Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: Made to Crave

A whole lifetime could be spent making excuses, giving in, feeling guilty, resolving to do better, mentally beating myself up for not sticking to my resolve, feeling like a failure, and then resigning myself to the fact that things can’t change.”

031029326XHave you ever felt that way in your battle against obesity?  Maybe you’re not even obese.  Maybe you’ve just gained and lost that same 20 or 30 pounds more times than you’d care to admit.  If so, I highly recommend Lysa TerKeurst’s latest book, Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, not Food.

In Made to Crave, Lysa, whose name you may recognize from her work with Proverbs 31 Ministries or one of her other 14 books, looks at the spiritual side of food addictions.  In a very conversational style, like chatting with a girlfriend over coffee – or, you know, a low-fat latte – Lysa, who has struggled with her own weight most of her adult life, challenges readers to take a serious look at whether their struggles with weight – like any other addiction – may be a result of spiritual malnutrition.  Lysa points out that God created us to have a desire for fellowship with Him and, when we’re not fulfilling that desire, we often seek to fill the resulting void with other things – in many cases, food.

I’ve got to be honest, although I was highlighting away with my little yellow highlighter, marking great nuggets of wisdom, there was a part of me that kept thinking, “Isn’t she going a little overboard?”  Several times I thought to myself that I was going to have to warn readers, in my review, that there was the potential for certain types of people, like myself – those who tend to be rule-followers – to become very legalistic with their eating if they took to heart everything they read in this book.

It wasn’t until Chapter 15 that I had my “ah-ha” moment and realized that Lysa was describing the early phase of my weight-loss journey.  She was describing the time when I had to be strict with myself because I wasn’t at the place when I could indulge now and then without completely losing control.  It was also immediately before Chapter 16 in which she directly addresses the whole “legalistic eating” thing.  I’m thinking that maybe I should have read that chapter first.  But, then again, I may not have had my own “ah-ha” moment if I’d read it sooner.

I really, really enjoyed this book.  Seriously, it contains so much wisdom.  One quote has become a personal mantra to remind myself that every choice counts:

Compromise built upon compromise equals failure.”

How many times have we told ourselves, “I’ll just eat this one brownie” or “It’s [fill in the blank with a special occasion] so I deserve this [fill in the blank with some ridiculously high-calorie treat]”?  Sure, an occasional treat may be okay, but when we excuse away and excuse away on a regular basis, pretty soon we’re back in that cycle of “excuse, give in, feel guilt, give up, rinse, lather, and repeat.”

I love that Made to Crave isn’t just Lysa’s own thoughts. She backs her convictions up with Scripture, one of my favorites being:

Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Made to Crave is not a diet or weight-loss plan; it’s not a how-to book for weight-loss.  Rather it’s a guide to help you look at the deeper roots of your struggles with weight and food.  As I was reading at first, I was thinking that I didn’t really idolize food like Lysa was talking about…then I remembered back when my husband and I would get together with another couple for dinner and cards.  The wife and I would make sure that we discussed, in great detail, what we’d be eating the next time we got together.  We would seriously be giddy with excitement over the thoughts of what we’d be eating.  Brian and the husband might put in their opinions, but the wife, who also struggled with her weight, and I would be crazy excited about what we’d be eating the next time.

Um, yeah, I never struggled with idolizing food.

Made to Crave is 218 pages of wit, wisdom, humor, and spiritual insight.  Each chapter ends with a “personal reflections” section, which encourages you to delve into your own responses to what you’ve just read.  Because I a firm believer that you’ll never conquer your weight issues until you discover the “why’s” behind them, I felt that these introspective questions coupled with Lysa’s ability to turn everything back to a reflection on the reader’s spiritual walk combined to make a powerfully effective weight-loss tool.  Of course, because of the encouragement to satisfy your cravings with God, it’s really much more than that.

You’ll find chapters that cover topics to which anyone who has ever struggled with losing weight can relate, such as:

  • Made for More
  • I’m Not Defined by the Numbers
  • But Exercise Makes Me Want to Cry
  • This Isn’t Fair!
  • Emotional Emptiness
  • The Very Next Choice We Make

One intriguing bit of personal insight that Lysa discovered was that she came to look at  her weight struggles as a  blessing, rather than a curse because they’ve drawn her closer to God.

You can order Made to Crave from Amazon for only $8.99.  You can learn more at www.madetocrave.org, including how to join the free live webcasts featuring Lysa and special guests each Monday night for the next seven weeks.  You’ll also find DVD materials and participant guides for using Made to Crave as a small group study.

You can also read the press release for Made to Crave, follow the blog tour and see what other reviewers thought, or find out how to register to win a free Kindle and join in Lysa’s Facebook party on February 8, by visiting LitFuse Publicity.

If you’ve already read Made to Crave, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it and how it’s impacted your weight-loss journey.  If you haven’t read it, be sure to stop by and let me know what you think after you do.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.  Your experience may vary.

5 comments:

  1. I can't wait to get this book! Thanks for the review!!

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  2. Sounds like a great book! I'm going to have to get a copy!

    Great review, and as always, love your honesty!

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  3. I'm reading this book right now. I just finished up "the Curse of the Skinny Jeans" chapter. Incidentally, I've also recently completed The Lord's Table online Bible Study and this was an excellent follow up to that. I've lost 52 pounds since October and while I've got a long way to go, I have hope that in Christ, I can do it!

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  4. Didn't twig about who the author was but the Bible study I'm about to start with my sister has us studying another of her books. Can't wait to start!
    G

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  5. I had the same thought about overdoing it! At one point I was rooting, "Eat the cake. JUST EAT THE CAKE." And then I caught the part about that cake coming at the beginning of Lysa's weight loss adventure. Whoops. Carry on...

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