There have been many different diet crazes going back and forth over the years – fueling a billion dollar weight loss industry. But the latest bit of research, following an American Medical Association review, found that all diets have about the same modest results, no matter what the composition.
Our obsession with food and weight, along with unrealistic body images as shown in various media, has led to dangerous measures for becoming thin, including severe eating disorders, particularly prevalent among young people.
For those who struggle with losing weight the options offer little if no promise. There is no magic diet, magic pill, weight loss wonder or flab fighter that has been proven effective.
But many nutrition experts do suggest that taking a new and healthier view of the whole of you – body and mind – works more consistently than a fad or quick fix. They suggest that the change starts from within.
I think I could sum up my early attempts at dieting in two words – human willpower (and usually it failed me). In high school, I became pre-occupied with food and my weight. It took willpower to not indulge (OK, overindulge) in some favorite foods – like my Mom’s freshly baked cookies. I could never stop at eating only one. Regardless of what strategy I used, the desired slimness was elusive and my thinking was consumed by calories. I became increasingly anxious about everything I ate.
Then, one day, the inconsistency of my actions versus my thinking in dealing with my overall health started to dawn on me.
I had come to rely on a spiritually based approach to maintaining and restoring (when needed) my health. Yet, here I was – afraid of food and its effect on me. I began to see that I had to free myself from the fear that food had control over my happiness or well-being.
My Bible study showed me that fear was not a factor in a life that looked to the Divine source for confidence and control. The Bible records Christ Jesus advising: “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion.” (Matthew 6:25)
He continues on to counsel that we need to look away from the body – turning away from a material sense of who and what we are – to our true identity as a beloved child of the one Creator.
These ideas helped me shift my whole view of food, dieting and what controlled my life. For a while, eating normally seemed difficult and I had to deal with the constant feeling of watching what I ate. Gradually, though, will power was no longer needed as I stopped “fussing what was on the table at mealtimes.” My weight normalized and has remained so for many years now.
Tim Caulfield, author of the Cure for Everything, writes: “Be conscious of all the twisting forces that exist in our culture (and within us) that are constantly trying to pull us from a pattern of healthy eating. These forces include our own misconceptions about ourselves and what we eat…”
By strengthening our relationship with a loving God, we can find freedom from the misconception that we are subject to the roller coaster ride of diet fads and food alerts. Rather than another attempt at a quick fix, it is an effective, powerful foundation to healthy eating and living.
This article was published in various Metroland outlets, such as Simcoe County