The Food Ain’t the Problem [Book Review]

food-aintWhen I turned thirty I began gaining 5+ pounds a year. While I didn’t document it, I have no doubt that when I turned forty I was 50lbs. heavier than at thirty. Thankfully, having just turned fifty recently, I didn’t gain another 50lbs. but I still gained more. I’ve done Weigh Down Workshop when I didn’t have much bible literacy and couldn’t see the numerous verses taken out of context by Gwen Shamblin, the founder. I did lose weight, but I also became obsessed, eating very little. Even misleading my husband, telling him I had ate at work but not that my meal consisted of a piece of banana cake. The obsession ended and the weight returned plus more. Next it would be First Place. Lost some weight, but not much. I had a hard time keeping track of the food diary and eating so much of this or that. Nor am I going to try to figure out if a meal is a S or an E. I don’t think God intends for us to do that with food. Because in the end as Carole Holliday entitled her book “The Food Ain’t the Problem.”

Carole shares her weight loss journey though it is much more a journey of her being obedient to the Lord and His word. Now, don’t run off dear reader. I know you may have wanted smoothie recipes, a food plan and exercise regimen.  I’m sorry you won’t find those in Carole’s book. What you will find is discussion of the words: greed, coveting and gluttony. Carole shares scripture as to how God feels about these words. Let’s look at some quick definitions:

Greed-desire to have more, covetous.

Coveting-having an excessive desire or longing.

Gluttony-the act or habit of eating or drinking too much.

Gulp. How many times am I guilty of these? Right now I want to get back into my Chewy Spree packet and finish it off even though I’ve already had plenty.

Carole began her journey in obedience with these three guidelines:

  1. Not to DIET, but eat normally.
  2. Be patient for Him (God) to take the weight off in His time.
  3. She would lose weight eating anything; there were no bad foods.


Because the food ain’t the problem.

Greed + Gluttony + Coveting=Sin that promotes long-term weight gain.

Can anyone else relate? I sure can!

Carole exhorts us to look at our motives for weight loss:

“Overcoming gluttony alone, or whatever sin you struggle with, isn’t the issue. The issue is your surrender to God. Don’t make the goal the weight lost, but make the goal of your life to serve God with your obedience.

I see book upon book, row upon row, of every weight loss scheme there is. The bottom line is I must move more than I take in. I must eat to the glory of God. While no food must be off-limits, my food choices should consistently be those that are best for my body. Carole writes:

“Blaming any food for our long-term weight gain is disrespectful to the God who created it. When we demonize many foods, it’s as if we raised our clenched fist to our loving Father and said, “God it’s your fault I’m overweight, that I have diabetes, bad knees and a bad back! You made this food far, far too good!”

As Carole became obedient in her repentance (which she stresses) and eating, she increased from her first plan and added a few more things:

  1. Eat less food.
  2. Eat a variety of food.
  3. Use a smaller spoon.
  4. Eat three meals and three snacks.
  5. Drink water.
  6. Take time to see and appreciate food.
  7. Intentionally exercise.

Carole began to listen to her body. She began to remove foods that made her feel bloated or tired. That’s what I have to do. Pasta and garlic bread is enjoyable going down but it has a negative effect on my body. While I am not a gluten-free person, I like to choose gluten free pasta. It doesn’t have the same effect on my stomach as the other.

Carole writes in a conversational style that is like having a discussion with her over a cup of coffee. Most importantly of all, her book begins with the gospel and ends with the gospel. This book is not a quick fix diet program. It is about life change that is centered on the gospel.

I have challenged myself to first of all come before God with a repentant heart for the way I have used and abused food then secondly to follow with eating for His glory so that I can serve Him more effectively. For me this means:

-Eat less

-Choose foods for health and energy

-Drink water


I will share this start to my own journey the first week of May.

My blogging friend at Fancied Freedom wrote about her three months on following the biblical principles laid out in Carole’s book.

You can visit Carole’s encouraging blog here. She also has a Facebook page.

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