spaghettipie

Sin is Weighing Me Down

I’ve struggled with my weight for the past several years and have unsuccessfully tried to change my eating and exercise habits. I have finally come to grips with the fact that I’m not getting to the root of the issue. Oh, I know all the right answers about how to lose weight, how to eat healthy, and how to exercise. My perception of the issue needed to shift. My desire to lose weight merely addressed a surface issue – a symptom, if you will. So the core issue – my desire to satisfy my flesh – always won out. I eat things I should not eat simply because I want to, because they will taste good. As Kay Arthur points out in her book Lord, I Want to Know You, ” . . .the flesh cannot wait. It demands that its cravings be satisfied. Not later, but now!”

So I’ve come to the point where I realize that this struggle with being overweight is at its core, a sin issue. My overeating is a symptom of my reluctance to put to death the flesh. To submit to Him (my Lord!) my focus on self and getting what I want when I want.

A long time ago I came to the realization that the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of my life were all tied tightly together. When one area was out of whack, it affected all the other areas of my life. I am reminded of this principle again as I walk through this issue. Honestly, my relationship with God has been stale for far too long. My consistency in His word and in prayer is lacking. And I am now realizing how it is affecting my physical being. My lack of discipline in my “spiritual life” (like you can really separate it out?) overflows into a lack of discipline in my physical being. The additional pounds I see on my scale are also representative of sin that is weighing me down.

So my weight-loss solution? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts, or how you have handled similar struggles.

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20 comments

  1. I can so relate to this.

    For the last year + I’ve been losing weight very, very slowly. Like a pound every two months. But I’m not on a diet. And I don’t hate myself.

    (I’ve been an expert on “losing weight through self loathing” in the past. It hasn’t worked out well in the long term…)

    I can’t wait to read more!!

  2. teashock

    Hi spaghettipie,
    maybe check out 2 books by preacher Derek Prince and being a good Berean (Acts 17:11) check out what he says against your Bible to see if it is so.

    The books are: “Blessing or Curse: you can choose” and “They shall expel demons”.
    Please see if your local christian bookshop stocks these or get your library to order them in and take nothing on face value. I am guilty of filtering much through my own assumptions in the past and as a result not being open to real teaching on realities we all face every day.
    Yours in Christ – The TeaShock

  3. The Green Witch

    I had my son and then realised I was three stone overweight! Good realising, huh?!

    I joined a supportive diet class and determined to take control of my weight. Like you, spiritual issues and the way I felt about myself figure large in my ability to stick tothis kind of plan. So I made it a multi-pronged attack.

    I started actively to work on my spiritual life; I made commitments in my volunteering and stuck to them, I started reading and gardening again (great exercise). I also stuck to the diet plan, but if I fell off, I didn’t belabour the point or beat myself up. I just got back on the wagon and got on with it.

    Two years later I’m a healthy weight, three stone off and holding, and I have benefited immeasurably from taking myself in hand and committing to a plan of action.

    I always feel better if I’m doing something purposeful.

    Good luck; I hope you hit on a plan that works for you.

    Bright blessings!

  4. I think it sad that you equate your extra pounds with sin. I believe you are setting yourself up for failure by creating conflicts within yourself. Love God and treat your body likewise by eating healthfully. Keep it positive.

    For example, the Sausage Crescent Roll recipe needs to go. When you toss that recipe card in the trash you will be doing the right thing for yourself and your family.

    I wish you success.

  5. spaghettipie

    LM – Glad you’ve taken the self-loathing part out of your weight-loss plans!
    A – Coming right up.
    T – Thanks for the book recommendations. I’ll look into them.
    TGW – Thanks for sharing your story. I’m taking a multi-pronged approach as well, and I think it will be very beneficial.
    Q – I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! I appreciate your sentiments, but I believe I’m on the right track. For me (not necessarily for everyone), the extra pounds are a physical reminder of the fact that my life – both spiritual and physical – is out of balance, and that sin issues affect all of me – not just my “spiritual” life.
    As for the recipe, fortunately, I do not make that recipe (ever, really – I’ve only made it once). If we did eat it all the time, you are totally right that it would need to be cut from our diet.

  6. These kinds of things are hard won. Often victory only comes after numerous defeats. I have noticed in my own life that some kind of support group that I can be honest with is key. I guess that’s why various 12-step groups flourish.

  7. If you don’t regard food as sin, but as something you need to live, perhaps that might help. If you are eating what you consider “sinful”, turn it into a treat. Take a really long time to eat it, enjoy each mouthful. Tell yourself, “Oh, this tastes good. I deserve this.” If you simply allow yourself to enjoy it, the longing for more may not be so strong. Think about it – what made the apple so interesting? It was forbidden. The key lies in enjoyment and honesty. Of course, moderation is necessary, but when everything is allowed – in moderation – somehow it changes. One piece is enough. You don’t need to eat the whole cake and swear you’ll never eat another piece of cake again. Moderation is about treating yourself well. If you eat enough, but not too much, you feel well and you are being kind to yourself. This may sound weird, but it worked for me. I had an eating disorder for 13 years, and I stopped 20 years ago. I am normal weight, eat reasonably, and don’t feel like I’m limited in any way. 21 years ago, I would not have believed it to be possible.

