Day 1: Chocolate is my comfort and deliverer

Thought for the Day: Eating in its proper context is not the problem. God gave us food for nourishment, strength, and even celebration. But when pleasure becomes unrestrained, there’s a problem.

God made you wonderful. Psalm 139 says you are wonderfully and fearfully made. You are beautiful and loved, no matter if you’re a size zero or a size thirty. You are beautiful just the way you are. But God loves you so much that He doesn’t want you to stay in a place of defeat.

There was a time when I felt utterly defeated in the area of food and health. I knew that I needed to make changes not because of the number on the scale or what clothing size I was. I knew it because of the battle that raged in my heart. I craved, I desired, I thought about, and arranged my life around food.

Yet I was a Bible teacher. I was a woman who loved Jesus. Why couldn’t I figure this out? I had found victory in so many areas of my life, but this area eluded me. I constantly asked, “Why shouldn’t I indulge?”

One day I looked up the definition of the word indulge, which means “unrestrained action.” And for me, it was unrestrained eating. You see, eating in its proper context is not the problem. God gave us food for nourishment, strength, and even celebration. But when pleasure becomes unrestrained, there’s a problem.

I had to get honest enough to admit it that I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. Chocolate was my comfort and deliverer. Cookies were my reward. Salty chips were my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness.

I knew it was something God was challenging me to surrender to His control. Really surrender. Surrender to the point where I’d make radical changes for the sake of my spiritual health perhaps even more than my physical health.

Part of my surrender was asking myself a different question, a really raw question. May I ask you this same question? Is it possible we love and rely on food more that we love and rely on God?

Now before you delete this, hear me out. This question is crucial. We have to see the purpose of our struggle with food as something more than getting to wear smaller sizes and receive compliments. Shallow desires produce shallow efforts. These good things are nice, but not as appealing in the moment as a cinnamon roll, or those chips, or that brownie.

The process of getting healthy has to be about more than just losing weight and focusing on ourselves. It’s not about adjusting our diets and hoping for good physical results. It’s about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change for the right reasons. I’ve realized that a healthy eating plan can be one of the most significant spiritual journeys I’d ever dared to take with God. As you join me for the next twenty days, I hope you soon say the same thing!

Comments

  1. Do we have a message board where we can all chat? Just curious! 🙂

  2. Starting Day 1 along with sharing this awesome information with co-workers we look forward to growing in a spiritual frame of mind during our weight loss journey! God bless each one of you that read this post and wishing each one of you nourishing and healthy bites as you gain the perspective. Always remembering God wants us to be a follower and be like Him..

  3. I’ve done this study before (not the 21-day thing) and it’s outstanding. I have found myself drifting back into old habits, not making the intentional sacrifice and wondering why i should tell myself “no” anyway. This study is an excellent way to re-focus on God and to back away from the temptations of OVER-indulgence in all areas. I’m so thankful to Lysa for “baring her soul” so that I can learn from her voice and experience.

    Blessings to you all!

  4. I love this book! I myself do not have a food addiction, but do have another addiction issue. This book is helping me with that. I personally think this book can help ANYONE who is suffering from food, shopping, alcohol, drugs, whatever, an addiction is an addiction and certainly keeps us from God’s best for us. I love you Lysa and “thank you” for this book.i really think before we make our rude comments or blurt out silly remarks, we all need to read seriously and take inventory. This book can really help anyone. Rachael, obviously you have misunderstood Lysa’s message.

  5. I am one year into post gastric sleeve surgery. Yet I still struggle with the number on the scale. I have run ten kilometres 2-3 times a week for the last three weeks. I am utterly exhausted! I am so on a squirrels wheel about beating myself up over everyday choices. I just want this sick obsession with food and weight to end. I need and want God to deliver me and make me whole.

    • Anna, I appreciated your comments and can relate to what you wrote. Thank you for sharing this. God is the only one who can grant us freedom from our dependence on food.

