I’m on the prayer diet.

March 28th, 2011

This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Slim·Fast.

prayer diet

I’m going to be 40 in a few years and I can tell. I see the tiny lines in my face. I notice my terrible posture sneaking up on me more and more when I catch myself unawares in mirrors. My hair is thicker and wiry and the sneaky grays are poking out with a vengeance. It takes me longer to make myself look presentable in the morning. Gone are those carefree days when bedhead looked cute on me. Time is marching on and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Except one little thing—one big thing, really: I can stop gaining weight. Did you know Americans gain an average of two pounds every year? I’m a complete statistic. I’m exactly 20 pounds heavier than I was ten years ago. (I probably should be thankful, since it could be a lot more, but still.) It’s just life. I had a kid, I stopped exercising regularly, I kept eating the same as ever and here I am: slightly fat. Not terribly, but enough to not feel healthy and hate getting dressed in the morning because nothing ever looks right.

So I’ve come up with a diet plan for my new life as a forty-year-old. I have until my 40th birthday to get the details worked out. But this is my idea: I’m on the prayer diet.

I know, I know, you’re going to think I’m some kind of bible-thumping born-againer who thinks prayer can answer everything. Well, I sorta do because I’ve had some pretty big prayers answered in my life but that’s beside the point. I’m not thumping any bibles. I don’t even have any references handy. My idea probably isn’t even scriptural. I’ve just come to the conclusion that my addiction to food is not under my control. And it’s probably not going to be based on my past track record. So I’m going to put it under God’s control.

Before I eat, I pray. I pray this: Please God, can you make it so I’m not so hungry that I gorge myself on food that my body doesn’t need?

It sounds silly I know. But it’s working. If something happens while I’m eating, like my daughter wants the other half of my delicious bagel that I just smothered in slices of fresh avocado, I give it to her. I tell myself that this is God’s way of telling me I wasn’t supposed to eat that other half anyway. Then I quickly drink a glass of water so that I don’t sit there seething over that other half of bagel I wanted so badly. If I trip and stub my toe on my way to the pantry to eat a cookie, I tell myself that God made me stub my toe. I’m sure this is probably not very Christian to think this way but it’s working for me. Crazier ideas have sold millions of books so I’m sticking to it.

Now, you don’t have to be a Christian to adopt my crazy idea. From time to time I’ve doubted that prayer really works. I’ve even gone so far as to think that prayer is just a way of fooling our brains into thinking in a different patterns. Why does meditation work? Because it’s an exercise that stops your brain from doing it’s usual circles of fretting. Prayer does the same thing. Christians leave their problems with God once they’ve prayed about them. You could say I’m leaving my diet to God. Alcoholics in AA take the first step of admitting they have no power over alcohol; maybe it will work for me too when it comes to food.

So if you’re not a Christian, do whatever it is that you do. Turn around three times and snap your fingers, I don’t care. Just do it before you eat and do it with meaning. I believe that if you really believe in this, it will work. It will change your behavior and possibly change your eating habits. At least it will make you think about what you’re eating and give your willpower a second chance.

You’re probably wondering what Slim-Fast has to do with my “prayer diet.” Not much other than the fact that Slim-Fast contacted me to write something about dieting right after I dreamed up this grand plan. Coincidence, you say? Or divine providence? According to my diet rules, I’m going with the latter. I think God wants me to drink Strawberries N’ Cream Shakes. But then again Slim-Fast didn’t mail me any so maybe I’ll just have half a chicken sandwich.

I write this partly in fun… but I am practicing this in my real life. Maybe not the stubbed-toe part but praying about things that I cannot seem to control.

Feel free to chime in on my crazy idea or even rebuke me for mixing church and plate! (Okay, bad pun.) But if you do, you might win a Slim-Fast gift pack! Everybody likes to win free stuff, right? All you have to do is comment below. If you really really want to win you might want to check out Blogher’s Promotions & Prizes section for more chances to win!


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98 Responses to “I’m on the prayer diet.”

