I‘ve always been obsessed with my weight.  At the age of 8, I was at the doctor’s office asking the doctor questions about my weight and how I could lose it. Shortly after, I witnessed the doctor telling my mother that such an obsession with my weight was dangerous- especially at that age.

I can’t pinpoint where or when it started, but I know that media didn’t make it easy. At 11yrs old I attempted to stop eating completely, but it didn’t last long, thankfully. At 13 yrs old I did pilates every night. At 15 I stopped eating meat with hopes that I would lose weight because of it.

My family tried to console me by saying “some people have small bones, but you have big bones..” along with some other theories. But really, it never worked. You see, my goal of dieting was always to look like one of the models in the magazines. The majority of my friends already looked that way, but even they were convinced they had to work hard to lose weight, farless for me.

I’m going to highlight the world’s way a.k.a Satan’s strategy for losing weight and looking good.

  1. open a cosmopolitan magazine and cut out all of the pictures of the girls dressed
  2. provocatively and in bikinis and pin it up on your mirror. This is your goal and this is your inspiration, so you will work harder every time you look at those girls.
  3. diet pills, they work.
  4. get an intense exercise program like p90x, so that you are sure to burn off those calories
  5. get yourself on a very expensive diet program, where your meals will likely be a couple carrots per day etc.

Maybe a slight exaggeration. But very close to the real thing and guess what.. it’s expensive too. I was subject to this thinking for about 16 years of my life. Yes, I managed to lose weight at different times of my life, but I was never healthy. At one point my ribs began to show and people thought I had an eating disorder, which could have been true, but I was finally looking the way I wanted.

Just to give you an idea of the flaws in this strategy:

  1. You will never lose enough or feel like you have lost enough weight by comparing yourself to supermodels
  2. Diet pills are not good for you
  3. If you try to kill yourself out exercising, well, you may just kill yourself
  4. Diets don’t teach people how to eat properly for a lifetime, just a month.

When I gave my life to Jesus at 17 I sort of “let loose.” The gospel made me feel and know that nothing here on earth mattered (and it doesn’t) . I officially cared not about my looks, my health, my job, nothing. It was total bliss. I started eating, didn’t feel guilty eating KFC, I didn’t feel the need to punish myself, I threw away every magazine that I owned.

I didn’t need to worry about getting my summer bod because I no longer wanted to show off my body in a bikini.  I didn’t need my assets to look good in jeans or in a navel breaker and putting on some weight did me well.

But after a few years, acid reflux kicked in, I started to get acne breakouts and my energy levels were very low. I can hardly say that I believe the Lord came up with the idea of fast food.

So, I knew that while I had enjoyed my break, I had to get healthy, but, for the right reasons this time.

This time my motivation was not  looking good in a bikini and comparing myself with supermodels.

My motivation was that I needed to be healthy, to stay out of the hospital, to be able to serve the Lord, to have energy during the day and to stop breaking out into rashes.

I hadn’t realized how free I was until I youtubed some exercise videos and saw Satan again trying to influence people. Most of the exercise videos are hosted by thin girls with long blonde hair in their sports bra. For me it felt like they were trying to put me back into my old mindset- that I had to lose weight to look like that. Why couldn’t the hosts of the program be dressed in track pants, a big t-shirt, have their hair pulled back, no make-up – how people usually dress to exercise? Somehow it didn’t seem like they were inspired to host an exercise program because it will help you have energy and be healthy.

Most dieting programs do the same.

When being advertised, do they show a person dressed in a business suit, looking and feeling healthy because they eat right? No. They show you a super model dressed in a bikini. Again, subliminal messages saying – eat healthy to look like this, not because it’s just good for you! While some diets are good and may work, they can be expensive. Whereas, you can learn to eat healthy just by making practical lifestyle decisions. While you may lose 15 pounds in two weeks, if you do it with the wrong motivations, you will probably put it back on soon enough.
Is obesity a problem? Yes. Is high blood pressure a problem? hypertension? Yes.

So, my advice is to firstly, have a desire to be healthy not skinny. However that looks.

Don’t let your desires be to be the next bikini model lead you because that’s a never ending fight.

If you are surrounding yourself with magazines and movies that promote losing weight as the answer to unlocking all of your beauty and the answer to being attractive, you will need to stop.

Next, eat your fruits and vegetables and exercise. It’s not a secret and it never as been. Make fresh fruits and vegetables a part of your diet and drink a lot of water. it’s obvious what the things that make you gain weight and are bad for you are – sodas, candy,  greasy foods etc. you can simply eat less of it or cut it out.

The one thing to remember is that your body is not the be all and end all of life. It’s just a shell. Christ in you, the hope of glory gives that shell life and adds beauty to you. So, once you have settled that in your heart, you can start your journey of being healthy for the right reasons.

Image Credit: Canva  Google