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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pressing Past the Pit

Written by Mandisa

Like many of you, I have been the weight loss journey the last few years. Truth be told, I’ve been on a weight loss roller coaster for most of my life! I started using food as a defense mechanism and began packing on the pounds at an early age. I remember the momentary bliss I found by sitting in front of my television with a Tupperware container full of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cookie Crisp, even resorting to the only one my mom wised up and began buying, Raisin Bran! I also remember frequent trips to the corner doughnut store to buy a half dozen glaze circles of love and demolishing them by the time I got home and could hide the evidence before my mom got home from work. The years rolled on and my love for the escape that consuming large quantities of food grew and grew. It was not uncommon for me to have daily binges where, in less than 48 hours I would empty 2 pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, one dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts, 4 giant sized meals from either McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Jack ‘n the Box, or ChickFilA, plus one take-out order from The Cheesecake Factory. I would come to call these my moments in “The Pit” because I felt like I was stuck and couldn’t claw my way out.

In Beth Moore’s life-changing book Get Out of That Pit, she describes three ways that believers end up in a pit: they can be thrown in, they can slip in, and they can jump in. I’ve experienced all 3.

I was thrown into a pit, and the weight started picking up at a very early age when I was molested by 2 different people. I was thrown in again at 16 years old when I was raped. I’ll never forget my best friend’s next door neighbor telling me how beautiful I was as he robbed me of my virginity. Somewhere in my juvenile mind I equated being beautiful with being in danger. The more I ate, the less attractive I seemed to be to men. It was a false sense of security, but I felt secure nonetheless. So the weight picked up even more.

I didn’t intend to slip into the pit, but after years of numbing emotions with food, poor habits became a full blown food addiction. I felt helpless against the pull that large quantities of high fat, high sugar, high caloric food had on me. Of course I never sought to be mastered by food, but as with any addiction, it happens one decision at a time (so does deliverance, by the way).

This leads me to how I jumped into the pit. Once I learned about the effects my poor eating habits were having on me, I can easily identify several moments where I KNEW I was heading down the danger zone. I just didn’t care. Part of me figured, I was already over 300lbs, I might as well just become one of those people that need a crane to get out of bed. And you better believe that the enemy played an enormous role in that. He is the father of lies, so it his job to whisper bitter nothings of defeat, hopelessness, and shame.

Thankfully, it is the Holy Spirit’s job to counter with God’s Truth! I have lost over 100 pounds and I am still going! When I fall (and I DO fall), I am learning to dust myself off and get back up. Like addiction, freedom happens one decision at a time. Instead of looking at how far I have to go, I simply choose to follow Jesus that day. Eventually those good decisions add up to pounds and eventually to FREEDOM! I am living proof that God can transform a “Former Pit Dweller” to an “Overcomer”! I hear from so many of you that are either on your own weight loss journey, or are looking for help on where to begin. Let me share the 5 main things I am doing on my journey to freedom from food addiction:

1. Fight with the Sword of the Spirit/Word of God. For a list of scriptures I wield in my daily battle of the bulge, see the blog I wrote on my website in 2009 called “Scriptures on My Journey to 100.” And read Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. It is packed with the truth of what God has to say about food, our bodies, and our minds. It is, by far the best book I have ever read on the subject.

2. Eating: Focus on the fiber with small meals.

3. Exercise: Find what you enjoy. For me, it’s working with a trainer and dancing!

4. Surround yourself with believers who can help on your journey (accountability partners, Christian professional to help get to the root.

5. Prayer. You don’t have to rely on will power alone. You have Resurrection Power inside of you! If God can raise a man from the dead, He can raise us from our couches and onto a treadmill! Lean into God’s power through prayer.

You can see all 5 of my “Journey to 100” videos and the scripture blog on my website.

I am not at my goal yet, but I will get there! As with any journey, there are highs and lows, but we must press on! Like Paul said in Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV):

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

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