What’s one food you wish you didn’t like so much? I asked that question on my Facebook page the other day. All but maybe 10 percent said sugar, baked goods, breads, desserts, ice cream, chocolate and other high carbohydrate foods.
As a former super morbidly obese person, I always thought life as usual was being able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted like desserts all day constantly. However, that’s not life as usual.
What I wanted was a lot more than what others who were living normal lives wanted. When I wanted it was a lot more often than the normal weight person wants to eat those same things.
More Was My Downfall
Most people love those kinds of foods. My problem was I always wanted … more. That little four-letter word did me in when it didn’t touch others.
This truth hit me just this week even though it’s been over six years since I reached the goal of losing 250 pounds. I realized that the types of foods I ate were a problem, but the bigger problem was how much of them I ate.
For me foods made with sugar and flour or any combination of those ingredients were the foods I always wanted more of and thus I ate all the time. I did not have a shut-off valve for those foods.
Even though I am an educated person my problem was exactly like an alcoholic explains their problem. Sugary and carbohydrate-laden foods pulled me, called my name, and seemed to want to help me avoid the emotional issues I didn’t want to face.
Diets Never Changed Me
That’s why when I thought about losing weight, I thought about a diet, which is a short-term fix for a long-term problem. The issue was I didn’t see my problem as a long-term. I thought it was a short-term issue that a diet would fix and then, I could go back to the foods that called my name in the middle of the night.
Change, which simply means to become different, wasn’t in my vocabulary. Oh sure, I wanted to change how I looked. I wanted to change what I weighed, but I did not want what I ate to change. I certainly didn’t want to actually begin to exercise on a regular basis.
I was a textbook example of a yo-yo dieter, losing weight and putting it back on plus more. It just never occurred to me that I actually might have to become different to look different.
Begin To Exist
Become is another interesting word. It actually means to “begin to be”. Be means to exist. So to become means to begin to exist. This happened the moment I surrendered sugar to God.
It is a good description because I knew I did not want being a sugar addict to define my existence. If I were going to be an addict, I wanted to be addicted to Jesus, not to a substance of any kind. I wanted Him to define my existence.
I needed to make a change and I had no clue how, but I saw clearly that I had been running away from the plan God had whispered in my ear again and again. When I’d get to the bottom of myself He’d tell me clearly to, “Stop eating sugar.”
I didn’t want to listen because I thought that was not something a loving God would do to me. I didn’t think He’d tell me to stop eating what I loved.
Surrender and Live
I didn’t understand until the day I clearly saw I was like an alcoholic only with sugar. That was the day I told God, “I surrender sugar to You. Show me how to walk out this journey. Show me how to really live for You and not for the foods I love.
I’d cried and asked for God’s help before with losing weight, but this time was different. This time I laid it on the altar. I surrendered it to Him. This time was my moment of change. This was my true time of repentance. This was my turn-around.
The key to change is surrender. We have to lay down the things that have been obstacles in the way of living our best lives. For an alcoholic, that is alcohol. For a drug addict, that is drugs. For a person addicted to spending money they don’t have that means taking away credit and debit cards.
For me it meant I had to give up sugar. I didn’t do it all at once. I learned how to do it replacing bad habits with good ones. It also meant I sought out Godly mentors to help me learn how to embrace my emotions and not let them overwhelm me, to learn how to forgive myself and others and to see how emotions help me live a full and meaningful life.
More than anything I realized that to change I have to fix my attention on God. By watching what He does, by getting closer to Him, by studying His Word is how I transform. That change begins on the inside of me and before it is ever seen on the outside.
“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out,” (Romans 12:1-2a MSG).
Being changed from the inside out is the definition of being transformed by renewing our minds, (Romans 12:2 NIV).
I had to allow God to transform me. Transformation is exactly what happened to me because it means “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.” Losing 250 pounds results in dramatic change. It results in transformation.
It doesn’t happen, though, unless we invite God to begin that transformation on the inside of us. No matter how long we’ve been Christians the process of transformation starts and continues with total surrender, with every desire, every rebellion, every obstacle to God’s blessings laid at His feet continually.