Confront the Real Reasons for Weight Issues, and Use These Four Tips to Overcome Them
Nine years ago, I weighed 170 pounds. I’m 5’2”. I’m a girl.
I was a droopy, floppy mess. Unlike most women who look fabulous with extra weight that’s gained in attractive places, I resembled an upside-down triangle. My extra girth raced straight to my face, neck, and stomach – three body parts most would prefer slender.
I did ninja moves to get into my jeans and eventually gave up and used rubber bands instead to keep them closed. My hair was perfectly coifed and makeup extra thick in an attempt to compensate for the extra layers.
I watched the puffiness puff up. I blamed the dryer for shrinking my clothes. I increased my workouts to mitigate the binges. It didn’t help.
After three years of increasing weight gain, I decided it was enough.
Yo-yo Weight Loss, But No Consistent Success
I changed the surface issues: I exercised regularly, wrote down what I ate, and skipped the PB&J’s. I ate veggies and proteins instead. I followed the plan to a T…for about five days. Then I binged again. Then, I got back on the plan again until my next binge.
You see, I had no problem doing well when I was doing well. But when I wasn’t, I grabbed the nearest donut and stuffed it down, along with whatever negative emotion was haunting me.
For three years it was a yo-yo: down one minute; up the next. I was smug with an acceptable scale number and blown to smithereens when a fight with my daughter resulted in the consumption of twenty-six moon pies.
After a long time, I realized I was right back where I started. I began to cry.
How was weight loss possible? It seemed so far-fetched for a woman like me: short, aging, and emotional. I longed to find the way.
That’s when I learned it wasn’t just a calorie issue; it was a heart issue. At its root, my binge eating was simply emotional eating.
It wasn’t just what I ate; it was how much and why. Every time hunger, sadness, frustration, anger, and fatigue came a’knocking, I’d self-medicate by reaching for the nearest source of sugar. And not just a little. Whatever I ate, I had to Texas super-size it by eating it seventeen times.
I felt better. Until later.
At that point, I knew I had a choice: give up or find the key. I chose the latter.
The Real, Lasting Answer
So I went to the true Source for answers, the Author of life itself – God. I searched the Bible for guidance until my eyes were red.
Surprisingly, it had a lot to say about weight loss. To be brutally honest: God didn’t design our bodies to be plagued by fat. So, I began to compile and follow the priceless advice.
Here’s what I found:
Bible Weight Loss Tip #1: You’ll fail without grit.
This tip outweighs them all. You must persevere. God places so much emphasis on this it may as well be boldfaced and highlighted in Galatians: “So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9).
Any work you do will be null and void if you stop. You may as well sleep in and enjoy your Krispy Kream if you’re going to quit. Your reward for effort will only come if you persevere.
Psychologist Angela Duckworth recently said there is one trait that practically guarantees success in any endeavor: perseverance. Unfortunately, many don’t embrace this quality. How tragic! How we could all benefit from a healthy dose of grit!
- Simple Action Plan for Success: download irunurun. This app allows you to input a desired action or habit you want to track (i.e. eat healthier or exercise.) Then, you’re assigned points by how well you perform on each habit. Your overall score is calculated over time.
Basically, it “gameifies” the habit, making it fun.
Persistence is key here.
Bible Weight Loss Tip #2: Have a designated escape.
We all need a way out. Let me explain.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, God says He will not allow us to be tempted without also providing an escape. He may permit your husband to come home with a stack of nutter butters, but He’ll give you a way to escape the assault and resist the urge to eat 2/3 of them.
For me, I chose a specific area in my house as an escape hatch if beckoned by a strong temptation. I’d be overcome with the almost irresistible desire to consume something, and I’d high-tail it to my safe room, which was far from the source of temptation.
In my sanctuary, I’d struggle over a laminated list of verses and prayers, often reading them aloud. I begged God to help me overcome. He did.
You see, I used to think I couldn’t resist. That I was too weak. That there was no point in fighting, so I may as well lie on the couch and consume whatever it was I thought I needed.
God didn’t design our bodies to be plagued by fat.
– Diane Watt, Scripture Seeds
But I learned from 1 Corinthians 10:13 that any lure can be resisted. It’s actually normal for life to be riddled with enticements. Just because that Twinkie woos you doesn’t mean you have to eat it. You don’t have to stay the same.In fact, I often believed my overwhelming urge meant I was supposed to eat it.
- Simple Action Plan for Success: download, print, and laminate our temptation verses printable (just click on the picture.) I used to recite these verses every time an urge to binge struck, and they worked every time. Designate an escape room or area within your house to which to go if faced with enormous challenges.
Store your laminated list in your escape area. Bring it with you when you eat out.
Bible Weight Loss Tip #3: Train yourself in Godliness.
Titus 2:11-14 is the antidote for uncontrollable overeating. In this verse God instructs us to train ourselves in Godliness. Only then will we be able to have some semblance of self-control.
I don’t like to train. Who likes practice? Who likes habitual strengthening? Certainly not this girl. After all, I didn’t ask to be born, so why do I have to prepare just to exist victoriously? Why can’t it just be automatic?
Of course, these questions are mute.
I must be ready. And to be trained up, I must have an arsenal of verses against temptation already stored in my noggin, ready to shoot off at a moment’s notice. Many times I’ve stared at that jelly donut and repeated, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”
There’s no shortage of advice from our Heavenly Father about self-control. Download as many as you can into your consciousness. Be prepared for the battle.
- Simple Action Plan for Success: Beginning on the 1st or 15th of the month (whichever is closer,) commit to memorize one Scripture pertaining to self-control. Use the list provided above, or choose one of your own.
Repeat it. Sing it. Dance to it. Shout it until you dream about it.
Do this the 1st and 15th of every month for at least 90 days.
Bible Weight Loss Tip #4: Sing.
Halfway into a large pepperoni pizza, I realized why I was eating: I was in pain.
My heart hurt – I felt like someone stabbed me and left a gaping hole. A “friend” had just ripped into me in a series of negative Facebook posts, and I wanted to run out of the room wailing. Instead, I ate.
I was desperate to feel better and would do anything to alleviate the pain. Food was the natural remedy.
But later I asked myself, what can I do instead to ease the pain? What does the Bible say?
Surprisingly, God tells us: sing.
Verse after verse after verse reveals that song is the cure for a sick heart. (Psalm 95:1; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Psalm 33:3; Romans 15:9; Hebrews 13:15.) He tells us like He knows – sing to Me. You’ll feel better.
So I created a playlist that was readily available every time I encountered a negative emotion. It was chalk-full of uplifting, passionate, resonating songs to which I knew almost all the lyrics. So every time I hurt, I went for my phone and earbuds instead of the nearest food source. I plugged in, turned it on, closed my eyes, and sang away.
You know what? It worked every single time.
- Simple Action Plan for Success: create your own playlist. Fill it with uplifting songs that will improve your mood. When you encounter a difficult situation, take time to listen to your playlist instead of eating.
I integrated these four habits into my life about five years ago. They have worked wonders. The weight practically fell off, and I lost about forty pounds. I’ve been at my current weight – about 130 pounds – for over four years.
That’s not to say following these habits is easy. It can be tough sometimes. However, the formula is simple and doesn’t require a complex algorithm. For crying out loud, if I can do it, anyone in God’s creation can.
Question: Have you struggled with weight loss? What has worked for you? What have I missed? Please, leave a comment below.