  1. Yara Says:

    I wonder how many weight watchers points a slim fast shake is? I’ve managed to lose 10.2 pounds the 5 weeks, but I have a lot more to lose : /

  2. Karianna Says:

    I enjoyed Candace Cameron Bure’s book about how God helped her on her weight-loss journey, so I’m definitely not knocking your “prayer diet” – I love it!

  3. Tabathia B Says:

    I have started walking and drinking water to help lose weight
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  4. Tabathia B Says:

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  5. beyond Says:

    i notice that when i drink a lot of water or unsweetened herbal tea i eat much less. i guess that’s a diet philosophy…

  6. Amanda Starr Says:

    Hey I say whatever works for you and makes you feel good!

  7. anne Says:

    Your post was extremely well written, beautifully inspiring and lovely. I know that you will be successful and achieve the results. Thanks for this interesting post. I try to be careful and eat a healthy diet and live a healthy lifestyle.

  8. Jenny Says:

    Your post is so timely for me…just this week I gave my eating problems to God. I’m so tired of repeating the same patterns and making the same bad choices, and I definitely can’t change on my own. So I think your strategy makes perfect sense. In fact, I’ve been there with the daughter-wanting-half-your-bagel thing – mine took my bread last night at dinner, and I let her have it.

    I have a lot more than 20 pounds to lose, but here’s to mindful eating and a prayerful life!

  9. Keri J Says:

    Sounds like a good plan to me!
    It is helping you to think about what you are eating before you eat it! And God can do anything!
    Exercising 4 times a week has really helped me!

  10. Jaynette Says:

    All I know is that I need to lose 40 pounds…and I’m beyond 40!

    I live with a houseful of ultra skinny people. I’ve been leaving out the starchy side dish and adding an extra vegetable.

    I’m adding a big jug of water this week and walking as soon as the monsoon season is over.

  11. Lauren Elizabeth Says:

    I love this plan! I think I will join in! Startinggg…Tomorrow : )

  12. Denise N Says:

    I think your “prayer diet” is a great idea – paired with healthier eating and increased exercise!
    Good luck!

  13. Donna G Says:

    I believe God uses many different ways to communicate with us – as a pastor’s wife I’d better belive He does! And I don’t have any problems with your prayer. Not that my opinion matters…

    At 50 losing the effects of that many years of poor choices becomes that much more challenging – I’m in it with you! And I have ALMOSt gotten to the point where a small orange sounds like a better choice than a spoon full of Nutella. I’m happy to say that my jar is still in the pantry, unopened, since January. Although I will not go so far as to dispose of it.

  14. Auntie Keren Says:

    Oh! I think it’s fantastic Dependence is what the Lord expects! Anytime we sincerely ask for help from God is not a mistake. Prayer is a wonderful resource that we use too little. Meditation can help us get to the root of the indulgence… often there’s a ‘self-medicating’ factor (at least in my case) or social pressure (like office parties) or poor habits (read; laziness, since we already have all the nutrtional info we’ll ever need). Food Journals are great, too.

  15. Jen Says:

    That is a great prayer! I’m a Christian and could sure use all the help I can get!

  16. mike snider Says:

    Hey praying before a meal is a great idea,i had got away from the practice for many years but this ecomey has got me back to praying over my food,im doing the slimfast replacement meal thing.over the years i had slowly put the ponds on an thats how i am taking it of.Every morning i start with my coffee flavored slimfast an so far have shed ten pounds,im decaffnating an losing weight every week another pound an my neverves have calm down.plus all the great vitimans i am now getting its working for me.

  17. shala_darkstone Says:

    I think you’re on to something there. Prayer can definitely help, and can’t hurt!

  18. Jeannett Says:

    I am a 41 year old working mother of three who gets up every weekday morning at 5 a.m. and runs seven miles. I also do strength traing with weights and watch what I eat. I’m more fit now than I was in my twenties and I still feel like I’m in my twenties not to mention everyone says I still look like I’m in my twenties.

