Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us.  ~ Peter De Vries

Back in April I wrote a couple of blogs about the fact that I had gained considerable weight. I set out at that time on a journey to lose 55 pounds by the end of 2011. I had no illusions at the time. Losing weight is not easy and I have tried many times to find the will power to change how I live in order to achieve health and feel better about my weight – and many times I have quit before I ever really got started. When I went public with my need to change, it was as much as anything an attempt to keep myself honest. It is hard to turn back on a commitment when you make it on a blog and in the local community newspaper. With your support and prayers I have made good progress. Today I learned that I am now down 35 pounds! That is great news and it is good motivation for the just of three months that I have left to lose the additional 20 pounds. I am not sure what it is about the 35 pound mark that gives me pause to take a breath and say THANK YOU GOD. But this number is one that I was looking to see on the dreaded scale. While I write this, a guy on a TV commercial for Medical Weight Loss Clinic says, “I lost 96 pounds like magic.” Wow – sounds very … presto simple. That is not the real world. Those who have struggled with weight know that losing weight is not ‘just like magic.’ It is like work. It is disciplined and it is difficult. Many people have asked me about programs. People have wondered if I am on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, etc. I am not. I am sure they are all good supports in losing weight. But I chose another path. I have embarked on a spiritual journey to lose weight. I began in Lent and I made my need to get a healthy body back a matter of relying on God and seeking God’s strength to make better choices. It was my Lenten discipline – knowing when I went in that this year my Lenten discipline would be much longer than 40 days.

I believe that De Vires was right when he declared that gluttony is an emotional escape. I love to eat! I love to eat comfort foods! I love to eat when I am feeling a little stressed, when I am sad, when I worried, when I have no answers, when I am not sleeping, when I feel I need forgiveness, when I am lonely, when…well you get the picture. It is indeed true that I eat because something is eating me. Shortly after setting my goal I stumbled on the words of Peter De Vires. I have repeated them often in the past five months – almost as a mantra. I did that because I wanted to remind myself that what I was feeding when I grazed at ungodly hours was not my body but instead I was feeding something emotional. I have instead of eating taken to dialogue with my Creator. I have committed my journey to lose weight to God’s tender keeping and I can say with conviction that God has sustained me. This journey to cut back what I eat and reduce the waistline has had the added consequence of giving me a closer relationship to God.

In the moments that I feel the need to eat, when I know that I have had the food that I need for the day, I repeat these words, “Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating [me].” I then ask God to give me strength to face my fears and anxieties, my worry and my stress. Then I call on God’s guidance and God’s care. To-date this has not failed me. Could it all fall apart next week – perhaps. Many have you have heard me say, “I have claimed to victory yet.” My Mission accomplished will be when I see that I have lost 55 pounds. By My calculation I have to lose about 1 pound every 5 days to meet my goal. I shall charge on because God strengthens me for the journey. In my mind I have about half way there. I know that the math does not work out right for that [even I know that much math]. But psychologically this feels like half way to me. So now more than ever I bear down and seek God’s strength to see me through my challenge.

Philippians 4:13 reads, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” I believe that is true! With conviction and a will to persevere we are able to do great things with God at our side. I try and hold firm to the words of Corrie Ten Boom “It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.” Daily I work on remembering those words. I am so pleased to be down 35 pounds, but I know that my success to date has been because of my response to God and God’s ability to do great things. I will keep leaning on God’s ability till I see the end of this goal.