I have to know. I have to know what it says. Good, bad, or indifferent I need to know the number on that scale. Why? So, I can torture myself endlessly about the quart, rather quarts, of ice cream I have eaten the past week? Who am I kidding, more like the past three months! Or do I need a reminder that I am failing to eat healthily and take care of myself? Perhaps I succumb to the digital readout for no other purpose than to stand shocked looking at a number I haven’t seen in 16 years, all the while wondering how I got here… again.
I have struggled with weight most of my life.
Thankfully it has been fairly manageable. Gain 10 pounds here, lose 10 pounds there. The problem is whatever I lose I eventually find. What I haven’t found is the secret to lasting success. I can do Weight Watchers, count calories, juice everything, maybe even pursue Keto, but until I can get my mind right nothing will stick. Hence the overwhelming investment in Baskin Robbins.
My seasons of fluffiness always come with reasons and excuses. The first time I skyrocketed over 200 pounds was because of the anti-depressants I was taking. See, not my fault. It was the meds fault. The second major tipping of the scale happened again due to a change in anti-depressants. No number of happy pills could make me feel good when I was overweight. I finally decided to break up with prescriptions in 2008 and I haven’t looked back. I found ways to reset my thinking, lose the junk in my trunk, and be content.
And yet now, I am the fluffiest of all.
So how did it happen? How did I manage to climb back up to 200 pounds? Well, it didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen one quart of ice cream at a time and a few In N Out burgers along the way. If only I could blame the medication again. But no—this time it was my doing. I have to own every choice I’ve made, as well as the reasons behind those choices.
Depression is hard. Changes in life are hard. My past four years have been some of the most trying, and the last 18 months have pushed me to my limit. I turned to food as a coping mechanism. Bad day, eat some mint chip. Good day, eat some mint chip. Ice cream became my best friend. Until I looked down and the scale was blinking 200.
There is only one solution.
Never eat again. Kidding. My first response is that drastic changes need to be made and I need to regain control. Then again, I have been in control this whole time and look where it has gotten me. Nowhere good. Nope, there is only one solution: Jesus.
I can go through the motions of diet and exercise, but without a renewing of my mind, I will never experience lasting success. Every time I feel compelled to grab a pint of ice cream, I need to ask myself why. Then ask the Holy Spirit to remind me of the truths in God’s Word. A sweet treat cannot and will never make me feel whole or at peace. Its effects are only temporary, and weighty, but if I can replace that urge with a reaching out to Jesus then I have a chance at lasting success.
I am not strong enough on my own.
I don’t have it in me to fight the battle of the bulge by myself. And I don’t have to. The Word says to seek Him first, not seek M&Ms. And allow Him to go before me. God’s got this. He can give me the willpower. He can help motivate me to exercise. He can remind me of what is true and what is not true. He can love me when I can’t love myself.
I struggle to value myself. I cave when it comes to self-care and self-perception. But God sees me through a redeemed lens. His word is so clear, “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!” Psalms 139:17-18. If only those words could be burned into my heart, soul, and mind. I need truth to fill my mind and to drive my decisions, not the crappy lie-filled tapes often playing in my head.
The biggest of all crappy lies.
There are many crappy lies I have told myself, or I have been told, over the years. But perhaps the biggest and most damaging of them all is, “You are not enough.” Believing this lie has played into my current mental and physical state. It is 100% contrary to God’s Word, and yet I walk around with it blaring on my brain speakers. Somewhere along the way, I adopted the notion that I have to be enough on my own. That means controlling, perfectionistic, people-pleasing behavior that drives me deep into depression and straight to the frozen treats’ aisle.
Instead of ice cream, reach for God’s Word.
The Bible says that in our weakness, He is strong. And that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). I am not designed to be enough on my own. In Him, I am made strong (Philippians 4:13). In Him, I am loved unconditionally in a way that will allow me to soar on eagles’ wings (Isaiah 40:31).
I believe that if His Word can seep deep into my soul, my relationship with unhealthy coping mechanisms will be forever changed. I am enough in Him (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
This time around—and hopefully the last time—I am going to do the God’s Word Diet. So here I go. One day, one hour, one minute at a time.