Women have always had issues with their physical appearance. Standards of beauty around the world lean towards the skinny, lean, and hourglass figure. However, this is not the reality for most women all over the world.
If you are one of the many women struggling with weight loss and trying to have the body that society deems as attractive, then you know the hardships that come along with it. As a Christian woman, you may think that giving importance to your body and the way you look may be looked down upon by the Bible, but this isn’t exactly true.
While weight loss with the intention of pleasing others, and pleasing the pleasures of the flesh is not what a Christian woman should aspire for, weight loss for better health is something that God wants us to do.
In 3 John 1:2, it states that God wants us to take care of our bodies. It states in this Bible verse that God prays that we may enjoy good health and that all may go well with us. As a Christian woman, it is your duty to take care of your body, so you can use your physical body to glorify the Lord.
Weight Loss and Christianity
There are many reasons why a woman may be obese or overweight, or simply not in the weight that she wants. Some of the reasons include genetics, a sedentary life, overeating, childbirth, and simply not having any time to take care of one’s self.
In Christianity, being overweight is linked to a lack of self-control, as well as using the desires of the flesh to fill the emptiness in their lives. Whatever reason you may have for not being in your ideal weight, the Bible teaches you many things about what God wants you to do to honor your body.
In James 4:17, it says, “If anyone knows the good they ought to do, and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” Most people know that being overweight is a problem. Aside from self-esteem issues, feelings of not being pretty enough, or not being good enough, there are also a number of things that affect your life negatively due to your weight.
One of which is not being able to carry out the Word of God to others. When you are overweight, you can suffer from illnesses associated with obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases. Instead of doing the things that God has planned for you to carry out His Word, you spend your time getting treatments, going to the doctor, lying in bed, staying at home, missing service, and not being able to live the life that was meant for you to have.
And when you make attempts to lose weight, such as exercise, diet programs, and other means of weight loss, you easily lose hope and give up. Sometimes, you think it’s too hard or impossible. But doesn’t God teach us to have faith? Doesn’t God teach us to call on Him for strength and perseverance?
In Jeremiah 33:3, God says: “Call to me and I will answer you.” In Luke 11:10, it says, “For everyone that asketh, receiveth.” And one of the most famous Bible verses of all, is Matthew 7:8, where it says, “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”
When we are struggling, losing hope, and think that losing weight is impossible, you need to remember that God is waiting for you to call on Him. Weight loss is just like any other struggle we may have, and we should seek God for help when we are stuck, not having the strength to move on, and feeling hopeless.
Weight Loss and the Christian Woman
Don’t you know that you are a daughter of God? Don’t you know that the Holy Spirit is inside your body? And don’t you know that your body is a temple?
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says that our bodies are sacred temples of God’s spirit. This verse says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred and you are that temple.”
When you take care of your body, not only are you helping yourself, but you are glorifying God. By eating right, sleeping well, and exercising, you are taking care of God’s temple.
As a Christian woman, you are loved by God and you are His daughter. Sometimes, when you don’t look good on the outside, you feel ugly on the inside. You don’t have confidence, you shy away from people, and you don’t feel good. Do you want the temple of God to feel ugly? Do you want the temple of God to feel bad? Nobody does. So why would you do that to yourself? As God’s daughter, you are special, and you are loved. When you are loved by God, you should first give love to yourself so you can love others. God wants us to love our brothers and sisters, but if you don’t love yourself, then how can you extend love to others?
Love, grace, faith, and hope starts with you. You cannot give out of an empty cup. When you feel emptiness inside, it is so tempting to reach out to that jar of cookies and let the sugar and indulgence of chocolate fill your body and soul with goodness. But by doing so, you are not honoring the temple of God. You are bringing disease and weight gain to your body, preventing you from using your body to honor God and His temple.
While women may feel the pressure of society to look good, your motivation to look and feel better must be founded on glorifying God first and foremost.
According to Romans 8:5, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
However, it must be noted that God does not want us to not eat well, live well, or look attractive. In fact, God wants us to partake in these pleasures, but in moderation. In Proverbs 23: 20-21, it says, “Do not drink too much and get drunk; do not eat too much food and get fat. Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row, in a stupor, and dressed in rags.”
In Proverbs 25:27, it says that “It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to reach out matters that are too deep.”
God wants us to drink and eat, but in moderation. When we choose to do things in our lives, it does not matter to God, but what matters to Him is that we act in ways that glorify His name.
