For Christmas, I was given a copy of "The Beautiful Woman" which is a collection of three books by Anne Ortlund. It has been an amazing study and I have learned so much from it (which I plan to blog about in the future!). One of the things that she mentions is that as Christians, we not only need to act differently than the rest of the world, but we should also LOOK different. Her exact words are, "God's children, when compared with the children of darkness, should declare without a word that God is good". She goes on to write more about how our bodies are temples, and how we need to take the absolute best care of ourselves that we can. This got me thinking about whether or not I am taking the best care of my body that I can...Ummm....no! Not even close. In fact, from mid-November through January 1st, it's basically an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of non-stop eating.
I recently purchased two books on this subject. The first is Reshaping it All and is written by Candance Cameron (Remember her? D.J. from Full house!), and the second was Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. By no means do I intend for this to become a weight-loss blog, but I do plan to post some of the important parts from each of these books in the coming days or weeks so that you can maybe benefit from them too.
Both of these books basically stress that the problem is not food. The problem is that we run to food when we are stressed, or nervous, or excited, or happy, or confused, or depressed...trying to fill a void that should and can only be filled by God. How many times in the past year have I made the comment that I "NEEEEDDD" a milkshake from Cookout, or I "NEEEDDDD" mexican food. It's almost always when I'm tired or stressed. Food is the first place I turn to. Time and time again, even after I try not to. This is where the problems come in. If my body is a temple and was entrusted to me, it is not wise for me to continually lack the self-control necessary to be a good steward of it. It is a sin to abuse my body with food. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not obese or largely overweight. I am about 14 lbs over my "recommended weight" and about 21 lbs heavier than I was when we were married. I can still fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes, and I am semi-active. However, I can recognize now that there is a problem when I am constantly thinking about food, and turning to it anytime I get the chance. I lack self control.
Candance writes, "God loves you, just the shape you are and there isn't a number on the scale that could ever change that. He is enthralled with your beauty and He treasures every minute you spend quiet in His presence..And while He loves us, He has given us the opportunity to improve our quality of life. Ultimately, you have to make that choice. No one will make it for you. Only you can weight the cost and make that decision. Is it God's desire that I care for my body? Since it's a temple of the Holy Spirit, I have to say yes...In many cases, a healthy body is a reflection of an inner life that is balanced and one that has self control".
Throughout her book she tries to help you learn the steps necessary to build a plan to stop abusing yourself with food, to make healthier choices, and to get serious with God. It's not a book on dieting or how to lose weight, but on how it can be a spiritual act of obedience and worship to keep your body a holy temple for the Lord. The book focuses that everything is okay in moderation, but it becomes a problem when we overindulge. She writes, "If you want to live a life free from the bondage of food, the pull of the fridge, and the discomfort of waistbands, then start living that life today. You are beautiful, interesting, accepted, and loved by the most high God". She says that the final reward will be worth all the hard work if we won't give up before seeing it through to the end.
That's where I tend to struggle...I start off really well when I decide to get healthy and it's smooth sailing...but eventually I always slip back into this place...I don't see it through to the very end as she writes about. I think the problem in the past has been that it's always been "a diet", instead of a lifestyle change. I plan to read the Made to Crave book this week and hope to gain further motivation to help me really make some necessary changes.
I will blog more about this in the next few days once I get myself motivated and ready to fully commit to this new focus. I am always afraid to post things like this on my blog because it means that there will be people who know what I am trying to do, and therefore, know when/if I am failing. I believe that I will be more successful if I am held accountable, so if you are reading this and are in a similar place, please help me by sending me a message, a comment, or a facebook so that we can encourage each other and hold each other accountable.
Love you all!