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Entries in Weight loss and the Christian (2)

Tuesday
Feb052019

Shed Your Past—Shed the Pounds

Julie Watson is inspiring. In this UPLIFT post, she shares her story of how dealing with personal pain from her past enabled her—with the help of a healthy nutrition program—to lose weight and gain confidence.

“You can’t shed the extra pounds,” Julie says, “until you shed the painful experiences that put them there in the first place!”  

Exactly! I (Dawn) discovered the same thing over the past two years. I had to deal with the underlying emotional causes for my weight gain, and I appreciate Julie's honesty here.

Julie continues . . .

Last summer I set out to lose weight… a lot of weight! It’s not weight that came on recently, or even in the last 10 years. I’ve been carrying around this extra weight my entire life.

I often joke and say, “The last time I was thin was in the birthing room the day I entered the world!” 

Laughing about my weight has been my coping mechanism for as long as I can remember. But the truth is, there’s a lot of pain under that laughter.

My guess is that’s the case for most people who are obese. There’s always going to be a memory or two of the mean kids on the playground who called you, “fatty” or, in my case, my third-grade crush who called me “moose” while standing behind him in line at a Sea World drinking fountain.

I can still remember it like yesterday, and that was nearly 40 years ago!

Worse yet is when a person of authority crushes your spirit with words that are hurtful and damaging.

Such was the case with my pediatrician when I was 10 years old. I was told that I was overweight and needed to go on a diet immediately or I might get a myriad of health problems. 

Perspective for just a second:

  • I was five feet five inches tall at 10 years old.
  • I was a fully developed young woman and weighed 145 pounds.
  • I realize that’s a lot for an average 10-year-old. But I was NOT average! I was 3 inches taller than my fifth-grade teacher!

Back to the story . . .

My pediatrician sent me home with instructions for a 1,000-calorie-a-day diet and requirements to come back weekly to weigh-in. You would have thought I was the fattest person she had ever seen! That’s how I felt, anyway.

I remember crying in my room later that day. Nevertheless, I listened to her instructions and followed the plan. Of course, my mom made my food because, quite frankly, at 10 years old I didn’t know what a calorie was!

The following week, back we went. The scale read 144.5 pounds. I felt good that I had lost! But, that’s not the response I received. I got a FULL-ON YELLING LECTURE!

She was upset that I ONLY lost a half pound and needed me to understand—quite loudly—that if I didn’t lose weight, I was going to have High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, and would die of a heart attack really young!

I was 10—what did those words even mean? 

Traumatized, we left, and thankfully, never returned! However, the damage was done.

As I aged, I learned what those diseases were. I started having anxiety and panic attacks that I would get them.

I became a moderate hypochondriac in my teen years as the weight piled on. I used food to escape my emotions and feelings about my weight. If I heard one more person tell me, “You have such a pretty face, if only you lost weight,” I might have just exploded!

Fast forward to June 25th of 2018.

Desperate and alone I cried out to God for help!

I had self-fulfilled much of the prophecy that pediatrician had placed on me. I was in a very dark place, imagining an early death and that my family was going to have to bury me in a double-wide coffin.

God was faithful and graciously led me to an amazing, life-changing health program!

  • It broke through “why” I had a food problem, all relating to the pain compiled over the years.
  • It helped me look at the triggers, why they were there and how to be free of the pain that kept me in bondage.
  • At the same time, I learned new, healthy habits to replace the old, bad habits, one at a time.

The weight began to melt off and I began to heal from the inside out!

I learned that you can’t shed the extra pounds until you shed the painful experiences that put them there in the first place! 

I’m just about halfway in my weight loss journey—nearly 90 pounds down in just over 6 months! I have a long way to go yet, but I haven’t looked back because I haven’t wanted to!

When you feel good—really good—you don’t want to give that up! I found true FREEDOM, one directed by the Lord, for such a time as this!

When someone gives you keys to the jail door, you DON’T give them back!

Painful pasts must be dealt with so we can reach our goals! Whether it’s losing weight or another desire, speak to a pastor, counselor or therapist to work through your past and reach for your dreams!

