I used to live in black and white.

Everything I did was either good or bad. There was no middle ground.

If I ate pizza with all the toppings…and it is always with all the toppings ;)…  I was “bad.”

If I achieved getting in all my work outs and avoided bread like the plague, I was “good.”

These two labels literally controlled my total being.

They were the deciding factors on how I felt about myself each day in every moment.

It was black and white all the way. There was no grey.

I drove myself crazy living in this world.

I tried to only make good and right choices around everything: food, exercise, grocery shopping, dining out, buying the best fitting and looking jeans (why is that always so dang hard to find a good pair of jeans?!)

I became so pre-occupied with doing everything right that I left zero to no room for doing anything outside my perfect little box.

The worst of it, I only spent my time with God to pray for a thinner, more fit version of myself. To complain as to why i could not lose more weight. To ask for Him to help me reach my weight loss goals.

I did not seek him outside of being my aid to bring to fruition my self-seeking plans.

I believed that with thinness came relief. I trusted in the dieting lie that weight-loss would give me a happier life. That through my body I could convince people that I was worthy. That I valued myself.

The crazy thing, I actually valued myself very little.

I spent my days berating myself. Judging my body. Having anxiety over what to eat, how much to eat, even when to eat.

The strong, capable, successful woman I spent countless energy on trying to showcase to the world through what I ate and the exercise I did was really nothing more then a tired, depressed, anxious mess inside.

I had dreams of finally being at one with my body through the tool of dieting. It was my God. I served it with my whole heart.

Until one day…God shook me to my core with something that changed everything.

Through him came healing. Through what he spoke to me came freedom. Through my eyes being opened, came peace.

Now, I live everyday in the moment. My focus is right where it should be, on Jesus.

God gave me the true tools to succeed at being one with myself.

It did not look like me on a weight-loss journey. It looked like me on a faith-gain journey.

A journey where living in the middle, in the grey area of my life where judgement and perfectionism still exist but God’s grace exists even greater.

I no longer judge everything I put in my mouth. I no longer obsess over making sure I make it to the gym for hours on end.  I no longer feel the need to get everything right. Black and white thinking is so far from  me.

What I have learned to do is to live in the grey. To allow myself to not get it right. To be willing to bow down as a servant to God and follow his plan for my life instead of my own. To be the beautiful mess that I am. To own it.

To put it bluntly…

Being consumed with calories, “clean food” (not processed), perfect eating, the “ideal” weight is not at all where God wants our focus to be. I believe 100% that this is why I was all over the place in terms of my weight over the course my life.

I had never looked at my body as holy. I had only seen it as something to be changed, manipulated and controlled to fit whatever ‘healthy-ideal’ I was trying to conquer at the moment.

I had never been willing to trust God with my body because a part of me was bitter that I felt I had this battle to fight in the first place.

Believe me when I say, that was not an easy thing to admit.

I know God does not make mistakes and my body is no different.

I have the ability to nourish myself properly, to not eat a ton of junk, to not indulge in self-destructive behaviors, but I am nothing without his strength first.

All those years I had spent relying on my own ability or some diet to do the work of my God, no wonder I got nowhere internally. I was seeking self-fulfillment outside of my servitude to God. I was looking to my own strength and, quite frankly, my personal design of my life, instead of seeking God’s will for it.

God will not give us what we want if it is out of line with His will for us. 

As spiritually holy beings, God wants us to be healthy. However, we have to be able to decipher if what we ourselves are in fact chasing is health or thinness. The two are not one in the same. We must not confuse a small waist with a healthy life.

We must also not forget that to follow a routine where what we weigh is put above who we follow is idolatry.

Personally, I believe any diet, even those that claim to be “faith-based” have us put our selfish gain higher than the God we are to worship. Simply because…..

It is impossible to chase weight loss and not vanity at the same time.

Does this mean we can not live healthy, happy lives if we are not trying to pursue weight loss?

Of course not.

Any life that puts God above the self is a happy and healthy one. We naturally want to make nourishing and balanced choices the closer we are to God and the only way to get closer to God is to practice faith in him.

The focus is not in the weight, it is in how we view ourselves despite it.

This is what living in the grey means. It is to put down our plans and our will and to be willing to let God come meet us in our humanness. To be free enough through his grace to show him our neediness. To allow him to transform our weakness through his perfect strength. To stop fighting ourselves and let God do the work for us.

The grey is where we all exist because we are all sinners.  We chase the black and the white, the right and the wrong without coming before our Lord first to seek his guidance because we want the control. We do not want to admit our inferiority. We do not want to face the possibility of loss or regret or rejection.

We just want to win at everything, including the battle of the bulge.

If we knew his grace and sought him fully for the day’s plan, we would not shiver and shake around each and every choice we make, hoping so hard that it be the right one.

We would understand that by his grace we are saved (Ephesians 2:8). That love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter, 4:8) and that our works are rubbish in the eyes of God.

To exist in the world of black and white with weight, with food, with body image, with life is to live through iron bars. It is to literally choose to be trapped in a prison perfectionism.

There is hope. There is a way out. I know because I am no longer living in that prison. I have peace. I have joy.

I eat whatever I want and I have zero guilt, judgment or regret around it. I went from being a disordered eater to a normal one and God showed me how.

If you want to get to the other side of your black and white thinking and be free from food obsession and perfectionism with your body, you have to get brutally honest with yourself.

Are you looking for healing in the grey, God’s way….

…or in the black and white of your limited perspective?

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