5 Lies I Believed About Eating, My Body & God By Aubrey Golbek

Hey golden gals! Today, I have the honor of introducing an incredible friend of mine named Aubrey Golbek. She is taking over the blog today and I’m really excited for you to read her wise words. Also, you can purchase her book here!! Enjoy! :)

I grew up in church, as the saying goes. And overall, that’s been a blessing. I knew who Jesus was from a young age, I learned about salvation and unconditional love, and I witnessed my parents live out their faith in a raw, imperfect way every single day. I wouldn’t trade my upbringing for the world.


But somewhere along the way I started to believe some very dangerous lies about food, about my body, and about God. I don’t blame the church for those lies. I blame the enemy. He has this thing he likes to do. He likes to twist the truth, to condemn and deceive God’s children. He’s a liar and the author of them. And for a while, he had me convinced.

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 But the end of this story is a happy one. God opened my eyes to His truth and my worth in Christ. Since then, it’s been my mission, as a registered dietitian and writer,  to help other women ditch the shame and find His grace in areas of food, body image, motherhood and beyond. You could say it’s my calling. 

Somewhere in the midst of living out this calling, I realized the lies I believed are the very same ones many of my clients and other women were falling prey to. I guess this shouldn’t have been a surprise to me. After all, God has this pretty cool knack for redeeming every part of our story for the benefit others.

So here I am today, sharing the lies I believed and the truth I’ve found. I hope my story encourages you-- even if it makes you start to question, even if it leads to you pray for the first time in a while, then it’ll be worth it.

Here are 5 lies I believed about eating, my body & God:

1.     There is ONE perfect, God-honoring way of eating and exercising, everything else is dishonoring the body God gave me.

This lie kept me in a constant pursuit of the right way of eating and exercising. It placed my sole focus on food, on clean eating and working out. My eyes shifted from the goodness of my savior to the minutiae of food ingredients and my own self-effort.

When I finally discovered that all foods were made clean by Jesus, that everything was good and redeemed for those who knew the truth, that nothing I ate could defile me or separate me from the love of Christ, it freed me.

When I finally discovered that all foods were made clean by Jesus, that everything was good and redeemed for those who knew the truth, that nothing I ate could defile me or separate me from the love of Christ, it freed me. 

My focus turned to the goodness of my God and I was able to stop obsessing over food. Further, realizing that food was neither morally good or bad made it easier for me to be thankful for what I was eating, it made going out to eat, loving on my family, and living out my calling simpler. 

If you’re stuck on the concept of good and bad foods, clean and unclean eating, here are two of the verses that God used to open my eyes, I hope they’ll serve you too!

·      Mark 7: 18 - 19

·      1 Timothy 4: 1-4

2.     My ability to follow a diet/strict food and exercise rules is a reflection of my self-control.

 I think this lie was tied up in a lot of “Christian diets” and fasting practices. I believed that being able to restrict food and force exercise meant you had the fruit of self-control, not realizing that the fruit of self-control, and all the fruits of the Spirit, were already mine in Christ.

I didn’t have to earn or prove anything, in fact that would make the Spirit a work of the flesh and not a free gift!

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Peter urges us in 1 Peter 4:7 to be self-controlled so that we can be given to prayer. Yet restricting my food intake and obsessing about exercise and my weight were taking so much of my mental and physical energy that I wasn’t even thinking about prayer, let alone “given to it.”

 From a scientific standpoint, chronic dieting and over-exercising are not healthy for our bodies. They’ve been shown to chronically increase cortisol levels, and increase weight cycling which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease markers and other health consequences. 

 Stick with me here: If self-control, which by the way can also be translated wise-discretion, is a good thing given to us by God, something that is supposed to lead to greater freedom and focus on Christ, but dieting leads to less freedom, poorer health and a decreased focus on Christ , then maybe, just maybe, that’s not what God had in mind when he gave us the gift of self-control. 

Stick with me here: If self-control, which by the way can also be translated wise-discretion, is a good thing given to us by God, something that is supposed to lead to greater freedom and focus on Christ, but dieting leads to less freedom, poorer health and a decreased focus on Christ , then maybe, just maybe, that’s not what God had in mind when he gave us the gift of self-control. 

 Further, if the purpose of fasting is to set our eyes on Christ and devote ourselves to prayer, maybe many of us should be fasting from diets and exercise and our pursuit of control, as opposed to food. 

 For myself, I am convinced, and I believe 2 Peter 1: 5 – 10 confirms, that I have been given every good spiritual blessing (including self-control) as a free gift, and that the way to manifest these blessings in my life is to continually meditate on the saving work of Christ and my new identity in him—that I am forgiven, chosen and set apart.

