The Stinkin’ Stomach God

*Did you catch the Women Living Well Webcast last night on health? Clare from Peak 313 Fitness was the keynote and I was on the discussion panel. (You can still watch it until 9 est tonight by clicking here. ) Those of you who have been around here a while know weightloss (and regain!) is something I have struggled with my whole life. I hope this post encourages us all.

“For, as I have often told you before and now say 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 on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,” Philippians 3:18-20

photo-41I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the stinkin’ stomach god.

You know, that sometimes growling, never quite satisfied, oh-so-bossy part of me that sends a signal to my brain that says, “something sounds good.”

Oh, and that “something” is rarely anything that while it “sounds good”, is actually good for me. Nope. The “sounds good” items are usually either salty and fat or sweet and fat.

Rarely does my stomach/brain combo put in a speedy request for an order of raw celery with a side of steamed cauliflower.

No ma’am.

Instead, it loves to order salty, snappy chips or gooey chocolate brownies with rich & creamy (and thick!) frosting. Or perhaps some leftover pizza with thick crust and three meats (the only way my boys ever seem to want to have it). Full-fat ice cream anyone?

Stinkin’, bossy stomach god…

When I happened across today’s verse, it smacked me square between the eyes.

I want God to be my God. I don’t want my stomach in that place calling the shots for me.

Can I get an amen?

So if you too are sick of the stinkin’ stomach god, pinky promise with me that together, we will listen to our hearts and ignore our stinkin’ stomach and its partner-in-crime ‘bossy brain’. ‘Cause you see, at those times when my stomach/brain pull their pranks (especially with the brain doing all sorts of mental gymnastics telling me I deserve the food or perhaps that I might as well pig out since I am NEVER going to get the rest of this weight back off) my heart knows better.

My heart whispers…. “Don’t eat that. It will tastes fabulous, but then it will turn on you” or “Yes, your stomach is hungry. Fine. There is some leftover salad in the fridge and some fresh pineapple. Eat that instead.”

Yes, my heart whispers.

However, my stomach god SCREAMS!!!!!!!!

Today, let’s start intentionally and intently listening to the right voice.

Are you with me?

Do you struggle with your eating and weight? If so, leave us a comment here and we can pray for each other over the food-laden weekend. I’d be honored to pray for you.

71 Comments

  1. Karen, Thank you for your transparency! I have been diagnosed Diabetic recently and I have to lose 60 pounds by May 2014’s Doctor’s apppointment! I so needed your post!
    Please pray for me to discipline my eating habits and exercise, it is truly a life or death situation. I will pray for you and the other Sisters who are in this battle against the dreaded “stomach god” with us. Hangeth in there O Baby!

  2. Excellent post and devotional, Karen. I struggle so much in this area. I am going to be praying for all of us that God will give us
    victory!

  3. Weight has always been a struggle for me! I remember being in high school and thinking I was fat. HA! If I only knew then what I know now…: )

    I particularly struggle with the whole “lifetime” aspect of eating well and exercising right. Sure, I can manage it for a year or two, but for the rest of my life? I know the key to it is balance, and prayer. Hoping to find it!

    1. That’s what I call having “sustainability” and that means it’s not the most EXTREME of diets or exercising! There is a balance and it changes each season of life, but you can find it. Start somewhere and win small from there!
      Clare

  4. I loved your presence on the webcast…you are HILARIOUS! I can so relate to you and I appreciate your honesty! I need prayer as well…for eating right and for be disciplined to exercise. I’m a stay at home mom to two toddlers, one of which has special needs. I have become very inactive and I can feel my body slowly deteriorating. I ask for prayer as well and I will pray for you and the ladies who have responded as well. Thank you!

