How to Lose Weight and Honor God With Your Body

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 How to Lose Weight and Honor God With Your BodyPin

Guest Post by Sara of The Holy Mess

I huddled in a stranger’s tiny bathroom as tears dripped down my face and onto my new outfit. Outside, I heard music and laughter. My face burned with shame as I recalled my conversation with the hostess of the party just a few minutes earlier.

“You and your husband must be so excited,” she commented.

“What do you mean?” I asked, wrinkling my nose with confusion.

Gesturing to my stomach, she said, “You know, about the coming arrival.”

My heart dropped and I realized she thought I was pregnant, when I wasn’t. I willed myself to laugh this off and pretend it was no big deal.

“Oh, I’m not pregnant,” I said quickly, with a dismissing gesture of my hand. “So, tell me more about your grandkids.”

Somehow I finished the conversation, then rushed to the bathroom to cry in private. I took deep breaths to calm down, promising myself I would find my husband in the crowd and beg him if could we please just make an exit as quickly as possible.

 

I wanted to blame this awful situation on the hostesses’ rude behavior. (Hint: unless you know for SURE, never, ever ask a woman about a pregnancy!) But the truth was, I was 100 lbs overweight at that time in my life, and I had been mistaken for being pregnant a number of times.

Every single time was a horrible reminder of my failed attempts to control my eating and weight.

 

Whether you are overweight, as I was, or your weight is within the normal range, almost every woman in our society today struggles sometimes with food and body issues.

 

If you are overweight, you may carry with you the shame and guilt of every pound. If you are thinner, maybe you worry about gaining weight or have nagging feelings of knowing you should eat a healthier diet and exercise more. Perhaps you are obsessive about exercise in order to maintain your weight at a certain number.

1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Although this verse is speaking directly about sexual immorality, earlier in the same chapter, in verses 12-13, Paul writes, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. I will not be dominated by anything. Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food.” Paul gets it. Our desires for food run deep. Food and sex, this is serious stuff!

 

Do these verses in 1 Corinthians 6 fill you with guilt at times? As a Christian woman, do you know you should treat your body as a temple of the Lord, but you are too tired and overwhelmed to take care of yourself properly? I was in that place for many years. I had a handle on so many areas of my life, but not eating and exercise.

Ten years ago I lost 100 lbs, and I’ve been maintaining that weight loss since, so I can relate to any woman who struggles with food and body issues. At different times along my journey, I’ve been a compulsive overeater, a binge eater, a compulsive exerciser and an obsessive dieter.

After a lifetime of food obsessions, God has given me a new freedom and joy in the areas of food and body image. How is this possible?

The key to allowing God to use your body as His temple is to follow the guidance of Deuteronomy 8:7-10:

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

 

God helped me, and He can help you too. Here’s what you need to do. 

 

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for additional information. 

 

1. Trust God

 

God promises good land for His people, rich and prosperous. We might have to walk through a desert to get there first, though. Trust that God is leading you in the right direction. Pray for His help and guidance every step of the way.

 

2. Make a Plan

 

Create a specific plan for how you will work toward a healthier life. Being vague doesn’t work here, my friend. How will you exercise? When will you exercise? What healthy meals and snacks will you eat? Write it down on your calendar or use an app or a fitness tracker.

Don’t just leave it up to chance and hope you follow through – write it down!

 

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Plus, you can get two weeks free when you visit 5 Dollar Meal Plans through this link.

 

 

3. Find Your Why

 

At some point along the path toward your new fitness goals, it’s going to get tough and you will be tempted to quit. This might be one day, one week, or one hour into it. You must be prepared for these moments. The way to conquer them is to have discovered, in advance, your deeper reason why you are making these changes. Is it to be a good example for your children? Is it to live a longer, healthier life with your husband? Is it to wake up energetic every day, or to have better self-esteem? Keep that focus when the going gets tough.

