Stop Circling; Head North

1

June 3, 2012 by Beth Hess

According to the count I started two weeks ago, today is Day 15 of my “Final Battle with Food.” In truth, it might as well be Day 1.

Since May 20, I have exercised exactly ZERO times – eaten ice cream like my life depended on it – snuck food – plotted strategies to be able to sneak food – dug to the bottom of my purse to gather enough change to buy said food – been embarrassed by my body at the beach – had nothing flattering, or fitting for that matter, to wear – called myself names I wouldn’t call another human – acted out of rebellion – blamed others for my own choices – played the “it’s not fair she’s eating ice cream and is skinny” card – played the “at least I’m not as fat as that person” card – been sure no one can see past my size – decided my size is nobody’s business – declared over and over that my next choice will be a better one. Ok, the next one.

In short, it’s been a solid two weeks of “I don’t wanna. You can’t make me. Nah-nah-nah-nah, I can’t hear you.”

A full-blown “I’ll be fat if I want to tantrum.”

The rational observer side of me could hear the “I want” and know that kind of talk never leads me to a good place. The kicking and screaming 2-year-old in me was louder. For the most part, she got her way.

Until yesterday — when I realized:
* 2-year-olds who always get their way never learn responsibility, and I really want to be a responsible, mature adult.
* 2-year-olds make pretty lousy choices because they don’t know better. I do.
* Tantrums are really annoying — even the ones in your own head.
* None of this behavior is benefitting me in any way. (Ok, so my taste-buds are sometimes happy, but they never stay happy for long, anyway.)

Stubbornness. Rebellion pure & simple.

And that, my friend, is the moment I accepted this is not a food problem. Not a body problem. It’s a sin problem. A spiritual problem.

And if my sneaking food, eating ice cream, or over-filling my body is in any measure the very behavior Jesus went to the cross to save me from, well, then that flips everything on its head. Ok, God, you have my attention now.

Nearly every other time I’ve set out to overcome my food addiction (and, yes, I mean addiction in every sense of the word), I have started from a position of “I’ve got this. I know what to do.” Eat less. Move more.

So I would stock up on veggies and dust off the walking shoes and head out on the path of “what has worked before” — yes, it works. I just never worked it long enough. This time, though, I would swear, is different. More willpower. More Just Do It. More me.

Then I read these two things in the span of 24 hours…

        “I started wanting to take the reigns of my life, and I felt the pressure to save myself … and I’m not a very good savior.” (Charis Scolfield’s blog)

        “You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn North.” (Deuteronomy 2:3 … discovered in Made to Crave by Lysa TerKerust)

The message was clear: “Beth, you’ve tried to tackle this mountain on your own long enough. Stop going in circles. Go a new way. Go MY way. Turn North.”

Could I wake up tomorrow 40 pounds lighter? My God could do that, yes.

But I am coming to believe His desire is to journey with me on this path. That walking to the North with the Holy Spirit as my guide will be sweeter and more rewarding than any quick fix. With each pound lost, closeness to Him gained. A more sensitive ear to his direction in all things. A willingness to give up on my way. And more than I can even imagine right now.

The sweet spot of surrender. Every step. Every choice. Every Day as a new Day 1 … all the way to His Promised Land for me.

No more circling; I’m headed North.

P.S. I’m going to be blogging my journey under the category “40 Pounds of Purpose” … if you want each new entry emailed to you, please subscribe using the link on the right of this page. You’ll also be able to read an archive of entries over time right HERE.

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