Day 18: I’m not defined by the numbers

Thought for the Day: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

I was in an exercise class one day when the gal next to me leaned over and shared concerns about her sister’s increasing weight. I was half listening and half straining to lift my aching legs when she quipped, “I mean, my sister now weighs like 150 pounds!” I didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or keep silent, because the number that horrified her was the exact number I saw that very morning on my scale!

However, I found great joy when I realized that my workout buddy’s statement didn’t rattle me. It would have just a few years ago. It would have sent me on a tailspin full of crash diets and unrealistic expectations.

However, there I was, at peace, in the midst of her harsh statement. I wasn’t at my goal weight yet. But I was in the process of investing wisely in my health and spiritual growth. I had been diligently filling my mind with God’s truths. These principles now protected me from thoughts of condemnation, jealousy, and defeat. This is what the apostle Paul meant when he said in 2 Corinthians 10:5:

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

When we’re familiar with God’s truth, we can literally challenge any comment with the questions, “Is it true? Is it beneficial? Is it necessary?” If the answer is no, then we don’t open the door of our hearts. We make the choice to walk away from the comment and all the negative thoughts it could harvest if we listened to it.

My classmate’s shock at her sister’s weight wasn’t beneficial to me. Therefore, I didn’t have to internalize her comment. I could leave it on the gym floor and walk away. That statement didn’t belong to me. I had a choice to make. I could feed that comment and let it crush my identity. Or, I could see it as a careless remark and move on with my day.

Standing in the gym, I desperately wanted to yell out three glorious words, “I am free!” In that moment, I had a small moment of victory over an identity disorder that I’d battled for a long time. I was no longer defined by a number on the scale, because my weight loss goal was peace. As we move through our healthy eating journey, remember that the goal shouldn’t just be a smaller measurement, but a larger measure of peace.

Comments

  1. Grateful for Lysa’s encouraging words. I am eating healthier, exercising more & have lost a few lbs. Praying for an accountability buddy to come along side.

  2. Interesting how so many ideas seem to dovetail. The Daniel Fast/ R.I.S.E./ Weight Watcher’s/ Made to Crave. All are based on healthier eating/ great inspiration & most are Christian authors and creators!

  3. So the gym is a great topic….comparisons all too often. Why can’t my body look like that? How did she get her body to look like that? Maybe she’s younger than me? I do think she’s the same height as me. Well, God, does the pot say to the potter “Why’d ya make me this away?” I just am not real pleased with the package. And the package is an indication of the inner muck that just overflows to the outside. I was just thinkin’ that my eldest son at 11 is 3″ shorter than I am. Alas, I think I am close to double his weight. (Of course, I’ve got my head in the sand about my weight, and won’t get on the scale!….I do know what the mirror reflects back to my eyes!….And I do know how the clothes fit or more appropriately don’t fit!) I hope someone is moving mountains with their healthy choices, ’cause I need some thing to make me give up the food! Share from your heart to encourage me and anyone else who is on the downward spiral, (mentally). Thanks

    • Karin,
      I too had a similar experience when my son and I went to the doctor with the fle the other day. They weighed him and then me…..I almost double his size! You would think it would be a wake up call to get it together………….but no since then I’ve had doughnuts, hotdogs, frenchfries, mexican, and pizza! I have a huge mountain to move and I am so TIRED of going around it!!!! I WANT TO HEAD NORTH! So thankfully God does not give up on me when I give up on myself. His mercies are new EVERY morning. So this morning I am claiming that. I am going to call on HIS strength to help me make the natural choices that will lead to good health. I will leave the SUPERNATURAL to God! And believe me………..this mountain will only move through the supernatural power of our AWESOME GoD! Please feel free to email me! I think we are kindred spirits! croweyellow@yahoo.com!

