Every day we are bombarded with messages that tell us we need something outside of ourselves in oder to fit in, to have value, a kind of permission that is needed in order to be a part of "the group". Even in the church culture we have prescribed to outside messages about how we should eat, move, what size we should be (thin within, body by God, weigh down, first place 4 health, the list goes on and on) in order to be good and Godly.
Why has the church subscribed to making idols out of healthy eating, exercise, bodyweight, and health? We wrap it up with scripture and we make it bend to our desires. A desire to be thin, or a weight that the outdated BMI chart says we should weigh. I have been wondering why we still look to culture as the experts for truth and Christian living. Shouldn't we be more devoted to our relationship with God and less about losing x number of pounds on the scale, and sharing the latest greatest diet we are doing?
There is nothing wrong with wanting to do a little shape shifting. The problem is that those diets become idols and we chase the next one, thinking that it will somehow fix us. But what if the diet, given to us by the culture was the very reason why we think we are broken in the first place? (I will write more about the facts on the effectiveness on diets in future blogs)
I am not innocent in the years of telling other people about some crazy diet I have been on, trying to force myself into a mold (those fit christian women bible study teachers that I tried to emulate). But I feel like my eyes have been cleaned from the crusty cultural haze that I bought into back when I first became a baby Christian.
One of the many "biblical" diets I went on a few years ago was the Daniel Diet. I'm not bashing what Daniel and his fellow captives chose to eat, I'm just pointing out that the church does a very poor job of teaching us how to trust God with how he created us. That somehow because of our sin we got fat and now we need to trust a diet to fix us. When maybe what we really need is to first understand God's amazing love for us in how he created us in all different shapes and sizes.
I'm not saying that fasting or abstaining from certain foods is bad. I've done many a fast and eliminated foods that haven't always been kind to by digestive tract. Except there is a flaw that happens when we worship so much of what the experts (science, media, latest favorite bible teacher) say is the right way to eat, the right body shape, size, or look we are trying attain to.
It's killing us on a spiritual level. We keep our eyes so focused on dieting and telling all our friends what we are doing in our church circles when we should be pointing to what God is doing in our lives, specially when we struggle with our so called "weight" issues.
We no longer know how to trust the body God designed for us to live in. We have learned to hate our bodies and fear fat. We have listened to the culture and have spent so much time and energy trying to become something other than who we currently are, a human in process. I'm not blaming the church for adopting the culture when it comes to healthy eating and living. What I am doing is pointing out that maybe the church as bought into the idolatry of size and acceptance, the virtue of healthy eating, and forgot that God created our body and that we can learn to love and accept ourselves because we are His creation. I'm pointing out that I too bought into the lie that said I had to weight x pounds, in order to be "healthy, acceptable, valued and loved." I was so unhealthy with how I spoke to myself about my inability to be enough, about how broken I must have been because I wasn't able to maintain a lower body weight or stick to the low calorie, tasteless, diet.
This series of blog posts is a rant in a way. It's me saying enough is enough. I'm a mind and body coach who yes, helps people with nutrition issues by addressing a deeper spiritual need to discover what God has to say about your journey. To learn to let go of cultural idolatrous ways and seek God's wisdom. To learn how to trust God and the body he designed for you to live in. To let go of the need to reach that "magic" number by discovering that you are enough. God tells you of His great love for you.
I'm coming with some truth stats that may shock you. I want to challenge you to let go of what the culture deems acceptable and seek a closer relationship with God and with yourself. We neglect the relationship we have with our bodies, we've tuned out and stopped listening to our body wisdom, the wisdom God so miraculously designed.
I invite you into a conversation about why have we as the church adopted diets that become idols?
Personally message me with your thoughts, your concerns, your worries, your eye opening inspirations. I'd love to hear your story. I'll share mine with you too.