  19. Jessie C. Says:

    this would be great to help me stay fit

  20. Jessie C. Says:


  21. shelly aka allysmama Says:

    Nothing wrong with praying for help…with anything! I’m trying to lose some weight and get healthier myself!

  22. shelly aka allysmama Says:


  23. Josey Says:

    Yara – 5 points on the new plan.

  24. natalie Says:

    I think this is a great idea. My diet plan was to really think about it and remember why I was doing it (I am in my late 20s and in Jan I picked up my 2 year old to carry her upstairs…and had to SIT DOWN on the bed after I put her down because I was out of breath!)

    so it was a similar thing. I lost 15 pounds (on my frame that was barely a dent) but then I lost focus after going on vacation and now I am being mindless about my habits and health again. Maybe I will use this as the moment the universe is telling me “HEY..YOU…Yeah you…get back on that, you need to be healthy”

  25. Lisa Says:

    I think your prayer diet idea makes sense. The Weigh Down book was extremely popular and it was basically this same idea. I hope you are able to accomplish your weight loss goals.

  26. April G. Says:

    I like this idea! It’s another way of saying being mindful of what you’re eating, and to slow down a bit. Do you need the cookie, or do you just want it? Sometimes you really need a cookie, but most of the time your probably don’t!

  27. Kelly Massman Says:

    My husband and I are on a weight loss journey! We have joined the gym and our goal is to workout every other day! The hardest part is eating better and/or substituting meals with something like Slimfast!


    P.S. Prayer can’t hurt!

  28. Maria Says:

    I think it’s a good idea, whatever works for you.
    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

  29. Cassandra Says:

    Praying works, Keep up the good work and also to follow the diets and excercise 2 times daily and wraps are cool too.

  30. Angela A Says:

    I actually need to get on the ball. I need to start exercising and cutting down the amt of food I eat.

  31. Tina M Says:

    I’ve never used Slim Fast before, I would like to try

  32. Kirsten Says:

    I love this idea. It fits with my goal to be more mindful of everything I do, rather than operating on auto-pilot all day long. Sometimes that’s all I need to do: just stop and meditate a bit before I shove something else in my mouth. Amazing how many times that stops me–I figure out I’m not actually hungry, just worried/bored/sad. Let us know how it goes.

  33. Tari L. Says:

    The power of prayer is great and I do believe it can help people lose weight.

  34. Margaret Smith Says:

    I love your “prayer diet”. Just putting the thought in your mind before you eat, about eating less is helpful…and the extra reassurance from the Lord is too.
    Thanks so much for this giveaway.

  35. Heather S Says:

    I think praying is good for all of us. People need to focus less on themselves and more on being positive and giving. Praying for others is one way to start. I think that positive energy you create by praying can help you in many aspects of your life including weight loss.

  36. valerie mabrey Says:

    I wlak more and started playing tennis

  37. TexasLea Says:

    I think this is brilliant! I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. I’ve had to many answered both in ways I expected and ways I didn’t. I’m taking on your new plan as of right this moment. I always say thanks for the food but I never asked to be released from the sin of gluttony. I will now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  38. mickeyfan Says:

    I say whatever works for YOU is great.

  39. Miss Virginia Says:

    Divine Intervention! Love it! I totally believe that kind of thing. I love the idea of fate and everything happens for a reason. I always tell myself, you dropped that cookie b/c you were never supposed to have it in the first place, etc. I’m going to put my prayers out there and see what happens. Great idea!

  40. Stephanie V. Says:

    I’ll pray with you. 41 and tired mom fighting cancer. heaviest I’ve ever been in my life.
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  41. Christine Says:

    drink a lot of water

  42. Nadine L Says:

    I don’t think it’s crazy at all, while it may not be for some, we all have to use what works for us to get through anything in life. Good Luck on your journey

  43. Nadine L Says:

    I tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/eyzofblu63/status/56192100844306432

  44. SANDY Says:

    I don’t want to just prepare for an event I want to prepare for life- portion and food control is the key

  45. Cynthia C Says:

    I hope it works for you. I know that thinking about food before you eat it is a good thing. Mindless eating can really put the pounds on!