 

3.     God needs me to be a certain body size in order to use me to my fullest potential.

 I’m not 100% sure where this belief came from, but I think it had something to do with my misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 6: 19 – 20, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”

 Somehow, I took this verse and put in the context of today’s culture, and today’s standard of health, which is really just thin = healthy. I felt like because the world wanted me to be thin that God must want me to be thin too, in order to honor him with my body, in order to be used by him

 The truth is God does want us to be healthy, but that’s because He loves us and is a good father, not because he can’t use us if we aren’t healthy. Further, nowhere in the bible does He equate health with a certain body size, nowhere. 

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 Even the cultural idea that our weight = our health is inaccurate. We have research showing people experience health in all different body sizes, and that health is more of a reflection of positive self-care habits and stress management than of weight. If you’re interested in this, you can read more about the research on weight and the health at every size movement here.

 Finally, Ephesians 2: 8 – 10 tells us that we have been saved and created for goods works (past tense) not that we will be saved or destined for these works once we reach a certain body size. 

 So, as you read and meditate on this verse, it’s my hope that you won’t let the enemy disqualify you from your purpose based off your body size. Instead, I pray you would realize that Christ is your power and his grace is sufficient for every calling on your life. 

 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

 

4.     My health is all up to me.

 This is one of those sticky, theological territories that many of us are afraid to step into, BUT I believe if we’re ever going to be set free in order to set others free, we can’t shy away from hard topics just because someone might misconstrue our words or disagree. 

 For the longest time I believed that God wanted me to be healthy, but that my health was all up to me. I believed that Jesus healed people physically while he was walking on this earth, but that his healing power stopped once he went to heaven.

 Through personal experiences I discovered something different. But since every spiritual experience has its confirmation in the word of God, I searched out any and all promises that God still heals his people. I found Isaiah 53:5

 “But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”

 Isaiah prophesied that our salvation in Christ would be four-fold. It would pay for our transgressions (our outward sins), it would redeem us for our iniquities (our wayward hearts and thoughts), it would bring peace to our souls and finally, it would provide healing.

 Isaiah doesn’t specify whether that healing is for our soul or body, but what we’re discovering now is that the health of both are inseparable. As our soul (mind, will, intellect and emotions) heals, it often results in healing in our bodies. This makes sense with Jesus’ work on this earth. He healed hundreds and hundreds of people and then he said that it was better that he left so that we could have the holy spirit, so that we could do the works he did and more!

 I won’t pretend to have answers for why people get sick and don’t get healed. I won’t act like I know everything, but I will say this: when you trust that God is powerful and willing enough to heal your body and give you health, you let go of all the stress around controlling your eating, exercise and environment. 

 That doesn’t mean you stop caring for your body, but it does mean you understand that your life is in greater hands than your own, and that my friends, is freedom.

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5.     I can’t trust my body because it’s sinful.

 If you ask me, this last lie is one of the most prevalent and destructive ones in the Christian culture. Many of us have confused the term flesh with body and been taught to believe that our bodies are sinful, even as believers. Many of us believe that we can’t trust anything that originates from our physical bodies – including cravings for food, hunger, fullness and rest. 

 I go into detail in my book, “Grace, Food, and Everything in Between” about the difference between the term flesh, which is our self-directed effort, devoid or contrary to the Holy Spirit’s guiding, and our physical bodies. Yes, the two are separate.

 I strongly believe that God designed our bodies and our systems to incline towards health. I believe his creation is good and can be trusted. This includes the physical signals we receive to eat, to pee, and to rest, among others. 

 Learning to trust and listen to our bodies is an integral part of intuitive eating, a self-care framework for eating that has been shown to result in more food peace, less eating disorders, less weight cycling, more self-esteem and better health markers (blood pressure, glucose control) than traditional dieting and eating. 

 When we’re hung up on the belief that our bodies are bad, it’s pretty hard to do intuitive eating work. 

 So, I leave you with this truth, you are fearfully and wonderfully made by a good God, who wants you to be healthy. A father who has sent his son to die on a cross for your complete salvation (spirit, soul, and body). He is redeeming everything, including his creation, and he does not make bad things, only good and beautiful things, including your body. 

I hope today, if you’ve never heard this, or if you’ve never considered your beliefs around these topics, you will stop and seek Him. I pray that He will reveal truth to you and set you free in all areas, including food and body image. And then, I hope to see you using that freedom and energy to set others free—Just as I see Sarah doing with this blog and Living like Golden.

Until then, stay nourished: body, soul and spirit!

Wow, y’all, I don’t know about you, but this post hits me hard with so much truth! I’m so thankful for Aubrey’s gift of truth-speaking and writing and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did! You can follow here (who wouldn’t want to!?):

Website (She’s taking clients-yay!!): https://gracefueled.com/

Blog: https://gracefueled.com/blog

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/gracefueled_rd/

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