I am just over half way through week one of the Proverbs 31 Made to Crave On-line Bible Study and all I can say is, “why did I wait so long to read this book?!”.
The P31 On-line Bible Study leaders have chosen a theme word for each week. This week’s word is EMPOWERED. As I placed the accompanying refrigerator sign prominently on the front of our freezer door, my husband said, “What the heck does that mean?”. At the time, I really couldn’t answer him.
He continued to joke, “Does it mean you are empowered to eat the ice cream in there?”. Then he got more serious, “Hon, if I am going to support you in this, I need to know what that means.”
It took me some time to come up with an answer, but I think that I have finally got it. First and foremost, it means that I am empowered by God on this journey towards both mental and physical health. But it also means that I am empowered to not eat the ice cream in the freezer. I am not being deprived of the ice cream in the freezer. It is a slight mental shift, but such an important one.
It is my choice to not eat the second portion at dinner because I know that it is going to be better for me in the long run. There is no outside force depriving me of all the good foods in life. I am not missing out on something. I am choosing the better road.
The result of either attitude is the same––eating less––but choosing to feel empowered to make good choices versus feeling deprived is going to make the journey so much more enjoyable.
I never imagined that I would become someone who struggled with her weight. When I was a teenager, I could eat anything and everything that I wanted and never gain a pound. I would look at my mother in her double-digit sizes and think to myself, “I will never wear those.” (Sorry, mom.)
When I competed in the Miss Maryland America Pageant, I won the Preliminary Swimsuit Competition five times. That is something that no one else has ever done before or since. And to be honest, while I worked out on a regular basis, I never had to do anything drastic to get my body into the shape that it was. I felt sorry for the girls who had trouble losing weight, but had no empathy for them.
Fast forward three babies in four years later and all of that has changed. My youngest is four years old now, so I can’t even call this baby weight anymore. Since the birth of my first daughter I have started numerous diets and workout plans. I would jump in with 150% percent of my being eventually burning out and falling back into old eating habits.
For the past 8 years, I have felt like my size is temporary. I refrain from buying clothes, because I don’t want them to be too big when I get back to my “real” weight. I feel guilt when I walk into my closet and am faced with hangers full of beautiful clothes that I can no longer wear.
I have realized that my struggle is not just with over-indulgence and lack of exercise, but it is also with deprivation and a strict workout routine. My thinking is very all or nothing causing me to yo-yo between making an idol of food and making an idol of weight loss.
I actually received my copy of Made to Crave right when it first came out several years ago at the Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks Conference. I even shared my struggles with Lysa when she signed my book. I can remember her sharing with me that it wasn’t about the number on the scale moving in one direction or another, it was about coming to peace with my body. I thought that I understood at the time, but I didn’t.
And so the book sat on my shelf while I continued to try to do things on my own. Every so often I would walk by it and hear a little whisper saying, “read it.” To which I would respond, “I don’t need to read that, I can do this on my own.”
After gaining ten pounds over the holidays, I have finally come to a place where I am ready to admit that I cannot do this on my own. I need the Lord’s help to completely reprogram the way that I look at food, exercise and my weight.
That is why I decided to sign-up for the FREE Made to Crave On-line Bible Study through Proverbs 31 Ministries. It is my prayer that by going through this study with a community of like-minded people, I will finally overcome my food and body image issues. If you deal with the same struggle, I would love to have you join me. To sign-up click the On-Line Bible Study button on the right-hand side of this page.
I would love to hear from you. If you can relate to what I shared and/or you decided to join me in this study please leave a comment below so that I can be praying for you. If you would like to follow my journey, you can subscribe to my blog through the box in the upper right-hand corner.