  6. Ronda Morrison says

    I have read your book several times since I bought it when it came out… it’s a book that defines the stronghold God has been trying to bring to my attention. Sadly I have not moved this mountain! It’s funny, Your question, “Is it possible I love and rely on food more that I love and rely on God?”… Lysa, that’s an awesome question but of course my answer was… “NO WAY” Untill I read this just now…

    I will learn how to destress and redirect my cravings to build my relationship with the One who made me. My eyes have been opened. Can you say break through?

  7. I’ve struggled all my life with my weight issues. I’d gain and lose like a yo-yo. It wasn’t until I was at my most desperate of times in my life when I was severely depressed due to being so sick and disabled. I couldn’t lose weight no matter what I did! I had Type 1 Diabetes which came Hypo-Thyroid disease, High Blood Pressure, Peripheral Neuropathy in my feet and Autonomic Neuropathy which infected my digestive system. I couldn’t walk more than 1/4 mile nor could I go to the grocery store due to the chronic pain in my feet. I also weighed over 230 pounds. I prayed and prayed for God to take this weight away, I didn’t want to be fat anymore I knew it was killing me. I believe God answered my prayers, I started a diet plan that I knew would work if I stuck with it. I also knew it was my last chance to make this work. I was so very sick. I lost over 52 pounds 4 years ago I have kept it off, BUT I still focus on food ALL THE TIME! I strive to eat right daily, but what I want to do is to eat a chocolate cake or my husbands poptarts. I have gotten my battle of weight off, but I still haven’t gotten the mental state right in my head. I finished your book last night and I totally loved it! I think you are right, BUT I still desired to eat those poptarts last night and gave in. I am studying more I was baptized when I was 15 years old and am a Christian. I love God, but I think I love food more and I don’t know how to change that even after reading your book. I sure hope that will change. I need to have more alone time with God and to speak to him about my addictions.

  8. Today is Day 1 on the 21 day challenge. I have already read, highlighted, and underlined Made to Crave. God must have spoken to someone who cares about me because this book “just appeared” in a bag on my doornob. As I began reading I found myself in tears and with a sense of relief that someone understands the struggle I’ve been facing most of my entire adult life. My life has been controlled by food as I tried to fill the hole inside of me. For the past 16 years, I have been part of a 12 Step program to address my food addictions. I am finally ready and willing to make changes that will place God first in my life.

  9. I too had always struggled with being overweight and two years ago I picked this book up. I have been able to refocus my eating and working out and able to loose several pants sizes and keep it off for the most part. I want to encourage all of you ladies that it is possible and you can do it. It does require sacrifice and learned self control and going to God instead of the pantry. I pray for success for each of you.

  10. I just received the 1st email of your 21 Day Challenge. THANK YOU! I really identified with what you were saying about trusting food more than God. I love God. It is my desire to know him more and to have a closer relationship with him. Yet, in my dark moments when I am focused on my own fear, lonliness or dissapointment I turn to the comfort of food rather than to trust in God I know he lives within me yet I have refused to allow him to work in my life in this area and probably much more. I look forward to reading the rest of your emails and am looking forward to a change within myself that will start to show on the outside.

  11. Why is overeating okay in our Christian churches? It is almost a joke. We seem to have food at every event and talk about it all the time. I didn’t even know overeating was a sin until later in life. It is an idol just like drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. but it is not talked about by many church leaders. Is it one of the sins that many Christians turn to including church leaders?

    • I hate to say it but you are right Kari. As a Pastor’s wife and director of Women’s Ministry I am a hypocrite when it comes to this area of my life. Not until one friend of mine slipped back into getting drunk did I realize I was as guilty as he was. I realized that I too had “fallen off the wagon”. We do over look this sin while pointing out the sins of alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual addictions. But we close our eyes to our food addiction. Yet, most of our pre-packaged food is filled with toxins that are worse than the drugs on the street. This book has really shook me to the core. How can I love food more than Jesus? I’ll be praying for you. Please do the same for me.

