Using Prayer To Help With Dieting And Weight Loss

I Tried To Lose Weight All My Life But Couldn't Shed The Pounds Until I Turned To God

Now it's easier than ever and I'm never looking back.

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It's amazing how good it feels to get rid of something that has felt like such a tall barrier in your life for so long. For years, and years, honestly, as many years as I can remember, I have felt held back by my weight. It's something that never truly left my mind, whether it was how I looked in my school uniform skort compared to other girls, how I looked in pictures, the thoughts that raced through my head lying in bed that night, or if what I ordered off the menu would make me look fat. It was always something.

Now I have tried, or so I thought I had. I had tried giving up carbs for two weeks, doing workout videos, or eating healthy, occasionally running, or honestly, anything I thought might help a bit. But there I was after a full year of college, heavier than ever.

It was then that I found my secret ingredient, it was then that I found the ultimate weight-loss secret: Prayer.

I found myself amidst a challenge that I didn't know if I was mentally strong enough to handle, faced against temptations of my wildest food dreams. Canes, pizza, chocolate, ice cream, oh my!

I had never thought once about offering up my prayers to God when it came to my weight. I'm not sure why, honestly. It was something that I had struggled with for so long, that it almost felt normal.

Now, when I feel tempted I ask myself a lot if this is the "abundantly more" that God promises us. If it isn't, then I don't pick it. Strength is a process, just like endurance or habits.

I have learned that by offering up the comparisons I feel at the gym, listening to podcasts while running, or Jesus music while practically swimming in my sweat, I am motivated to keep going, not dragged down by the progress I haven't made. I have learned to thank God for the journey He has taken me on so far, and for giving me the capability to overcome these hurdles.

Jesus Didn't die on the cross and tell us to get our butts out there and make disciples of all the nations just for us to sit and be upset with ourselves and compare ourselves to those tiny pictures on our screens. Let's go, we don't have time for that. We have work to do.

No, I'm not saying that if you pray for Jesus to make you lose 15 pounds, the weight will fall off, but I am saying that through Christ, all things are possible, and with Him by my side, the running doesn't feel as difficult.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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My First Time Donating Blood Was Traumatizing, But It Solidified My Desire To Become A Regular Blood Donor

You never know when you might become the victim.

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"Stand clear of the closing doors, please."

It's rush hour in the New York City subway station, which means adults and students alike are trying desperately to squeeze into my jam-packed subway car. A sweaty woman presses against my side as I grip the pole above me, standing my ground to avoid squishing my friend. The woman jostles me again, and I'm forced to switch my grip on the pole to my other arm. My sleeve falls away with this new position, revealing the blue bandage on my arm from donating blood earlier in the day. The train finally pulls away from Junction Boulevard, and I exchange an equally exasperated and relieved look with my friend.

I'm no stranger to the discomfort of standing on a train for hours at a time, so the wave of dizziness that hits me after just 10 minutes of standing takes me by surprise. I feel myself swaying and grope blindly for another pole, to no avail. Dark spots fill my vision and blood rushes in my ears — "Jane, I feel really lightheaded" — before I feel myself falling and lose consciousness completely.

When I think about my first time donating blood, passing out on a subway car is all I remember. I first donated blood during my senior year of high school, as my school was having a blood drive that was convenient during my double period physics class. Admittedly, my primary motivation for participating in the drive was to get out of physics, the fact that my blood could save lives was just a bonus. I've never been particularly fond of needles, but I figured I could brave the experience just this once.

The actual process of donating blood was painless, both literally and figuratively. After filling out a screening to determine my eligibility to donate, I sat with a healthcare provider for a physical exam. I remember, with some embarrassment, having to sit outside the classroom for half an hour because my heart rate exceeded the normal range. The provider stifled a laugh as she assured me that plenty of donors were nervous before donating. I just had to calm myself before completing the exam. Once I was in the chair and ready to donate, a nurse had me squeeze a roll of toilet paper to facilitate the process. I was done within 10 minutes. I grabbed a cookie on my way out of the room, my good deed done for the day.

Fast forward to that moment on the train. After such an easy experience, how had I, in a matter of hours, become the victim? When I came to, I was slumped in a subway seat, my friend staring down at me with wide eyes. Nearby strap-hangers gazed curiously at me as I reached for my water bottle and took several rejuvenating gulps.

"What happened?" I croaked out.

My friend filled me in on my brief fainting episode, informing me that I'd only been out for a minute and that other subway riders had helped to stabilize me, one had even given up their seat so that I could regain my strength. I remember feeling both shock and gratitude as I thanked the people nearby and inwardly cursed myself for not snacking enough and ignoring my fatigue. I kept my head down for the rest of the trip, feeling too ashamed to make conversation with my friend.

At the moment, I'm sure I swore never to donate blood again. The embarrassment I felt at passing out in front of all those strangers — probably looking like a rookie subway rider — trumped any sense of responsibility I felt to save lives. It was only when I got home and really thought about the experience that I realized why I should go in the opposite direction — not refuse to donate blood, but rather become a regular blood donor.

It had taken not even two hours for me to turn from a donor — someone who could help save lives — into a victim. The humiliation of my fainting episode and the fear I felt as I regained consciousness couldn't even compare to the feelings of someone who was gravely injured and in need of blood. Being in that position and losing control of my body put things into perspective, after all, what was a needle in the face of helping those in need?

Needless to say, I signed up as a regular blood donor that night.

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