 

One REALLY great book I read on this is Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. Not only does reading this book feel like talking to a best friend or big sister who totally understand what you’re going through, but the way she relates weight struggles to spirituality is deep. It’s definitely stuck with me ever since I read this book – in a good way!

 

4. Be Accountable

 

You are human, and humans need tangible accountability. Who in your life will keep you accountable to your healthy goals? Some possibilities might be a good friend, a workout partner, a formal weight loss program, or an online group. You might print out a daily tracker and hang it on your fridge or even start an Instagram account to help hold you accountable.

Just make sure you choose someone who isn’t afraid to actually hold you accountable!

 

5. Give Yourself Grace

 

God gives us grace and forgiveness when we mess up, and we must allow ourselves grace, too. Did you know that research even proves this to be true? You will be more successful with your weight loss and fitness endeavors if you quickly forgive yourself and move on, rather than beat yourself up for mistakes.

In Deuteronomy 8:10 God promises, “And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.” This is an amazing promise because when you overeat junk food, the truth is you are never truly satisfied. It doesn’t bring fulfillment.

 

God promises you real satisfaction when you come to Him, and you will bless God for the amazing work He does your life.

 

Do you struggle with controlling your weight or what you eat? How do you manage it? Or do you?

 

Sara Borgstede PinSara Borgstede is a triathlete, speaker, and writer. She has been maintaining a 100 lb weight loss for 10 years, and runs an online faith and fitness program for women, www.faithfulfinishlines.com. She is mom to 5 kids through birth and special needs adoption, and she and her husband Mike were foster parents to 35 children. Sara takes a lot of power naps.

 

 

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  1. Had weightloss surgery and still not losing much weight. I do exercise but have no idea if I”m doing the exercises I need to achieve more weightloss.

    1. If you cannot lose weight and are overweight, you should have your thyroid checked. Hypothyroidism also causes fatigue, constipation, slow metabolism, sometimes hair loss. I was 20 lbs. overweight when I was diagnosed 3 years ago, and very sluggish.

      1. I am on medication for hypothyroid and my levels are back to normal and still can’t lose, so, it isn’t magic once you go on the meds~!

      2. I agree! I am on natural desiccated thyroid and haven’t lost an ounce. 🙁 After being diagnosed with Hypothyroidism I started on NDT meds and some of my symptoms have decreased but the weight remains. Using the synthetic meds are even worse for weight gain. Oh well, I am grateful for some of the symptoms being lessened. I keep praying to God for help in this but I have yet to have a breakthrough. I am now trying Intermittent Fasting and it seems to agree with me so we’ll see how that goes-I just started it a few days ago.
        May Jesus aid us all in our fight for our health and God bless everyone!

  2. Hey Brittany! Thank you for your total honesty here. I too have struggled with my weight most of my adult life. I think the part that stood out the most for me here was the need to give myself grace. I have tended to be so hard on myself over my weight and the choices I’ve made that led up to this point that it just becomes a battle ground in my own mind. This battleground doesn’t make room form better habits, but allows the old habits to dig in roots and spread further. Thanks again for your reminder of grace…. I enjoyed your words so much that I included you and a link back to this article on my most recent post where I talked about the importance of health for the Christian woman. I pray that God continues to richly bless you in this ministry!

  3. Thanks Sara,
    I found this article as I was praying for directions about my weight loss journey. I loss over 80 pounds and I am trying different weight loss programs for losing 20 pounds. I will follow your outline on weight loss and use your materials. I will read your website and purchase books and materials. I will let you know how it will work out for me. Thanks again. Vivian

  4. I like that you mentioned that answering the question why is very important when it comes to losing weight. I’m interested in looking for weight loss programs soon because I’ve been gaining a lot of weight due to my lack of exercise. Maybe I should also make some drastic adjustments to my diet because I do like eating oily foods.

    1. Hmmm.. that is probably a good question for someone who knows both of you pretty well. I would suggest that you maybe try to set up a time where you and your mom can meet with your pastor to talk about this together.

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