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Why God Wouldn’t Let Me Lose Weight

Weight Loss Tips | Weight Loss Motivation | Christian Advice | Dieting

It was quite a conundrum – what would God give me? Which prayer would He answer?

The prayer for me to be thin… or the prayer for God to rule my heart?
Weight Loss Tips | Weight Loss Motivation | Christian Advice | Dieting

Well, hang on. Let’s rewind a moment to the beginning…

Weight has been a problem for me the past decade. I just was not happy with how I looked. I’m healthy, but I used to be thin.

I used to be THIN, and wow, did this thought take over my mind and dominate my life.

When I gained some weight, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression. Food became a comfort for me. I really wasn’t happy that I had gained weight, but if you’ve had problems with depression, then you know that it’s hard to pull yourself out of the pit.

Every time I met someone new, or went anywhere different, I would think, “I hate people seeing me like this – this is not how I look.” I would strive to go to the gym and workout, which I enjoyed, but I also enjoyed eating and I made slow progress. Without quick results, I then would become defeated and go back and forth on crash diets.

My heart and mind were in a very bad, self-defeating place. A place that didn’t love myself and certainly wasn’t capable of receiving God’s love for me.

I was all consumed with the thoughts of not being thin anymore. Actually, consumed is far too light of a word. Obsessed is more like it.

I need you to understand that all the while weight was ruling my life, I was also continuing to walk with God and follow Him. I was actually a seminary student at the time, and my life had been deeply devoted to God since I was 16. All of this was taking place well over 10 years after deciding to follow Him and working professionally as a Christian minister.

So, I knew the Bible, and was studying it academically in preparation for my master’s degree. I also knew God personally, as well as I could at the time, at least. So of course, I was well aware of one of the most prominent aspects of Jesus’ ministry here on Earth – His miracles.

You know the ones where Jesus showed up and people were miraculously healed. Where the blind saw, the deaf heard and the dead were raised from the grave.

That’s all big time stuff, you know.

I thought, “Well if God could do all of that 2,000 years ago, surely He can do it now.”

So I prayed…and I prayed hard.

God, take this away from me. Help me to be thin again. Help me not to run to food. Take this away, I don’t want to live like this anymore.

And believe it or not, nothing happened.

As time passed, and I continued to pray, and continued to try to lose weight without making progress, I started becoming very confused. “What is going on here? God, I thought you were a God of healing, the God of strength, the God of power, mercy and compassion. Why are you not answering my prayer?!”

Okay, that might seem a little brash, but that’s how it really went down. I feel very comfortable in my relationship with God to be authentic, especially in light of David’s honest connection to God you see in many of the psalms he authored. I believe that God already knows what’s in our hearts – it’s us who sometimes do not feel comfortable or right in sharing it with Him.

But more than anything, I was simply confused.

I really thought if I had faith the size of a mustard seed then I could move mountains. I believed what Jesus taught and I believed it deeply.

So what happened?

Click To Read Part Two Of This Post

Weight Loss Tips | Weight Loss Motivation | Christian Advice | Dieting

Alexis Waid

Alexis Waid

Alexis is a wife, mother, theologian, speaker and spiritual director.
Alexis Waid

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Comments 12

  1. I just cried my eyes out and laughed at the same time. Your post hit home to the T. Im currently on a weightloss program and ive never had to do one. Ive been a petite size until i was 25. I came out pregnant and my body has been a nightmare. This post really helped rethink my weightloss and my relationship with god thank you for this I definitely needed to hear this

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      Alexandria, thank you so much for letting me know how this affected you! Weight and body image can be really tough issues. I hope you have success in your program and I hope you have peace in the process. May you feel God’s love guiding you and walking with you!!!

  2. Alexandria-
    I have been in the exact same place and felt the exact same way. Was like reading my own story. I thank you and our God tonight reading this. I received great comfort from someone else sharing and understanding the struggle. Your brave to put it in words. God Bless you!

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  3. Boy did this resonate with me too! I went from a size 10 to a 16 and no, God did not answer my prayer to lose weight either! Lol I have always been thin and never had one problem losing weight, ever. But, my lesson was a bit different. The Lord has healed us miraculously in many ways, but He wanted me to know that the Neiman Marcus ideal was not His ideal. I did not overeat, in fact, I was under-eating and supplementing (this is how determined I was to lose weight, and I wasn’t even overweight). God unequivocally said, “I don’t want you to lose weight; I want you to gain weight and build your muscle tone.” I went up a whole size one month when I started a new workout. Boy was I mad! Lol Muscle weighs more than fat, and I built it with my workout.

