I have always been fascinated with the weight-loss saga of Oprah Winfrey. Here you have a woman with access to the best money can buy–personal trainers, chefs, nutritionists, gym equipment, supplements–and yet, she has a raging battle with her weight. Why?
I’m convinced it’s about way more than just diet and exercise. It’s about way more than just feeling full.
I know how to lose weight. I can tell you exactly what to do. Because I’ve done it once.
And twice. And three times. And four times. And five times. And…..well, you get the picture.
About twelve weeks after my second daughter was born, I was at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been (except during pregnancy, of course). With the motivation of our town’s weight-loss competition, I lost 45 pounds. A few months later, I was pregnant with our third daughter. Again, I participated in our town’s competition after she was born, and I ended up at my lowest weight I can remember (I may have been near that number as a middle school girl)!
Fast forward five years, and I’m up seven pounds. I know it’s not really that much, and I’m definitely not even close to my highest weight. But I just don’t like it. I just don’t feel well. I just don’t want a muffin top. Is that too much to ask? 😉
That’s where this Made to Crave study comes in. I know how to lose the weight. The missing element for me right now is my “want-to”. I know I can’t just do it for physical appearance, I can’t just do it for health, and I can’t just do it for energy. Although those are valid, I know I won’t stick with it if those are my motivating reasons. I’ve tried in the past, and it hasn’t worked! I’ve been asking for wisdom and deeper insight into why I’m struggling with this.
Made to Crave
In my reading of chapters 1-3, I was just struck over and over again with the idea that we were made to crave. “Uh, duh, Stacie! Isn’t that the title of the book?” I know that’s what you’re thinking…but hear me out!
Ultimately, our hearts were made to crave God, but we have this problem with misplaced cravings. Some of us crave food, others crave material possessions, others crave love, some crave fitting in, some crave alcohol, some crave significance. Sometimes, we crave all of those things!
I never really thought about my cravings for food as spiritually significant. I’m a stress-eater. I also eat when I don’t want to think about or talk about my feelings. While I know those are not healthy choices, they’ve become a pattern of coping in my life–but not something I really thought God cared about.
Until I read the book. And then, I completely identified with this:
“But I did need to make changes. I knew it. Because this wasn’t really about the scale or what clothing size I was; it was about the battle that raged in my heart. I thought about, craved, and arranged my life too much around food (emphasis mine). So much so, I knew it was something God was challenging me to surrender to His control. Really surrender. Surrender to the point where I’d made radical changes for the sake of my spiritual health perhaps even more than my physical health.
Part of my surrender was asking myself a really raw question.
May I ask you this same raw question? Is it possible we love and rely on food more than we love and rely on God?” (Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave, page 28)
I asked myself that tough question, and the honest answer is yes. Yes, I run to food for comfort more often than I run to my loving Father. And I feel so stupid admitting that. Yet, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m just going to recognize we all have something we run to–we all have something we crave.
I want to crave God tremendously more than I crave food!
One my own, I can’t do that, but these three things from the book have been helping me:
1) Whenever you have a craving use it as a chance to pray.
The magazines and experts all tell us to distract ourselves when a craving hits–go into another room, go for a walk, read a book. I’m making a choice to “distract” myself with prayer.
2) Change your mindset.
Instead of feeling deprived that I can’t have something, I’m trying to change how I think about it. I’m trying to look at each good food choice as empowering. I can change…I can make a better decision…I’ve got this (empowered by the Holy Spirit, of course)!
3) Quote scripture.
One of the most helpful verses Lysa has shared so far (and a quick, easy one to quote to myself when I feel tempted to overeat or eat the wrong kind of food) is 1 Corinthians 10:23: “‘Everything is permissible’–but not everything is beneficial.”
Do you think food is spiritually significant? Where are you at in your journey this week?
Please note: I do know that there are medical issues that make it hard to lose weight, and I’m in the middle of being helped by an amazing doctor for hormone and adrenal issues (it should definitely help in the weight area once I get those under control). I know the frustration of physical issues well, but I don’t think we should just give up and say we can’t do it. We can cheer each other on!!