The Weigh Down Diet

By Gwen Shamblin

Review By Casey Fedde

Categories: Motivational, Putting God First, Spiritual Living

And so it begins. It's a new year of resolutions and yet the resolutions are nothing new: eat healthier, use that gym membership, stick to one serving of Oreos. Often, one of the goals of any repeating – or by now professional – New Year's resoluter is to lose weight. Even if successful, many people put the weight back on only to add the goal to next year's to-do list.

Well, what if you could "lose weight, stay slim, and find a new you"? Would you do it? (No, this is not a late-night infomercial.) Get ready to be "filled and fulfilled" with The Weigh Down Diet. Gwen Shamblin's approach accentuates "God's power – not 'will-power.' " When it comes to dieting, she says, "Man-made rules will not work" (4).

Nourishment and satisfaction do not come from food, but from God. Unfortunately, "Scripture such as 'Do not worry about what you eat or drink' was long forgotten and replaced with an obsession of worry about missing nutrients and about our human body and its needs" (23). But by shifting the focus from food to faith, a dieter will be successful.

Learning to stop obsessing about food isn't easy. It's a lesson learned by many in the Bible, including Eli, the high priest of Israel who struggled with his weight, and the Israelites, who faced a "Desert of Testing." The Weigh Down Diet shares these Bible stories and others, providing much-needed motivation. Even though Shamblin, a registered dietician and nutritionist, targets the overweight adult in her book, she also serves up a hearty helping of soul food for any hungry soul. She teaches the importance of not approaching food with greed or fear, but instead trusting "how our body was made" and only eating until full (46). Move past the "false god" of food, she says, and never worship it or be enslaved by it again.

So quit counting calories, and put away that list of dietary dos and don'ts. Turn your heart toward God, "our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalms 46:1). As Shamblin notes, "[S]uccess is when the heart changes, and then the body will follow" (201).

Much like a New Year's resolution, perseverance is important. The same goes for The Weigh Down Diet, which gets momentarily bogged down with diagrams and the detailing of bodily digestive functions. But the book's message is strong and affirmative: "Turning to God ... [is] the missing key to permanent weight loss" (27). And this resolution is lasting.