All of my 20’s were spent locked up and chained down to food, calories, and weight loss. There was no concern for my personal health other than I wanted to be thin. The desire to be thin outweighed the desire to give my body nutrients, vitamins, and the whole foods it needs to be at optimum health. It was all a job to me, as I would cling to the numbers on the scale.
It never worked. I would lose weight, and I would gain the weight. Then I’d lose more weight, and gain more back. And there’s a reason why it never worked. It never worked because my mind was focused on the wrong things. My mind and heart cared more about physical appearance than taking good care of my body. And that’s why I failed, time and time again. Because when your reasons are focused on the wrong things, it’ll never stick.
Before God, I didn’t love myself, because I hadn’t yet seen my value and worth in being God’s creation and His child.
It wasn’t until God started teaching me new things a few months after He came into my heart and gave Him my life. I started to become convicted about the way I would treat my body. How I would go on ‘health kicks’ and then after one splurge, binge and binge until everything I worked hard for was dissipated. Healthy eating would never stick because I wasn’t eating healthy for my health, but to be thinner. How I would eat too few calories to sustain energy for my body, and other days eat too many calories. How, in my quest for weight loss, I completely ignored nutrition and what is best for taking care of the health of my body, and instead would eat everything light, fat-free, low-fat, and everything in my diet would be tv weight loss dinners and processed junk.
My behavior wasn’t healthy, and Jesus had to retrain my mind. I cried out to Him for help, because I knew I couldn’t do it in my own power. I’d tried for 10 years and I just couldn’t. I needed Him to help me overcome this.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10
His power shines through our weaknesses. Things we were unable to change prior to His power resting on us, we can now overcome with Him.
One of the most significant factors for desiring to overcome this is that I know that the Holy Spirit dwells inside of me, and it changed my perspective from just not caring to deeply caring about the health of my body and what I put into it. That was the biggest thing that changed my mind – knowing that I’m a holy temple in which He dwells, and I want my body to be His. All of His.
So, like I said, I prayed and prayed for Him to help me, strengthen me, empower me.
I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
Isn’t he beautiful? He did just that. When we cry out to Him, he has compassion. He hears our cries. He’s gentle with us. He helps us. He rescues us like the King that He is. Without Him, I’d be stuck in the same mess I was always in. There is power in your life when you know and love and live for God.
Through sanctification and my desire to be His in every way, my mind started to change on things. It was slowly and in steps, as my mind was re-trained on healthy ways of viewing food versus the unhealthy attitudes and bondages I was in for all of my 20’s.
First, it started by completely ridding my life of all that nasty fat-free, low-fat, light processed junk. There’s some sort of creepy brainwashing thing where manufacturers try to trick people into thinking that they are being healthy and will lose weight by buying this stuff – when in reality, they are taking out the real nutrients (fat, carbs, etc) and replacing it with chemicals in order for it to taste good. People end up more hungry because the nutrients are taken out, so they end up eating more. It’s a scheme, and a good one because the mass society is falling for it. I did, until God changed my entire mindset on it and revealed the truth to me.
So, with that change, I started to enjoy the real thing. Real mayonnaise. Real cheese. Real sour cream. Chains that had me tied down for years had been broken, and I found freedom in this change of behaviour! I was able to taste real food. I was able to go to a grocery store and just pick out what I wanted, instead of be tied down to only ‘light’ options. I felt healthier, I felt more satisfied, more full. I binged and overate much less. In fact, it was nonexistent. I was beginning to bask in God’s glory of real food, and it was making me fall in love with God even more because I was able to truly appreciate foods that he provides humankind with. It was a beautiful thing. I was awakened, renewed, and restored from a mindset that held me hostage for years.
From that point, I developed a rich love of real food, whole foods, clean foods, natural foods. Food that grows on the ground, on trees, and from animals. Food that doesn’t have extra unnecessary ingredients or words I can’t pronounce or things that come from cans or processed junk. This rich appreciation for real foods came from my love of the One who made these foods, who created these foods to provide His creation with. Because I love Him, I greatly love His creation. His creativity. His providence. His care. His world, and everything He provides in it. He’s beautiful. He’s everything.
When I started changing my eating habits for my health and because God gave me this body and He dwells inside of me, it was never an up-and-down relationship again. With a rich appreciation for real foods and what they do for my body, it opened up my world into vivid colour and joy in food. Now, I care about the right things. And now, a splurge here and there will not push me into bad seasons of eating because I genuinely care about the health of this body, not to be thin but to be healthy for God, and to glorify Him, the one who made me and who loves me.
He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Ultimately, knowing I’m a temple of the beautiful, holy, majestic God of the universe melted away all of my past issues. The joy it brings me to know that God lives in me, that I’m His temple, is beyond human description. The comfort and love He gives me is beyond my need to find comfort and love in anything else. He satisfies and loves me fully and completely and perfectly and infinitely.