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The following is a reply to questions on weight loss from a sister in Australia

Weighing in on Weight Loss

Excuse the pun!!!

I would love to share my story on this. I was brought up in absolute poverty. We NEVER got any kind of treat foods and lived on eggs we raised, milk we milked from our cow and some vegetables from our garden, maybe sausages or cheap ground beef, I think I had steak three times in my first sixteen years of life, I had never had McD's, or any other such thing. We lived in isolated areas, got abused dreadfully-physically, sexually, emotionally. I cannot begin to explain the trauma we lived through.

I was always an extremely small child, always the smallest in my class at school, in fact all of my brothers and my sister were too. When we had the occasion once or twice a year to be at someone's home to eat, we would eat so much we would vomit. We never knew when we would eat like that again. My father used to indulge himself constantly with sweets, icecream, lollies, cream biscuits etc etc, but we were forbidden from touching his food. Emotional traumas need to be dealt with, I know that for a fact. Gluttony was to me like alcoholism.

Now when I fled from home for my life at 16 I was a petite girl, I ate and ate when I got to the city I lived in, I worked in fast food stores. I didn't put on masses, maybe 8-10 pounds, I was still small, although the few clothes I had, made me feel very fat as I was too big for them. I then had a daughter, had a massive tumour in my left thigh bone which meant major surgery and a bone graft when she was weeks old. That left me immobilized for some time. I had always exercised a lot and eaten carefully for the most part, despite my constant battle with food cravings. I ended up being 35 pounds overweight.

I then had a son and hadn't lost any weight give or take a couple of pounds here and there. When he was one, I topped the scales at nearly 200 pounds. I had been a Christian for two years and wanted to please God so much. A friend prayed with me and I felt so out of control. Like I knew I had to eat less and stop eating for comfort but I just couldn't. I ended up reading a book on prayer and he spoke on the power of fasting. Now I'm not saying I fasted for calorie reasons, i had a stronghold which wasn't going away, I needed to know I could control my flesh. I fasted for a day ( the first time I had gone without for more than a few hours in my life).

I realized on that one day that I was in authority over my flesh, with the help of the Holy Spirit. My prayer then as is now "Pour out your Spirit on my FLESH". The weight didn't matter, I was out of control with my eating and food took the place that was rightfully Jesus'. I won't say exactly what I did, but God led me personally to a period of fasting (not full), for forty days, I had studied that forty was the number in the bible of purification, and boy did I need purifying.

I lost no weight in that time, but when it was up, my behaviour had modified and weight began to drop off of me, I exercised and BANNED NOT ANY FOOD, just used moderation, NO DIET FOODS, just smaller portions of what my family was eating. We went out several times in those times. I was free, I didn't want to come under the obsession with food that dieting brings. I have so many scriptures I could share on the whole issue of dieting, compulsive issues so I'll just list a few at the end. I need to add, I have never had any kind of external assistance, My weight loss saved me a packet on food bills, I told people, "I went to someone with the initials JC but it wasn't Jenny Craig!!!"

I lost 50 pounds in 8 weeks. No-one knew that I was having this breakthrough, I kept it in my heart. Jesus said when we fast, to do it in private, not to tell everyone. My husband left me and I found out I was pregnant, what a test!! I only gained a minimal amount and ended up losing even more after she was born. Our marriage was reconciled and I lost even more weight until I was at the right weight for my height. I have never been able to lose weight breastfeeding.

I always had no support from my husband and even drew scorn for my weight, back to the food I'd go, instead of to God. God isn't concerned with the weight so much as our inner issues.

Long after I lost the weight my sister gave me a book called "The Diet alternative" by Dianne Hampton, which lined up with a lot of what I had already studied in God's Word. It is a very cheap book, simple, written by a housewife who just sought God too.

Dieting is like methadone to a heroin addict. If you have a food addiction, Jesus wants you to know the truth and set you free, not bring you under the bondage of dieting. Dieting is a carnal weapon, it only deals with the outward symptom. God has given all food to be eaten, he said we could eat whatever was set before us, he just told us to 1. Be thankful and ask God to bless our food 2. Use moderation 3. Don't be a glutton!

When Jesus sets us free, we are free indeed!! In proverbs27:7 it says that "A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet", when we are satisfied in our soul, we eat to live, we don't live to eat!

Jesus said that it is not what enters a man's mouth that defiles him, but what comes out of his heart. (Matthew 15:11)

The bible says in 1Timothy 4:1,3 " .. in latter times, some will depart from the faith , giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,.... commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth, for every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer"

Food is not our enemy, not chocolate or fried chicken, gluttony and not knowing the truth is what hurts us.

There really are an exhaustive amount of scriptures on not only gluttony etc but also on the battle we have with our flesh to do what's right. eg Romans 7:14-25 read it and substitute the word sin with overeating and I think he's talking about our very struggle!!

In proverbs it says that a just man falls and rises 7 times. When you are not on a diet, you can't break it, the old 'oh well I've blown it for today, I may as well eat the pantry out' is no longer an option. If we eat some chocolate, fine, chocolate's not forbidden, just have a little, it's not the piece of chocolate that makes us overweight. I would love to go on about this all day, but really, get the book, "The Diet alternative", you might not agree with every way she broke through, but she says, you have to do what you feel is convicting you. The book is extremely scripturally researched, it's not a fancy decorated book, but she captures all of the emotions we all go through and brings it back to Jesus constantly.

Anyway, that's my .02 worth!!  Love to all from Australia, Bless You

Tammy H.