"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)
Hebrews 12:1 has literally become our minimalism journey anthem. The laying aside of every weight and besetting sin is our constant pursuit, and it is ever on my mind and foremost in my walk with the Lord. With all my heart, I want to please Him and live out the plan He has ordained for my time on this earth, and I know I cannot do that successfully while weighted down with excess.
I think often of the analogy the Apostle Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 9:24. "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." Anyone knows that in order for a runner to run a race at optimal speed and efficiency, they have to cast off every ounce of unnecessary weight. To think that a runner could win a race with heavy objects strapped to his/her back, let alone excess body weight, is absurd.
Photo by Aaron Burden
This morning, as I spent time with the Lord and begged Him once again to help me, He began to remind me how far He has brought my family and me in other areas of life. He led us to sell our four-bedroom, three-bath home with a huge garage that was overstuffed with excess and release about 90% of our physical possessions. He brought us out of extreme debt bondage to a place of being 100% debt-free. He released us from untold layers of spiritual bondage and the spirit of legalism. He has opened our eyes and drawn us out of so many weighty, encumbering, besetting sins, all glory to God. So, why is it so hard for me to get a breakthrough on the stronghold of obesity?
If God can enable me to let go of things that had become such idols, to leave the home that meant more to me than I could even put into words, to completely stop using credit, and to walk free from the entanglements of so many levels of spiritual bondage, why is the tackling of obesity any different?
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27
"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear." Isaiah 59:1
My being physically overweight is no more God's fault than our being in debt up to our eyeballs was His fault. This is something that I have allowed to let happen, and this is something that I am going to have to put forth the necessary effort and self-control to change just as much as we had to let go of the home we loved and say good-bye to so many beloved physical possessions. Those possessions made their way into our house over years of accummulation and with our consent, just like these excess pounds made their way into my physical body with my permission.
Over two years ago, on June 1, 2018, I wrote this post. On June 5, 2018, I published this post introducing The P.O.W.E.R. Tool©. (You are more than welcome to download your own P.O.W.E.R. Tool© by clicking HERE.) To say I wrote those posts over two years ago and to see the state I am in today fills me with incredible remorse, even shame.
One thing about tools, they only work and help you out if you pick them up and use them. We have an electric washer and dryer in our basement. It is there, at our disposal, to use any time we want 24/7. We can either gather the laundry from the clothes hamper in our bedroom closet and the laundry basket on Zach's closet floor and walk that laundry to the basement, sort it, drop it in the wash machine, add laundry detergent, and turn the knob for it to begin OR we can leave our dirty laundry upstairs in our closets and allow it to pile up to the ceiling. We can complain about how much we hate the piled-up dirty laundry, or we can implement our washer and dryer to help us get the laundry clean.
When the Lord inspired me to design the P.O.W.E.R. Tool, I had every intention of picking it up each morning and using it to help me stay on track. Somehow, over time, I have completely stopped using this tool, and it shows—in very obvious, unhideable ways. When I wrote this post, I needed to lose 60 pounds. Yes, I said 60. Imagine my unimaginable shock when I stepped on the doctor's scale a few months ago to find that my weight had balooned up to an unthinkable number, and suddenly 60 pounds didn't sound like so much to lose. I am SO ashamed. Just being real here ~ sorry if this post is too transparent.
Obviously, I didn't have to write and publish this post. No one is standing over me with a gun to my head demanding I tell the whole world about the horrible stronghold I am dealing with on a daily basis. I could pretend that I have been faithful and self-disciplined and stayed right on track. I could lie, either by telling you those things or by saying I have steadily lost weight and have now reached my goal (OH, to be able to say that!) or I could just omit the truth and avoid the subject all together. There is nothing compelling me to write this post, other than a sincere desire to help someone out there who is dealing with and fighting against obesity as much as I am.
I want you to know that you are not alone. Today, I want to say to you that I am right there with you - even more overweight than I was on the day I wrote the post announcing to anyone who wanted to read it that I was 60 pounds overweight.
I wish I had a magic potion to offer you - believe me, if there were one, and I could get my hands on it, I would have already done so. I wish I could tell you to click on a link that would guarantee a miracle cure for your obesity. I wish I could hand you a simple solution that wouldn't require any type of effort on your part and would enable you to wake up tomorrow morning and see your ideal weight number miraculously appear on your digital scale.
I don't have anything to offer you but this ~
Sincere, heartfelt, genuine empathy because I am in the same, exact boat. I hate the fact that I have wasted all this time and fallen into such weight-loss apostasy and gone completely off the rails. TWO YEARS later, I am not only in the same, exact boat, "the boat" is straining even more now because I weigh substantially more than I did two years ago!
