I struggled with body image and self-image since my earliest teenage years. I can remember when I was fifteen, a size five and already started to diet. Back then, the only way I knew to lose weight or at least not gain weight was to refrain from eating. I went six days once on a water only diet to lose a few pounds.
I had such a poor self-image I used to always walk with my head down looking at the ground. Until one day a good friend asked me why I walked like that. I didn’t answer her. She had just brought to light what I was trying to ignore.
From that day on, I became intentional about how I walked: holding my back straight and my head high. But that didn’t change the real problem that was battling inside of me. It just help me hide the struggle from others.
So, along with my terrible self-image came a struggle with food. I couldn’t really continue the starvation dieting after having children: I just needed more sustenance. And I began to gain weight. So I would exercise and eat the recommended low-fat diet, but that only lasted for a season. And thus began a pattern of gaining and loosing pounds and always having three sizes of clothes in my closet.
Over the years, my husband doesn’t even really know how the Lord has used his loving words toward me to help heal my self-image. No matter what weight I’ve been, my husband has always told me I’m beautiful and how much he loves me. I could be working around the house in jeans, no makeup and my hair pulled back and he’d say I looked great. That’s love my friends!
Those words, especially from our closest relationships are powerful.
It wasn’t until I realized who I am in Christ Jesus that I truly became free from a poor self-image, though. I think every young girl needs to be taught who she is in Jesus. It’s life changing. I became a Christian at sixteen, but didn’t really place my identity in Him until I encountered a group of spirit-filled women that I met weekly with to study God’s word. Being connected to a small group of people hungry for God’s word is essential for spiritual growth. I have more to say on this subject, but that’s for another time.
So, now I’ve got the self-image improved exponentially but I still need to get the food down so that I can be healthy and to be honest, I just don’t like being overweight. But really, who can stay on a low-fat diet all their lives? Have you ever tried a low fat diet? It. is. so. bland. I think I’ve tried them all: point counting, (food)box ordering, expensive supplements with very restrictive food intake, vegetarian…etc. For me, none of this has been sustainable.
I finally did something I’ve never done before. I prayed about it. I’ve always thought God really didn’t care about how much I weighed, mostly because I want to look good in skinny clothes and that seems a bit vain. There I said it. But it’s the truth. Oh, yes, I need to be healthy even more so as I’m aging. But really, the cute clothes!
You know what I found out? My Father in heaven does care! He’s just been waiting for me to reach out to Him and talk to Him about it. After praying, I’ve adjusted my eating according to the “Keto” plan. It’s high fat (what?!), moderate protein and low carb. Oh, I lost you on the low carb, didn’t I. But I just have to say after trying plan after plan of low-fat bland, blah blah diets, this one feels satisfying for me. More importantly, a plan I can live by, not just visit now and again.
I get so full on all the (good) fats, that I can do without the carbs. Who knew I’d stock my fridge with so much real butter, heavy cream, cheese, eggs, and bacon and still lose weight? I lost 15 pounds last month eating just that, and meat and veggies of course. I’ll keep praying and keep trying. I know Jesus cares and wants to help me. Really, He knows how much fun I’m gonna have shopping for new clothes.
Trying to lose weight? Don’t give up! Take it to the Father first. He loves you and He cares more than you know. First steps first, find out how to know who you are in Christ Jesus in my next blog.
I understand not every plan is for every person. We are all individuals, but if you’re wondering about the Keto plan, I’ve copied a couple of links below. Most all of my info (and lots of recipes) I found on Pinterest.