  12. Connie Schmoll says

    I just found this site today. I have seen a couple of Lysa’s quotes and have shared them with others but then when I found her facebook page, I saw that she also wrote books. THEN…when I saw the Made To Crave Book and began reading the free chapter, all I can say is Wow! So transparent, So honest and So much what I needed. It is so good that she is not trying to sell the next best diet program because I’ve had enough of them. I’m glad to see that she is actually helping us to get to the root of our problem. I am looking forward to checking all her material out.

    I would love to have a ministry in this, helping other women as I am being helped. So I’m seriously considering getting the ministry Kit. Any one out there who have purchased the Ministry Kit who can let me know your thoughts on it? Thanks. God bless you all!

  13. I will be sixty-three years old in June.For a period of time my weight got out of control. I am twice a cancer survivor. My weight is better now but I need to keep a handle on it.I am so pleased to be with this group and to know I am not alone

  14. Lysa, thank you for challenging us to “reccaliberate our souls.” This is so powerful and a great place to start as we begin this journey of making God our first craving!

  15. Thanks, Lysa, for writing Made to Crave. I read an article referencing it in Vibrant Life magazine and requested that my local library order it. I would never have thought that I could make an idol of food until I read through the book. When you asked the question, “Do you crave food more than God?”, my first thought was, “How ridiculous”. Then the thought (or was it the Spirit’s prompting?) whispered, “How many times have you gone through the cupboard specifically looking for junk food when you were bored/sad/grouchy/etc? and how many times did you pick up your Bible?” Talk about reality check. . . .

  16. i want more of God then the average person. i don’t know if He can fill me up. it is a trust issue for me. can i trust Him to give me more of His presence? i notice that when i am busy worshipping or gardening…i paint and worship while i do it….the time flies by and i don’t think about food…i just want to live in closeness to Him all the time. unrestrained food is a pitiful substitute for Him….and yet it is filling, immediate,comforting and available. i want to experience the taste of God….i have to leap…wait…trust…i think my inner questions is…is He really filling…is He really comforting…is He really available… i know that the answers to these questions are all a resounding yes….sometimes it takes another leap of faith…..and i need a plan….i think my plan is no white four…which i am allergic to…and no sugar…which gives me a headache…..and yet these are the things i gravitate to and feel horrible after i eat. i did H.O.W. OA for 2 years and had a very stringent way to follow…meetings, a sponser to call once a day and no white flour and no sugar…measured meals and no more or you could not talk at the meetings for 30 days….i felt so much freedom in one way because my boundries were very clearly set…in another way the only thing that really kept me on the straight and narrow was knowing the shame of going to a meeting and not being able to say anything because i had a slip. for 2 years i had no slip…my sponsor moved and i went back out into food land again. i need a reframe. is this weight/food thing something you manage for the rest of your life like dry heels and lotion, or is it something you get freed from or is it a road you take that worked before without the shame and guilt of meetings with OA..? i don’t know. either way it takes faith and obdience….faith in God…even if it has been a 53 year old battle…and obdience to find and know the direction to take. He got me off drugs…..He got me off the smokes and the booze…i just want to be free….really free….i don’t take a glass of even the near beer or the low achohol wine…maybe i just have to cross out foods because they are bing foods….and just really take this journey one day at a time.

  17. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ” I have struggled with emotional food bingeing for years and years. Although I am a thin person, from the result of poor choices the weight of the world and circumstances weighed heavily inside me, causing anxiety, depression, constipation, restlessness – you name it I had it. I am so grateful to God, my LORD and Savior, who is lovingly showing me a way out food bondage through Lysa’s book and teachings, andI am beginning learning to replace it with the truth of God’s Word. I am excited and filled with great expectations as I go through this devotional to health and prosperity, in Jesus’ name. -Fellow Jesus Girl.

  18. Marie Barkley says

    I, like many other women, have had roller coaster weights throughout my life. At the tender age of 65, I know that God purposes for me and others to live long, healthy and blessed stress free lives. I sometimes have motivation to exercise then there have been many days I have said “I deserve this piece of pie or whatever the desire”. Being diagnosed a diabetic and some other things I TRULY know I have to look out for my health! So the ladies at church and I are willing to give this OUR ALL AND ALL!!! Best of changing our cravings to all. Be blessed! God loves a cheerful craver for Him!!!!