      • What you wrote inspired me so much and I felt everything you said….I am not alone! I am searching for a partner or mentor through this as I am a new Christian and in need of another women s partnership to do this and really make it about spiritual change and be devoted to the Lord and make food not my idol. Would you like to email back and forth or be willing to listen through email? I don’t usually do thing like this but something inside says reach out. God Bless and thank you for your words above…today is the day I so agree with you…I Leave the Supernatural to God! I am going to post that in my kitchen. God Bless..Warmly, Jennifer

    • Karin,
      I’ve been fighting the fight for quite a while now. I ‘d even had some success every now and then. A few years ago I lost a lot of weight, but then couldn’t keep it off for long – I’d lost a lot of the extra flesh in a short time and couldn’t adjust to the new, slim me. I had always been a fattie, even as a child, I guess that’s why being thin felt so alien to me. Since then I lost some weight again through exercise (without any diet) but then I stopped and the lost pounds returned, with a vengeance… Now, a couple of months ago, I started praying to God to help me get in shape because I’m tired of the limitations caused by my overweight (have nothing to wear, dread summer and changing rooms, etc.). So, I’m reading MTC, praying, getting immersed in God’s Word and… the healthy food choices seem natural. I’m aware they are MY choices and I AM RESPONSIBLE for making them. I also take responsibility for avoiding unnecessary temptation. Last night I had some girlfriends over for a Bible study and we usually eat sth, often sth unhealthy (i.e. junk). So I prepared. I made a big bowl of smoked chicken salad – delicious and packed with lean protein and veg, with home-made diet dressing (0% fat yoghurt + sambal). The girls loved it, I loved it, I was full so I didn’t even look at the chocolates (ok, I did look, but only because they were pretty) one of my friends had brought. When people were leaving, there were still several chocs left in the box. I gave them to one of teh ladies to take home because I didn’t want the unnecessary temptation. I felt victorious! Hope that helps a little, Karin.

    • Karin, You can do this! I am 5’7″ and weigh in at 272 pounds. I waited until now, at 56, and facing retirement in a few short years to get going, but I’m doing it and you can too! I started this journey just a month or so ago and have lost 13 pounds already! If you are going to the gym, that is awesome! Don’t worry about what you look like now. Imagine yourself thinner. Keep working out. Step on the scale. Get it over with and quit stressing about it. That way you can begin monitoring the progress you are making. Go to myfitnesspal.com to monitor your food and excersise. It really suprised me how much food I can eat if I eat good food!If I can do this anybody can. Let God lead you where you want to be, and then give Him the praise. He knows your heart. Trust.

  4. I had recently struggled with the whole idea of comparisons. It has never worked for me. God reminded me that his disciples also struggled with that, and Jesus response was paraphrased, “Never mind them, You follow me.” I know that there are programs out there that work, I’ve done them. But, when I dealt with the WHY I was going to food instead of going to God that’s when I experienced a peace like no other. I also found that when I stopped trying to use food as an emotional filler and instead went to the Lord, my hunger for Him grew. So it isn’t just the moving of mountains with our healthy choices, it’s a decision to only use food for sustenance, and for any other reasons I go to God. I know the downward spiral. I refused to get off until I had put on the 45 pounds I had lost. It didn’t go back on overnight, it was a series of choices. I am thankful that Lysa was transparent enough to share her struggle so we could face ours. It is a series of right choices and the good news is, I just need to make one at a time. Each time I put something in my mouth I can choose who I will honor with it.

  5. Karin,
    The main thing that I have recognized and admitted through reading MTC is that I am an emotional eater and that I have an addiction to food. I had always patted myself on the back because I have never smoked, don’t drink alcohol, never have done drugs but I have not controlled my eating. I have family members who have those other addictions – but not me…. Not until I read what Lysa shared about emotional eating and food addictions did I recognize that I have a problem with food. It has been my comfort, i.e. “comfort food”. When celebrating anything, we eat. When my kids come home, a lot of my love for them is expressed in cooking and making their favorite meals. I have made changes in what I eat and you can too. Look at the times you eat. Do you eat just at meal times or do you eat because you are bored, lonely, sad, etc? One of my favorites Bible verses is 1 Corinthians 6:12 – “Everything is permissible for me..but not everything is beneficial…..I will not be mastered by anything.” You can get control. Don’t let food be your master.

    • Deborah says:

      Donna,
      Thanks so much for sharing. I really needed to hear that and be reminded of that verse. Today I say, “I will not be mastered by anything except the Holy Spirit of God.” Thanks again and God bless you.

  6. Just wanted to add that it has helped me to do what Lysa did. When I cut out the sugar and white carbs and choose healthy food and portions I don’t have the cravings for food. I want to crave God. I want Him to be my Comfort. I have to persist day by day and not look at the mountain.