  46. Cynthia C Says:


  47. Ninabi Says:

    I’ve known some successful women who were Christian and trying to lose weight and they included it with their diet and exercise plans and they did lose the pounds they wanted to take off.

    Suddenly everybody is doing HCG diets but now I’m reading it’s more the calorie restrictions (and the cost to do the diet) that makes the pounds melt off. I would think Slimfast would be a part of that.

    I’m forever telling people to get their thyroid levels checked- I had a dickens of a time losing any weight despite a strict 900 calories a day- and I was hypothyroid. It’s suddenly weird to eat…gasp…a sandwich…and not gain weight just from eating lunch.

  48. Debra F Says:

    I would never know whatever works for anyone when it comes to weight loss….I’ve been struggling with this all my life and just can’t find the right way for me to win this battle.

  49. Debra F Says:


  50. sherri crawford Says:

    i’m not sure what i think of your plan but i would like to win

  51. Debbie Bellows Says:

    i’d like to win slim fast – i can use all the help i can get!

  52. Debbie Bellows Says:

    i tweeted here:


  53. Lizard Breath Says:

    Going through an unexpected (and very tough) separation, and I haven’t been taking care of myself the way I need to. This weekend I planned my menu and went shopping for good, wholesome, healthy food, and took a nice walk in the humid, Houston air.

    The cooking and walking are both meditative for me, and with some nice music on in the background, I’m able to think, pray, talk, and just “be”.

  54. Lisa Says:

    I think your plan sounds like a great step in overcoming that uncontrollable urge to eat that we all get. I get extremely tempted to sit down and gorge myself from time to time and if I was looking for signs that I should stop too, I might actually be more successful in saving myself some leftovers :)

  55. elizabeth p Says:

    You plan sounds like a good way to get started. We all need to take time for ourselves.

  56. Milissa Says:

    I feel like I have tried every diet out there, and have failed. But maybe this prayer diet might work for me…It’s worth a shot!

  57. Olivia Says:

    Actually all your points are well taken. Especially I like the praying before you eat to stop those urges to overeat. And that by giving yourself till 40 to make this a routine seems you are being fair to yourself and not too hard on yourself either. Good luck on your weight loss journey!

  58. elizabeth atkins Says:

    Sounds like a plan!

  59. catherine copeland Says:

    I believe that prayer can never hurt. So try the Slim Fast and don’t froget that living a life that is prayer centered never hurt anytone

  60. Lolli Says:

    I like milk chocolate – slim fast works when you need to loose a few

  61. Denise S Says:

    I believe prayer works also. I want to lose about 30 pounds and get in better shape.
    lazybones344 at gmail dot com

  62. Kerry Says:

    I love your strategy – anything can happen in God’s hands!

  63. Kerry Says:

    tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/KerryBishop/status/59416323725332480

  64. Cori Westphal Says:

    I think just about anything is worth trying! They say a habit is formed in 21 days. Keep it up and it could pay off! And all you need is to believe that it’ll work!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  65. Cori Westphal Says:

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/coriwestphal/statuses/59834221635706880

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  66. Erica C. Says:

    I’d love to see how Slim-Fast can help me curb cravings!

  67. ashley Says:

    i actually may try your idea.. it can’t hurt

  68. Theresa C Says:

    I have recently underwent surgery so my weight loss has been put on hold, I was eating better and we hubby and I were exercising daily.

  69. Donna B. Says:

    The Prayer Diet, huh? Maybe I should try that! I’ve tried just about every other one.