  8. I think you’re right that suffering and sin are the same… If we were so pure, we wouldn’t have to have so much crap in life, but the way I see it is that life is like a school lesson so even if you have a load of crap, it is there to help us learn these types of important things… Just think, if you were so pretty and not overweight, would you have enlightened to this, or would you be complacent? So sometimes it can be very helpul to actually have problems he he he…

    I consider myself to be Buddhist, but I dont see any real difference between that and Christian… The book that I have learned the most from in the past few years would have to be Zhuan Falun. They say it reveals the characteristic of the universe, truthfulness, compassion, tolerance… Very interesting…

  9. I have two daughters, one is 6’1″ and about 200lbs. The other is 5’7 and about 115.

    God made the draft horse and the slight Arabian. He made the hummingbird and the crow. All have a purpose to their size and structure.

    Go have a thyroid test to rule out hypothyroidism. Then toss out the magazines that have pictures of women that are sickly thin.

    The sin of gluttony is one thing, but coming to terms with the package that god created you to be is quite another. Age and gravity take over and my body is certainly not the same as it was in my twenties. I too struggle with a feeling of not liking the package I am in. However God loves me the way I am and he knew me before I was even born. Therefore, I am the way he created me.

    Have faith.
    Alexandra

  10. I found your blog by accident, however, I believe as long as you regard your over-eating, or other unwholesome behavior, as “sin” you will continue in the grip of the behavior you want to change. Since you are a Christian, let me use those categories. Jesus was in the business of healing; he did not demand moral rectitude prior to healing. What he was about – and you see this in the parables – was shifting people’s worldviews. Once they saw things from the new perspective, they changed their behavior.

    What needs to change is not your behavior, but the worldview that causes you to overeat. What are your feeding? What do you hunger for? When you realize that you have already, in abundance, what you long for, you will not overeat.

    Don’t shrink from God, or feel ashamed or sinful.

    A spiritual practice can be a discipline, yes, but a spiritual life is something that undergirds the practice and it is rooted in a worldview.

    You imagine God reproaches you. But you are projecting your self-reproach onto a God who is pure love.

    Change begins not with violence but compassion.

    Blessings on your journey.

  11. 1hpb

    Losing weight is so hard. You have to see what works for you. One of the things I do is allow myself to indulge. If I am craving something sweet, I make a production out of eating it, so I savor it and then i have to get up and make another production about having seconds. so smaller servings, smaller plates, lots of water.

    I also don’t use the word diet. I say, smart choices. just because you don’t have something sweet now, you can always eat it later.

  12. Rod

    I think it is wrong to put guilt into people who are fat or for them to become fat. Looking at the matter no more and no less than what it is, people are fat because there was plenty to eat. There is abundance of food. For people to have good appetite is normal, good. It bocomes a problem when people don’t have, or if they’ve lost appetite.

    About weight problem, I remember one Christmas when I stood in this long queue to the cashier formed by last minute Christmas shoppers. I had dropped by at a mall with no more that 3 whole chickens and 3 kilograms of pork in mind. I made a mistake when I thought everything was going to take a moment because I stood there in line about an hour holding about 6.6 kilograms of meat in a plastic bag as I did not bother to get myself a basket or a cart.

    First time in my life, I realized why everybody seems concerned or obsessed about maintaining body weights. I realized how lucky I was that I did not have those 6 kgs with me all my life. (They must be extra punishment to the joints and the frame.)

    I think about weight is more on genetic. In my younger years I used to eat more than anybody else in our table so that oftentimes I got teased and ridiculed about my appetite. Yet, I’ve never been fat. Some people are known to grow fat even when they’re on diet. Some say it’s more on lifestyle, like too much mental and/or physical (hyper) activity makes lean. Also, others say that an over-fed baby will likely have weight problems throughout his/her life.

    Gluttony is a different thing. It is an issue of morality. Virtual reality. It goes something like; people are deprived because someone gets all at the expense of those who are starving. Gluttony in this case is associated to something that has not got a mind, a pig. And this someone is a virtual fatso-glutton even when in fact he is physically fit.

    I guess being fat is an issue of health (and sexiness) but it also makes some to feel social paranoia.

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  14. spaghettipie

    RLP – I totally agree, and that is incorporated into my little plan.
    M – Thanks for stopping by and being willing to share your experience.
    CA – I actually see some differences between Buddhism and Christianity. I’d love to chat about that with you sometime . . .
    BRF – I agree that we must balance caring for our bodies, dealing with gluttony, and being content with who God created us to be.
    GD – I absolutely agree that we have to look beyond the behavior to the core of the issues.
    1hpb – I think that’s a great philosophy. Solely depriving ourselves often sets us up to over-indulge. And I do believe God created us to enjoy eating -why else would we have so many tastebuds?
    R – I am sure there are many potential causes for being overweight (and sometimes more than one factor contributing at the same time). I think the point is that we do what we can to manage it, since it can carry its own additional health risks.

  15. For me it boils down to the same thing. Choices. I can choose (like yesterday) to eat popcorn or carrot sticks. And truth be told, I ate the popcorn, but it didn’t taste so great. I wanted to satisfy a craving, and I did, but ultimately it didn’t satisfy.

    So, shifting my focus from satisfying my appetites (a very American thing, and sinful too, when it’s beyond what I need to live daily) to finding my satisfaction in Jesus helps.

    I wish I could hold myself up as an example, but I can’t. But every day, each little choice counts.

  16. I am so amazed. I have come to exactly the same realization as you and no one can convince me that it is not from the Lord. I have truly enjoyed the last several weeks of studying and meditating on scriptures and I am having major breakthroughs. I hope you excell in whatever it is you desire to do be it weight loss, or inner peace or growing in grace.

  17. spaghettipie

    G – Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll look forward to walking through this knowing someone else is alongside!

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