For The Love of the Body: Losing 200 lbs
200 lbs. Well, 200.8 lbs to be exact as of today. That’s how much weight I’ve lost over the past three years. All because a few guys who love Jesus were concerned for me and the witness I was giving the world around me. My body told the world that my appetites were lord. These brother’s challenged me. They reminded me how important it was that I let the world see who was Lord over my life. Thus began the journey of learning to worship with my body. I weighed 375 lbs when I started. I now weigh 174.2 lbs. As I lost the weight, there were different motivations (some appropriate, some not so appropriate). But through it all, I found that the more I lost, the more I found other believers wanting to worship with their bodies as well but unsure of how. So, here’s a few tips on the “how”. This is an honest and practical 5-step guide, for the love of the body of Christ God has stirred in me through this journey.
- Worship – If your motivation is health, eventually you’ll find another healthier reason to not lose the weight (chocolate’s good for you, right?!). Maybe your knee hurts, so you decide to rest and not find an exercise to burn the calories. Or maybe you just realize that with age, you’ll have a few extra pounds. Worship makes you realize that your body isn’t yours. Finding balance with rest, exercise, and healthy eating comes from a heart of wanting to treat your body as though it were the temple of God. You’ll lose the weight for the love of the body God gave you. If you don’t have a “why” that conquers over all the other motivations of your heart, you’ll eventually stop or give up. The only one worth that kind of devotion is God. So worship.
- Find what works – The easiest way for me to get started was with a low-carb diet. I needed something that would help me cut out a lot of weight really quickly to help me build momentum. Plus, I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy. It was easy to give up the potato when you’re eating multiple bacon cheese burgers (sans buns). But eventually I had to switch to a low calorie, vegetarian lifestyle to achieve the level of health and mental acuity I felt appropriate. Every person needs a different lifestyle and eating pattern. Find what works for you. This applies to the big picture (type of eating lifestyle) to the small details (which snacks can you eat and stay within your daily goals)? I’ve found that ultimately it boils down to calories for me.
- Build patterns – Patterns help you get into a grove of losing weight, eating right, and exercising and getting rest. You’ll never be able to stick to the pattern 100% but if you get into a pattern, you’ll find yourself making good choices by default. It’ll reduce the variables that often wreak havoc to eating right and exercising. I buy the same type of groceries, eat similar dishes (mixing things up here and there with seasonings, rotating through recipes/dishes, and having a collection of snacks on hand). My coworkers ask me if something’s wrong if they don’t smell my baked french fries when they come into work.
- Pay attention to your drinks – Most diets are going to require you, at some point, to count or have a strong sense of how much of something you’re consuming. Whether that’s calories, carbs, or “points”, you’ll be counting something. I’ve noticed that sodas, special coffee drinks, juices, etc. all have a lot of sugar, calories, and carbs. If you need to take baby steps (highly recommend if you’ve not had a lot of success in the past at treating your body right), start with the drinks.
- Be Radical – When sin is identified, Christ calls us to be radical in getting rid of it. Cut off the arm or pluck out the eye that causes you to sin. That doesn’t mean you should go and physically chop off your arm or pluck out your eye. But it does mean be radical. If you have a snack that you just need to finish off before starting your diet, throw out the snack. If you’re waiting for the holidays to end or whatever, drop that mindset like a Twinkie in a trash-can and start now. It may mean eating carrot sticks instead of chocolate covered cake with chocolate icing, but remember, worship isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.
- Community – Worship is easier when done in community. Find a group of people who can help encourage, hold you accountable, and celebrate with you when you reach goals.
I could offer more specifics but that’s beyond a single blog post. Comment below with what you have found helpful or recipes you’ve used to help worship with your body!