In my head, I KNOW all the right things to do. I have even made vows to God (it really, really sobers me to realize and admit this), and I have repeatedly and shamefully broken those vows. I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am for grace. Without it, I would have been cut off a long time ago. Why does He continue to forgive and put up with me when I consistently fail, fall short, and break my promises to Him?
"But thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness." Nehemiah 9:17
"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee." Psalm 86:5
"He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." Psalm 103:10
It's a good thing, huh?
I'm not sure why I entitled this post, "Weight Loss Confessions." I think I should have called it "Weight Gain Confessions," because weight loss doesn't show up in any of this equation.
My promises in this area don't really hold their "weight," pun intended, but I am going to openly proclaim that I am going to TRY to get back on the wagon today. One of the things that is motivating me very much right now is Kalen Bruce's new book, "10 Branches of Growth." Kalen is a USAF Soldier who writes from a perspective of being extremely disciplined.
And, that is the key. The Lord is showing me while reading Kalen's book that this all comes down to that one word - discipline, of which "disciple" is the root word. I call myself a disciple of Jesus, and true disciple of Jesus I am. I love Him more now than I have in my whole life, and believe me, that is a lot of love because my heart has been tender toward Jesus for as far back as I can remember. These days, I can hardly speak His name without tears. He has brought my family and me through SO much, and He means everything to me. I am His disciple - with all my heart.
But, physical weight is an area in which I am completely unhinged and out of control. I am so NOT under His subjection in this slice of the Whole Person Pie©. I can see so many areas of progress - I even feel (with much humility and realization of the fact I am subject to fail or slip at any given moment) that I have some slices of the pie completely minimized and under total submission to Jesus and His perfect will. Obesity is a continual reminder of the fact that when it comes to the physical slice of the pie - that important slice that includes the fact that my body is His temple - I am so far off track. It feels impossible to ever minimize this slice, but today, I am relying upon the truths in His Word.
"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." Romans 8:37
I am going to TRY to start picking up the P.O.W.E.R. Tool© each day and check off the boxes as I complete them. I am going to TRY - try being the operative word - to start drinking the necessary amount of water each day and to get back on an exercise routine. One of the things Kalen talks about in his book is intermittent fasting, where he only eats between 11 am and 7 pm each day. He fasts during the other 16 hours. I really think I can do this. I think one of the pitfalls I have identified while reading "10 Branches of Growth" is late-night eating.
So, this is my accountability post, and this is me, asking you to please, please pray for me, will you? I know without a doubt that some of my health issues would improve or even be elminated if I weren't lugging around this load of excess weight. I long to follow Jesus in ALL areas of my life, including this one, and oh, my, in this one I am failing so miserably. Biblical Minimalism is "a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary life." I desperately need His help in becoming an overcomer in this area of my life, and your prayers are a Divine gift!
If you would like to get your own copy of Kalen's new book that is helping motivate me so much, click HERE.
Kalen recently granted us an exclusive Inner Views interview, and you can read it by clicking HERE!
And, just a reminder, if you would like to order our new book, "Biblical Minimalism," click HERE.
May God bless each of you on your journey, and I deeply appreciate your prayers for victory in this area of my life!
Oh thank you so much for sharing your honest and open heart here with all of us. God has been calling me to be vulnerable too, as you know with some things that I have shared with you. He is right here to help us when we don't pull back. I pray that we both will keep our hearts open to His leading and direction, even in the things that feel so hard for us. You are a blessing to so many, Cheryl, and I know that we all will gladly pray for you. Your prayers for me have been such a gift.
