If you are reading this article, you probably clicked on it because you desire to change something about your relationship with your food, your body, or perhaps the numbers on the scale. If that is the case, I have been there, in many different ways! I am only 32 years old, yet in my life I have been through every high, low, and somewhere in between when it comes to my relationship with my body, food, and my weight. With all that being said, I finally came to a place where I was able to find a healthy balance in each one of these areas and finally feel good in my skin, all while enjoying food in a healthy way! Living in this place of balance has allowed me to reach my happy weight and maintain it for years!
What is a "Happy Weight" you ask!?! A happy weight is where you feel good in your skin, your body is functioning in a healthy way, and it is a weight you can maintain without striving or using unhealthy means to get or stay there.
The Journey to Find My Happy Weight
As I mentioned, my relationship with food, exercise, and my body has gone up and down many times in my life. I spent so many years feeling frustrated about my body, wishing that I could change certain things, or look like other girls or women. All the while, I worked out and tried many popular diets, but no matter what I tried, I would still go up and down with my weight. From eating disorders to diet rollercoasters...I was in bondage to my weight. No matter what I did, I felt like I would never reach a place that I was truly free, much less be happy with my body and weight.
I finally reached a point where enough was enough. I knew I had to surrender my body and health to the Lord in order to find freedom. Everything finally started to change when I involved God in how I cared for my body; And so the pursuit of balanced healthy living began.
Invite God in on Your Journey to Health
One of the first things I did was pray and ask the Lord to come in and guide me on my journey to health. I also repented for how I had treated my body over the years, and my lack of trust in the Lord in caring for my health.
I also asked the Lord for wisdom in how to practically care for my health. A few simple things that I learned was to listen to my body. I started to think about how a young child eats, eating when they are hungry, and stopping when they are full. I realized that it really wasn't complicated, and listening to my body was part of God's original design. Along with paying attention to my satiety, I realized I needed to listen to my body as far as eating what makes my body feel good.
I also used wisdom and started to eat foods that God created for our bodies, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein, and stay away from sugar and processed foods,eating them only on occasion or in moderation. Sure, I could have cake and pizza for every meal, but when I do I know it makes me feel sluggish, low energy, and overall just weighed down. When I practice clean eating however, I noticed that my body feels energized and strong!
Seek Peace and Pursue It
Through the years of seeking God to find complete and total freedom in these areas, I have come to realize that every person needs to go by the peace of God that rules in their own heart when it comes to each issue pertaining to their own body. This also meant that I couldn't compare myself to anyone else, and that I had to pay attention to how my body responds to food, which meant that fad diets were out the window for good! Everyone has to do what makes their body feel good, which may be something different or specific pertaining to their individual health and body. Which is why I suggest seeking the Lord about each area of health/fitness for yourself.
Likewise, when we are seeking after God's direction in our lives, we must also be sensitive to a lack of peace in a particular direction. This absence of God's peace in generally comes in the form of anxiety, stress, anger, or confusion, and it is generally a strong indicator warning us that we are stepping out of the will of God. Just as the Lord gives us peace when we are following His plan, He will also remove His peace when we stray from it.
Asking for Wisdom on Specifics
Personally, I prayed and asked God to give me wisdom how much I should work out each week, (yes, He cares about every area of our lives, and we can ask for wisdom, even in the little things!) I followed peace and it led me to working out four days a week with walks on my off days. This was a big change on my previous 6 days a week, sometimes 2 hour workouts a day! I came to find that working out in this way was actually better for my body, as it had time to rest and recover after my intense workouts. I then had more energy to put forth towards my workouts, and I felt more energized throughout my day, rather than worn out and sore all of the time!
I even asked God to bring my body to the place that He designed it to be. I knew this wouldn't necessarily mean that I would be a size zero, or look my friends or favorite actress, but I knew that if I listened to my body and used wisdom in my exercise and eating choices, I would ultimately feel beautiful and healthy at the weight God designed me to be!
I know that this may seem easier said than done in a world where comparing is certainly an easy trap to fall into, but this is where Romans 12:2 gives us wisdom! It says, " Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." I love this scripture because it reminds us not to conform to the standards of this world, or try to be like others, but instead let God's word be the standard by which we view things. When we do, we are promised that we will learn God's good, pleasing and perfect will for our life, (which includes our weight and our overall health!)
Beauty in Surrender
When we seek God with ALL of our heart, (about anything and everything,) and pray that His desires will become your desires, we will stop worrying about what size jean size we wear…and start to desire the things that are on His heart above all of these temporary things. The more we seek Him, the more we begin to trust Him with every area of our lives!
I am in no way perfect now, and I know I will be forever learning; However, the one thing that made all of the difference was surrendering my body to the Lord and letting Him teach me how to take care of my health; And I knew that I could trust Him, because after all He created it! When I finally got off the control wagon and gave Him control was when I saw the most dramatic and beautiful changes in my weight, health, and life in general!
It’s truly amazing to stand back and see what the Lord has done in my life as I surrendered (and continue to surrender) anything and everything He shows me to give over to Him. In the area of my body for example, God has taught me so much and I can truly say that I am able to enjoy food, I am able to listen to my body, and I feeling more energetic and healthy than I ever have in the past because of His leading. In addition, I have never had to go on another diet, and have maintained my happy weight for years, and even got right back down to it naturally a few months after having a baby!
The neat thing is, that’s how surrender works in every area of our lives! The more we give over over to God, and trust Him, the more freedom and joy we find! It might not make sense, but that is where faith and trust come in!
If you have spent years looking to reach your happy weight, I would encourage you to pray and ask our Heavenly Father to give you wisdom as you surrender your body, (and/or any area of your life He’s telling you to surrender) over to Him. After praying, start to listen to His leading. Don’t try to figure it all out, on your own or rely on the wisdom of this world. Simply listen to God, and ask Him to show you in His word and in your heart what the truth is, and the next steps to take… and follow the peace of God that rules in your own heart! xo Katie