    • I too am 65 and have had food issues since I was a child. But through it all I know that with the insights so beautifully expressed and the work of the HOLY SPIRIT and the TURTH of GODs WORD this time I will rely on the Power of my creator and maker!

    • Thanks so much I am also at my prime 67. It’s my prime because I hear and seek God more than ever before. This is a frontier in my life I have battled most of my adult life and now I want God to be my go to instead of food. So we journey together sisters. I don’t want to be in this place for 40 years let’s take a short cut God’s Word.

  19. Amazing, that is what this book is to me. I have struggled with my weight since I had my first child, after being told how i had let myself go because i had not taken off those last few pounds. I turned to food and away from the comfort of my Savior. I realized after reading these posts and the first three chapters, that I am not alone, and that is such a great feeling. Food is a comfort to make me feel better for the moment, Well I am changing that by the Grace of God and Prayer. Thank you Lysa for opening up your heart and sharing with us. I am excited to becoming re trained in my thinking and restrained in my choices.

  20. Laura Stearns says

    About 15 years ago, I went through a program similar to this and lost 45 lbs. I was thinner than I had been since I got married (15 years before that!) I still remember that taste of freedom! The feeling that food had no pull on me! Then…I don’t know what happened…I just gradually quit pursuing God as much and began to love food again. I went on WW last summer and lost 18 lbs but then I quit that. It’s like I continually sabotage myself. I have had this book for over a year and when my niece added me to a Made to Crave page on Facebook, I jumped at it. This is my time! I am going to be free from this habitual sin once and for all!

  21. Staciy Wilson says

    Today is Day ONE for me. I am doing Made to Crave by myself this time due to no longer having a church home. We recently moved and are having a difficult time finding one that our son feels ok at. This message really hit home with me. I do “indulge” in food more than I do in God. Thank you for helping me in this journey!

  22. God’s brought me to this study and coordinated other things in my life “for such a time as this” so that My heart’s prepared to receive and apply this message. No turning back! I’m ready to get healthy and go to the next level spiritually. Thank you for ministering and serving with this necessary message!

  23. Hi Lysa,

    I am on Day 3 of my journey. Thank you for opening up and sharing this. It has helped me so much.

  24. I am wondering if there are folks out there just starting out with MTC and this 21 day challenge. This posts I am reading are wonderful but there is nothing current. Anyone out there?

  25. WomanofRoyalty says

    Day one…what an insight…I’ve been up for nine hours and have truly been “felt” God’s presence with me all day. Knowing God is there and feeling him is very different to me. I’ve thought all day about this message and can’t wait for day two….thank you and may God continue blessing you and others through you.

  26. 2 Cor 12 9-10 “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

    Lysa quotes this verse in her chapter and it hits me: Only when I honestly admit my weakness and call out to God will I then be in a place to receive His Power. The journey for me is awareness, conviction, confession, surrender. Asking for help in prayer is the key for me but if I’m in denial first, I have to ask God to make me aware, then convict me, then I must confess and surrender…. pray for help and then receive His Power to do the right thing.

    Let’s do this thing!

  27. I am thankful for 2 days of craving God and not food. I am thankful for Lysa’s idea to plan ahead instead of planning to fail when emotions and stomach is growling it is hard to make a good choice; however, with food pre-planned and in my lunch – it is easier to not think about food choices. I eat to nourish my body and prayfully knowing God will deliver me through this.

  28. Christa Barlow says

    And…here I am. A marathoner that still can’t seem to lose weight! Thank you

  29. I cannot tell you the terrible place I am in regarding eating. I lay on the floor last night and cried out
    To the Lord, but really felt nothing. Now I am struggling with how sad God is with me and my lack of self-restraint. Oh how I pray that this challenge is what will turn me around!!

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