“That’s not me,” I’d smugly reassure myself as I sat at church on Sundays, listening to our pastor reminding us not to be Sunday Christians. He encouraged us to have our faith guiding us every day of the week. “I’m doing that,” I’d say to myself, “I pray every day, read my bible every day.” Sorted basically.
Only it wasn’t sorted. And I wasn’t sorted.
Because every Monday morning I’d sit down to my work as a nutritionist, writing for the NZ Listener magazine, for Stuff.co.nz, creating lessons for my Zest clients… and I’d quietly shelve my faith until 5pm. Unless you count those background thoughts of – “our body is a temple… blah, blah, blah” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Cos that was about all I could relate from my faith to healthy eating.
Until the day a girlfriend from church asked me for some advice on how to lose weight – I call her Jo in my writing to protect her privacy. To cut a long story short, I thought I was going to help Jo. But what ended up happening is that Jo revealed to me the most heartbreaking truths I’d ever seen before.
Jo had a heart for helping the vulnerable, she’d worked with underprivileged groups for her entire career and after being a full-time mum for many years she was now planning on going back to uni to do postgraduate study – the next step in her career. Only one problem. She was struggling with the idea of university – because it meant sitting, and sitting meant less time to exercise and keep her body weight down. She would have to double down on eating less to keep her body weight down, she would be tired and worn out from half-starving herself, studying and parenting.
She didn’t know if she could do it. So she was planning on giving up on the dream of studying to further her career.
And as she recounted her struggles to me – it suddenly dawned on me. I’d long ago given up on advising clients to diet. I knew diets didn’t work. I’d discovered intuitive eating and it made so much sense.
And then here was Jo – struggling with diets. Contemplating giving up on her God-given talents and dreams… for what?! To pursue a diet.
A diet was standing between Jo and her calling from God. It was as simple as that.
And whether your calling is to be the best mum you can be, to work as a nurse, to serve at church, or to simply belong to God’s community and share in those church lunches – the question for you to ask yourself is: Is a diet standing between you and that calling?
I sat with the pastor from my church, Reuben Munn, who is strong on his theology and we shared our perspectives on food and eating – he from the biblical perspective, me from the ditching diets and intuitive eating perspective. And you know what we discovered?
They match up. They meet together like two perfect pieces of a puzzle. The bible and intuitive eating.
I left that discussion with Reuben certain of two things – that diets are a lie, and that they come from the father of all lies.
He seeks to destroy, and the best way to do that is to destroy your relationship with yourself. If you hate yourself, feel like a failure, feel guilt every day, feel useless… your relationship with yourself is slowly eroding. And ultimately you then can’t see how anyone else could love you (even God).
When you open the pages of the bible you can see HOW Jesus ate. How He shared meals with people. How He used food to bring people together. How He used food as an emblem of our redemption through Him (communion). How food was so much more than energy and nutrients to Jesus.
Jesus would never go on a Paleo diet, so why do we? He wouldn’t count his calories. He wouldn’t contemplate Keto, so why do we?
Mondays come now and I don’t shelve my faith until 5pm. I see very clearly the battle going on every day in my clients lives. I have SOO much to say on this topic. But all I ask you right now again is: Is a diet standing between you and your calling? Is a food obsession, or worrying about healthy eating, side-tracking your life?
Grab a copy of my e-booklet The Diet Lie now, so you can arm yourself with the truth.
P.S. And if you have a friend who would be interested, please share this with them too.