    1. Hi Takiyah!

      I will pray for you! You are in a very rough phase–I know because I am just moving past it! Take care of yourself so that you can take care of the others!
      Clare

  5. I used to struggle in this area all the time. I would love to say that I’ve conquered this but there are still some days where what is not good for me tempts me and I give in. What has allowed me to listen to that small quiet voice that says “It’s ME you really crave!” was the “Made to Crave” bible study I did in Jan 2012-I’ve lost, 34 lbs and managed to keep off 30 of those pounds–a first for me. :) I will partner with you for victory over the dreaded liar of a scale-it measures our weight not our worth! Love you Karen!

  6. Thank you for sharing last night. I have struggled with the emotion eating as well…. happy – eat…sad – eat…. made – eat….etc….. doesn’t matter what I eat and its the sweet or salty not the salad or fruit. This has caught up with me my blood pressure is high – cholesterol is climbing and recently have had severe spasms which has eliminated the last healthy activity I was able to do – walk the dog!! I have allowed my God to be my stomach and it is becoming my destiny of destruction!! Today is a new day and I am encouraged by your telecast and hope and pray I will make the Lord over all my life especially my stomach!! Thanks for your prayers.

  7. I have fought the stomach God most of my life. Though I’m over weight I’m not out of shape totally. But fight that mental and physical battles. I know the weight I weighed when I was first married isn’t where I want to be nor does my husband. But i sure would love for both of us to be in better shape and health. We have a Lot to do for the Lord and the church we pastor. We are in our fifties and need to be come MORE self conscious and ask God to help us all. Thanks for your prayers.

  8. Thanks Karen for the wonderful posts. I have tried and failed with the weight loss. I am going now to watch the post from last night. So appreciate you.

    1. You totally aren’t alone Darlene! We have all gone through some sort of cycle. Praying for balance and spirit-lead living in your life!
      Clare

  9. As they say my mind is willing but my body is weak!!Everytime I think “I can do this” someone brings in a dessert, etc. at work and “I’ll do it tomorrow” comes knocking!! I had surgery and now finally able to walk etc. – I just have to remind myself to put down the sweets and walk away! I could use ALL the prayers everyone can give , as we go into the cookie baking,candy making season that I can make and give away instead of eat!

  10. YES! I watched the WLW video this morning and completely identified with the “Always thinking about food” blip you shared!!! I really love food, too! Love to share it with others, and make it for others to show them I love them, and on and on it goes! Just last night I snuck some Reese Cups into bed with my husband so we didn’t have to share them with the kids, though! HA! Definitely going to be laying the food stuff on the alter and asking God to walk me through a healthier view of moderation, etc. Thanks!

  11. God and I are going through this journey right now! Over the course of July, August, September I was watching my calories intake, making healthier food choices and walking 6 days a week….then came last week….had a horrible 4 day migraine followed by a 3 day headache recovery, combined with the weather turning cold and yucky, well I have walked/ worked out in two weeks and not logged my food for the same time….I feel like crap, no energy and just….well, icky. Its amazing how quickly the desire to make right choices can desert one! Need to find something indoors to do and then just do it!!

  12. Karen – This is such a huge passion for me. I host a private FB group of many Christian ladies that are working so hard to get healthy – spiritually and physically fit. The encouragement is there – but it is so hard to put everything we know into place and use it. I have lost the same 100 lbs. more times than I care to count – I’m halfway through the process of losing it again right now – with another 50+ to go. Thank for your sharing this – I pray for the struggle of so many today…….My journey starts and ends with God first. Only He can equip us with the desire to ignore that growling belling and the strength to get up and get moving…..give us the want to we need. My goal is to be 100% spiritually and physically fit so I can serve him at 150%. Mark 10:45 Thank you again for sharing your heart.

  13. Karen, although I have never yet struggled with my weight, I do suffer with an eating disorder. I eat so much sometimes that it makes me sick. It sends my stomach into “convulsions” and wreaks havoc on my health, energy level and emotional state of mind. I am not anorexic or bulemic, just have NO self-control. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does and I have made myself sick, I am plagued with guilt over my gluttony. I often feel guilty for feeling like I have a problem at 5′ 2″ weighing 105 lbs. Because so many I know are challenged to lose weight while I am just trying to maintain it. Dr says it is just my metabolism. Anyway, I am praying for all women with weight issues! Thanks for this post!

