CNN has a terrific article on Contemporary Christian recording artist Mandisa. The American Idol Season Five finalist has lost 75 lbs. on the way to her 100 lb. goal. As a fan and a person also on a journey to long-lasting good physical health, this is very encouraging, because it’s never easy trying to overcome addiction in the public eye.
Food addiction is one of the greatest scourges facing our generation today. More than 64% of Americans today are overweight; 30% of them are obese. While there are a number of obese persons who are obese because of glandular and other body issues, I believe that the heart of obesity beats around a person’s internal issues. These are issues that cannot be solved by counseling alone.
I’ve been fat almost all my life. Food brought me comfort and happiness, often to mask my own unhappiness with my life’s lack of meaning. During the brief three-year period when I was thin, I still wasn’t happy.
Food will never fill in that void.
“It’s more than the physical and more than what I am eating. It’s a spiritual change. I’ve had to not turn to food for comfort and validation anymore, and that is a complete mind change. Because my entire life, that is what I have done.”
What an incredibly honest statement from Mandisa, and so very true! Food has become the great validating factor for many of us, and it has to stop. I know the pattern: we turn to the tub of ice cream because we’re feeling bad, then we loathe ourselves afterward for giving in, then we eat some more because we loathe ourselves, then we hate ourselves some more.
If you’re like me, you’re fat and want to lose weight, you’re going to need three things:
- Faith. Not just faith in yourself. You need faith in the knowledge that there is a God who loves you, wants the best for you, and will give you everything you need to succeed, including a solid support system of friends and family, the knowledge of what healthy eating choices to make, and the capacity to find time to exercise.
- A good lifestyle plan. Like Mandisa says, it’s a lifestyle. Some habits will need to change. You will have to learn to turn to God instead of food when it comes to dealing with your issues. You’re going to have to kick out the junk food and start eating healthy. Hey, it has to start somewhere.
- A relationship with people that matter. People invest time in other people who matter. For any relationship to grow, you need time to meet those people. You’ll find investing time in others is often an investment in yourself. Guess who’s a good person with whom to strike up a friendly relationship to battle the bulge? Me!
We need each other, guys. I can’t – and won’t – succeed on this journey alone. Thanks to my beautiful wife and solid support from many men in the faith (Pastors Joey, Ado, and Dennis among them) and a few others from online relationships (Hello Raft3r and Marc), I know I can do this. Who’s with me?
Ganns recommends: My Deliverer by Mandisa