One out of three women and an estimated one out of six boys have been sexually abused in their lifetime. If you struggle with obesity and being overweight, it’s important for you to realize that the sexual abuse that you experienced when you were younger may be a contributing factor to your weight gain, food addiction or eating disorder.
It is obvious that inactivity and eating more calories that you can burn off is the physical reason that your body carries excess fat. As you may already know, any diet or exercise plan can work in getting weight off… temporarily. The weight comes back 90% of the time and you blame yourself for lack of willpower or strength of character to keep the weight off… right?
It’s time to look a little bit deeper if you were a victim of sexual abuse as a child or as an adult. There are spiritual stumbling blocks that are holding you back from your ideal weight and size. Although you know in your mind the right thing to do, for some reason you can’t make yourself do it. The Apostle Paul in the bible shared these same feelings…
I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate
Side-effects/Symptoms of being sexually abused in the past:
Feeling angry, afraid, ashamed, guilty, embarrassed, confused and worthless
Thinking you’re unattractive, incompetent, inadequate, and unwanted by others
Developing antisocial behavior, learning disabilities, interpersonal tensions, inefficiency at work
Being abusive to yourself via overeating, self mutilation, drugs or alcohol
Developing sexual problems, aversion to sex or becoming promiscuous
Developing mental disorders, anxiety disorders and personality disorders
Losing of faith in God, becoming angry with God and wondering why God would let this happen
Struggling with forgiveness and having trouble trusting that God will protect you
Struggling with developing or maintaining loving relationships with your spouse, family and friends
(This is just the tip of the iceberg)
#1 Victory Step Toward Success
Past sexual abuse can be why it’s especially hard for you to lose weight. You have this tremendous weight on your shoulders holding you back from feeling real trust, love and joy. Jesus came so you can have life more abundantly. Open up your heart to the Lord, and let the healing process begin. You can get through this, life can be much better for you. Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and savior and pray for deliverance and peace in this area of your life. Find a bible based church and a support group to stay in the realm of hope and encouragement.
"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
#2 Victory Step Toward Success
You may be holding resentment towards the perpetrator who hurt you and toward God for letting horrible things happen to you, but it is important for you to forgive the person/persons who sexually abused you and know that God loves you more than you can imagine.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
There is no excuse or good reason to sexually assault another human being, understand that people who do abuse others are in desperate need of psychological and spiritual help themselves. They become sexual predators because a number of reasons...
Environmental stress that they don’t know how to handle – exposure to excess violence, money problems, judgment of homosexuality etc.
They were abused and neglected themselves or observed violence in their own household when they were little kids
Abusers are often insecure, impulsive, threatened people with low self-esteem. They try to boost their feelings of inadequacy by demonstrating power over their victims.
Excessive exposure to violence on television, music, video games and easy access to pornographic material on the internet constantly tempts the spiritually weak to act on evil impulses
Abuse thrives in cultures or families where women are assumed to be inferior and children are demeaned. Sometimes church leaders unintentionally communicate this message and encourage violence when they preach biblical submission.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures
Please realize that God is a loving, giving and forgiving God that sometimes let good people go through bad things to be a testimony of how a person can go through the fire and end up victorious. God could allow these things to happen to wake people up to the fact that we need to look out for one another more and stand up for what is right.
People who have been abused in the past may have more compassion towards child sex slaves, prostitutes, domestic violence and rape victims and may be more inclined to help these people with nonjudgmental care and concern. Perhaps this is your call to ministry or activism, Lord knows there are not enough people rushing to help the abused and abandoned. Either way, you have a unique perspective on this issue because of what happened to you.
What does this have to do with weight loss? Everything! When you are busy helping someone else, you have no time to dwell on your own problems. There is no time to sit back and drown your sorrows in a whole box of doughnuts or an entire pizza when you’re too busy advocating for the rights of children who have been abused.
#3 Victory Step Toward Success
What I’m saying is… depression and weight gain comes from turning your focus inward towards yourself and how horrible you think you life is. It’s literally meditating on the negative. You have the power to change the way you feel by turning your thought focus outward, toward helping others. Let your body become an instrument of righteousness, instead of the target of self loathing thoughts, negative emotions and harsh judgment. Your victory awaits! Amen.
Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.
About the Author
Bonnie Mechelle is the author of Overcome Compulsive Overeating... Now and the executive producer of The Healthtopia Radio Show in Atlanta, Georgia. She has lost over 120 pounds naturally on her own and now empowers women who struggle with weight gain, divorce, single motherhood, problems in the marriage, eating disorders and clinical depression. See her latest movie, The Inner Weigh and get your free women's wellness eMagazine from Bonnie at www.myhealthtopia.com