Healthy living is more than exercise or what we eat, it is an entirely new way of existing on planet earth. For some reason, I used to think the only thing that was worth getting out of bed for was to eat the foods I loved. And of course that helped me gain a tremendously ridiculous amount of weight.
  
Food is necessary to fuel our bodies, just as gas is necessary for our vehicles to go anywhere. Because food is such a necessity it’s easy to make an idol out of it. If we have enough money and can buy any food we want, it can become the center of our focus. It becomes our entertainment, our joy and our reason for existing. Nothing else matters except putting the right kind of food on our tables, the foods we love.
woman with backpack and hands raised in victory
The Stomach God​

This is part of what Paul was referring to when he said, “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things,” (Phil. 3:18-19 NIV). 
 
This is a sad commentary on those who lived during Paul’s time, but I believe the same holds true for many today. Especially as Americans and others who live in more affluent societies, we feel we are entitled to a certain lifestyle and all the fast food we can eat. 
 
Certain kinds of foods, especially those made with high sugar and carbohydrate content, have become the affluent addiction. We may not feel wealthy, but if we have enough money to eat out, we are wealthier than most of the world. Our brothers and sisters are truly physically hungry and we are eating a whole lot more than we need just because we can.

What To Do?​ 

Contrary to what your mother told you, eating everything on your plate may not be answer. It might be part of the problem. However, it is true if we only eat the amount of food and type of food we need to maintain our health, there will be more for others to consume.
 
Paul gives us insight into what we should do. These words come right after the others I quoted. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body,” (Phil. 3:20-21 NIV). 

We are so centered on food that we fail to understand that healthy living really isn’t as much about food as it is about our mindset and our focus. Are we focused on filling our bellies or are we focused on becoming the person God wants us to be? In the final analysis our focus should be on being citizens of God’s Kingdom. 
 
Citizens of Heaven​

What does that mean? It means not being like those who are on focused on earthly things, like what we will eat. God provided manna for the children of Israel and yet they complained and wanted to go back into captivity in Egypt where there was food they were used to.
 
God, though, was leading them to the promised land where there would be all the food they could contain, healthy food. He was leading them to a better place. He’s doing the same for us. He is leading us to a better place.
 
I never dreamed I’d ever get to the place where food was not the reason I existed, but by following what God told me to do, I finally did. And I lost weight along the way. I know some of the reasons why I made food the center of everything, but it never deserved or even earned that place in my life. 

Food Addiction

There was a time I made it my god. I clearly see that now and like Paul says I was headed for destruction. I was traveling down a dead-end street with no exit and no way to turn around. What I craved, what I desired was the only thing that mattered.

I still loved Jesus, but I the foods I loved were on equal or greater level than He was. This is the life of a food addict. It’s a difficult addiction to conquer because it’s available everywhere. It’s approved by society. It’s never off-limits and people are pushing us to always eat more and more and more.
 
God, however, wants us to be healthy. His Holy Spirit lives within us and if God lives in us that must mean we are a sanctuary. To the Jews, God dwelt in the temple. It was literally the house of God. We have no concept of this because even though some see church buildings as holy we know God dwells within us and not just in the church building.

My Body—A Temple?​

F​or Paul to tell the Jewish people that their bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, was huge! This was a big mindset shift for them. Imagine them wondering, how can my body be as sacred as the temple? Then he says, “You were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies,” (1 Cor. 6:20 NIV).
 
We are to live healthy lifestyles to honor God and in order to do His Kingdom work He has called us to do. I don’t mean become a preacher or missionary unless that is your calling. I mean to do the everyday work of the Kingdom right where we live.
 
My calling is with God’s help to teach women how to change their lifestyles, lose weight and live healthy. I do that in Overcomers Academy. Doors are open now. Through midnight tonight I am also giving a copy of my books, Sweet Surrender: Breaking StrongholdsSweet Journey to Transformation and Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds.

Go here to join by midnight tonight to take advantage of the bonus offers. 

​​I’ll see you in the group.

 

 

 

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach, podcaster and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds and kept it off since 2013.

Her books include: "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor"; "Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds"; "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy"; "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help": "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation"; and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, more information on both is available under the weight loss tab. Don't miss her weekly podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, where she shares tips from her personal journey of losing weight and discovering healthy living. Find that under the podcast tab and anywhere you find podcasts.