Tuesday, 27 December 2011

What I have learned while losing weight....

I have recently been trying to lose weight (in case you haven’t noticed in my previous posts!). Its been a really interesting ride so far, and I have been successful in losing around 20 kg in the last 4 months. I wanted to share a few things I have learned along the way...


There have been alot of advertisements on TV that have been catching my attention lately. We all know the ads I am talking about- the long infomercials about the latest ‘must have’ exercise tool, guaranteed to make you shed those unwanted kilos. Heres the testimonies of some people who use this machine:

‘I love the ab-working-outy-thingy- I lost 70pounds in just 6 weeks! My life has totally turned around!’

‘I use my ab-working-outy-thingy only 2 minutes a day, 3 times a week and now I have a body people cant help but envy! I feel so good about myself’.

‘I used to be a size 20. But with the ab-working-outy-thingy, I am now I size 4. I get so much attention- my life is so much better now I have lost weight!’.

‘People see my abs... and they are like, how did you get those abs? Everything is great now I have lost weight with the ab-working-outy-thingy!’

These ads play straight into the mind of the person who is thinking ‘If I could only lose weight, my life will be so much better. Being overweight is the only thing holding me back!’

Contrary to what these infomercials tell you, losing weight WILL NOT make your life better.

-        Being thin DOES NOT promise you a good looking boyfriend.

-        Being thin DOES NOT promise you a more happy and positive outlook on life.

-        Being thin DOES NOT promise you love and adoration from those around you.

-        Being thin DOES NOT promise to solve all your problems instantaneously.

As you are reading this, you might realise that many of my blogposts are Christian based- and you may think ‘Oh, ok- here comes the part where she tells me that God is the only thing that can make your life better....’. But you know what? I’m not going to say that. Because God doesn’t promise that believing in Him will bring you a better life on earth either.

Believing in God DOES NOT PROMISE you a good looking boyfriend, a more happy and positive outlook on life, or love and adoration from others. Believing in God DOES NOT PROMISE that all of your problems will be solved instantaneously. (In fact, Faith in God often makes things harder! But that is a subject for another post!)

What faith in God DOES DO, is save us from a much bigger problem than the ones I have just mentioned. The real problem facing all people is not that you are overweight, or that you don’t have  a boyfriend, or that you aren’t totally adored by your friends etc.. the real problem is that you and I and everyone on earth is a sinner. A sinner is a person who has broken any of Gods laws (like the 10 commandments). If you have EVER stolen something, lied, disrespected your parents, or coveted, you are a sinner. If you have EVER made anything more important in your life than seeking and serving God, you are a SINNER. And, just like here on earth, when you break the law, there is punishment. The punishment for being a sinner, like you and me, is eternity in hell. It’s a grim prospect. This is the big problem facing all people- not how thin you are, or if you have a boyfriend.

God tackles this problem head on. Instead of sending us to hell, God sent a substitute to take our punishment for us. God showed grace (unmerited favour) on us when He sent His son, Jesus, who died on the cross to symbolise that he is taking the punishment that we deserve. Because Jesus died in our place, we don’t go to hell. We go to heaven, even though we have not lived a life that makes us deserving of such an honor. This is called the gospel (good news).


In the last 4 months, I have counted calories, exercised daily and drawn upon every ounce of self-control that I have. In order to reach the goal of losing the weight that I need to, to be healthy, I have not been able to slip up once. There is no grace when you are losing weight. If I muck up and eat a whole lot of bad food, it goes straight to my hips!

I am so grateful that God doesn’t work this way. Imagine if God had not sent Jesus to die in our place, if He didn’t take the punishment that we deserve! Then we would have to rely on ourselves and our own good behaviour to get to heaven. I would have to keep my thoughts, and actions on God all the time. I would need to be sinless! To never break Gods law. Never slip up! Never make a mistake! Its about as impossible for me to do this, as it is for me to commit to never eating a cookie for as long as I live. (And believe me, this is seriously impossible!). God is so good that instead of making us live a life this way, He made a way through Christ for us to get to heaven, despite our hopeless sinfulness.


With all my hard work, it is not suprising that I have lost weight. When people see me and say ‘My! You have lost weight! Well done YOU!’. I can only smile, nod and take full credit for my weightloss. After all, I DID do it all myself!

If God had made it so that if I was just really really really good, and never sinned, I would walk into heaven and say ‘Well done ME!- You did it! You put in the hard yards and now you are in heaven- your hardwork paid off!!!’.  I could boast in my own good work. I could glorify myself. If I got myself into heaven, based on my good work- I can’t boast about Gods goodness, instead, I will boast my own goodness! The bad news is, in reality I will never be able to do enough good things to cancel out the bad ones and avoid punishment. If I murdered someone and then helped a little old lady cross the street would I still be punishable for the murder, even though I had done something good as well?  Of course I would!  I would still go to hell.

God is good because He sent his son to die on the cross for us, to take the punishment that we deserve. Nothing that we can do will get us into heaven because even one sin is enough to send us straight to hell. So Christs death on the cross is a gift totally from God. When I walk through the pearly gates into heaven, I cannot take any credit for being there. I can only glorify God for his goodness in saving people who cannot save themselves.

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