Growing up Filipino-American, I grew to notice my body and my physical attributes constantly. I felt like something was always said about how chubby I was as a child, or how I was losing my baby fat, or how I might have gained some weight that semester.
When I went to a Filipino party, I had to realize that this was going to happen, and it would be said; therefore, I was incredibly insecure about this.
In addition to this, I have an older sister, who growing up, was a size zero while I fluctuated between sizes. It was so discouraging at times to get hand me downs that I could not fit into. All that to say, I would fill my insecurity with food and find delight in that. However, it was not until my college years, where I understood the passage in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Though Paul is talking about sexual immorality in the verses preceding the passage, it can relate very much to food and gaining pleasure for your body through the sensation of eating food. When I studied this passage, the Holy Spirit convicted me of how I steward my body and how I used food to gain comfort in who I was; in short, he convicted me of gluttony and my lack of trust in Him. You see, when I felt insecure, had anxiety, felt stressed, or wanted to celebrate something, food was always in hand (which is not always a bad thing- in moderation); however, I saw how I turned to food to comfort me immediately in those times first instead of turning to the Lord, who knows my needs and can ultimately be the one who satisfies my soul in the moment and in the long run.
This narrative and lie that food could be your source of comfort was found in movies I watched or even on merchandise at the store. They sold this sense of immediate fulfillment and satisfaction. No wonder my stomach hurt or I gained weight and felt insecure. The lie I believed was a trap and left me discouraged.
Furthermore, Scripture says that my body is His temple, His dwelling place, and that it does not in fact belong to me. It has been given to me to steward and to honor Him with — through how I use my body and what I put into my body. Thus, I needed to change my mindset and in those times of discouragement, I had to train myself to pray and give myself to the Lord and to ask Him how I can steward my body for His service and how to view my body.
I also changed how I ate and my habits of working out, and I felt like it energized me more and made me feel a lot better.
God created food to be used as a means to know, serve, and love Him rather than an end to itself and satisfying the cravings we had that we thought food could only satisfy. When I get discouraged or when food seems way too good to stop eating at the moment, I have to remember- will this glorify the Lord? Am I using his gift to fulfill myself? Am I trusting in him right now?
If God has given me this body to steward and reflect him, it ought to be my joy and priority to eat well and love my body because it is a gift from God and I desire to honor him with it. There is such release and freedom in stewarding your body well for His ministry and being satisfied with the way you look.
God designed you uniquely, which is different from your sister/s or your friends around you. We are created in the image of God and he delights in you! If we tear down ourselves, we ultimately are telling God that we know better and are choosing to take control over the matters in anger or insecurity rather than allowing God to help us see the way we were created.
Celebrate your differences and the way God made you because you were created by our Creator God, who loves you dearly.