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Dieting

A Healthy Body Instead of Dieting
 
Lost another pound today…” Angie wrote in her diary.  “Mom is getting upset because I never want to eat dinner with the family…what excuse can I come up with today?”  Angie knew she had a problem.  Her friends were commenting on how skinny she looked but all Angie could see was fat!  She didn’t like to lie to her mom, but was doing it more and more to get out of family meals.  She didn’t want everyone to see how little she ate.  Sometimes she’d eat a spoonful of vegetables or a half of a cracker.  Sometimes she’d pretend that her stomach hurt and then make herself throw up the food she’d eaten.  Angie’s throat was always sore from vomiting and her clothes didn’t fit her right.  “I’m a mess” Angie said out loud.  “Who can help me?”
 
It’s okay to be thin, right?
 
The goal is to be “healthy”.  Someone with a large bone structure may not look as thin as a person with a small frame.  Everyone is unique and it’s important not to compare yourself with others.  Getting regular check-ups with a doctor and discussing your ideal weight is important.  The Bible says…”For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, NKJV).  This Bible verse means that it’s more important how we act than how we look. 
 
I’ve had a check-up and my doctor wants me to lose a few pounds.  How can I lose weight in a healthy way?
 
God created us and He knows what foods will make us healthy and help to keep us at a healthy weight.  The very first diet consisted of fruits, nuts and grains.  In the first book of the Bible God gives Adam and Eve their menu!  “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed;  to you it shall be for food” (Genesis 1:29).  There are many food choices that fit in this list:  apples, oranges, raisins, whole wheat breads, tomatoes, watermelon, almonds, soybeans…and many, many more.  A healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring!

It’s hard to lose weight if you’re filling up your body with fatty foods.  You should stay away from white breads, cookies, sodas, chips, mayonnaise…your body will function best and lose weight easier if the foods you eat are healthy.  The Bible says “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NKJV).   

Another way to lose weight is by exercising.  Walking is one of the best exercises.  You can walk for a half hour after supper, you can walk on a treadmill before school, and you can visit a park and take a hike after church…just get moving!  If you’ve never exercised before you should check with your doctor before starting a vigorous workout, but almost everyone can walk.
 
I feel bad about myself because I don’t look as thin and pretty as my favorite TV star.
 
Again, don’t compare yourself to others.  You are very special and unique – no one is just like you!  In the book of Jeremiah, the Lord says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you…”  (Jeremiah 1:5, NKJV).  Jesus came to earth to die for you and He wants you to be in heaven with Him.  No matter what you look like, you are God’s creation.  Because God loves us so much, we should treat our bodies with respect.  “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1Corinthians 6:19, 20, NKJV). 

TV stars may be beautiful on the outside but they are not always happy people.  Many famous people abuse drugs or alcohol.  Like the verse in 1 Corinthians said, “glorify God in your body…”  Don’t pollute your body with drugs, alcohol or smoking. 

Another way to be more attractive is to have a good attitude!  Everyone likes being around someone who is happy!  Practice having a positive outlook on life!  And, smile! 
 
I know all of this is true, but I still have a problem with binging and throwing up.  How do I get help?
 
Knowing that you have a problem is the key.  You need to admit that you need help.  First of all, God is always available for you.  God promises, “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7, 8, NKJV).  Go to God with your problem first.  Second, our families love us very much.  Parents or other special adults in your life want what is best for you.  Talk to your parents or another adult that you can trust about what is going on.  You may need to see a doctor or nurse about your eating habits.  It is extremely dangerous to binge, purge (throw up all the food you eat) or to only eat a small amount of food.  You can become very sick, damage your heart, or even die. 
 
I feel so bad about myself.  Will Jesus forgive me?
 
Absolutely!  The Bible says, “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV).  God promises to forgive if we come to Him.
 
Kids and adults struggle with their body image.  It’s hard to be the chunky one around thin people or to be too skinny around shapely friends.  It’s not easy to be the shortest or even the tallest.  Maybe you wish your hair was blond instead of brown or your eyes were a different color.  But don’t forget what the Bible says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb…”  Did you hear that?  God formed you!  You are His creation – be glad!