Dieting and Disillusionment

kirstiecoverWhile I was working at my gym, I noticed the May 18, 2009 issue People magazine. Kirstie Alley was on the front cover.  The article was about her journey with weight loss and gaining back her weight plus more.  She had been a Jenny Craig spokeswoman for three years.  When she stopped being a spokeswoman, she was no longer doing the weekly Jenny Craig weigh ins.

She talks candidly about the fact that she let herself go.  She said, “I’m going to have to work harder than last time, but I am very excited.”

Now, obviously I don’t know Kirstie Alley, but after reading the article, I felt so sad for her.  She blames herself for not exercising and not watching her calories.  She talks about having blame, shame, and regret associated with all the weight gain.  And she is insistent in saying that she is going to lose the weight by creating a weight-loss system.

My heart goes out to her.  It appears she is so focused on losing weight and trying another diet, and without realizing it, she is trapped in the false and oppressive hope of the diet cycle. I wish she could come to peace with food and with her body, and simply learn to be a naturally intuitive eater, one who has learned to listen to her hunger signals.  I am not saying it is easy.  It is hard work, but the transformation to your soul is priceless.

Most people have seen Valerie Bertinelli’s transformed body.  She looks absolutely stunning, but I wonder.  Will she be able to keep it up?  Does staying thin and food consume her thoughts?  What about the weekly weigh ins from Jenny Craig?  Even though it is good that she has lost the weight, does she feel like a slave to the scale?  How has her diet affected her soul?

ValerieCoverHere are some dangers of dieting:

•    Increased binge eating
•    Cause satiety cues to atrophy
•    Decreased metabolic rate
•    Increased preoccupation with food
•    Increased feelings of deprivation
•    Increased sense of failure
•    Decreased sense of willpower
•    Linked to eating disorders

I believe that we are not being who we were meant to be when we are dieting.  I believe dieting is damaging to the soul because it fosters guilt, low self-esteem, food addictions, eating disorders, and a false perception of self.  There is such freedom in being at peace with our bodies and with food, and deliverance from the guilt and oppression of dieting.

I encourage you to reject the diet mentality and start your journey as an intuitive eater.

My Health Journey

I became interested in health in 1982 when I was 17 years old. I have been reading and researching ever since.  I have often wondered why I have such a passion about health and fitness.  Is this something I should put time and effort into?  Is it mainly a hobby?  How can I serve God with this?

About seven years ago I took a class called Networking—which helps you find out what your spiritual gifts are.  Through this class, God revealed to me that I have a passion for encouraging women with their physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  This can be a tool to show His love and to bring Him glory.  What a wonderful gift to help people in their health/life journey!  What a privilege it would be to be a catalyst for helping people discover that they are loved and cherished by God, and help them discover who God has designed them to be.

Three years ago I became a nutritional counselor/wellness coach and I have been working at a local gym.  Over the years I have been reading and praying about my health philosophy and how I can help others.  Last year I had to take some continuing education courses.  I chose one on Un-Dieting.  It was absolutely life-changing.  Rather than prescribing a set of rules and regulations to lose weight,  un-dieting is based on becoming an intuitive eater—someone who is aware of their hunger signals and eats until satisfied, not stuffed.

I didn’t think I had believed in dieting but I realized I had and that was how I counseled people.  I had been prescribing a set of rules and regulations.  I realize now that any approach based on rules can be damaging to the soul because it fosters guilt, low-self esteem, food addictions, eating disorders, and a false perception of self.

25594616I wondered if there was a Christian wellness program out there and God showed me Thin WithinThin Within fits perfectly with what God has placed on my heart.  It is a grace-based approach to food and weight management.  Thin Within is a book which is based on a 30 day journey.  Each day you read one lesson and answer some questions.  You could get through it in 30 days but it will probably take longer.

It is about growing closer to God and seeking His view on our bodies, what they need and how much and that God loves us unconditionally.  It isn’t about following rules. It is about renewing our belief that God is able and willing to lead us to freedom from dieting rules and to the abundant life.  It is about discovering that you can be the person who God made you to be.  It is full of enriching self-discovery. It is about liberation from the bondage of diets and experiencing joy, peace, and freedom.  Basically, this is about spiritual transformation and gaining a healthy relationship with food and our bodies.

A group of ladies and I just started a Thin Within group yesterday and I just love these ladies.  God is up to something and I can’t wait to see what it is.  I believe Thin Within will be a catalyst for helping women discover they are loved and cherished by God and for discovering who God has designed them to be.

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