How many times have you wished and hoped and prayed that maybe, just maybe, this time your efforts to eat healthier and lose weight would finally work?
I’ve wished and hoped and prayed many times and I know how hard it is. I know what it’s like to try all the latest and greatest fad diets only to eventually regain all the pounds I worked so hard to shed.
I know what it’s like to sit in front of the television when an infomercial promises that this exercise machine or those pills will be the answer to every dieting woe I’ve ever had. And I know what it’s like to sit there wishing the promises were true but knowing in the depths of my heart they’re not.
I know what it’s like to step on the scale every morning wishing the numbers were different but never having the discipline to make the changes that would result in different numbers. And then even rationalizing, “Well, who cares what I weigh? It’s not very Christian to be so vain and want to be thin.” But at the same time, I had this nagging feeling that my body wasn’t healthy and I knew it needed to be healthy in order to serve God the very best that I could.
All that to say, I understand. I know the tears you cry and the hurt you lug around with the excess weight. But, sweet sister, I do want to give you permission to dare to believe that this time will be different. I have walked this journey I’m inviting you to take and I can tell you with all honesty and integrity, it works. Dare to believe that this time it really will be different — and it will.
I’m not going to help you find your how-to. I’m not a nutritional expert who’s going to tell you what you already know: “Eat less, move more.” What I want to do is help you find your want-to — that missing link of spiritual and mental motivation that this time really will make the difference. That’s what I needed… and I set out on a journey through the Bible and prayed a very simple prayer,
God, help me to discover how I can consume food without food consuming me.
Made to Crave is the answer to that prayer. I have finally found the secret linking God’s truth with my eating and weight issues.
From Deprivation to Empowerment
Video: From Deprivation to Empowerment
As you watch the video, use the outline below to follow along or to take notes on anything that stands out to you.
God made you wonderful. (Psalm 139)
Indulge: To take unrestrained pleasure in something.
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which [wage] war against your soul. – 1 Peter 2:11
Made to Crave is not about helping you to find your how-to; it’s about helping you find your want-to. How – to = diet programs
Want – to = the spiritual and mental motivation to make lasting changes
Story of the rich young man. (Matthew 19:16-26)
- If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. – Mark 8:34
- Food isn’t bad, but it’s a problem when it sabotages you mentally, physically, and spiritually.
- I had to be really honest. The thing I thought about, ran to, took comfort in, found refuge in, turned to and depended on, was food way more than it was Jesus.
- This is a spiritual journey that will reap wonderful physical benefits.
- If we can look at healthy options and make the healthy choices — and not feel deprived but instead feel empowered — everything will change. It will change us mentally, spiritually, and physically.
- Made to Crave will help you learn how to feel empowered rather than __________
- We were made to crave, desire, want greatly, one thing: God, not food.
Take a few minutes to talk about what you just watched.
- What part of the teaching had the most impact on you?
- What, if anything, did you hear that you didn’t expect to hear?
Complete this activity on your own
Briefly review the list of statements below and ask yourself which ones you feel are true for you.
- I think about food way too much.
- My food choices are often high in fat or sugar.
- I feel embarrassed about my weight or appearance.
- The thought of changing how I eat makes me feel sad.
- I’m reluctant to bring this issue to God.
- I have gained and lost weight several times.
- I feel defeated and discouraged about issues related to weight or food.
- I don’t have as much physical energy as I wish I did.
- When I need comfort, I turn to food before I turn to God.
- I say negative things to myself (“You’re so fat,” “You’re ugly,” “You’re not capable of getting your act together when it comes to food.”)
- I’m not sure this is an issue God cares about.
- I feel guilty or embarrassed about what I eat or the size of my portions.
- I have health concerns that are weight related.
- I eat foods typically considered unhealthy fast food several times a week.
- I eat for emotional reasons— for comfort, out of boredom, to relieve stress.
- I sometimes feel like food is more powerful than I am.
- I think I will always struggle with this issue.
- I sometimes eat in secret or hide food.
- I avoid physical exertion.
- When it comes to food and weight, I feel like I am trapped in a vicious
- cycle with no way out.
Assessing My Soul
1. How do you respond to the idea that issues with food or weight can wage war on your soul (1 Peter 2:11)?
2. What insights or surprises did you discover in your self-assessment?
How’s Your Want-To?
1. In order to eat healthier, we need a how-to (a plan for what to eat), but we also need a want-to — the spiritual and mental motivation to make lasting changes. In previous efforts at weight loss and healthy eating, what ideas, experiences, or relationships fueled your want-to? In other words, what increased your motivation to make healthy choices?
2. How would you describe your want-to right now? Is your spiritual and mental motivation low, moderate, or high? Describe the reasons for your response.
The Story of the Rich Young Man
1. Read Matthew 19:16-26 and Mark 8:34 aloud. In what ways do you relate the rich young man’s struggles with his possessions to your struggles with food?
2. The rich young man is unwilling to deny himself; he doesn’t want to feel deprived of his possessions. Lysa had similar feelings about food. She once told God, “You can mess with my pride, You can mess with my anger, You can mess with my disrespectful attitude, but don’t mess with my food.” How do you respond to the idea of allowing God to “mess with” your food?
3. Jesus asks us to give up being controlled by anything in life that we crave more than we crave Him, which may feel impossible to do. But He also says, “With God, all things are possible.” When it comes to your issues with food and healthy eating, what is the one “impossible” thing you want God to make possible for you?
If we can learn to feel empowered rather than deprived when we make a healthy choice, everything will change.
1. Imagine you are attending a party with a large buffet. In the process of making healthy choices, you say no to some foods. What kinds of things might you say to yourself that would make you feel deprived because of your choice? For example, “Why am I the only one not eating dessert?”
2. What kinds of things might you say to yourself that would make you feel empowered because of your choice? For example, “I overcame temptation and made a healthy choice!”
3. How hopeful do you feel that you can make this mental switch — from feeling deprived to feeling empowered when you make a healthy choice?
What I Want to Remember
What is the most significant thing you gained in this session — from the teaching, activities, or discussions.
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Share some of your answers to the discussion questions. We would love to hear from you!