A monthly column on purpose, passion and power in Jesus.
Yep, January is usually the month many people “resolve” to lose weight and get fit.
The bulk of us making this resolution want to lose weight and we’re not fit — not just because of a little indulgence over the festive season, but because generally, this is an area we struggle in.
This is not something we tend to talk a lot about in the Body of Christ, but it’s something we need to. Believers are battling major health issues, that are predominantly brought about by poor lifestyle choices, just as much as everyone else.
As a person who’s struggled with weight most of my life, I’ve come to believe that tackling “the fat” without facing the reason behind weight gain fails. In fact, the research shows that less than 1% of people who lose weight keep it off long term.
People talk about “discipline”, “calorie control”, “exercise”– but here’s the thing: most overweight people Know How To Lose Weight. Shocker right!
So if we know a lot about how to lose weight, why don’t we? The answer is most of us are not being entirely honest with ourselves. Instead of dealing with a pain we may be struggling with, we eat. And then, because we’re not being honest about using food to comfort us, we’re also sketchy about how much we’re actually eating.
People in the Church hurting? Then using food to cope?
That’s a discussion we don’t want to talk about — and for those battling in this area, or any other area that needs inner healing, there’s a creepy silence.
Because we can talk about physical healing, but to talk about heart issues and what they can result in…
At times a person may have received inner healing but then the bad habits they learned before the healing happened still need to be undone.
Two years ago I took a test that claimed to show the relationship I had with food. The higher one scored on the test the closer to a serious food addiction the person had. Out of a score of 10, I scored seven.
When I told a friend about the test score she dismissed it and said: “But all those things fall away in Christ.”
But do they?
If it were as simple as that we’d all, as believers, be in perfect health and wealth in every area of our lives. But most of us are not.
I wonder if that attitude of, “As a Christian you can’t possibly be struggling with that!” could be a reason many suffer in silence?
Could it maybe also be the reason those around them say nothing, even though they can see the person is drowning?
The only way we begin to be set free from many of these things is by renewing the mind and then walking a different path according to that renewal.
If more than 99% of people who lose weight struggle to keep it off long term, we have to admit that weight loss is far more complicated than we think — because if it were as easy as it’s been sold to us, more people would succeed.
At the same time weight loss doesn’t have to be difficult. It may require we seek inner healing, it will definitely require renewing our minds. As we heal and renew our minds we, almost automatically, look after ourselves better.
Giving it “all we’ve got”, again, is one way to go about getting healthy. However, I’m inclined to believe it might be worth considering these things before we take out yet another gym contract we’ll barely use the rest of the year.