I love a party or any get together where there is food. How about you?
However, it is a big excuse many use for not losing weight. I had this excuse. It went something like this, “I can’t lose weight because I want to eat at family gatherings, parties, church carry-in dinners and holidays.
Here’s what happens. When a party, holiday or family get-together happens, we look forward to it. Then we begin thinking about seeing everyone so our next thought is, “I need to lose weight.”
Then we think, “But this isn’t the right time. I don’t want to be limited in what I eat at the party. I want to have fun like everyone else.” So, we use the thing that might have been a reason to begin losing weight to become an excuse for not losing weight.
When one woman realized she was using every event or gathering that came up as an excuse for not getting healthy, she finally drew a line in the sand. She said, “I’m going to get healthy anyway no matter what comes along. But I can’t do it without your help, God.” And she did.
Why? Because she made a firm decision not to let her excuses rule her and she asked for God’s guidance and direction.
Where’s Your Focus?
This is where we all should get to, but there are many reasons why we use this excuse to stay stuck and as a result damage our bodies. This verse gives us three reasons why we shouldn’t focus on eating and should focus on God. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17 KJV).
Those in the Roman Church were arguing about what they could and couldn’t eat. In Romans 14:14 NLT, Paul tells them, “I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong.”
That discussion starts in Romans 14:1-3: “Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.”
Food Isn’t the Issue
Paul is saying all foods are alright for believers to eat. However, Paul defers to the conscience or the convictions of individual believers as their guide for what they should and should not eat. Food really isn’t the issue. It’s whether or not you are following God.
If God has told you not to eat certain foods because they are addictive to you, then figure out how to change your habits so you don’t eat them. God gave me a firm word about not eating sugar I did and ignored it for years.
As I look back on my life, I see the myriad excuses I used in order to not follow what God clearly told me to do, and I do want to emphasize the word me because it is a decision that each believer must make.
What Is Your Problem?
What I teach in Overcomers Academy is not a diet. I help those, women especially, who have a problem with food figure out what their specific issue is. Are you an overeater, binge eater or sugar addict? You can be one or all three.
Once we know what tendencies we have, we can develop a lifestyle eating plan with God’s help. We can see where we need to place limits and boundaries on certain foods and agree to go with unlimited amounts of things like water and exercise. We can learn from all the diets we have been on in the past what pieces of each diet God might show us to add to our own forever lifestyle plan.
No two plans will be alike. I am a very different weight loss coach in that I do not expect your plan to look like mine because you are not me. God made us all different. One reason He did is so we will come to Him for the help we need.
Surrender Is the Key
We’ve all been spending a crazy amount of money on diets, diet plans, diet drinks, diet foods and we are still overweight. We need to go to God, surrender our issues to Him and ask for His help and strength to do what He tells us to do.
Diets are short term fixes for a long-term problem. We don’t want another diet, where we lose weight only to gain it back again. We want God’s forever lifestyle change plan designed especially for us.
One final word on going to a party or event where food is being served. Take something you can eat. My go-to is a fresh fruit salad with pecans. Just add any fruits together.
My favorites are strawberries, grapes, pineapple and mandarin oranges, maybe a few raspberries or blueberries if I have them and some pecans. No dressing. The fruit is awesome by itself. It’s likely to be consumed by others, so be sure to set aside some for yourself.
Getting healthy can be fun. Real food can be satisfying and refreshing.
Eating what God wants you to eat helps us usher in the kingdom of God with righteousness (which is right living), peace (knowing we are taking care of our bodies which are the temples of God) and joy (because we are obeying what God has told us.)
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don’t miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on CPN. This article first appeared on teresashieldsparker.com. For more on this subject, listen to Episode 139: I Love A Party, by clicking here: TeresaShieldsParker.com/podcast/.