Big-Time Loser

Linda's Before and After photo

I still can't believe that was me two years ago!

This is a “heavy” subject.   I have struggled with weight for most of my life – sometimes experiencing the joy of victory, other times the agony of defeat.

With the stress of life, raising kids, and so on, food became my source of comfort.   But the comfort was always short-lived, because after eating my way through the pantry, I’d wake up the next day feeling yucky, bloated, and unable to fit into my jeans.

About two years ago, God helped me lose 85 lbs.  (The photo still amazes me!)  Since that time I’ve been able to keep about 50 lbs. of it off, but I continue to struggle with the last 30 lbs. or so.  I keep losing it – then finding it again!

I truly relate to the Apostle Paul when he said, “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t!   I do what I don’t want to – what I hate!  I know perfectly well what I’m doing is wrong. . . but I can’t help myself.”   (Romans 7:15, 18  Living Bible)

This is so frustrating!  But no matter how I have tried to help myself, I’ve learned that only Christ can help any of us with the addictions and habits that keep us stuck.

I’ve also learned that I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me – and the good news is that it’s never too late to start fresh with God.

This week God is calling me once again to embrace healthy habits in my eating, and it involves daily surrender to Him.   When I find myself feeling stressed, tired, bored, sad, or confused, I need to remind myself that my heart is not going to find the answer in the refrigerator.

 

What about you?  When stress overwhelms you, how do you keep from turning to unhealthy habits?  How does your faith help?

Please take a moment and share a comment below – then check back to see what encouraging ideas others have shared.

 


13 Comments

  1. I can relate to your struggle Linda. I too have struggled with my weight since I first was pregnant in 1980. 15 years I remained heavy and was in a cycle of self destruction with my ‘comfort food’ enemy moments as I call them. I was a single parent and while I loved being a mom, I was lonely and felt very unworthy of anyone’s attention. I remember a widower at our church that was my age and we seemed to hit it off until one day he asked me if I don’t tire of my ‘mass’. I was destroyed! Several years later I was blessed to have been motivated to finally step out and take control of my life with the help of God as well. I began a powerwalking program, and really ate whatever I wanted only I didn’t seem to have an appetite to eat alot. I lost 65 pounds. Through the years I have gone up and down through various means of ‘comfort’ eating moments and then dieting. It can’t be healthy to do this? Today I sit with a good deal of weight back on and can stay on a program for 2-5 weeks but then something will knock me off and I can’t get motivated to get back on. I know it’s time to make a lifestyle change and go to God rather than open the cabinet. That lifestyle change has to include a ‘non-diet’ solution but rather an eating clean for life solution as well with exercise. I know I can do it, it is just remaining consistent in doing it and I believe you are Spot On with this blog, the only way to do that is by going to God and not the cabinet. Thanks for this blog today, it is encouraging.

    • Thanks Val, for your honesty.

      This is a tough struggle for so many of us. As much as we’d like to find the “magic bullet” answer or quick-fix, I don’t believe there is one. I think God uses different issues in each of our lives to drive us back to Him – and for many of us, this is one of those issues. He allows our ongoing food struggles to remind us of our hunger and thirst that can only be filled by Him.

      That’s not to say that there’s no hope of ever changing. It’s also not to say that we should simply give up (although there have been times when I’ve felt like it).

      I do believe change is possible – and I do believe that when our eyes are fixed on Christ, He will give us the help to make those changes one step at a time.

      I’m praying He gives you the courage to let Him help you make a fresh start again today – in His strength. Hang in there and let me know how it goes. I’ll be praying.
      Linda

      • Thank you Linda and so true.

        Food can be viewed as a habit or addiction if we use it to fill a void that God desires to fill.

        Prayer is so important to win the battle. When I do my morning devotions and start the morning off with some form of exercise, as little as it maybe, it helps keep the rest of my day on track and I seem to stay on course with eating clean as well.

        Val

  2. Linda – thank you for sharing – YES absolutely relate…your comment “and the good news is that it’s never too late to start fresh with God.” I needed it!! I wish there was an easy solution for the fight against FAT! but what I am learning that instead of taking it one day at a time, I need to trust the Lord moment by moment…if only I could change the way I eat in the evening – that’s my downfall.

