The Lord's Table is a free online course that is also available in book form. This course addresses the idea that overeating is nothing more than the long ignored, rarely mentioned sin of gluttony, and that the only way to truly be free from this sin is to repent. (Imagine that!) Here's how it works. The entire course runs 60 days. There are two eating plans to choose from. Option 1 allows you a more structured plan that divides the normal seven day week into two normal portion days, two half portion days, two liquid days, and one fast day. Option 2 is called "GBS" which stands for "Growly Belly Syndrome." You are only allowed to eat when you are hungry. Each day, you have a daily lesson to complete, which takes about 30 minutes. You are also asked to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, six days a week. An online mentor is assigned to you to help you with your progress and keep you accountable. The plan works because weight loss is not the goal - repentance and reliance on God is.
I began the program a week before Thanksgiving (I purposely planned it so Thanksgiving would happen to fall on one of my normal eating days). I found it surprisingly easy at first, although the fast day was a little tough. I was so excited that I decided to combine the two plans. On normal and half days, I only ate when I had a growly belly. The results were very noticable. In the first two weeks, I lost four pounds. Then my life got hectic and things started to fall apart a bit.
Once the holidays rolled around, my bible lessons and my exercise started to suffer. I also could not keep track of which day I was on (normal, half, liquid, fast), so I defaulted entirely to the GBS plan. Needless to say, I have not lost any more weight. I am probably supposed to be on Day 45 but I'm only on Day 29 in the lessons. Even so, I'm still way ahead of the game compared to when I was trying to battle my food issues through secular means. I still consider it a success because my eating habits have drastically changed and my awareness of God as the source of all my joy has increased!
I learned some very eye-opening lessons from this program. Even though The Lord's Table is about overeating, the lessons were so powerful that I became aware that I was overdoing many things in my life (primarily spending too much time on the internet). With each time-wasting activity, I began to feel convicted. I not only reduced my caloric intake, but I have now drastically reduced the time I'm spending on the internet. This has freed up a lot more time in my day to be in fellowship with the Lord.
Even the secular health gurus will tell you that the weight will never come off unless you make a lifestyle change. But who in the world can simply decide to make a lifestyle change? Can a leopard change its spots?Secondly, I gained an incredibly profound look at the role of food in the Bible as a metaphor for eternal life. This has further changed my outlook on physical food, and the result is different from any other weight loss plan or diet I've ever tried, because I don't see food as an enemy. I actually see food as a gift from God to be enjoyed, and I am finding my food to be much more tasty than I did before.
Finally, I have discovered the secret to lifelong success -- repentance from sin. Even the secular health gurus will tell you that the weight will never come off unless you make a lifestyle change. But who in the world can simply decide to make a lifestyle change? Can a leopard change its spots? Secular diets don't work because they expect us to change in our own power. But apart from Christ, we can do nothing.
Before The Lord's Table, I used to try to avoid certain foods. Now, I simply eat whatever I want in moderation. And I discover that I suddenly don't want to eat certain foods anymore. Just as I don't find my former sins appealing anymore, I no longer find certain foods very appealing. At least, not in large quantities. God has changed my desires and I just don't really want the stuff anymore. I could never say that when I was avoiding certain foods in my own power.
So here I am at the halfway mark (even though I started the program more than 30 days ago) and I'm confident God will give me the strength to finish the course with flying colors. If I fall off the wagon again, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. I just get back up and finish running the race.
If you would like to try The Lord's Table Course with Setting Captives Free, it is available here.
Also, you can preview Day 1 of the course by clicking here.
If you decide to take the course, I'd love to hear about your progress. Please feel free to post comments to this entry and let me know how you're doing! I will check in as well.
Here's to feasting on the Bread of Life!