Context always helps when one is telling a story or sharing secrets, so, since I am doing both in this series of blog posts, a little backstory might be helpful.
I used to be a chronic dieter. I was obsessed. I loved tracking, counting, graphing, charting. I was a good dieter, too. I lost and gained, and lost and gained. I loved the applause at my Weight Watcher’s meetings, the stickers, the pats on the back!
In 1999 someone taught me that I could eat small portions of whatever I wanted when I was hungry and even lose weight. French fries, pizza, ice cream and I lost one hundred pounds between 2006 and 2007. Eight years later, I was still a healthy size. I went to God instead of food and grew in my intimacy with Jesus!
I have been passionate for ten years to build a support system for people breaking free from the obsessive (and depressive) mentality that comes for many of us with dieting and compulsive exercise. I want others to experience the freedom that God has for us and a deeper intimacy with Jesus. God didn’t put food on this planet to torment us!
Since 1975 thousands of people of all kinds, including those with all kinds of health considerations (diabetes, Chrohn’s Disease, fibromyalgia, etc.) have released excess weight applying Thin Within principles. Victory requires us to surrender our will (and eating) to Him, to invite Him to fill all the “heart hunger” that cries to be filled, and to use physical food only for satisfying physical hunger.
But IS there a health concern that might cause eating between the parameters of hunger and satisfaction not to work for releasing excess unhealthy weight? Or does it, each time, point back to stubbornness or willfulness? Or in not knowing my body’s signals well enough? Until four years ago, if you were to tell me that “Thin Within isn’t ‘working’ for me,” I would have asked you to evaluate what you were considering to be your hunger signal or your stopping point of “just enough.” In diet-speak, that would be to question if you might be “cheating.”
In the past four years, then, I have apparently been cheating a lot. Or have I? I maintained my innocence…until a week ago.
This question faces me: As I have led Thin Within’s ministry online most of the past 10 years, how is it that now, I could be obese again? No matter what the health problem, I find myself lamenting, “This can’t be happening.”
I had no “file” for Thin Within “not working.”
I wish now that I had been more compassionate with many others who have struggled with this question: Is something wrong with my body that causes 0 to 5 not to “work?” I don’t know yet what the outcome of my experiment will be. But I know that I have been releasing weight!
I have been desperate to get the weight off. Not because of a desire to look good. But so I won’t lose my mobility. I have always been athletic. Maybe those years are behind me, but I simply REFUSE to become immobile due to obesity. I have always “known” that obesity is something that a person can choose to change.
That is why, claiming that I can’t explain how it is I have continued to gain weight, is so humiliating. (Just keeping it real here…)
As my experiment seems to be “working,” as weight seems to be coming off (maybe it is a bit premature to say that), I find myself surprised…I really haven’t expected my body to respond this way. It appears that I was “cheating,” albeit not intentionally, blaming my body (which IS broken) for ALL the extra weight.
I suspect that the weight loss will “stall out” at some point. It may not be an either/or situation. But right now, the reality that I have been deceiving myself seems patently obvious.
I know some of you following this blog series may hope that my experiment will fail. So do I! If it succeeds, it means it didn’t have to be this way, but it is because of choices I made. It means that I haven’t been honest with myself somewhere along the way. It means, little choices here and there, subtle ones, have moved me a long way away from “true north.”
That is an unpleasant thought, isn’t it?
Jesus tells me that the truth will set me free. I am counting on it.
Meanwhile, no more cheating.