I am always amazed after Christmas how all the "weight loss and fitness" kicks start. Like clockwork....every year! But this year I've paid attention to something different....the attitude behind most of it. And what I have noticed is the meism....and to be even bolder....the worship of self-image.
Don't get me wrong. I am all for staying fit and eating healthy. I believe that is the way God intended it to be. I don't necessarily agree with the way people "get fit and eat healthy" though. Mark and I always joke and say..."imagine if you would take all those people who go work out at the gym and bring them to a farm to do manual labor instead...WOW!!! How much work we could get accomplished!!!!" Such wasted energy....don't send me hate mail....just sayin' :)
In my life I have learned that if my focus is in the wrong place, staying fit and eating healthy can quickly become an idol in my life. I have also learned that I need to be real careful anytime I decide to "get back on track". Careful to not let it consume me.
God should be the center of my life....always and in every area. This includes the area of health and fitness. But I have found this is so much easier said than done. For God to be the center in this area means I need do it His way.
What is His way????? A focus and a desire to please and honor God. I find that the times I am most dissatisfied with my weight and eating is the times when I loose focus....focus on the One Who created me. When my focus in not on Him my motives become prideful and selfish.
It doesn't take me long to realize when my focus has gotten in the wrong place because weight gain and fitness becomes the center of my thoughts and they dictate my actions. Rather than dealing with the issues behind my weight gain, I try to put a band-aid on it by some quick fixin healthy eating and exercise. And guess what? I do well for awhile and then inevitably....I FAIL...and fall back into the same pattern as before.
What are some of the underlying issues? Lack of Self-control would be a big one!!! Being able to say no to a cookie when I am not hungry...and yes to exercise when my flesh is weak. DisContentment would be another one. Contentment for the way God made me. Contentment for the "baby fat". Not Trusting is right up there to. When I am in a stressful situation...I tend to eat more and exercise less...and this just adds to my stress. Rather I need to be able to deal with stress...by trusting. If my heart is truly trusting God...I will be able to handle stress...I will be able to give it over to Him. Of course there are many more underlying issues, but these are probably the ones I struggle with most.
But when I keep God as the centre of my weight loss journey, that's when the weight comes off the easiest and stays off!!! If I am losing weight for my own selfish desires....I loose focus and my balance becomes all out of whack....I am more apt to try the next diet fad...or weight loss gimick....or the perfect exercise program. But when I do it because I want to be the person God created me to be...the results are amazing!!! In these times I am NOT consumed by foods and excercise...rather I AM consumed with pleasing HIM!!!! And it really becomes a heart thing rather than a physical thing. And this is where I'd rather be. The results are longer lasting and much more gratifying. And my focus is where it should be....on the ONE who gave me this body in the first place!!!
And then I am no longer tied to being fit....but rather tied to honoring and pleasing my Creator...God Himself!
So I challenge you. If you are on a journey of weight loss...or weight maintaining....where is your FOCUS? Are you BALANCED? Is your desire to please and honor God CONSUMING you?