Do you want to lose weight? It's not about cutting calories, its about changing the very way you eat. When we eat poorly our body responds to that by storing unhealthy stuff and our very cellular makeup health is diminished. When we eat in a healthy way, we get healthy at a cellular level!
The very worst thing you can do is to crash diet. So many people starve themselves for long periods of time to lose weight. And it works. Stop eating for a few days and I guarantee you will lose weight. And I won't even charge you 19.99 for that advice. That ones for free!
So if it works, why is it so bad?
Our bodies are amazing machines. It operates in response to what you are doing to it. When you starve your body everything begins to shut down to survive. And, what little it does get, it holds onto greedily. So, after losing your desired weight, you start eating again. Often, just like you were eating before. But now your body has been tricked into hoarding. Instead of dealing with the new influx of food efficiently it stores as much as it can possibly get to prepare it for what it assumes is some more starvation around the bend.
And so you gain it all back...and more than likely, gain even more.
So you starve again.
And you gain even more again.
Do you need a personal and visual illustration of this? Check out the before and after photos of people who won the "Biggest Loser". It is amazing how much weight they lose. Now, look up photos of those people a year after the competition. They have nearly all gained it back. Why? Because they weren't actually living and eating realistically. The tricked their bodies into losing weight temporarily. They didn't actually change their core lifestyle to create permanent health changes.
Our physical realities are mirror images of our spiritual realities. We often approach sin with this zero sum game mindset. There are no fundamental forever changes taking place. For brief periods of time we just eliminate sin. And for a while it works. We get our spiritual bodies prepared for Bikini Season, then we get lazy again. Soon, it is all back. Many times worse than it was before.
"When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives it finds the house UNOCCUPIED, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first"
- Matthew 12:43-45
Key word here; Unoccupied.
We do good at starving our sin nature. It is easy, for a period of "dieting" to eliminate sin behaviors. Drink to much? We stop going out for a few weekends. Struggling with sexual sin? Turn off the internet and stop returning those "phone calls" for a while. And then we say, look, I am doing great! And then we find ourselves right back where we started.
Like misguided yo-yo dieters we approach our spiritual health with the belief that simple elimination will fix the problem. And the real solution is the same; Change your diet permanently.
I have lost over 100 pounds in the last few years. How? I do not live like I used to. Vegetables are a part of every meal. Candy and treats are barely apart of my diet ever. I fill up on healthy food all day long and it causes me to actually not crave bad food. But, every time I go without food for a long period of time I find myself eating crappy food again. The solution is to keep healthy food always going in. When I do that, there is no room for the bad stuff.
Jesus is teaching us an important truth. It is one thing to get sin out of your life. But if you don't fill up on Him, it will just come back. Leaving your heart unoccupied is the sure fire way to invite any and all crap into it.
Stop starving yourself to be Holy. Start filling up on the good stuff. Jesus said, Taste and see that I am good! Just like changing your eating habits, it might be a challenge, but once you adjust, the bad stuff will make you feel sick to your stomach.