For nearly all my forty-four years, weight has been a constant struggle for me.
Picking up my views from magazines and TV programs, I grew up believing “beauty” meant flowing hair, sparkling-white teeth, and a pencil-thin body with voluptuous curves.
Unfortunately I was a shy, chubby, red head, and didn’t look anything like those magazine and TV girls. I looked more like Strawberry Shortcake than Cindy Crawford. I loathed what I saw in the mirror.
A lifelong journey of diets and restriction began.
You name it, I tried it: Cabbage Soup, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, eating disorders, and yes, even cocaine.
No eating strategy or diet plan could mend the broken pieces of my misguided heart.
Last year, I decided “no more.” I would take Jesus up on his offer of “full, abundant life” (John10:10). I would pursue a life filled with his truth, freedom, and grace with my whole heart and mind. I would not allow faulty self-talk to be a bully to me anymore. In fact, I declared my life a “fat-talk free zone”—no more uttering, “Ugh. My thighs are fat” or “These jeans make me look so fat.” If I wouldn’t say it to a girlfriend, it was not allowed to be spoken over me.
My commitment was to become less self-focused and to stop allowing my significance to be defined by a number on a scale or the size of my jeans. Instead, I resolved to be more like Jesus.
Recognizing I would need a strategy—but this time, a Christ-centered one—I created a “Fruit Diet,” based on Galatians 5:22-24.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Rather than focusing primarily on food choices, being hyper-sensitive about calories, or spending my days thinking about what I should/could eat —I resolved to meditate on “fruit,” and ask God to help me become more…
• Gentle, and yes,
Rather than waking up and focusing on my menu for the day, I asked God how I could best love someone else. How I might demonstrate kindness to one of my kids. I focused on sharing joy with a friend, family member or neighbor. And I continuously asked him to fill me with more of His gentle Spirit.
I quickly felt empowered to make significant, life-transforming changes.
When I was tempted to run to food for comfort, I stopped and asked God “What is really going on? What do I really need?” I soon discovered the answer is usually not chips and salsa!
God used my new “Fruit Diet” to unleash within me new freedom, fresh hope, and a Truth-filled mind. Yippee!
Now please hear my heart: I’m not saying weight loss plans or going on a diet is bad. I am not judging whatever anyone else senses God is calling them to do. Just for me personally, given my poor track record, I discovered a weight loss plan was not getting to the core of the problem.
Sweet friend, if we are ever going to experience Christ’s freedom (Galatians 5:1), it’s time to ask God to eradicate the “root” issues holding us back in life — false beliefs, insecurity, unresolved hurts, pride, etc — and allow God to plant new seeds of Truth that will grow and bear healthy, Christ-centered fruit.
Let’s say “no more” to negative self-talk, shaming, guilt, or diet-crazed self-absorption, and instead say “yes” to freedom-filled, fruit-bearing lives! Respond:
How has the culture’s definition of beauty impacted you?
Are there “roots” in your life in need of eradicating to make way for planting new seeds of truth?