Are you thinking of making the “I’m going on a diet” New Year’s resolution?
See-saw diet crazes – fuelling a billion dollar weight loss industry over the years – especially overwhelm us about this time each year. 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.
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 wholly effective.
If diets don’t work, is there a better solution?
What the health and fitness industries have learned is this: solving chronic weight problems requires reframing how we think about, and see, ourselves. A fundamental shift in thinking can result in long-term changes in overindulgence. It’s especially effective if this thought shift has a spiritual basis and it’s not dependent on any physical appearance.
This worked for a young woman I know. After years of struggling with her weight, Beth came to realize that her dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the image in the mirror would not find a permanent fix in any New Year’s diet resolution.
Eschewing the latest diet fad, Beth focused on changing how she saw herself as a person – letting go of the old self that fueled her impulsive eating habits.
As a student of the Scriptures, she turned to the Bible to find a deeper understanding of God and of her as His creation. This study led to a realization that what she had to shed was not pounds, but some negative personality traits. She knew she too often unleashed anger and showed impatience with her friends and fellow employees. This made her feel unhappy with herself and food assuaged these emotions.
The Bible points out that identity is more than what the physical senses recognize. It indicates that the underlying divine identity of each individual is a reflection of Divine goodness and love. Beth discovered a better definition for herself than one focused only on biology when she read: “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” (1John 1:3 NLT)
With her growing understanding of God and her true spiritual identity as His daughter, she glimpsed a divinely inspired heritage that included only purity and goodness, patience and kindness.
The negative personality traits dropped away as she became a more loving and patient person. She felt better about herself and didn’t need to turn to food to assuage anything. She lost the weight; but more important to her was the shift in her thinking from a material to a spiritual perception of who she actually was.
Identifying ourselves as purely physical – and therefore limited – is a point of view that may frustrate even the best of weight loss intentions. Identifying ourselves with an unlimited perspective – with qualities and strengths stemming from the one infinite Creator – opens the door to more permanent, healthy changes.
This article is published throughout Ontario in Metroland Media online editions, such as Niagara This Week.