For the longest time I felt that the only way I could stay on track with eating more foods that made me feel good was by dieting.
I needed something to account to.
A plan to follow.
Rules to keep in place.
I could not be left to my own devices or I would just mess everything up….
Eat out of control.
When I decide to give up dieting, I really felt lost as to how to eat in a way that served my body again.
I knew I could have all the foods I wanted.
Still, I felt a ton of fear and guilt whenever I ate pizza or drank beer.
I did not trust my body, my choices or God to lead me.
I was still living as a person on a diet.
All that food freedom was overwhelming to me.
I had to realize that, where before I trusted the diet, now I had to trust the deity, Jesus Christ.
God gave us bodies that are self-sufficient enough to know when they are hungry, full, in need of more veggies, desire something sweet, need comfort food, more energy from carbs, extra fat, ect.
It is our job to tune in to all of that and honor the messages that both our bodies and God are signaling us.
Both our culture and dieting has created judgmental eaters out of us.
We have been taught to be discontent with our bodies.
We have been told that dieting is our only key to salvation and a happier life is just a “goal weight” away.
Both messages have completely disconnected us from our internal signals on eating.
We run completely off what foods will make us thin and what foods will make us fat.
Whichever food we have been taught to believe will make us fat, we eat with total shame and guilt.
God tells us:
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.”
Notice how this quote does not end with…”unless you are fat. Then you have to skip the wine, eat with repentance and know that I do not approve if you have that dessert.”
In fact, nowhere in the Bible does God say a single thing about being fat.
He mentions nothing about women and weight.
Nowhere in the ten commandments does it say:
“Though shall not have belly flab or cellulite.”
Surviving off kale and cross-fit is not a moral imperative….
although, it can make the body feel good.
Still, you are not doing God any favors by restricting yourself from junk food just as you are not making Him love you any less when you can’t put down the Ben and Jerry’s.
God just wants you to chill out, be yourself and stop trying to reach for control, perfectionism and worldly idols through a smaller body
Most of all, He wants you to stop thinking about yourself all the time and start keeping your focus back on Him, including how you eat.
Where I kept getting it all wrong when I was transitioning from dieting to a more intuitive eating approach was that I came to the table with my own set of plans.
My plans to eat well fell apart by dinner.
My plans to only have a few cookies ended with me finishing the box.
My plans to be “good” at this “normal” eating thing only to fall victim to total self judgement over everything I ate brought on even more guilt.
What God showed me is that, judgment and condemnation have no place in eating.
It’s just eating!
God made me realize that what I was really trying to do with my plans was stay in control because I was afraid…. of gaining weight.
He also showed me that I was addicted to the act of dieting.
The act of trying to stay fit and healthy to feel a sense of accomplishment in my life, a sense of belonging and success.
No wonder my eating was such a mess.
I had so much emotional drama behind it!
Once I got totally honest with God, He showed me how to get totally honest with my eating.
I had been looking for structure.
God showed me grace.
I had been afraid of failure.
God showed me forgiveness.
I feared what my body would end up looking like eating without boundaries.
God blessed me with peace.
To let go of dieting and look towards Jesus is not a 21 day fix.
You are not promised a “bikini ready body” (doesn’t just having a body make you ready for a bikini?).
What you are promised is a more joyful and peaceful place in the body of Christ.
It is not about getting it right, eating “well” or according to your vision.
It is about going inward, trusting the body that God designed very specifically for you to inform your food choices and having faith that weight gain or not, God has you right where you are meant to be each step of the way.
God’s great vision for his children is not reliant upon weight, calories or fat.
It is on peace, righteousness and joy.
If you do not have that on your plate then you are not eating from the Kingdom of God.