You are worth it!

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’”  (Jeremiah 29:11).

Are painful experiences keeping you in bondage? Are you ready to shed them?

Julie Watson became an independent C.O.P.E. Certified Health Coach after finding freedom using an amazing health program that is transforming lives one habit at a time. Her husband became her first client, lost 43 pounds in three months and remains in maintenance. She loves helping others find the same freedom she found! Julie and Shawn live in San Diego with their three children and myriad of pets.

(NOTE from Dawn: This article is not meant to promote any specific program, but if you are interested in learning more about the specific program Julie is using, let me know and I will contact her.)

Graphic adapted, courtesy of MoreHarmony at Pixabay.

Thursday
Mar302017

Obedience ... and My Bathroom Scale

Dawn Wilson discovered a simple concept that changed her health overhaul, but it had far deeper consequences. In this Health and Spiritual Life UPGRADE, she focuses in on a key life-changer: Obedience.

I stepped off the bathroom scale one morning with disgust. Hadn't I stayed "on program," following my nutritionist's counsel carefully? (Maybe I deviated a wee bit... OK, twice.)

But really, the scale should have budged a little over a week. I was eating healthier and exercising more than a year before.

What happened?

Now I knew, from my nutritionist's cautions, that many things can influence the scale: gaining muscle from exercise as we lose fat, overeating, emotional eating, the time of the month, and even being constipated!

So I shouldn't worry. I knew I should just stay the course and over time, I'd see change.

But I was still mad that morning.

I started questioning the whole process. I grumbled. I was ready to throw in the towel, or maybe toss out my scale!

But wouldn't you know it. God was watching.

And the Lord provided an answer for me that very morning.

It came from Lysa TerKeurst. She quoted a friend who said,  

"Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale."

I tell you, I cried as I read those words.

When it came to my weight and appearance, I was trying to live according to human expectations, not with joyful obedience to the Lord.

Lysa continued, again quoting her friend:

"Yes, eating healthy and exercising get our bodies into better shape, but we are never supposed to get soul satisfaction from our looks. Our looks are temporary ... The apostle Paul wrote, 'We must obey God rather than human beings' (Acts 5:29).

"I read that verse differently now. 'I must obey God rather than human values'—like a number on the scale or the size on the tag in my jeans."

I wanted to solidify that thought in my mind, and my study on obedience that day encouraged my heart. I simply asked:

Why do we obey the Lord? (Or maybe, why should we?) And here's what I discovered:

1. We obey the Lord because He IS Lord!

Obedience is the right thing to do, because He is our Lord, our Master, and He has every right to tell us what to do. He rightly expects obedience. He says, "Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16), and "love each other as I have loved you" (John 13:34). Commands like that.

In the Old Testament, God required obedience regarding particular laws. He told his people, "keep my commandments and do them" (Leviticus 22:31). In other words, put them into practice!

Why? "... I am the LORD."

God also connected obedience to His sovereignty and His rescuing of Israel from Egypt (v. 33). Their obedience was a humble response to their gracious Lord's deliverance.

Likewise, we must respond to His Lordship and holiness from grateful hearts, because He has "delivered" (rescued) us from sin and spiritual darkness (Galatians 1:4; Colossians 1:13-14). We glady offer ourselves to Him as living "sacrifices" (Romans 12:1-2) to do His bidding.

What we want (desire, crave) is always to take second place to what He wants.

This is so crucial. In fact, our desire to obey the Lord is one sign to others that we know Him (1 John 2:3).

We are to obey the Lord IMMEDIATELY, COMPLETELY and JOYFULLY (Psalm 119:60; 1 Chronicles 28:8; Psalm 112:1).

2. Obedience demonstrates love for the Lord (1 John 5:2-3).

If we love Him, we will desire to keep His commands (John 14:15, 23).

It's not a matter of obedience to a plan, program, any list of arbitrary rules or people's preferences for our lives, but rather: "What is the Lord teaching me through the things He brings into my life and the disciplines He wants me to cultivate?"