    I grew up with two women who idealized the fashion industry and passed this ideal on to me. Curves in the women in my family were not acceptable, and big hips, even after childbirth had to go! It is as if they stamped on my young mind that being a woman, created in God’s image was unacceptable. I didn’t even know this was not God’s plan for my body.

    Thank you so much for your courage to share this topic. I wish more of us would stop starving ourselves and grow into the women God created us to be—curves and all! I still struggle with the new me some days, but more and more I have embraced my shapely self as God’s plan for me and His testimony on my life.

    God did not give me any girls, but he gave me two boys, whom I am hoping choose a shapely woman of God as their wives.

    Unashamedly His~Kim

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      Kim,
      This warms my heart! Thank you for sharing your story, it’s an important perspective, one that needs to be heard. Accepting ourselves is so hard sometimes with all the messages we hear about what our bodies “should” look like. Learning to receive God’s love and grace has been such an important message for me in this issue of weight loss. It has freed me and it sounds like it has freed you too! Thanks again for sharing!

  4. I am struggling with this right now. But I don’t know what to do… I want to be secure and rooted in God’s love, and I do feel he loves me, I don’t doubt that at all. So how do I change the way I feel about wanting to lose weight and becoming thin… but also still be mindful of the fact that I must lose weight to become HEALTHY. I’m very overweight and healthy and I fear I’m beginningto have problems because of it. Not sure what to do or how to start. I have prayed for willpower and comfort so that I don’t crave or run to food… just doesn’t seem to work. Any advice?

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      Kristy,
      First of all I think your goal is great! Aiming to have a healthy body is something we all should do. It’s amazing that you are aware and embrace God’s love for you, this is so important. Many people really struggle with this and can be a major hurdle for them for intimacy with God.
      Another thing people struggle with is loving themselves. I want you to really think about if you love yourself and how you show love to yourself. Taking care of our bodies is not just self-care, but a recognition and response to our own self-love. This is something that I have been working on for many years, treating myself right. And treating myself right with making good eating and exercise choices. And that simply means, nourishing myself with foods and water that will work for me not against me. This is an act of discipline and love. I also put boundaries on things, I won’t eat things I hate, but I won’t simply just eat pizza because I like it. I will limit my pizza intake to maybe two slices a week and have salad with it, per example. Little things like these can help align your heart to making good decisions for you that embrace God’s love for you and your own.
      If all of this is too hard or maybe not applicable, which is totally fine, I would also suggest going to talk to a professional. Speak with a licensed counselor or a nutritionist. This can really help give you tools to aid you in the quest for a healthier life.
      The last thing I want to leave you with is this Scripture:
      1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
      19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
      Use this verse as a prayer point. Reflect on it, talk with God about it. Allow it to penetrate your mind and heart and ask God what He wants you to do with it.
      I wish you great luck in your endeavor and continue to know you are deeply loved by God. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reaching out, hope this helps a bit!

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          Glad to help! Just remember to be patient. Give yourself lots of grace. Know that this is a process not a quick step. And daily, hourly or even minute by minute embrace God’s love for you. Lean in on Him. And when you feel like you screwed up or failed, simply return to Him. Tell Him about it and continue to keep your eyes on Him even if you feel like you are not getting anywhere. I promise you, if you stay rooted in Him, transformation will happen. This usually takes longer than we expect, but God works with on His time frame, not ours-which is a really good thing!

  5. This post is unbelievable – Alex, thank you for sharing.

    I am in the exact place you have described, trying to figure out how to let go of the weight obssession and transfer my identity from being a physical appearance to being rooted in God.

    There is so much more to say, and I could go on about by own journey, etc., but I am so glad someone else is experiencing this exhausting daily mental and spiritual battle in the middle of trying to handle life. It’s tough, but we know God is with us all the way.

    Much love.

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      James, I’m so glad you resonated with my story. It’s amazing how much weight can consume one’s mind. It does become freeing when you can embrace God’s love for you, right as you are no matter what size. It is in His love we become whole and complete. I hope your journey with weight and God gives way to hope, truth and love, as it sounds like you are walking on that journey right now! Thanks so much for sharing!

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