We’ve all tried to lose weight at least once in our lives. We’ve all experienced the ups and downs of weight loss as well. I know I have. I’ve gained and lost a major amount of weight twice in my life. I am in the process of losing it again now. This time it will stay off. Do you know why? I am coming at this endeavor for the right reasons – health and for my satisfaction, not for anyone or anything else. Did you know that if you choose to lose weight for any other reason than for yourself and your health you are setting yourself up to fail? Why? Weight loss just like any other decision in life, can be based on wanting the acceptance, approval or love of others. If we aren’t careful, we are getting healthy for other people and not ourselves. Jesus showed me that for many years I was doing the same. No wonder the pounds could not come off and stay off! When I’d lose them, I’d feel great because I thought others loved and accepted me more. When I’d gain them back (usually because I let someone or something distract me and determine my worth), I’d feel ashamed and think others didn’t like or love me as much so the weight stayed on. I didn’t show it, but that, in a nutshell, is what was going on in my head.
Allow me to expound. Both times I have lost or gained significant weight I was: 1) losing weight to feel loved and accepted, 2) wanting to be a “better, whole” me (as if my physical weight has anything to do with my soul), 3) being thin meant being loved more, 4) when I wasn’t “thin” anymore, I felt bad about myself again, thus beginning the cycle all over again. What a vicious, self-imposed cycle it was! I was running marathons two years ago to feel accepted, loved and not like a failure in this life! That is the wrong reason to be running marathons! Up until two weeks ago, I was taking dietary supplements to “lose weight” that ended up harming me! People, this is not good! No one actually ever treated me differently because of my weight. No one actually ever stopped loving me. Jesus certainly never stopped loving me because of my weight nor does that even register with him. These were all lies! I had been believing lies most of my life! And just as I had eaten and spent to feel loved and accepted, I was losing weight for the same reasons. I did not realize this until last week after a run. I had finished my shower and was getting ready to relax and God showed me clearly why my weight has been up and down most of my life. He once again uncovered a place in my heart that had been hidden to me. He swept a dirty corner and he shined his light on that place so it could come alive once again! It was my “ah ha” moment for weight loss!
The Lord has set me free from the need for acceptance and love from anyone but Him! He has set me free from shame! He has set me free from eating and shopping to fill heart holes! What does this mean for weight loss? It means I can now do this for the right reasons! I can lose weight for myself and for my health – to stay clear of a family history of diabetes, heart disease and cancer - all of which have no authority in my life! I can be healthy so I can do what God has called me to do, where He has called me to do it, and how he has called me to do it! My health is for me, not for anyone or anything else! My “thinness” or whatever you want to call it has nothing to do with the fact that I am loved by God and have always been loved by Him! If someone comes into my life that needs to use certain weight characteristics as “measurements” for my value or worth, they can go on down the road! They are not for me nor are they good for me! I thank God for this revelation for without it, I’d just started down the same road again with the same results a third time. I don’t have time for that! You don’t have time for that either!
God is not looking at our physical appearance. He looks at our heart and he loves us for who we are, not how much we weigh! He loves and accepts you regardless of your weight! He can set you free from the guilt and shame associated with failed weight loss attempts. He has done that for me! He can show you why you have been unable to take weight off and keep it off. He did that for me last week! I have no special line to Heaven I assure you. He will do the same for you! If you are tired of a weight loss yoyo, don’t look to a diet, an instructor, or to the gym. Look to the One who made you and knows you inside and out. He will show you your heart and get to the root of the issues that caused your weight loss yoyo in the first place. He will love you through the difficult heart work and he will show you what to do to change your health for the better. He will make you whole, not just better. Not only has another “weight” lifted off of my shoulders, my actual weight has started to fall because He has set me free to be who He called me to be. I don’t need food, shopping or people’s opinions to fill my heart holes, He has filled them! He can fill yours too so that weight loss will not only work, you can sustain the healthy weight you achieve. I can’t wait to be my healthy weight again and to keep it off because I am now truly free!
Here’s to eating well, running and fitness for the right reasons – because I know I am already loved and accepted, and I am worth it because of Him! Love, Elizabeth