What’s your biggest goal regarding food and your body?
Mine used to be to follow a specific eating plan 100% until I finally hit a coveted number on the scale.
Today, it’s PEACE.
“Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]”
Peace in every corner of our lives is our right and our inheritance as Jesus followers. When we are obsessive and anxious about something it’s a big flashing warning sign that we haven’t brought it under God’s dominion.
“The grace of God gives us everything freely but it is the peace of God that keeps all that God gives. Inner peace is tantamount to a happy life, inner peace is not dictated by outward circumstances but by knowing and operating in the inheritance we received from the Prince of Peace.”
Over the summer I had the opportunity to be part of a Made to Crave Bible Study. If you haven’t heard of it, Made to Crave is an excellent book by Lysa Terkerst, chronicling her experience of bringing her health and weight loss efforts under God’s guidance. It’s encouraging and inspiring and I highly recommend it for anyone on their own weight loss journey. One thing she likes to say is “nothing tastes as good as peace feels,” and I have found it to be so true in my own life. I’ve become convinced that regardless of what the scale might ever say, if I’ve reached a point where I feel at peace with food and my body I have succeeded.
If I’ve reached a point where I feel at peace
with food and my body I have succeeded.
I’ve experimented a lot with my eating choices over the past 4-5 months. I tried switching my macronutrient choices based on my cycle, eating whatever I felt like within a narrow eating window, and even throwing out all the rules and learning to eat intuitively. I’ll share what I learned from all these ways of eating in the coming months, but suffice to say there truly is no one-size-fits-all way to eat. And because women’s hormones are constantly in flux, what’s optimal can even change from day to day. It takes trial and error and lots of patience. It also takes prayer and trust that the Holy Spirit can and will lead you in the right direction (more on that HERE).
My goal in all of it has been to find something that feels natural (uncomplicated) and healthy for me and also enables my body to steadily release its excess fat stores. It also has to be something I actually enjoy and won’t lead to restriction-based bingeing. To me, that’s peace.
“A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.”
Sometimes peace can feel like a multi-faceted enigma. It not only matters how what (or when) you choose to eat feels in your body, but how you feel about what (or when) you choose to eat. Do you feel guilt? Shame? Do you feel proud of how far you’ve come, but terrified of screwing up your progress? How do you feel when you’re imposing strict eating rules on yourself for the sole purpose of dropping weight?
When I get impatient and decide that my number one goal has to be weight loss (because how can I possibly enjoy my life at size X) I inevitably become obsessive and anxious. If I’m on track, I’m afraid of getting off-track. If I’m off-track, it dominates my thoughts constantly. I wake up thinking about it in the middle of the night. I think about it first thing when I wake up in the morning. I base my worth and contentment on the progress on the scale. I feel regret and shame every time I feel I’ve screwed up. And when I do feel I’ve screwed up—I feel hopeless and out of control and it leads to bingeing.
It isn’t so much denying myself junk food
as it is CHOOSING peace.
So for me (and my sanity) it has become all about the WHY. Why do I want to make healthy choices? When I really think about it, it’s not just to lose weight, it’s because I want to feel my best physically AND mentally. It isn’t so much denying myself junk food as it is CHOOSING peace. And when my ultimate goal is peace there is also room for imperfection (as in occasional pizza and ice cream) and absolutely ZERO room for feeling guilty about it. When I make food choices based on peace—I feel free. I don’t have to be so wrapped up in myself and what I can and can’t eat. I can start focusing outward and upward:
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.”
What makes you feel at peace with food and your body? Share with us in the comments below!