Last Monday, I decided to have another bash at health and fitness: my Paradox Project: Gaining Health and Closeness to God, by losing weight.
Well, I started slowly. Have lost 2 pounds this week. It’s better to start slowly because a spectacular weight loss can set you up for disappointment when it cannot be sustained.
It’s funny, I was praying last Monday, and perhaps for the first time in my life admitted that I could not lose weight on my own, because the habits of seeking pleasure, comfort and relief from boredom through food were too engrained. So I asked God to help me.
Then immediately after I finished praying, coincidence or God-incidence, I had a new twitter follower, and checked out his linked blog. And he was using a free online Christian weight-loss programme called settingcaptivesfree.com.
It links you to a mentor, who prays for you and emails you daily. I am only in Day 8 and so far think it’s good and Biblically based. (Caveat: I am not recommending or not-recommending it, just telling you I am doing it. Will need to finish it before I can recommend it).
The programme has an emphasis on fasting, and uses John Piper’s book A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer, which I have bought, and which is excellent.
And which, sigh, I am practising. Nothing drastic, just a little mild fasting, and using the time of extreme hunger and weakness to lie down and seek the face of Christ. I find that incredibly refreshing and joyful, to tell the truth. So far, I have just been enjoying the presence of God, but this week will seek guidance on the year to come, and intercede for my family.
I will increasingly use the periods of fasting, when I feel too weak to do anything else, to study Scripture, and maybe blog about it.
So far, so good. Fasting is not easy for me. Scientifically speaking, as one fasts, one burns stores fat, which sends toxins and ketones into the bloodstream. So, depending on one’s past eating habits, this detoxification is naturally not pleasant–running on burning toxins rather than fresh food. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12: 11.
On the whole, this experiment in prayer and fasting is an interesting one, and I am praying that God blesses it.
So, have you lost a significant amount of weight? What helped you do it?