    • Karen,

      I feel the same way about this plan of eliminating refined sugar and white carbs. It is amazing how much they make you crave them , I lose control. It is amazing to feel the power of the Holy Spirit and not crave foods that destroy my health.

  7. Ok Karin let me get a little honest with you here to. Since I read Lysa book, her blog, her 21 day challenge, I have gained 6 pounds instead of lose them…… I have this really wierd sense in me that is MAD at myself because I need to lose weight. And everytime I start a healthy eating plan, WW or whatever, I gain weight…… I hate being overweight, but don’t like giving up all the foods that I Love to eat too……..Is that crazy or what. I think the evil one is tangling up my thoughts….

    Anyways sista you are not the only one out there who is struggling with mountains to move….. Not all of us are having happy success with this…… Bottom line, Jesus is my only hope in this mess up struggle with food…. I know it is time to rely on his power and strength…. be blessed

    • Kathy, Make small changes to start with. Just one food at a time. I recommend you always read the package. Once you realize what is in some of the foods, you will begin to see that some of the changes can be fairly painless. It used to take me hours to grocery shop when I first started reading labels, but I’m better now. Plant the seed within yourself that you can still have the foods you love, just in moderation and not all the time. I used to have ice cream every night before bed, now I have a sugar free popcycle and they really taste great! I don’t even miss the calories and I get to enjoy a treat. Go for the win-win! You can do this!

  8. Karin –

    I started to respond, earlier today, to your comment of yesterday.
    But, alas, I thought what I had to say was nothing of help.
    Shame on me! Our challenges and life pains (and joys) are meant to be testimonies.

    Any-who, I remember the days of having the goal to weigh less than my teenage sons.
    (And, even when we reach their weight, they look slimmer! A guy/muscle thing.)
    Of course, when they bragged about their bit of peach fuzz,
    I would laugh and claim to have more of a moustache than them! HA-HA
    Now they’re both buff soldiers, and I definitely weigh less.
    There’s hope – not in you or me though.
    Our hope is in Jesus Christ!!! Praise the Lord!!!

    I don’t know about you but, even before Made to Crave, I knew I was emotional eating.
    I knew (know) I need to surrender to God.
    The reality was, I didn’t want to.
    This week I maintained a steady “5 pounds from my goal weight.”
    Even then, I chose cookie dough this afternoon!
    Why? I left my plan in the dust! My stomach hurts!
    If only I’d had even less…

    But I am not going to beat myself up.
    Like one of our Jesus Girlfriends said above,
    God reminds me that I’ve circled this mountain long enough.
    My NORTH is GOD, and I am looking in HIS direction, again.

    Don’t give up, sweet sister!

    And, in response to yesterday’s, I just read today (pre-cookie dough):
    Remember that what we see on the outside is just signs of what is going on inside.
    While God is healing me inside, I have learned to love what I see on the outside.
    And, although this body isn’t air-brushed, God is changing me. INside and OUT!
    God don’t make no junk! 😉

    And – Thank you for one more tool for our journey, Lysa!

    Diana C.

  9. Sally in TX says:

    My week has been up and down. God chose to show me a lighter scale this week despite some emotional eating. So I chose to do some walking and talking with God. I heard a quote on a Christian radio program. ” When Satan reminds you of your past, remind Satan of his Future!” We will be victorious in the end. Each failure is a new beginning !

  10. I had been feeling proud of where God had brought me since January 1, and the road was seeming pretty easy to travel. At work, I pass by the bowl of chocolates multiple times a day and just walk on by, reminding myself that while all things are permissible, not all things are beneficial. Even when I’ve had a couple of “overeating” sessions after I got home from work (ie.two mini-meals of protein and fruit instead of the one I planned), a few calculations showed me that I had needed that many calories to reach my desired total for the day. So I was feeling like maybe I had this problem whipped.

    Then, yesterday, after eating a mini meal that didn’t satisfy me, I found myself getting into the same kinds of food that I used to binge on (refined sugars). I didn’t eat much over my normal caloric intake, but the suddenness with which the desire hit, and my total lack of resistance appalled me. It wasn’t even like I was actively craving it. I just wanted some carbs–some sweet ones.