If I love the Lord, I will seek to obey Him as I'm prompted by the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:16; John 14:26). It is the Spirit who gives us necessary wisdom and empowers us to obey (1 Corinthians 2:9-13, 16; Zechariah 4:6). It is the Spirit who helps us in our weakness and intercedes for us when we struggle with obedience (Romans 8:26-27).

3. Our obedience in faith pleases the Lord (Hebrews 11:6).

It's about our hearts. God sees our hearts and delights in us when we obey (1 Samuel 15:22).

We can be such disobedient creatures—willful and independent of God. Disobedience can indicate a heart filled with fear, lack of faith, wrong desires, personal agendas or even idolatries.

The Lord showed me a deep idolatry I cherished: the idol of food. Food is good and nourishing, but giving in to my rebellious appetite controls and enslaves. Constant cravings and lack of discipline point to a tremendous heart issue. My false god will never satisfy the deep needs in my heart. I need to give my food idol to the Lord and worship Him alone—not fudge and French fries!

It takes faith to obey the Lord when we can't see the end results. But when we choose to "trust and obey," this pleases Him.

4. Obedience is one way to prove our faithfulness to the Lord (1 John 2:3-6).

God does not respond to our mere discussions about obedience, but rather to our active obedience (James 1:22-25).

He evaluates our behavior for signs of faithfulness. He checks to see what values are driving our actions. He looks for intergrity.

In the Old Tesament, God said he would "raise up a faithful priest" who would serve Him and "do whatever I tell him to do" (1 Samuel 2:35). Likewise, God is looking for faithful servants today. It's ESSENTIAL.

5. Obedience opens the door for the Lord to bless and reward (John 13:17).

As the old hymn says, "Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." Obedience may be difficult at times, but it ultimately brings joy, freedom and fulfillment (Psalm 119:1-2).

"Blessed (HAPPY) are all who ... walk in obedience" (Psalm 128:1).

Throughout the history of God's people in the Old Testament, the Lord promised reward and many blessings to those who obeyed Him and His Word (Genesis 22:18; Deuteronomy 4:39-40; 5:29; Proverbs 3:1-6; Jeremiah 7:23-24). Truly, in keeping (embracing and obeying) God's Word, there is great reward (Psalm 19:11).

Jesus echoed this truth. If we obey His commands, He said, we will be blessed to dwell in His love and find joy that is complete (John 15:10-11).

Some of the rewards of obedience are long life, gladness, protection, a sense of God's presence, assurance, peace; and answers to prayer. (Scriptures for these are at the end of this post.)

God rewards those who seek Him with a heart bent to obey.

6. Obedience glorifies God in our lives and before others (Matthew 5:16).

We should never want to bring shame on God's holy name; we should deeply desire to bring him honor and glory.

Our testimony of obedience to our loving Father shows the world God is working in and through us (1 Peter 2:12); and the sweet blessing is, God honors those who honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30b).

In these terms, living according to human expectations or values cannot be compared to living in obedience to God. Obedience is a far superior way to live, and with eternal dividends.

And it might even nudge that bathroom scale!

How can you apply these points of obedience to something practical in your liferegaining your health, getting out of debt, working on a relationship or something else?

Dawn Wilson, founder and President of Heart Choices Today, is a speaker and author, and the creator of three blogs: Heart Choices Today, LOL with God (with Pam Farrel), and Upgrade with Dawn. She is a contracted researcher/reviewer for Revive Our Hearts and a writer at Crosswalk.com. She and her husband Bob live in Southern California and have two grown, married sons, three granddaughters and a rascally maltipoo, Roscoe.

Scriptures for "rewards" of obedience: long life (Deuteronomy 32:46-47; Proverbs 3:1-2); gladness (Nehemiah 8:17; 1 Chronicles 16:27; Acts 2:41, 46); protection (Deuteronomy 23:5); a sense of God's presence (John 14:21); assurance (1 John 3:24); peace (Psalm 119:165); and answers to prayer (1 John 3:22).

Graphic adapted, courtesy of HyenaReality, FreeDigitalPhotos.net.