pressure and cholesterol wise) in my body without dieting. I do not count calories, the scale has no authority over me, and I deprive myself from nothing! Regardless what I eat, the results are an increase in my metabolism, a healthier digestive track, and shed pounds. So how is this happening? I’m excited to tell you…
Engage in a Spiritual Awakening
Years ago I started Pastor Gregory Dickow’s Fast from Negative Thinking. It is a forty day journey that confronts our thought process and reinforces positive thinking using the scripture as the cornerstone of effective change. (http://www.changinglives.org/) After about a week of following his daily fast, I started “feeling better”, so I collected the notes for the “next time I’d need them”. Although at that time, I didn't recognize the immaturity of my spirit, I later learned that I needed each and every day of the fast and allowed Satan to derail me from my blessings in completing it. Nonetheless, for a season, it sat in my yahoo mail folder unused. Time had passed since my husband and I had that conversation in the car and I found myself weighing over the 200lbs mark. Now granted, at 5’9, that may not seem detrimental to someone struggling with extreme weight concerns, but I truly believe that my weight was one of the contributing factors that landed me in the hospital, admitted overnight with heart irregularities needing nitroglycerine to correct.
I wasn't healthy. Now sickness is something that most Christians feel comfortable taking to God. Now that I was able to truly see how “unhealthy” I was, my husband’s initial advice became much easier to take, or as he put it…I became instantly ready. Now I’m going to start speaking in language that relates specifically to my walk- this avoids issues of debate and debacle. My weight has always been a manifestation of my feelings. I can remember doing a sermon teaching how our lives are a direct reflection of our belief systems…meaning we have and live exactly what we trust God for, and my weight was no different. If asked what size I wore I could answer, “my circumstance”.
Now I’m certain that there are a lot of skinny miserable people out there and I can assure you the premise is the same- Some of us wear our internalized discontent while others wear their maladjusted behaviors but the “look” is reflective of your spirit one way or another. I couldn't become physically healthy because I was still mentally and spiritually unhealthy so I knew much like my husband implied, that I’d have to change my entire approach and make it a spiritual one.
I prayed in my readiness and placed my weight (all the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of it) at the altar. I was being called into a season of prayer and fasting. Initially, I thought it was the “Daniel fast” I was supposed to do but God revealed quickly, he was not dealing with Daniel, he was dealing with me and I was to only take heed to his example. So I read the book of Daniel and prayed. I figured out that the fast I put away after only a week was the fast I was being called to complete so I combined my knowledge of how God intends for me to eat (sacrificing fast food, soda, coffee, cheese, meat except chicken and fish, chips and candy) with the Pastor Dickow’s Fast from Negative Thinking and today I have a new relationship with God and food.
After the fast the my relationship with food was forever changed. I remember going in my supervisor’s office to get a piece of chocolate and the ladies I work with tried to stop me. One asked, “Aren't you dieting?” And I couldn't answer “No” fast enough. I wasn't looking for something to eat because I was frustrated with my day, had just received a horrible call, or was under pressure to submit work…it was just a little piece of chocolate…powerless and void of emotion. Not only did forty days of fasting create new habits and renewed my thinking, it also took the authority away from desserts, treats, and the scale that once bound me. Food was never intended to be a spiritual stronghold for us.
By the end of the forty day fast, I confronted not only how I felt about food but what I was thinking about myself and my life everyday in general as I ate it. I noticed that I stopped at McDonald’s almost every day on the way to work for “breakfast” with oatmeal in my cupboard at home not because I love McDonald’s breakfast but because I hated my job! Going to work was just easier with a coffee Coolata, sausage biscuit, or French toast sticks in hand. I realized that a single cupcake or piece of candy was not satisfying me because I was eating for the purpose of feeling better, not feeling full. But once I got feed from the Word of God and started getting full from the fruits of the spirit, everything I eat just taste better and ironically, I need less to get physically full. In learning how I think and in changing negative thoughts I held towards myself and my circumstance, I started incorporating time with me, for me. I started exercising, walking, running, drawing even singing again! I found that for me, a healthy frame of mind includes doing things that make me feel good, utilizes my gifts and talents, and evokes a sense of accomplishment and pride in being wonderfully me!
The Priniples of Righteousness are Across the Board!
I can remember when I gave up profanities. I stopped cursing years ago because it was revealed in scripture that the same mouth that offers praise should not also curse (James 3:9-10). It was just plain common sense…logical even. Let’s look at the Word of God and apply its logic, its basic principle to how we treat ourselves:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20New International Version (NIV)
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
My body is a gift! It houses the Holy Spirit and is intended to glorify God! Any form of excess which can cause or causes: high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, STD, fatigue, obesity, etc. is not to the honor of God. It is only natural to want to please God and respect the gift he has given me. Of course, like our walk in Christianity, it is a daily walk but you can cheat on a diet-you can’t cheat on God. What makes this journey so peaceful and beautiful is that you take it growing closer to God. He is with you, never judges or forsakes you so you can never fail. You can stand on His promises to that avail! You don’t have to rely on gimmicks, fades, crazes or your own strength because God is your strength!
• Zech 4:6
• 2Cor 12:9-10
• Phil 4:13
• 1 Pet 5:10
So this is how I did it and will continue to do it for the rest of my life:
1) I put my struggle on the altar and made it a spiritual endeavor
2) I learned what the scripture says about food and my body
3) I went into a season of fasting and prayer- I suggest Pastor Gregory Dickow’s 40 Day Fast from Negative Thinking (posted but don’t forget to go to the official website!)
4) Accepting the assistance of the Holy Spirit, I started taking better care of me, spending quality time with me and appreciating the gift of my body God has given me
5) I emerged 38 lbs lighter, 100 times healthier and even more IN LOVE WITH THE LORD! I don't diet, I don't deprive myself of any food and have taken away from the Enemy his ability to use God's gift of sustenance against me
This is not something that cost anything accept your willingness and desire to make a change. Tell me what you think. Send me a message and open a dialogue. I believe that everything you need to reflect who you are in Christ is already within you. I believe that you have the victory over every struggle and addiction in your life, and I believe with God, it is impossible to fail. Say good bye to dieting and hello to living a life reflective of God’s goodness.