A diet is a hope or a wish wrapped in a partial truth. To lose weight we have to eat differently than we have, which is what a diet is. However, that's just part of the truth.
Even though we know the diet won't fix us, we hope, we wish, that we will be the size we desire for the rest of our lives. That's the part a diet doesn't offer us, but it's why we go on the diet in the first place. That makes the diet a partial truth wrapped up in a wish for more.
Change Is Possible
There is only one way to keep the weight off: We have to change our lifestyles. That change has to address everything in our lives including what we eat, how we move, how much sleep we get, how we work, how we play, how we handle stress, how we reward ourselves, how we handle our emotions and what we really and truly believe about God.
The reason commercials that say things like "Lose 20 pounds in a month" bring in customers is because they speak to what we really want. We want to keep the weight off but not change the way we eat forever. We don't even think changing is really possible.
I'm living proof that with God, change is possible. I once weighed 430 pounds. Crazy, but true. After losing more than 250 pounds and having kept if off for five years, I'm feeling like a halfway normal human being.
The latest, greatest diet is where we have placed our hope or wish. When we gain the weight back, we lose what little hope we had and just give up.
In this day and age, "hope" has lost its meaning entirely. We use it as a synonym for wish: "I hope it won't rain today." "I hope I can lose 20 pounds."
The real meaning of hope, though, is biblical. It is a secure promise. When God is involved, what He has promised us, what He desires for our lives will happen. We can bank on it.
"God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
"This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest" (Heb. 6:19-20, NLT).
The hope we build based on what God wants for us is a strong and trustworthy anchor, a sure thing, what we stake our lives on no matter what comes our way.
With God, my biggest mess has become my greatest message and it can be for you, too. First, though, we have to trust Him enough to allow Him to remove the obstacles that keep us from trusting Him enough to do what He shows us to do.
Working through freedom principles with several different coaches helped me understand how to embrace total lifestyle change. I had many emotional roots that had to be dealt with before I could trust God to provide for me, protect me, comfort me, lead me, teach me who I am and be a companion to me.
I had to give up my need to respond to every one of the latest, greatest diets which experience had taught me don't work in the long run. I had to surrender my bad habits and put good ones in their place.
I had to understand where my fears, needs, desires and dreams had gotten sidetracked. I had to understand that when they got sidetracked, they also derailed my absolute trust in God. And I had to understand how to trust God to help me.
Letting God Lead
My issue wasn't learning what diet I needed to incorporate, it was allowing God to lead me to become the person He wants me to be—body, soul and spirit.
When I finally understood how to do work through all of these things, it didn't just change my weight, it changed my entire life.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of seven books, all available on Amazon. Her latest book, Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God, is available now, and Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds is the No. 1 Christian weight-loss memoir. She is also a writing and weight-loss coach, blogger, speaker, wife and mother. Visit her online at TeresaShieldsParker.com to find her books, coaching programs and free gifts.
This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.