  14. Yes, yes, yes! I can always seem to find a reason why I “deserve” this – most recently when diagnosed with cancer. I may have deserved some comfort but not from food, which caused a 14 pound weight gain in just a few months :( Thank you for your honesty and your prayers.

    1. Ahh yes–the nasty sense of entitlement that we ALL get, right? I fall right in there with you! It helps me to plan the times where I can indulge and allow some not so healthy foods. That keeps me in balance–and from going too extreme either way!

      Clare

  15. I’m with you! If you couple the Stinkin’ Stomach god with the You’re Getting Old and Falling Apart god, you have my struggle. Until a knee problem last year I didn’t do too bad at eating and exercising……..exercising being the key for me to keep the pounds down. Top those two things off with a husband who love me no matter what and brings home cookies and ice cream and eats them as much as he wants…….the past year, almost two now….I have struggled. They weight gain has been minimal but the changes to my body form and mass are dramatic and I feel and look……to me……awful. We have women in our church who are on some weight loss program that is expensive, very, very restrictive but works. First of all, I can’t afford hundreds of dollars a month for this program and don’t feel that it is a healthy…….mentally, emotionally or physically…..way to lose weight nor do I have that kind of willpower to still cook for my husband and deny myself what I am cooking and there is no way he would every sanction such a program for himself or me. I know that with better eating and moving more I can do this even with a Michigan winter starting early and bearing down on us.

    Thanks Karen, for being “out there” with us and sharing your experience.
    In Him
    Brenda

  16. I SO sympathize with all of the women here. It used to be easy to drop 10 lbs., but now fast approaching 50, it is grueling! My youngest daughter is 10 and in the last ten years I have gained almost 35 lbs. with baby wieght never shed. My precious son says he will walk or jog with me as soon as football season is over. I am ready. I need my body back from that evil stomach god! :)

    Praying for all, so we can get our lives and bodies back!
    KK

    1. Get a head start now! Don’t wait til football season is over! And yes–the older we get, the easier it is for us naturally to gain more weight–and that doesn’t even take into account how lax we get in our eating or activity!

      Go get it, KK!
      Clare

  17. What if it is not entirely a “god.” What if what we eat is not nourishing our bodies as we’ve been told. I have been following the paleo way of eating. Losing weight, not overeating, head is clear, energy is better. What if our bodies are just crying to feed them well?

      1. Sorry for the delay. Here are a link to a paleo blogger and a link to a Dr. Oz Clip:
        http://www.thepaleomom.com/about-the-paleo-mom
        http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/do-carbs-cause-alzheimers

        According to The Paleo Mom(.com):
        So what do you get to eat? The short answer is fresh, whole foods, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables of all kinds, fruits, nuts and seeds. There are ALOT of wonderful meals you can make using these foods.
        What foods do you avoid? Don’t be afraid. This sounds worse than it is. A paleolithic diet avoids all grains, legumes (including soy and peanuts), dairy (except butter, ghee and heavy cream), modern vegetable oils (like safflower and canola), and processed foods.
        A few other important factors are avoiding excessive salt, refined sugars, too many carbohydrates (but this doesn’t need to be a low carb diet!) and also trying to balance omega-3 vs. omega-6 fatty acid intake. I’ll cover each of these in detail in future posts.

        I’ve dropped 13lbs. and my hubby 20lbs. in 2 months. We are eager to see if eating Paleo has a good effect on our blood sugar, blood pressure (he’s been on meds since his late 20s), cholesterol.

  18. Thank you for your post today . I’ve had my stomach for my god my whole life living with bulimia for 30 years . I pray for everyone now that has posted that we will only look to HIM for all things and to fill us . !!!! I want freedom from all strongholds to only bring HIM glory …….