Thank you so much for your kind words, dear Bettie! I am so very thankful for you, your support, friendship, and encouragement. I am continuing to pray for you and believe alongside you that God is sending the healing you need. Sending much love to you today.Delete
I love to hear you're increasing your discipline! We could all be better in that area. You've got the motivation. Use it! Keep going! A healthy lifestyle (mind, body, soul) is something we all strive towards. It sounds like you're getting there!! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Kalen! Your book is providing so much inspiration and motivation to me! God bless you, my friend.Delete
We are to bear one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ. The struggle is real and it certainly keeps us humble. However, I agree that it does not bear a good witness for our Lord so I have been doing my best to lean on God to help me and teach me what is the best way for me to glorify Him in my body. I have been doing well with singling out specific stumbling blocks in my meals. ie. No chips with sandwiches, no muffins and sweet breads for breakfast, no desserts at dinner. In place of these items I have fruit. Also, I have stopped having ANYTHING after supper. Hunger reminds me of my devotion to God and leads me to Him. Just like when we stopped sinning in certain areas when we first became born again, we needed to replace the sinning with a blessing, ie; reading the Bible, prayer and church, fellowship and studying. That's why I replace the negative with a positive. (no chips, instead fruit) . I hope I'm making sense LOL. I have been encouraged in this and thought I'd share. I pray that you are totally dependant on our Lord and realize that He must get the glory for what you accomplish. I pray you see this as a sacrifice of praise and not a negative. He that began a good work in you will complete it!!!! May God enable you, strengthen you and sustain you as you trust Him with your daily denial of self.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for sharing your heart and journey with us, Trish! I have started on the intermittent fasting, not eating after 7:00 pm, and then not eating until 11:00 am or after the next morning. The great thing about this is that it is such an exercise in self-denial, and I am experiencing that precious oneness and communion that comes only through fasting. Through the years, as I have fasted, the best part has been that sweet intimacy with Jesus, and it hit me last night that when I do this intermittent fasting, that is exactly what I am experiencing every, single day! And from all I am reading about it, it is so good for the body. It is a win/win. YES, you made perfect sense in all you said. I am so grateful for your comment, encouragement, and support, and I trust the Lord will continue to bless and enbale you on your own journey, also.Delete
Oh Dear Cheryl, your REALNESS and sincere humbled attitude is so precious to me! I do not have weight issues but Lord knows I have many other issues and yes, the struggle is real. I have learned that sometimes God gives me all that I truly need to deal with the struggles that I deal with but most often I turn a deaf ear to him and that means that I am truly satisfying self and not Him. But oh the times I listen to that still small voice and OBEY. Thank you Cheryl for being so honest and hopeful. Where would we be without King Jesus? Hugs and blessings, CindyReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Cindy. OH, you are so blessed to not have the excess weight issues! But, I realize we each have our own cross to bear, and I trust the dear Lord will help you through your struggles. You are so right in all you said. I am finding the same thing. I can pray with all my might for God to help me healthfully lose weight, but if I don't do what I know to do to get the weight off, it is a clear indicator or how much self is still on board and needing to be denied. I explained above in Trish's response that the intermittent fasting is working wonderfully for me. I am so thankful to be reminded of this practice through Kalen's book and am already feeling a difference in my spirit AND in my physical body. I am not going to weigh for a long time, though, until I know for sure that I have lost. LOL! I agree, sweet friend, where would we be without King Jesus? I don't even like to think about it. I depend on Him SO much. Sending many hugs and blessings back to you today!Delete
Dear Cheryl, I know this is so humbling for you to admit this weight issue. I had shared my 30 pound weight loss several years ago on my blog, and was so embarrassed and shamed to have gained it all back and then some. It was hard to share that with my readers. You know in this past 12 months I have lost 52 pounds. I am so thankful, but I am realizing that I have to remain focused and disciplined and submit to continued healthy eating. No bragging, just a gratefulness that He saw me through and helped me. I did intermittent fasting (11 to 6) and still do though not every day. I have completely given up sugar and all sugar substitutes. Not saying you have to do this! But it was an addiction for me. It was hard, super hard, and still is. I say this not to discourage you, but to let you know that I had to rely on the Lord. I complained and grumbled a lot I'm afraid. But the reward is so worth it. I feel so much healthier and I can get down on the ground and play with my grandson. I read something about "your future self will thank you." So I am thankful to myself of last September, last December, last February etc., etc. I prayed and meditated on Scripture a lot. You can do this! The Lord has helped you with so much; surely He will help you with this! I will be praying for you. xo DeborahReplyDelete
Oh, bless your heart, Deborah. I can surely understand. I guess I am to the point and age where I no longer care about being proud or non-transparent, and if my blunders and issues help someone else, then so be it, and God's will be done. I am SO, so proud of you for how well you have done. It is just wonderful to see how God has led you and enabled you to reach your weight goal, and your testimony is such a blessing and inspiration. I am finding that the intermittent fasting is REALLY helping me. I am writing a post about it and hope to publish it soon. My husband, son, and I tried the intermittent fasting a while back, but we all got off track, and then I totally forgot about it. I gave up sugar almost completely back in 2007 after having a health scare. I rarely ever have white, refined sugar, but I do have honey occassionally, and I am also getting used to the Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet. I could never figure out the THM program - it is WAY too complicated and overwhelming for me, but I do like their sweetener. No, you surely didn't discourage me at all - quite the contrary. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your story and most of all, for your prayers. I am relying heavily on Jesus and trusting Him to help me conquer in this area like He has in sooooo many others. Sending much love and gratitude to you, sweet friend.Delete
Good morning, Cheryl! Your transparency will be a comfort and motivator for many. Please don't feel shame. It's such a lousy motivator. Think of cultivating good health and habits. Go one hour at a time. Always keep a large glass of water by your side.ReplyDelete
I found the online accountability with WW to be a huge help along the way.