    I’m not trying to slim down for a specific event, but rather I’m trying to improve my overall health and wellness. Although, since swimsuit season is rapidly approaching, it would be nice to be rockin’ a slimmer body at the beach :)

    I’m doing it the old-fashioned way, watching my calories, portion control and moderate exercise. I’m more focused on long-term weight loss than short-term at the moment. I want to lose 100# by the end of the year. I’m already down 45, so I need to kick it into high gear! :)

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway! :)

  70. Ashley S. Says:

    Good luck! Losing weight is HARD! I am trying to get ready for bathing suit season and its not easy OR fun. This giveaway would surely help!

  71. Ashley S. Says:

    I tweeted it http://twitter.com/smash906/status/60349431060512768

  72. nanjhall Says:

    Good luck with the prayer diet…..I say do what ever works for you:) Now that spring is here, I find it easier to get more exercise and feel better for doing it.

  73. Suzanne K Says:

    I’m trying to fill my need to snack and have chewy, crunchy stuff with healthier stuff, like carrot and jicama sticks (can’t stand celery sticks). It works, if I chew on all this low cal, hi fiber stuff thru out the day, I really don’t eat as much dinner (and junky snacks) as I normally do. Phew.

  74. Valeen N Says:

    I’m a big believer in the power of prayer! Thanks for your great blog post and good luck on our weight loss journey!

  75. rebecca Says:

    I think your prayer diet, is a good idea. We should take everything to him in prayer. It will be the start to a beautiful life of prayer.

  76. Becky Horn Says:

    Hey I say there is nothing wrong with having the faith, and blending in some slim fast for a little help.

  77. Becky Horn Says:

    I tweeted

  78. AEKZ2 Says:

    40 is fabulous! I turned 40 this year and I’m loving it.


  79. Jessica Says:

    Thank you for the beautiful inspiring post, I would love to try Slim-Fast to help shed a few pounds for my friend’s upcoming wedding!

  80. taylorbagels Says:

    I’m overweight obese and need something like this and i havent tried this particular method yet

  81. mistysunrise Says:

    I try drinking lots of water. I always feel full that way

    itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

  82. mistysunrise Says:



    itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

  83. christal C Says:

    I think everyone needs faith in something. I have not tried this but whose to say it would not work for someone.

  84. Chrysa Says:

    If it works for you, then I’m all for it!

  85. Margie Says:

    I always take vitamins, eat healthy, and exercise everyday to keep fit. I store my email over in my Blogger profile. Thanks for the contest!

  86. Joanne Schultz Says:

    SlimFast is a great way to have meals on the run rather than patronize fast food restaurants with their high fat/high carb selections!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  87. Joanne Schultz Says:

    tweet: http://twitter.com/js22222222/status/60752533714513921

  88. Shelley Mitchell Says:

    I just turned 40. I have again started working out and eating better. I feel much better these days. My husband does slimfast and swears by it! He would absolutely love it if I won this for him!

    msjem2001 at yahoo dot com

  89. susan smoaks Says:

    prayer is powerful! keep up the good work. i am working on losing weight too. i have to start praying about it too. i know i can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

  90. Betty C Says:

    I’m still in the planning stages for my diet. I’ve been “planning” for a couple of years. Maybe it’s time to get beyond the planning and start doing.
    Your prayer diet sounds good to me.

  91. Betty C Says:

    Tweet – http://twitter.com/willitara/status/60785653906018304

  92. Happi Shopr Says:

    I like your idea. Prayer is a very powerful tool. I like to say the Rosary while walking the trails on our acreage. I get so caught up in the prayer that I don’t get as tired or in a hurry to get back in the house.

  93. Lee Howell Says:

    I say whatever works for you–do it!

  94. Eugenie Says:

    don’t underestimate the power of prayer.

  95. Leslie S. Says:

    I feel like if it works don’t knock it.They say prayer works for many things so why not weight loss.Thanks!

  96. Kat K. Says:

    I am trying to lose 30lbs by walking and eating healthier. I have added an extra fruit and veggie to each of my meals. It has been working for me…
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  97. Kat K. Says:


  98. Sand Says:

    There actually is a program where you pray the pounds away or something like that. I remember hearing about it on a talk show once.