This is the final part of a 3-part series on what keeps Christian women from losing weight.
Are you totally frustrated with the whole process of trying to lose weight? Ever just want to give up and say, ‘who cares’? Part of the frustration we experience is because we keep going about it the wrong way. We keep doing the same thing, yet keep expecting different results.
Until we learn to surrender our way of trying to lose weight, we’ll keep sinking deeper and deeper into bondage, which, if you ever tried to lose weight, you know is true.
The Bible puts it this way:
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12
We keep looking for strategies, yet God is calling us to surrender. He is calling us to surrender our hurts, our habits, and most importantly, our hearts, which is what I will talk about in this post.
We keep looking for the right things to do and to eat, and yet God’s Word tells us that we are to take the opposite approach. While we’re busy focusing on what foods we should put in our bodies, the Bible teaches us that we are to focus on what comes out of us, not in the literal sense if you know what I mean.
There’s a story in the Bible that beautifully depicts this principle. It’s long, but I promise you, the read is worth it to understand the principle.
1 One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.
2 They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating.
3 (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions.
4 Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.)
5 So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”
6 Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, These people honor me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me.
7 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.
8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”
9 Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition.
10 For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’
11 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’
12 In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents.
13 And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”
14 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand.
15 It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”
The Pharisees were so caught in the rules and traditions that they consistently missed the point and kept putting their rules before God. Jesus chastised them and told them that what was most important was their heart.
Like the Pharisees, there are probably some beliefs and traditions you’re holding on to that were passed on to you that are keeping you in bondage. They were more focused on doing the ‘right things’ (washing their hands), but their motives and intentions were all wrong. Jesus reminded them that God was more concerned with the condition of their heart and not so much about what they did and did not do.
Here’s a quick summary:
Right things with wrong motives = no victory
Now see how you can apply this principle to your weight loss journey.
Are you more concerned with …
- Counting calories and carbs or casting your cares? (1 Peter 5:7)
- Tracking your steps on your Fitbit or truly understanding that the steps of a good man are ordered by God? (Psalm 37:23)
- Planning your meals or giving all your plans to the Lord? (Proverbs 16:3)
Counting calories, tracking steps, and planning meals are vital in your weight releasing journey, but they all come to nothing if God does not have your heart. If you’re doing all of the above for your own benefit and glory and your heart is not turned toward God, you will continue to struggle.
Start with Heart
So just what does it mean to turn our heart toward God, or to ‘start with heart’?
Here are a few practical ways to ‘start with heart’:
- Bathe your entire weight loss journey in prayer—every day and every hour if necessary
- Seek God for wisdom and strategies for how you are to proceed
- Repent whenever you break your boundaries
- Recognize that this journey is more than losing weight, it’s about glorifying God in your body
- Before you eat, ask God if what you are about to eat will nourish you
Want to finally lose weight, God’s way? Give God your hurts, your habits, and your heart.
Instead of focusing on the symptom, focus on the root cause.
Understand what your unmet core needs are and give them to God to heal instead of using food to pacify them.
Instead of focusing on what you do, focus on why.
Why are you eating it? Why did you eat late at night? Why do you run to food instead of having that difficult conversation?
Allow God the change your habits as you allow His Word to change the way you think.
Instead of focusing on your actions, focus on your motive
Instead of focusing on doing all the right things, focus on ensuring that God has your heart.
Always remember that your weight loss journey starts and ends with God. Will you fully submit to Him?