Please note: this section is not intended for children. They are born so in tune with what their bodies need! Please read How to Raise Godly Children for more information on infants and children.
It is essential to take care of the body that God has given you and have the right focus. We can choose many things in this world to focus on that will wind up hurting us. One such focus is an extreme focus on our bodies. We are simply not to be body focused—comparing ourselves to others.
Yes, we are to take care of the body. Taking care of the body is absolutely essential as a human being. We were made and given life, and it is not our right to destroy it. The body and soul and mind that you have been given are God’s and belong to God. In fact, another way to look at it is you are renting this body out and it is not your right to destroy it.
God designed mankind in His image; however, He made us all unique. What is the ideal body weight for one person is not the ideal body weight for another. God designed our systems so efficiently that when you eat according to hunger and fullness, your body will intuitively go to a natural size and remain there. Your body knows when the extra reserves have all been used up and you are down to the size and shape that God has assigned to you.
But focus on taking care of the body and body focus are two different things. There are many different degrees of body focus that I have run into over the years. This obsession can lead to many kinds of strongholds: narcissism, exercise-aholism, anorexia, bulimia, chronic control. All these people have this in common: their mind is on themselves in almost any and every circumstance. Their world is centered on themselves.
Anorexia can start early in life, as young girls see the U.S. spinning out of control when it comes to overweight and obesity. What is the etiology of this stronghold or sickness? There are people who are overly competitive and are obsessed with having the thinnest body. Many are blind and never seem to like the body God has given them because they are focused on someone else’s. Again, you like what you focus on, and the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Had we brought children up to appreciate life and health, perhaps we would not have this outbreak of anorexia in this generation. Anorexics are so consumed that they do not see that they have become too thin. Anorexics ignore hunger and eat so little that they put their health in harm’s way if they do not refocus to please God. The human being must eat when they are hungry and they must stop when they are full so that they are not overweight or underweight. The anorexic must learn to follow God and eat when the body is hungry. Eating God’s way, with hunger and fullness, gives the perfect weight and freedom from this destructive, heartbreaking, and often tragic body focus.
The Scriptures reinforce that focusing on your body is harmful. After Adam and Eve defied what God had clearly told them not to do, it says in Genesis 3:7, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” Adam and Eve let go of their childlike hearts and took over. A young child has no awareness of their body or looks—they simply love. The more innocent you are, the more outward and upward you are.
The world may applaud outward beauty, but they are attracted to righteous people who are a light in this dark world. Jesus had no appearance that men would desire, however, look at how the world has flocked to him and his teachings. Jesus taught the love of God first, and then love of man, in that order. It is not about how you look but what you give back—your response to the love you have been given. Tell me, whom do you like to be around? I am sure that the characteristics of the people you enjoy have nothing to do with their looks. So why do you care about what you look like? Let it all go.
How do you rid yourself of that evil behavior? By focusing off of the body and changing your focus onto pleasing God, you will turn all of this around. Remember, when you are focused on the human body, you will be out of control. If you start over and praise God for life, for breath, another day to live and a chance to consider others better than yourself, it will turn your world right-side up.
The key is to let go. You will find the control. Let go and love. Let go of a worry about your looks. You were put here to love God. People are too busy to pay attention to your looks. It is not about what someone else has or looks like; it is not about what they are wearing. People see your heart and are drawn to a heart of love.
We are to take care of our body, and it should not be abused. We must do the best we can. Always be clean. We are to glorify God with what we have been given just as all the animals do. However, we are not to obsess over looks. Do your best, and then forget your looks and show concern for others.
Remember that if your mind is caught up in self-focus, it is enslaved—caught up in your own desires. You are a slave to whatever has mastered you.
If you go to I Corinthians 12, you learn that you are a part of a greater body…the body of Christ. In this body, there are spiritual gifts—one body and many parts. This, the church, the true body of Saints, is what you need to love and focus on. Notice how you will have no episodes of bingeing or purging if you transfer your concern to the body of Christ.Ideal Body Weight
The body is amazingly made; you are amazingly made. God designed all of us in His image, but each body is quite unique. Again, what the ideal body weight is for one person is not the ideal body weight for another. But the percentage of fat is basically the same—Men average 18 to 24 percent and women average 25 to 31 percent. God designed our systems so efficiently that when you eat according to hunger and fullness, your body will naturally go to the size He intended and remain there. Your body knows when its reserves have all been used up, and your hunger sensation either will come more often or will require more food before being satisfied. It is important not to focus on a specific weight. It is also important not to skip hunger signs. Continually ignoring the signal that your body needs to eat is as harmful as overeating. It can lead to anorexia and trying to maintain a body weight that is too thin and not healthy. As long as you follow hunger and fullness, your body will reach and maintain the weight that the Creator intended for you.
The body is made of mainly water, and water can fluctuate. If you have been following hunger and fullness, you will lose weight. If you are a female, do not be surprised if your weight goes up when it is time for your cycle. Do not be discouraged if one week your weight does not go down and you did everything right.
One week you may lose a couple of pounds, and the next week you may not lose anything. It may even go up a pound one week. Just look at the pattern over a three-week period. Just keep focused and use your conscience and talk to God.
Treatment centers around the world are struggling to help anorexics and having very little success, but when you get back in tune with God’s built-in internal controls and biofeedback, you will have lasting success. Remnant Fellowship and Weigh Down has helped many anorexics and bulimics to let go of control and become at peace with their bodies. They have been healed from it and returned to a normal, healthy weight. The anorexic person who responds to physical hunger as taught through Weigh Down will gain the appropriate weight their body needs for good health. It is important for the anorexic not to skip hunger signs. Ignoring the signal that your body needs to eat is as harmful as overeating. Bulimics will also learn to eat within hunger and fullness and learn to end the cycle of bingeing and purging. As long as you follow hunger and fullness, your body will reach and maintain the weight that God intends for you. By applying these principles, those with eating disorders have improved their health and changed their focus on food and their obsession for thinness, over to a focus on and devotion to God. While individuals with anorexia or bulimia can certainly benefit from this program, they should remain under the care of their physicians.
Remember, you are not a failure. You have not overcome overeating because you have applied the wrong medicine to this condition. It is time to start over with new hope. You can change your heart’s focus.
Also remember, do not focus on what people think. Stop allowing people to judge you when you are eating pecan pie or regular foods of any kind. Every time you find yourself wondering what people think, turn your attention straight upward to God and look only for His approval. Similarly, stop feeling self-righteous when you have pulled the fat out of a recipe and made the food behave. It is time to relearn how to be righteous—do things God’s way—by making your heart and mind behave.
Understand that the behavior you are tackling is overindulgence. Overindulgence leads a person to desire something on this Earth to make him feel good. Our loving God will give you this feeling so that you no longer have to look for it from things on this Earth.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. I Corinthians 3:16-17
Copyright 2018 Remnant Fellowship, Gwen Shamblin Lara and WeighDown