    I think God just reminded me that I was being upheld by Him and if He let go for even an instant, I’d slide right back to where I was before. I don’t have the strength yet to stand–in fact, I will never have the strength to stand outside of His strength, and I think that’s the point of what Lysa’s been trying to tell us. I can actually thank God for my eating disorder because it shows so clearly my inborn tendency to try to satisfy myself without God, as well as the futility of trying to walk in my strength instead of His. I can never get well enough to be independent of Him. I used to think that was horrible, but now I realize it’s okay because I wasn’t created to be independent of Him. I need God like I need air to breathe, and my eating disorder shows that in flashing, neon lights. So instead of demanding to know why He made me this way, I can thank Him for making my need for Him so clear in a way that didn’t destroy my family or career or life.

    • Sheila,
      Wow, your comment really spoke to me today. You are describing me! I am a teacher, and I started reading MTC at the end of the school year, late May. This summer I have done GREAT on giving up sweets, junk food, and white carbs. I’m also exercising 5-6 days a week. However, as the beginning of school draws near I am beginning to be concerned. My job has long hours and lots of stress, and I am definitely a stress eater. In addition, either the PTO, the office staff, or parents are giving me goodies all the time. One of the best things I have learned from MTC is that it’s no longer about “will power,” but it’s about “obedience” in making healthy eating choices and continuing to exercise. This new mindset has made all the difference. I am now 16 pounds lighter, and I’m reading the book for the second time. Thanks again for your insightful comment!

  11. Amen! Thank you, that in itself as a great victory! There is no condenmnation in Christ Jesus!

  12. This is a wonderful devotional and so appropriate! My condition is a little different… At the end of 2008 I was in the best shape of my entire life – size 4 and some 0!!! Then I got sick and they had to amputate my entire right leg. I was near death for a while and spent 6 months in the hospital- 4 in a coma. When I got out I had no muscle at all. I had been fed through a tube for so long that when I could finally eat real food – boy, I went at it!!! Now with this sedentary lifestyle – wheelchair, crutches, prosthetic leg – I’ve packed on many pounds and I just hate myself when I look in the mirror. God has helped me get over the craving for sweets, now if He’ll only get me over the bread!!!

  13. Heather P says:

    That peace is so worth it! I just took my last back of peanut M&Ms and put them in my husband’s lunch for tomorrow. I chose not to eat the second bag and now he can have it. No skin off my back. Yet, maybe it will help him realize I’m serious!

  14. The numbers on the scale have always gotten me, because I tend to weigh more than my same-sized counterparts. My long-distance accountability partner wears the same size as me, but weighs 30 pounds less than me. Even when I was in the Army, I always had to get “taped,” because I never passed the weigh-in part, even though my clothing size was very small.

    I remember a time when a trainer at a gym tried to do the skin caliper test on me, but had a hard time, because of my thick skin – maybe that has something to do with it. I don’t know how that relates to emotions, because I can cry at the drop of a hat, but I can be as strong as I need to be when tested. Except with the emotional eating.

    I have been doing well, though, and have lost about 8 lbs. I know the numbers don’t define me, and there will be times my body will be stubborn and try to hold onto the fat. I am thankful for this journey with God and how it has drawn me closer to Him.

  15. To all my beautiful Sisters in Christ I would like to thank you. Your testimonies are so helpful. I was really having a hard time today. I am currently on the Daniel Fast and it is not easy. I love sweets, meats and bread. Last night I went to revival and the message topic was “The Best Is Yet To Come”. I know that by the Grace and Power of God, each day will be better than the day before. I know that soon I will be addicted to The Word of God and not food. We are more than Conquerors through Christ Jesus.

    Be Blessed!

  16. anna beavers says:

    would like a good nutritional plan to go by that would help with eating healthy. no really weird stuff but just plain food that helps things work together to get the metabolism going .also what helps with just plain ole gas problems.
    anna

  17. Dear Sisters in Christ,

    I need your prayers. I am on WW and doing well (not coming off fast enough of course), I’ve got my cravings under control for the most part. I am going to walk the WW Walk it Challenge 5K this Sunday. I have bad knees, use a cane and really been practicing for it. I’m up to 2.5 miles (3.2 is a 5K). The problem is I hurt bad. I went to the orthopedic doctor for a steriod shot today to help with the pain and got some meds but I hurt to the point of tears, am snapping my sweet husband’s head off. Please pray for me to be successful at this 5K and have a better attitude. I will finish by the Grace of GOD, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to walk afterwards!

