The Heart of the Matter: Christian Weight Loss Motivation

Mar 31, 2021 | Bible & Beans Blog

The other day I was asked a loaded question from a reader in my audience. I’ve been waiting for this question for about four years now. What a great opportunity to examine the heart of the matter!

Now, it’s not just me calling it a loaded question. She actually admitted it was a loaded question. So, I paused. And I prayed.

Before I respond, here’s the question:

“Is wanting to finally be thin a wrong motive as a Christian? I know this will feel like a loaded question, especially to someone who has already made this journey and reached the other side.”

The writer of the email went on to explain that she was worried about becoming obsessive over the amount of weight she’d like to lose. Most likely we can all relate to the circumstances she found herself in health wise. But since she asked, I needed a way to explain the heart of God’s message through my journey and exactly how I got to the other side with a peace only God could provide.

This question sent me straight to prayer––asking God for HIS words to answer this question before I replied twenty-four hours later.

Of course, of course, the Lord delivered a reminder of the words Peter shares which I cling to as I walk this journey of transformation and sanctification. I could summarize it easily with this short response:

The heart is the heart of the matter. But I’m a writer, so there’s more.


Good morning, sister!

Thank you for your email. And you are correct. I consider this a very loaded question!

The simple answer, this journey has been a matter of the heart. My heart was in a very dark and bitter place until the Lord, in His mercy, saw fit to restore and redeem my walk with Him. I was miserable in my circumstances of poor health.

I felt horrible physically every day as I struggled with chronic exhaustion and mounting chronic illnesses.

Emotionally, I suffered silently. I excelled at wearing the best masks of “happiness” to hide the truth that I was depressed, isolated, insecure, and overwhelmed with unworthiness in this world.

Worst of all, as a cultural Christian, my spiritual walk was dead. My relationship with Jesus went as deep as simply checking off a checklist of attending church to do the right thing. For fifty years I also confused happiness with joy.

My body, mind, and spirit were just going through battles I never, ever thought I could win.

A broken heart.

I longed for a major shift from this misery. With mounting health issues and a broken heart, I finally cried out to the Lord to restore my body. At the time I didn’t even realize that it was my mind, spirit and heart in need of the major repair.

So, that’s the short answer. When I respond to questions like this, I need the Word to speak life and lessons. Praise God He delivers the truth to apply to our circumstances.

Peter provides a fabulous explanation for my longer answer. I celebrate the journey Peter outlines in 2 Peter 1:3-11. It’s been a journey of paying attention and striving every day in a sanctification process.

First, I finally had faith to believe that God would set me free from my misery. Then He showed me His goodness by leading me to the proper way to feed my body and soul. I saw His hand in action and it made me seek to know Him more and more and grow in knowledge. This knowledge gleaned daily from His Word led me to discover that self-control is a gift of His Spirit. Embracing this gift led to endurance and perseverance in my journey. Which led to godliness (which I strive for every day and no doubt fail on many levels). This godliness led to brotherly kindness and finally love.

Faith. Goodness. Knowledge. Self-Control. Perseverance. Godliness. Brotherly Kindness. Love.

The final destination in Peter’s exhortation calls us to LOVE. How awesome to finally realize it’s all about the matter of the heart. I can finally love myself as a child of God and I am tremendously blessed to love on others in a way I could never do before.

The above steps are all a daily part of my sanctification process. And it has, to my shock, given me a story to share about God’s love and overflowing joy to women who hurt.

In fact, at first, I felt most awkward when women noticed my physical transformation and began asking questions. But through this process, He has given me a voice and a passion for helping women connect their source of pain to the one who meets us there––whether they experience physical, emotional, or spiritual pain. And don’t they all intertwine in the way He created us?

His message through me is not strictly about a physical transformation, however, I praise His name every day that He healed my body. The health conditions I reversed are diseases that sucked the life out of my heart and soul. They may not suck the life out of everyone––but they most definitely sucked me dry.

A Miracle Working in the Heart

I consider it a miracle––this gift of self-control. I placed food as an idol and obsession in my life. Food used to comfort and fill me when I was: angry, bored, tired, depressed, and so on. I do not take this gift and miracle for granted. It is something I must pray over every single day. I don’t ever want to fill my soul again with the comforts of this world. And the fact that a certain way of eating healed my body to a healthy weight…another miracle after trying in my own power to control my health. But as the chronic health issues mounted, I had a tiny seed of faith and I didn’t believe God wanted me to live unhealthy.

I don’t obsess about what I will eat or when I will eat or how much I weigh. I trust the journey that He gave me as one to sustain me in a close relationship with Him and that’s all that matters in the end. My eyes are fixed on Him. He is the only thing I crave. I swapped my portion of bread and am now fully satisfied with the Bread of Life.

And now? A Heart transformation includes:

Overflowing and unspeakable joy is what motivates me each and every day. Jesus is the source of that joy.

Maybe you’ll appreciate this quote I just read this morning. “We can all get to heaven without health, without wealth, without fame, without learning, without culture, without beauty, without friends, without ten thousand things. But we can never get to heaven without Christ.” (attributed to Corrie ten Boom, “He Cares, He Comforts”, 1977)

In the end, Jesus is all that matters. Continue to seek Him as you search for answers to your questions. Seek Him as you earnestly strive towards healthy and holy living.

I wrote a chapter in a recent compilation book by Redemption Press about breaking my chains of food addiction. My chapter is titled “Finding Freedom from Formidable Food.” If you’d like a copy of the book, I can send to you: She Writes for Him: Stories of Living Hope.  

I hope this all makes sense; it is not an easy thing to articulate. Thank God for His Word.

Be Joy Fueled,

God’s Word reaches our hearts

I’m happy to share that after she hit send on the email, she paused and prayed for twenty-four hours, too. By the time I responded she had made herself a huge list of Scripture to lean on to motivate her on own health and healing journey. How good is GOD? Woohoo! I invited her to the next “21 Days in 2021 Challenge” {SPRING launch date of 4/5/2021}. I hope she joins me.

Dear reader, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the heart of the matter. Do you have a favorite passage of scripture to guide your journey and protect your thoughts and motives as you step into Joy Fueled Living: Body, Mind, and Spirit? Please comment below.

And if you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter yet, would you be so kind to subscribe? You can grab some scriptural encouragement here: Five Steps to Freedom in Joy Fueled Living. And share this blog post if it resonated with your heart.