Sound familiar? Yeah, me too.
Some people call this knowing my own mind. I might know my own mind, but it’s the heart that’s deceitful above all else and desperately wicked. Who can know it? And the heart wants what it wants.
Same thing with our stomach. I want to eat tasty things, like chocolate, melted cheese, sour cream, and oven-heated chimichangas. That’s just me. You’ve got your own high-calorie, low nutrition favorites. Our tummies cry out for food, while our greedy hearts demand satisfaction through indulgence in sugar, salt, and fat. What we don’t pay attention to is the fact that food can never fully satisfy the true longing of our hearts. The heart is hungry until it finds its fill in God.
I’ve never been one to diet, whether in eating or spending. Telling myself no has not been an established habit of mine. Regret is more in keeping with the person I’ve acted like. I’ve been eating what I want when I wanted it only to regret it later. The scale doesn’t lie. Nothing lost, but a whole lot gained over the past few years.
That’s all changing now. God has been transforming me, from the inside out. He is teaching me to find my heart’s satisfaction, like my salvation, in Christ alone. There are some things he has used to help me on my way. I wrote about Lysa Terkeurst‘s book, Made To Crave in a previous post. It has been instrumental in helping me to find my “want to”. Those of us who’ve been up and down the scale know how badly we need help from all quarters. I’ve recently discovered another source of encouragement in the form of a FREE ebook, Step Away from that Diet: Ten Steps To Losing Weight and Gaining the Confidence You’ve Been Searching For by Sundi Jo Graham. It’s simple and concise, yet chock-full of practical wisdom. Because I liked it so much, I simply had to interview Sundi Jo. Here are the results:
Tell us about your ebook and what you hope to achieve through it.
“People are always asking me about my weight loss. How I did it, do I have tips, etc? I was always hesitant to share because I wanted to make sure I was actually doing this thing. God said “Go for it.” So here I am. I want to let people know through Step Away from that Diet that weight loss is possible without dieting or surgery. I want to share what worked for me and what can work for them if they use the 10 steps I provided. I give a very straight forward approach to weight loss. There are no secrets to follow. I want others to walk in their new journey as I have been able to. I want them to look in the mirror with confidence, not only because of what they see on the outside, but also what they see on the inside. I want to help others change lives, not just drop pounds.”
Did you experience any major setbacks on your weight-loss journey?
“Not during the weight loss. But I have certainly encountered setbacks in the after process. Some health issues make it harder to keep the weight off. Only until recently have I been able to get back into the gym full-time. But God has really taken great care of me, in not allowing all that weight to come back on. I have still made healthy eating decisions for the most part.”
Do you seriously fear that one day you might start packing on the pounds again? How do you deal with this?
“Yes. Sometimes that fear still starts to creep up. I have come to terms with the reality that I can never go back to where I was. I have to continue to make smart decisions and exercise. Staying accountable really helps me with that fear. Not only do I know that I can never go back to the person I was, but I have friends and family that won’t let that happen either.”
Now that you’ve developed this healthy lifestyle, do you still have days when you just want to eat more than you should? What do you do?
“Oh yes! Especially when I’m stressed. The first thing I want to do is eat. Some days I just do it out of habit. I still don’t get it right every time. I’m a fast eater, which I’m trying to work on, so I still find myself scarfing down food because I don’t give myself enough time to get full. That’s why staying accountable is important. If I start to feel like I’m getting out of control, I log what I’ve eaten and send it to my accountability partners. I’m far less likely to eat things I shouldn’t if I know others will know about it.”
What do you do for exercise during inclement weather?
“I’m busted on this one! I tend to use it as an excuse not to exercise, which I need to knock off! But when I’m not making excuses, I like to do Yoga. It’s excellent for the body, and if you don’t have a DVD, all you need is YouTube.”
Fill in the blanks: “Before, I used to overeat because of _____________ (eg: boredom, anxiety, stress, new emotional hurts, sadness, anger, frustration), but now I ______________ (run, drink water, journal, call my friends, scream, etc). Explain.
“Because of all the above really. Definitely emotional hurts. I also ate to celebrate. But now I journal, call my friends, exercise, pray. What I don’t talk a lot about in the ebook is why I was so overweight. That was my way to protect myself. I decided at a young age, after being sexually molested, that I couldn’t trust anyone and I was tired of letting people get close to me. Eating was a protector for me. The heavier I got, the more people couldn’t get “inside” to know the real me.”
How greatly does prayer and relying on God factor into your weight-loss journey?
“It must come first. The days I start to get out of control are the days I soon realize that I was trying to do this journey myself and not with God. I just recently did a 21 Day Daniel Fast because I could feel myself starting to get out of control. I started using the excuse that because it was yogurt, it was healthier and i could have it more. I was craving chocolate like never before and was trying to fight the urge to avoid it myself. That is, when I tried to avoid the urge at all. During the fast, I told myself, “Well, everything’s healthy. I can have as much as I want.” But God reminded me that I was still out of control. He had to bring me back to self-control. It’s a constant struggle for me really. When I first started running two years ago, before I even got close to the treadmill I would pray, “God, I can’t do this on my own. I need your strength.” And he provided. I felt so connected to Him when I was running because I knew it was Him and not me. One more thing I could say about that, is don’t let your emotions tell what you should do. I don’t always want to work out because I don’t “feel” like it. I have to ask myself what the truth is about that situation. Will I feel better? Am I taking care of God’s temple? Am I being obedient? I don’t always trust truth over feelings, but I’m so much better than I used to be.”
Words of wisdom. Thanks, Sundi Jo, for sharing your heart with us. It’s always encouraging to know that others have struggled through the same dark tunnel and are breathing free at the other end. May the Lord bless you as you seek to do His will.
Friends, here again is the link to Sundi Jo’s ebook: http://www.sundijo.com/stepawayfromthatdiet/
Father, teach us to find our heart’s desire in you alone. Teach us to say no to ourselves when we seek satisfaction in food, shopping, or anything other than you. Help us to taste and see that You are good. Amen.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:8).
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