    Thanks,

    Linda

    • What happened with the 5K walk? I wondered if you should even be doing it with all the pain and more. Just wondering. God bless you richly!

  18. Beth Williams says:

    ” I could feed that comment and let it crush my identity. Or, I could see it as a careless remark and move on with my day.” I often feed on comments that people make or just lies I hear from the evil one.

    Lately my struggle has been in work choices. I remind myself daily that I’m working for Him and not man & pray daily that If it’s His Will I will receive a different more challenging job later this year.

    I applaud you for not looking at weight as just a number on a scale. It is more than that. It is how we, especially women, feel about ourselves and how we keep this temple of His clean & free of “junk”.

  19. Mary Colleen says:

    Is it true, is it beneficial, is it necessary-this is just what I needed to keep on track. Thanks Lysa…your encouragement means so much to so many…God Bless your efforts to bring His Truth and Peace to open up our hearts to receive what He has for us in our journey together.

  20. Thank you once more for a great message!!! I really needed this and I am going to share it with my daughter. Her friend made a comment to her the other day that wasn’t beneficial or necessary. This is so freeing to make the choice to feed on something or leave it on the floor. Thanks again!

    • Good thought, Lora – choosing to feed on negative remarks or leave them on the floor. Selah! Thank you for sharing this with us. God bless you richly!

  21. Amen! And Amen! This is exactly what I need to do…….STOP feeding those type of comments because my ultimate goal is PEACE.
    Thank you for these words and the TRUTH in them. I have chosen to NOT get on the scale during my journey so far, as I’m not strong enough to rise above the number. Eventually, I hope it will hold no sway over me.
    God Bless.

  22. So many times I internalize every word that is spoken in my presence. Oh what encouragement these words are… Moving toward sweet freedom!

  23. I think we need to get rid of our weight and not loose it. When we loose it we go back and find it. Just a thought. Love the daily devotions.

  24. I havent really commented but I was moved by the scripture and the 3 posing questions to determine if you need to let what was said go; Is it true? Is it beneficial? Is it necessary? These word can be applied on my journey for peace in a healthy lifestyle and in other areax of my life. Thanks so much for this book. I have new revelations and im inspired every day I read these messages.

  25. I think that is all we worry about is the number on the scale. But the number on the scale will fail us everytime. I know I can feel like I am doing great, I feel like I have lost a couple pounds until I make the mistake of getting on the scale. If we can remember that if we can tell a difference in our clothes then we are losing. I have a friend that gripes at me everytime I tell her how much I weigh. She says do not get on that scale it just makes things worse. And it does, if I do not lose then I will get mad at myself and eat something I am not supposed to.

  26. Evelyn Dunston says:

    When Satan reminds you of your past, remind Satan of his Future!” There is so much power in that statement. It reminded me of a song by Bill & Gloria Gaither, It is finished. It describes where a lot of us our right now — the battlefields of our making. I am ready to relinquish my status as a prisoner of this war. And now praise his name, I am free

  27. You said ,”As we move through our healthy eating journey, remember that the goal shouldn’t just be a smaller measurement, but a larger measure of peace.” AMEN! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  28. I find that when I begin my day with Bible study – not just reading a quicky devotionsl!- I just do not think about food as much. There have been days I have not even eaten lunch – WOW – for me, that is amazing. Food has been my comfort for so long. Now I find myself eating when I am hungry – not when I am lonely or depressed or upset.

  29. Joyce Whitted says:

    Wow! This sounds soooooooo healthy. I cannot wait to get there. I am still stuck on how can a person that is about 85% happy with her life be so stuck on this weight issue!? Thank you so much for creating “Made to Crave.” Some of the days hit me harder than others however I still feel stuck. I am so sick of my body issues. I am trying so hard to accept myself now in this state so that I can move forward but its very challenging. I need consistency and discipline…NOW.

  30. charnelle says:

    Hi,

    I would like to have a buddie so that we can help each other, email me on charvallejo(at)gmail.com

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