Yeah, I tried WW a long time ago, too. To tell you the truth, I have tried so many things, but nothing has really worked long-term. I am doing the intermittent fasting and leaning hard on God and praying a lot. Fasting has always drawn me in to such a sweet, intimate communion with Him, and I am finding that now in the late evenings and early mornings as I refrain from food. It is SO worth it to find that deeper place in His presence! It is going to take a long time to do this, but I am hoping with all my heart that I can stick with it and be successful. YES! I am trying to drink a lot of water, too. It is amazing how filling it is, and sometimes we are not even hungry - we are thirsty, instead. Thank you for your encouraging words, and I send hugs back to you, sweet friend.Delete
I'm late replying. I appreciate your honesty. I struggle with my weight too and my cholesterol is bad so I have to take medication. It's frustrating too because I have skirts and dresses that I want to be able to wear again but I just don't think I'll ever lose the weight.☹
I surely understand that frustration, Regina! I have finally been getting rid of some clothes I had hoped to get back into. It is so aggravating to me to know that I have allowed the weight to creep on, but it is just like any sin, it happens little by little, without us recognizing it as what it is. Then we "wake up" one day to wonder how we got here. God, help us all to rein in our "free will" and realize the misuse of it surely comes with consequences. So thankful for your friendship and support on this journey, sweet friend.Delete
Oh sweet friend, Your genuineness and your transparency are truly such a blessing. It is so important to share our struggles with others as we are one big family with God as our Father. We can spur each other on and be accountable to one another.ReplyDelete
A few years ago when I had my stomach troubles, I embarked on a gluten free diet cutting out all sugar and carbs, I lost 40 lbs. in fairly short order, and I wasn't even trying to lose weight! It was stunning how fast the weight came off.
Praying for you dear friend as you seek the Lord and His wisdom for the best means for you to lose weight.
Sending you much love,
Thank you ever so much, dear friend! Wow! That is a lot of weight. I would be happy with 40 pounds, although 60+ pounds would be even better! I am trying to be more conscious of what I am eating during those 8 hours each day, also. I eat very little sugar anyway, but I definitely need to work on eating less carbs. Great idea. You will never know how much I appreciate your prayers! Your friendship and support are such a blessing. Sending much love to you today and also praying for you.Delete
Cheryl, your transparency will help so many. Knowing and identifying a stronghold is certainly the place to start. I need to exercise because I know it is good for my body and I did it for 30+ years. Thank you for your honesty sweet friend!ReplyDelete
Thank you ever so much for your kind encouragement, Pam. I miss exercising, too. I am trying to get more steps in each day, but it seems that the weight is such a deterrent. God is helping me, though, and I am trusting Him for the long-term results. It is amazing how those little life changes can make such big differences. I trust He will enable you to get back doing the exercises you miss. Many blessings to you today, sweet friend!Delete
Thank you for this post. What if this had nothing to do with your willpower, what if the problem wasn’t you. I recommend listening to biceps after babies podcast. It opened my eyes to bee ways of thinking and introduced me to a more sustainable path to weight loss. The podcasts are free! Love to you!ReplyDelete
Diana, Thank you so much for your kind words! They were such a blessing and encouragement to me, and I am looking forward to checking out the podcast you recommended. Sending much love back to you, and gratitude, too! God bless you.Delete
How beautiful of you to share your journey and offer compassion, love, and empathy to others struggling with this as well.ReplyDelete
As a health coach, I feel in my heart it is so important to share with you that -
You do not have a character flaw when it comes to trying to lose weight and “failing” — Your brain (through no fault of your own) can be blocking you from losing weight. I highly recommend Susan Pierce Thompson, PhD in neuroscience who explains how the brain blocks us from losing weight and what the solution is, involving 3 simple meals a day without flour and sugar (that operate as drugs for the brain). Bright Line Eating is her program and way of life. It has a very science-based approach so you have “food freedom” - meaning your meals sustain and nourish you, but they are automated so you free up your brain from feeling shame and can live in harmony with your values. It gets rid of the food being a distraction and allows for true living (which seems quite in harmony with minimalism). :)
Yours truly and sending you so much love,
Kelly, Your kind, grace-filled comment was like a soothing balm to me today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I truly understand what you mean about my brain blocking me from losing weight. I never knew how to put that into words, but that is exactly what this feels like. Like a psychological block! I gave up almost all sugar, so that part wouldn't be hard. I would just need to give up flour, which would be difficult, but my, I am willing to do what I need to do. I look forward to checking out Susan's program and thank you ever so much for recommending it. I am so grateful for your sweet spirit and sending so much love back to you!Delete