Let me start by asking you a question. How often do you stop chasing a dream or pursuing what God has called you to do because you made a mistake or have given in to the lie that you are a failure? That has been me the past couple of months. I know that sharing these things and being vulnerable is where freedom is found not only for myself but hopefully for you as well.
I started Paleo back in January with the intention to strictly stick with it for 6 months. The purpose? To lose weight I had gained after the wedding. I became so obsessed with my reflection in the mirror and trying to change it that it became such an idol in my life. There had been a bit of insecurity in my physique for many years but this year it was as if it was heightened to a whole new level. I think looking back, it was because I allowed that to take center stage of my affection and attention.
I was doing strict Paleo but I was incorporating a mug cookie/brownie a few nights a week and making a ton of Paleo-approved treats, which in turn did not help stabilize my hormones. or my emotions which responded with shame and guilt. I had been doing HIIT workouts and easy lifting at home but when I didn’t see the results I wanted, I signed up for a gym membership. I was lifting heavy 3 days a week and doing HIIT type workouts for 3 with only 1 rest day. I saw muscle develop but the scale wasn’t budging. And yes I understand muscle weighs more than fat… But I was so desperate to find my identity in that little gravity machine. Though my intention was to only weigh myself once a week, I began to weigh myself once, sometimes more each day just trying to get it down.
Matt purchased a devotional for me as a birthday present and it is called Look Inside by Cambria Joy. She is a health and fitness YouTuber that I am subscribed to. It’s a simple yet profound devotional she wrote to help women of all ages that are struggling with their appearance ruling them. Before that, the idea of “fearfully and wonderfully made” seemed like a far-off destination with no roadmap to guide me there. To that dreamy mindset and perspective. But she provides easy to understand scriptures and practical tools to help you get to that place.
I wish I could say that was the end of it. Unfortunately, being human comes with daily challenges and temptations. I enjoyed good food in moderation for my birthday and I don’t regret it. It was initially a struggle to say yes to out of fear of the results. But I was fine a few days later. There have only been a few occasions that I have eaten sugar since then, each of those resulted in feeling less than and like a failure. I tried doing Keto which basically meant not as many sweet potatoes and more dairy. But that resulted in my body craving more carbs and sugar… It seemed like I couldn’t catch a break. By this point, I had been losing my motivation to eat healthily and stick with my goal of Paleo for 6 months.
It seemed like food was taunting me all the time. It was all I could think about, how many calories, carbs, sugar, fat. All of it. Finally, I said that it was enough. I have been relying on the Holy Spirit to help me resist the temptation for those things. Deleted Pinterest (the main source of all the temptation), unfollowed all the food accounts on Instagram (even the paleo ones). 4 days ago I committed to finishing this 6 months out strong and not eating any sugar or sugar alternative. I am the kind of person that needs to go cold turkey or else I’ll make excuses all day long.
I know this post is long, but I felt the need to be transparent and open up about this. It has been something that has held me down from my calling/purpose and that has robbed me of valuable time I could spend with Jesus. Something that has been in the back of my mind as a form of embarrassment and feeling hypocritical. I read the passage in John 8:1-11. The Lord showed me that, I don’t need to live in fear of condemnation/ judgment from those around me because everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and really has no position to judge except Jesus and he doesn’t condemn me! I hope that right there is a point of freedom for you today! Freedom to do what Jesus has called you to do because you are deeply loved and supported by the Son of God!
If you have been struggling with food, crazy dieting, sugar addiction or anything in between, I encourage you to read Cambria Joy’s book. As you do, ask the Lord to help you on this journey. He cares about those things that are bothering you. It’s a journey of surrender and trust in Jesus as your all in all! He is truly the only thing that can satisfy you!
What will I do after these 6 months (July 1st)? I plan to stick to a healthy lifestyle but stay balanced. I don’t want to feel restricted, but I don’t want to binge on things that are unhealthy either. Moderation and portion control is what I’ll be focused on. The most important thing to keep in mind is that Jesus loves you exactly where you are and he values the hard work you put in, but use caution as it can become an idol very sneakily quickly.
I hope that after reading this that you feel seen and known. I hope that it encourages you to know that you are not alone in this battle with the mirror and food. God wants to set you free and show you that he is more than enough for all those desires.
One last scripture I want to leave you with. Psalm 4:6-8 TPT “The intense pleasure you give me surpasses the gladness of harvest time, even more than when the harvesters gaze upon their ripened grain and when their new wine overflows. Now because of you, Lord, I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once, for no matter what happens, I will live unafraid.” The pleasure and joy he provides is so much more than that day when you have lost those pounds. You know why because it can never satisfy you, there will always be another goal to achieve with fitness. Unless you come to the conclusion that you are loved right where you are and the workouts you do are for his glory, not your own.
I could go on and on about that scripture but I will save it for next time. Is your hope in the harvest or the gardener?