Christian Weight Loss 101?

Gotta love it when my pastor holds me accountable for one of my major flaws. Last night, Pastor Chris Whitehead of Charter Oak Church preached it on addictions, and I had to own up to my food issues. One of the ways to let an addiction ruin your life, according to Pastor Chris, is denying it; another is keeping a secret. So in the interest of being open:

I don’t have a major weight problem, just, um, about 30 pounds I’d like to lose. (That sounds like denial! Because 30 extra pounds might be sort of major!) And heading into the holiday season, I see the potential for things getting worse, not better.

With my much-more-disciplined sister at the all-you-can-eat Indian buffet

I’m a former beanpole (see me and my still-sorta-beanpole sister, above, at the all-you-can-eat Indian buffet). Up until about age 35, I could eat anything I wanted. Not that I was happy with my body back then—I’m a woman in North America, c’mon!—but all objective measures would have placed me at normal weight or below on a BMI chart. But like many of us, the weight has crept up over the years.

Age and yo-yo dieting, and using food to calm myself down, have done a number on my metabolism. I’ve lost and regained my extra weight twice, via Weight Watchers, and have also flirted with low-carb, vegan, South Beach, and various versions of the Eat Clean diet courtesy of Tosca Reno. I even did a brief stint with Overeaters Anonymous. Most recently, I’ve read and truly liked Trim Healthy Mama.

But last night’s sermon explained why the various programs don’t get at the root of the problem. I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I’m bored, when I want to procrastinate, when I’m stressed, when I’m upset. As a busy single mom, sometimes eating feels like the only quick-and-reliable, feel-good fix I can give myself.

But according to Pastor Chris, none of the feel-good fixes really work. Because, as we read in Galatians 5, 17-18:

The flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Uh-oh. If it’s been a problem since Bible times, how am I, a weak, flawed Christian woman, going to fix it? And regarding this particular fleshly desire, overeating, I know the statistics: most Americans are overweight, most diets don’t work, most folks regain the weight they lose.

 So where’s the hope?

More from Galatians 5:16: “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

And, from Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Since worldly diets don’t work too well, and since my “feel better,” fleshly-desired foods are sweets and chips–and my weak-in-the-flesh time is after dinner–I am prayerfully trying the following plan through the end of the year:

  • don’t eat junk; and
  • don’t eat after dinner, except for a small protein snack if I’m hungry.

The great thing about this plan is that I can still meet my sister at the buffet!

Anyone else facing a similar struggle? I’d love it if you’d keep me accountable, pray alongside me or even join me! And if you want to hear Pastor Chris’s whole sermon, visit Charter Oak Church’s website to hear a podcast.

Leave a Reply

10 Comments on "Christian Weight Loss 101?"

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mary Kay

Mine isn’t so much evenings or even chips. It’s chocolate. And portion control. Even if I make a good food choice, eating enough to support the Steeler’s offensive line is probably not going to work in my favor. I’ll hold you in prayer and see what I can do for myself.


You are strong. You can do anything.
I like the idea of picking 2-3 things to change.
Instead of the whole ball of wax.
Imagine yourself this time next year if you keep at it!!

Gale Holt

Ah, this flawed Christian woman feels your pain and shares your struggle. I’ll be joining you in battle, Lee. Best of blessings, Gale

Sheila Pomarico

Boy you are not alone !! I struggled my whole life with weight. This has been the best year physically I have ever had. Done things I never imagined I could do. But with my accident and the weather change its been easy to slack off!! My biggest problem has been laziness and snacking all evening!! I will join you on trying to lose over the winter!! I still have 50 to lose!!

Scott Raygor

Sometimes a little help goes a long way. I would love to drop some weight going into surgery.

Good Doc

This is a great list! I especially like your mention of hope and the scripture from Galations! I actually just started a medical blog and wrote an article on weight loss from a christian’s perspective. I went a little different direction, but I believe our articles compliment each other. You can find it at