    • Linda Sommerville

      Amen, Nidia! It really is a moment by moment thing.

      What God ultimately wants is my heart, and He often uses my excessive desire for food as a way to get my attention so He can get my heart. It’s like that verse that says “where you treasure is, there your heart will be.” Often for me, it should read “where your food is, there your heart will be.” With each bite, I need examine where my heart is – and surrender it to God. As I pay attention and listen, He will lead me when (and what) to eat and when to stop. He loves us so much that He pays attention to every detail of our lives. And in this building of a love relationship with Him, we will gradually be able to lose fat and gain more joy.

      I suggest that you pay very close attention to where your heart and mind are in the evening – and turn to Him in prayer. Also, flee temptation (i.e. run out of the kitchen!). 🙂

      blessings,
      Linda

      • Linda, I fled yesterday evening (chips were calling my name)- I took my little’s for a walk when I got home!! So refreshing, now to apply where your treasure is, there will your hear be also…thank you for your words of wisdom. Keep up the good fight..

        • So great to hear that God helped you not only to flee temptation but to get some healthy exercise and time with your kids all in the process. What a gift!

  3. Linda,

    Thanks for sharing this! I needed this encouragement TODAY! It is a constant struggle and I have to start fresh each and everyday; but His mercies are new each day too. The hardest part is learning not to self medicate with food!

    • Amen, Karla!

      Self-medicating is exactly what it is. I do it, too. Eating “comfort food” often seems like the quickest way to find relief – but it only brings me long term heartache.

      So glad I could offer encouragement at the right time. Praying God draws you close today and fills your heart with more of Him – and that you won’t go looking for God in the pantry. 🙂

  4. Lynn Cullen

    Thanks for sharing. WOW, your pics look great. I always had to watch what I ate growing up, while my stick-thin little sister could eat whatever she wanted. As a nurse and personal trainer, I know the benefit of eating well. I didn’t fully get it till I met with a nutritionist prior to doing a figure competition. He had me eating “clean” every 2-3 hours. I was amazed at how my body changed and how amazing I felt. No tired, exhausted feeling in the afternoon. It totally changed the way I started eating. I have been eating this way for about 5 years now and still feel amazing. I do allow myself to indulge, but usually end up with a stomach ache and a sluggish feeling.

    • Linda Sommerville

      Thanks, Lynn. Sounds like you’ve found some ongoing ways to face your food issues. I’m sure being in the health field gives you even more motivation to stay focused on healthy eating.

      Just curious – can you share one or two specific things you changed that have helped you most? Also, is there any way you’ve experienced God’s help in the process? Those of us still struggling would be greatly helped! 🙂

  5. Lynn Cullen

    I think the biggest things that I have changed me and helped me are to eat every 2-3 hours (this prevents me from getting so hungry that I just start snacking). I eat good clean food (chicken, broccoli, yams, oatmeal, blueberries, eggs, almonds, yogurt, veggies). This also keeps my metabolism up and keeps my energy going. Kind of like stoking a fire, you constantly keep putting kindling on it to keep it burning. Also, if I feel myself wanting to turn to food to cure boredom, stress, etc; I go to the gym or just get up and take a brisk walk. This takes my mind off the food and turns it to something healthy and I feel great in the process. If you feel yourself wanting to eat or snack, grab a glass of water. Sometime dehydration disguises itself as hunger. Another thing is to get back up and start over when you fail. We are all human. We are all going to mess up and over-indulge. But, just get right back up the next day and start fresh. Every day is a new day.

    I think God has helped me in the process by putting people in my life that are good “healthy” role models, who have taught me along the way. I think he has also called me to Bayside West, where I have received powerful messages on how to turn to HIM in times of stress and worry.

    • Linda Sommerville

      Lynn, thanks for taking the time to share these great ideas. They are all great reminders – and simple things – that can make a big difference over time. For tomorrow’s blog, I’m planning to share a list of similar types of “healthy food habits.” Your list is a great start. Blessings!

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