Why Eating Right, Sleeping Well, and Exercising Glorifies God
If you feel guilty or shameful that you are acting in self-centered behavior because you are taking care of your body, then you need to stop with this mentality. Eating right, exercising, and sleeping well are acts of glorification to God.
In 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Paul states that our bodies belong to God. Paul also emphasized that we must never, under any circumstance, allow our bodies to become slaves to anything, specifically our lust for food and sexual appetite.
As mentioned earlier, one of the ways Christianity views obesity is the lack of self-control. When Paul talks about being a slave for food, he meant that you lack the self-control to stop taking pleasure from overeating. Yes, food is delicious and it feels good, it makes us crave something pleasurable, and it simply makes us feel amazing. Food is a pleasure of the flesh. But God wants us to stop craving, to stop our lust, and to stop our addiction to food.
Lack of self-control is also associated with having a sedentary lifestyle. Doesn’t lying in bed and sitting on the couch watching TV or scrolling through social media so much better than sweating it out in the gym and having a hard time with aching muscles? When you choose to sit and lie down instead of running, lifting weights, or exercising, you are choosing a pleasurable activity dictated by the flesh.
God wants us to have self-discipline and self-control because these are the only ways that you can succeed with your weight loss journey. And when you succeed in making your body healthier and fitter, then you are more able to carry out the Word of God and live the life of the Christian woman that you are.
Losing weight so you can glorify God is an ideal Christian act, and should be honored.
What To Do: Give Your Body to God
So now that you know God wants you to lose weight so you can be healthy, honor God’s temple, and live the life that God planned for you, what next? How do you lose weight and how do you do it as a Christian woman?
The first thing you need to do before planning your diet and your exercise regimen is to commit and decide to give your body to God.
In Romans 12:1, it states, “I beseech you, my brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Glorify God in everything that you do, and that includes losing weight.
In 1 Samuel 16:7, it says, “The Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord sees what’s in your heart.”
In your quest to losing weight, you must commit to serve the Lord in your pursuit of losing weight. You must put God in the center of your weight loss journey, and put God on the pedestal of your intentions.
You may start your diet plan with a prayer to God, asking Him for strength and guidance, but also to inform God that you’re doing this not for other people, not so you can find a husband, and not so you can take revenge on someone who called you fat or ugly. Pray to the Lord that your intentions for losing weight are because you want to use your body to glorify Him and that you will use your body to serve others, and exalt His name.
It’s not enough that you pray to God and ask for His help. You really have to put it in your mindset and heart that your intentions are pure, and are based on spiritual purposes. So when you decide to change your diet, hit the gym, and continue to do so for many weeks and many months, you will have a purposeful motivation to move forward when things get tough, or when you feel like giving up.
A purposeful weight loss journey is key to helping you succeed in losing weight, having a healthy body, and feeling good inside.
You have to be hungry for God in your weight loss pursuits. In Matthew 5:6, it says that “You’re blessed when you worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.”
How to Succeed in Weight Loss
Before you start your day, always pray or read a Bible verse regarding strength, motivation, self-control, and discipline. This will give you the motivation and the drive to keep going and give you a purpose as to why you’re making sacrifices to become healthier.
When you’ve been on a diet and exercising for weeks and think you have no progress, you need to remember Galatians 6:4, where it states that “Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.”
When you monitor and track your progress in your weight loss journey, never compare yourself to others. You always have to compare yourself to your past, and not to others. Some people may lose weight faster than you because of genetics or they have a faster metabolism. Just because they progress faster than you, it doesn’t mean that you’re not progressing. Compare yourself to you, and not over someone else.
You can also seek the support and guidance of the people around you. You need to surround yourself with people that affirm you. In Ecclesiastes 4:12, it states that “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
You can join Christian women weight loss groups, or join a community of women who are on the same journey as you. And surround yourself with loved ones who will motivate you, support you, and help you in your journey.
Many women might think that weight loss is a self-serving act that goes against what Christianity teaches us. But this only makes you even more overweight and prevents you from taking proper action to take care of your body.
You deserve to take care of yourself and look and feel good, but it must always come from a place of good intention. God wants you to take care of His sacred temple, which is your body. When you give your body to the teachings of God, and when you act in accordance with His Word, you can eat any food you want, as long as it is in moderation, and you do not become a slave to the pleasures of the flesh.
When you lose weight, not only are you helping yourself, but you are glorifying God, by treating his temple right and being healthy and strong enough to help your brothers and sisters. Serving others is serving the Lord, and it all starts with a healthy mind and a healthy body.