Best-selling author, Charlie Shedd, who had struggled with obesity for years, was one of the first to write on Bible based weight loss. In his book, “The Fat is in Your Head” he says he dropped to his knees one day and prayed, “Lord I’ve tried for years to whip this problem of obesity. I’ve been on banana diets and eaten red meat. I’ve taken pills and bought reducing belts. I’ve read books, attended lectures, joined clubs, and enrolled in courses. But I’m still fat. I weigh too much. And I need help. This is the big surrender. I’m turning my body over to You once and for all.” At that moment, he was on his way to slimming success.
My interest in a faith approach to weight loss began a few years after Shedd shed his unwanted pounds and was the result of a health condition that demanded a change in diet that soon resulted in a significant weight loss. A diagnosis of hypoglycemia required me to cut back on sugar, causing the twenty five pounds I had gained after reaching forty to disappear and relieving a myriad of miserable symptoms.
Making this diet adjustment wasn’t easy. Sugar had been my friend, sharing every meal and snack with me. When I was told to forsake my sweet old companion, I found myself needing strength beyond my own. Faith imparted that strength, enabling me to conquer my sugar addiction and after all these years, I still enjoy sweet freedom.
Since cutting back on sweets enabled me to lose weight, I felt I had something to offer those longing to do the same. In addition, over a period of many years, I had observed my wife’s disciplined daily exercise routine, keeping her youthful and attractive.
Without planning for it to happen, we had developed into a fat fighting team.
As I continued to study the problem of conquering obesity, I became convinced that the disciplined and active lifestyle called for in the Bible could solve the dieter’s dilemma so wrote a book titled “Weight! A Better Way to Lose.” When a member of a church diet class wrote saying their group had lost four thousand pounds using my book and two doctors contacted me saying my advice was helping overweight patients, I was grateful.
The most interesting letter came from a pastor in France who said the husband of one of his members had told her he would go to church with her if God could enable her to lose eighty pounds. A second letter assured me the plan was working and that the unbelieving husband would soon have to start attending church with his wife or eat his
Now there are many good books on weight loss available that have a faith based message. Publishers and writers and combined their efforts to give hopeful alternatives to people longing to lose but who, after years of trying, feel like giving up.
What does a faith approach offer that is often missing from other weight loss plans?
According to the Bible, one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:23), which is discipline in daily life. When we’re serious about getting a new life and a new look from the Old Book, faith will enable us to become what we want to be.
Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org