  19. Wonderful Bible verse. I sympathize with your cravings because I too have the salty/sweet syndrome throughout the day – plus I’ve been drinking a 16.9 oz. bottle of Pepsi every day for years. I know if I could switch to water instead of the cola, I could probably lose about 10 lbs. quickly, but I can’t seem to do it because I rarely crave water. LOL! Yes, let’s pray for each other.
    Also, I don’t know if you can change the headline on today’s blog, but it should be a lowercase “g” for god. I was rather alarmed when I first read the headline, but instantly I knew, too, that you didn’t mean it to be capitalized.

    1. It’s not the same, but a switch that you could start would be some sparkling water. Many tmes we are looking for the fizz factor, so I love La Croix. Also, allow yourself some pepsi’s, but only on certain days. So maybe cut back to 4 days a week or something.

      Also, try and find things that trigger your desire for the pepsi and then do your best to avoid that, or be more aware at that time!
      Good luck!
      Clare

  20. Thanks Karen for this post. I too struggle with the lossing and keeping it off cycle. It’s so frustrating. Please pray for me too. Thanks.

  21. I so identify with what you said Karen. I have fought the stomach demon ALL my life and for most of it, it’s won. I’m trying to get healthy since I’m at an age where it’s not as easy to bounce back or lose weight even. I’ve lost 30 pounds but need to lose sooo very much more. I’m going to print what you wrote and the verse off to continue to help me in my struggle. Thank you!!!

  22. Oh my goodness. This post was what I needed today. With Halloween soon approaching, my children will be bringing in the candy and I will need the Lord’s help to stay away from all the chocolate. I am so glad to know that I am not alone in this struggle with the stomach god. My husband and I are trying, of course, he’s lost 15 pounds and I have lost 1 in a month. I still have 74 pounds to lose and with a 9 year old and an 18 month old, and working full time, there is not a free moment to exercise. And in January the new semester starts and I will have less time since I will be studying. This is encouraging and it helps to remind me that God is on my side and that he will help this battle. Thank you!

    1. Hi Melody!
      Be encouraged that you don’t have to exercise as much as you think you have to…you can control your weight by what you eat which is something you have control of all day long! Spend time at the beginning of the week preparing and planning your meals and snacks. It will make a HUGE difference…and then aim for maybe 3 days a week/30 minutes of exercise if you can. Increase when you are able to! There are ways, we just need to be determined. You can do it!
      Clare

  23. Joining you & praying with you Karen. I am “stuck” in my weight loss/getting healthy journey but I am getting unstuck with God’s help. I needed this verse this morning!! Thank you!

  24. Thank you, Karen for sharing on the last Women Living Well broadcast about your weight loss journey and success. I am overweight and know exactly how I got here. I also emotionally eat. My husband just went through and major weight loss (which seemed quite easy for him) and now I feel I am walking around with a circulating blue flashing light above my head (just dated myself) alerting everyone how much I need to take off this weight. Right now, I feel invisible, unworthy, my self reflection is that I am a loser. Hearing your story gives me hope. I have lost 10 so far…have 60 or so more to go. You seem so real and I thank God for the mantle and the ministry he has given you. Your realness is what helps people like me relate and find hope.

    Thank you!
    Veronica Hendrick

    1. I think that somehow you knew I needed this inspiration this very moment. I am fighting to keep my weight off and it is so hard. please pray for me! Thank you so much!!!

    2. Hi I am in South Africa and in case you do not know but we have the most amazing foods that are so rich in fats (and flavour) and having been brought up in a home where we were served huge plates of food I have always had a weight problem and now at the age of almost 60 it is more and more difficult to loose and with this weight comes medical problems like bad knees etc. I am trying all the time, but I never succeed and then I get so despondent and just give up. Please pray for me that I can conquer this urge to eat the wrong things, too much thereof and that I can discipline my mind to control the urges of my body and that my mindset can move towards a healthier way of eating which will result in a healthier life – I am with all of you who struggle in prayer and spirit – nothing is impossible with God – our weight is a small task in His hands – let us lose weight for God – one step at a time – warmest blessings Carol

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