Everyone has a learning style. Mine? The hard way. Maybe that’s why it took me just a hair shy of 40 years to admit to myself that this weight loss thing I chased relentlessly wasn’t working.
Well, I take that back – it worked sometimes, but it was that gaining-it-all-back part that ruined everything.
For a long time, I avoided asking myself why. Instead, my failures derailed me, discouraged me, and diverted me from asking good questions. Helpful questions.
Questions like this one: Why exactly was it that even though I knew what to do, I could not (for the life of me) make myself do it long enough to reach my goal? Maybe I was afraid of the answer. What would I see when I looked beneath the surface of my own behavior?
More than Meets the Eye
You know the old iceberg metaphor, that 90% of the massive chunk of ice lurks below the surface, unseen? If the metaphor fits, we might as well use it. When it comes to weight, we tend to think we can see the whole problem. It looks like a physical problem, how much we weigh. And “obviously,” the solution must be diet and exercise, right? But this proves wrong for about 98% of people. Why? Weight isn’t the problem. Diet isn’t the solution. The bulk of the problem lurks below the surface, and that’s the part that sinks the ship. Over and over.
Have you gone back to diet and exercise over and over, even though it landed you back where you started more times than Ground Hog Day? Maybe we’ve done a few laps together.
So what would we see if we looked below the surface? For starters, something 9 times bigger than than the part you knew about. But take heart. No Giant is too big for your Father.
Fee Fi Fo Fum
The last time you went after your weight like a woman on a mission, you probably didn’t realize you were poking a fight with a giant. You didn’t know you faced a battle line of angry Philistines, with Goliath, that freak of nature, out front, saying “Bring it, Shorty.”
If the weapon you wielded was a diet, Goliath probably ate your lunch, so to speak. But think for a moment, how did David beat Goliath? Hint: It was not in hand to hand combat. (Read I Samuel chapter 17)
What can we learn from David to be better prepared for the real battle we face with our weight? Let’s look at 3 ways to help you face off with a powerful opponent.
ONE: Do Not Underestimate the Challenge
Some commentaries suggest that Goliath was over 9 feet tall. He was covered in armor and carried some serious weapons. David was short, had pretty eyes, and 5 smooth stones. Physically speaking, the mismatch was painfully obvious.
The battle to lose weight is similarly mismatched. When it comes to losing weight, the “giant” part of the problem has less to do with food, or the scale. It has everything to do with what we believe about food, what we believe about eating and what we believe about our bodies. Dieting addresses the surface problem and never even looks at the beliefs you hold that produce the actions that produce the problem. In fact, dieting encourages you to act like the bottom of the ice berg isn’t there.
How might you approach losing weight differently if you know that:
- The opponent is daunting
- Hand to hand combat would be unwise, to say the least.
- The only hope is in God, and only He is trustworthy.
By experience, David knew the Lord had enabled him to face and defeat other deadly opponents. “Moreover David said, ‘The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.'” (I Samuel 17:37) David had no doubt that God would again equip him to defeat Goliath.
Do you believe God can, has, and will equip you to win this battle?
TWO: Change your perspective
While King Saul and his men were cowering in the face of Goliath’s taunts and threats, David was asking, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (I Samuel 17:26) David saw things differently than the others in the story.
- He saw the situation from God’s perspective and himself as part of God’s bigger picture
- His heart was ready to fight for God’s name and His glory
- His confidence was placed in God alone
King Saul and his men didn’t appear to be taking God into consideration at all. What happens when you remove God from the picture? The problem is only theirs. The only hope is what they can see with their own eyes and do with their own hands. Most of all, the overarching purpose is gone. The thread that connects Creation to the coming of Jesus is gone. The entire incident is pointless, just another battle.
Regardless of their view, this story and everyone in it was part of God’s much larger plan. The same is true of us.
Whose battle are we in the midst of? Ours or His? My foe, a lifelong battle with weight always looked hopeless from my perspective, and it was. But from God’s perspective? What He has done on the Cross has changed this battle too. Apart from God, my battle is a self centered, soul crushing, pointless pursuit of a size, or weight. In God, my battle is an invitation to be delivered out of my slavery of my own desires and into the self-denying life of a follower of Christ. (Luke 9:23)
THREE: Have a “why” that is bigger than you and your giant.
Why did David want to fight Goliath? More than anything, David was confident in the Lord and eager for God to be glorified. His purpose was so that “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.” I Samuel 17:47.
- His confidence was in God to defeat this known enemy of God and Israel
- His eyes were on God’s purpose and Glory, not his own agenda, safety, or notoriety
- He eagerly stepped into God’s grander plan – much grander than David knew
In every child of God’s life, there are battles. It’s easy to think each battle is ours and only about us. As such, we seek God to help us win for our own desires and purposes. That was the way I always thought about my weight. It didn’t occur to me to think about it differently, until I realized I had made my weight an idol, something I wanted more than anything else. When I prayed, I was basically asking God to join me in serving my idol. Lord, please help me to lose weight…but why? For me. It was what I wanted. I needed a changed heart more than I needed a changed body.
Have you ever earnestly wanted God to be glorified more than you wanted another result, such as simply wanting to be thinner, or healthier? That was David’s heart, but it wasn’t mine. it may not be yours at the moment. But it is a heart that God will develop in you if you ask Him and pursue it.
Start with the Truth
Losing weight is a formidable fight. It is bigger than we are. Is your relationship with God like David’s, seasoned with the experience of God’s faithfulness in the face of big challenges? Now is a good time to develop that kind of relationship!
Please take some time to reflect on these truths:
- God desires for you to not be defeated by any enemy. He offers you His strength to fight and break free of anything that has a hold on us.
- God makes the impossible possible through Christ.
- You do not have to suffer defeat. But you must learn to fight in a different way.
At Stop Dieting For Life, we teach you how to turn to the power of Christ in you to fight and win this very real and very difficult battle.
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