I live in beautiful Castle Rock Colorado. We are in the foothills and are surrounded by giant mountain ranges. It always has me thinking about a story in the Bible that I sadly relate to more often than I'd like to admit.
A few years ago I was in a bible study with a small group of musicians and we were talking about the Israelite's who walked in circles. (The story begins in Deuteronomy 1) Moses is telling them that they've stayed long enough at this mountain. Get on your way now, get moving. Head for the Ammorite hills, the entire land has been given to you by God as promised. They sent in some men to scout out the land and bring back a report about the best route to take and the kinds of towns they could expect to find. These were wise and seasoned men. Leaders of each tribe. Remember God has promised this land to them so Moses tells them to not be afraid, don't lose heart.
They took samples of the produce of the land and brought them back saying, "It's good land that God is giving to us. But they were afraid and grumbled in their tents, complaining that "God hates us, He hauled us out of Egypt in order to dump us among the Amorites-a death sentence for sure! They spent more time complaining and worrying so instead of taking the land God had promised to them they just........refused to to take it! And once again they were left to their own wandering and unbelief.
Wow! How quickly we forget. Slavery, torture, plagues, narrow escape, leading by fire and water from a rock and food from heaven. The declarations of , "we will do what you ask", and then turn their backs as soon as a little too many days have passed and a lot of bad habits and fear and doubt slip back in.
I have spent a lot of my life circling mountains when God has given me a direct command to enter into the land He has promised. I allow my failings to speak louder than God's voice. I question His clear instructions because I allow fear to take over. So I circle around again for another year, complaining about how long this journey seems to be taking. I buy into the fear that I can't trust God's goodness and instead I believe a toxic diet culture that has me doing another diet in hopes of finally reaching a weight goal that just leaves me feeling barren and hopeless when it backfires and I regain weight again.
I scratch my head, wondering why I've had so much drama about walking in obedience. Was it really so difficult to trust God and take over the territory He has called me in to? I wish I weren't so stubborn. I wish I had more faith. I wish I didn't always take so long to obey.
What I find interesting is that when I do show up and obey, God is there smiling at me. He's not sitting around stomping His foot in irritation saying, "It took you long enough." No He's patient and kind, full of mercy and grace.
Maybe you've felt stuck in a rut or have been circling a mountain for a long time now. It may be the mountain of worry. It may be the mountain of shame. If you've struggled with binge eating or excessive dieting it's time to stop circling another diet. It's time to surrender to God. He is more than capable of helping you and healing you.
Our former "food" challenges are not issues to be fixed but messengers that point us back to reconnecting with ourselves, with food and with our relationship with God and others.
After 44 years of circling the weight loss mountain I discovered something amazing. God had created my body with this amazing ability to heal without dieting. He designed my body to function without the need to calculate calories or plan elaborate "healthy" meal plans or restrict bread or cheesecake. I no longer needed to run miles or do hill sprints or train for the next 10K. I no longer live in fear of going out to dinner with my husband because the food I put into my mouth no longer needs to be controlled or monitored or weighed and measured.
I stopped circling the mountain. I started learning how to trust the body God created, to heal myself from toxic beliefs. I've made peace with food, with my body, with my past and created a life more fully present and alive.
The process takes some courage. You relearn how to trust your body. To learn how to reconnect. To become more present. To address the years of diet thinking and build a better relationship with yourself.
When I decided to stop circling the mountain I had to face my own fears. What if letting go of dieting makes me gain more and more weight? What if deciding to stop beating my body at the gym and learning to listen to its cry for a more gentle approach to movement causes me to lose muscle and become more flabby? What will happen to me if I let go of talking about the latest diet with my friends? Will they support me?
I addressed these questions one by one. I originally gained some weight. But as I continued to learn to really listen to my body and trust it more and more I not only released those added pounds, I released way more. I released shame and guilt from binging and overeating. I am more in tune with my own bodies needs and rhythms that eating has become enjoyable again. I've tuned in and listened to my body and stopped over exercising as it was causing sever lower back pain and adopted a more gentle approach to working out with enjoyable strength exercises and walking. I started talking about my body from a place of love, acceptance and grace.
My mind may offer old messages of fear in regards to dieting from time to time but that is the residual effect of 44 years of circling mountains. It's time to embark on a new adventure. One that has a promised land for those who put their trust and faith in it. It's the approach that God originally created. A way that is more present and connected. Learning to trust your body by trusting God. A way of communicating with the internal cues inside ourselves and giving yourself the gift of pleasure and peace again when it comes to Mind, Food and Body.
I'd love to share more of my journey with you and help you discover a way to quit circling the mountain of dieting and find peace through mind, body and eating coaching.
Girl, You've Got This!