a lack of faith makes you fat

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What if your doctor told you that your unrelenting belly fat has to do with a lack of faith? 

This once happened to me at my routine checkup. 

I started the conversation with a question to my doctor: “Why, in light of eating small and relatively healthy portions, do I still seem to struggle with belly fat?”

He responded, “Do you work or live in a stressful environment?” Yep, without a doubt. “That explains it,” He said. “Those who live in a constant state of stress set themselves up for belly fat and everything that comes with it—diabetes, heart disease, etc…”

My doctor went on to explain how the adrenal glands function. Adrenal glands are triangle-shaped glands located on top of the kidneys. The outer part of the gland is called the cortex and produces steroid hormones such as cortisol and testosterone. The inner part of the gland is bright orange and is called the medulla. The medulla is responsible for producing adrenaline.

Excessive belly fat has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other life-threatening conditions. Studies show those with excessive belly fat are twice as likely to die prematurely as people without. There is certainly more than one reason for belly fat, but 63% of Americans over the age of 28 are obese and experiencing mass moral outrage over fat!

the cortisol effect

When the body experiences extended amounts of stress, the adrenal glands become taxed and begin to overproduce cortisol.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that impacts bodies exposed to high levels of stress. The impact of cortisol includes increased appetite, enhanced cravings for sugar, and stored fat for future energy needs. Here’s the problem: Guess which area of our body has four times the amount of cortisol receptors than anywhere else? 

Bing bing bing! The abdomen.

My doctor knows what I do for a living, which made his answer to my question, “What can I do about it?” all the more humbling…

“Have faith.”

That’s it? I waited for the rest of his answer but there was nothing more.

Suddenly I realized I was having a Daniel Larusso, Mr. Miyagi moment. My doctor said it one more time:

“Faith.”

I heard a voice inside hastily respond: “He doesn’t know what you’ve had to deal with! You’re facing things others don’t have to face.” As quick as I heard this, I heard another voice—the soft voice of the Spirit:

“The faith that leads you, has grace to keep you.”

Nothing more needed to be said. I instantly understood: Excessive stress is a manifestation of excessive ownership. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. God’s Word promises that faith and obedience will never lead us where grace cannot keep us. I’m sure this brought great comfort to Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Jesus, Peter, and Paul.

remember 3 things

Next time you’re feeling stressed, causing the cortisol to pump through your body, remember three things:

1.) God wants to develop you, not destroy you.

2.) Excessive stress is what happens when faith in our own ability fails.

3.) You can praise God’s power into your situation. Praise is trusting and declaring God’s will before it happens. Paul not only preached about the power of the tongue, he practiced it. Beaten and chained, he refused to be overwhelmed and instead praised his way right out of his own personal prison. You can, too!

What are you going through? Is it increasing your faith or your fat?