FAQs for The Lord's Table
What makes this program different from other Christian weight-loss programs?
The Lord's Table is not behavior modification with prayer assistance. It is not a 60-day diet plan, pills that guarantee weight loss, programs that focus on food, or methods that require us to count calories, fat grams, carbohydrates or sugar. We are about setting forth Christ as our soul's satisfaction, about calling ourselves to repentance from habits of overeating, and about maintaining accountability. This results in our developing habits of eating in a disciplined manner which produces weight loss and long term lifestyle changes.
One course member wrote, "I have been reminded that I can't just cut back on food but must actively find my satisfaction in Christ. The difference between The Lord's Table and other 'Christian' diet programs I've tried is that even if they say they focus on trusting Christ for strength, they don't teach learning to drink from Christ. They don't get to the root problem, which is finding our satisfaction in something outside of Christ."
What are the main points of this program?
--Repenting of the sin of overeating
--Learning to feast on Christ through reading His Word with an open heart
--An online, interactive Bible study and teaching course
--An eating calendar We have two optional eating plans (located above, under Optional Eating Plans) to help us discipline ourselves so we don't indulge our flesh
--Exercise: 30 minutes, 5-6 times a week
--Daily Accountability, according to Hebrews 3:13
How does the optional plan 1 eating calendar work?
Each week consists of:
--two half days (three meals with the portions divided in half)
--two liquid days (one regular solid meal and liquids throughout the rest of the day)
--two normal days (without overeating)
--and one fast day, where we only drink water for 24 hours. (This may be from dinner the evening before to a light meal the evening of the fast)
Do I have to stick to the order of the optional plan 1 eating calendar?
You may put the days in an order that works for you; just don't put two of the same types of days back-to-back. For example, don't put two normal days together, or two liquid days together.
What may I drink on the optional plan 1 liquid days?
Some people call them "juice days." We suggest V-8 juice, for one, because it's nutritionally dense (not to mention tasty: you get to drink your vegetables!). You may also enjoy fruit juices, milk, broth, soups. . .but not sodas, milkshakes or alcohol. We also recommend that you not drink protein shakes or drinks.
One person fell by gorging herself for the evening meal after a "juice day." When asked how much juice she drank during the day, she indicated she had failed to drink hardly any. On juice days, we do ourselves a disservice to not drink, because this deprives our bodies, and this is not our goal. Only on fast days do we deprive ourselves of physical food that we might seek the Lord and worship Him. On juice days, drink up! Lots! Especially if you happen to like V8 juice, which is very good for the body. Any other juices, milk, soup, water, broth, etc., are acceptable, too, so partake of them all if you wish. Don't allow yourself to become so starved that the one meal becomes an "all you can eat" buffet.
Are you serious about fasting? How do I survive a day without eating?
The first fast day is usually quite frightening to course members, and for good reason. We've been told by the world that we need food and that we'll get weak, tired, malnourished, and faint if we don't eat three to six times a day. Time and experience has shown this belief to be untrue, for there are many accounts of fasting in the Bible, and Christ DOES give us strength to get through the day.
Fasting may be a time of intense spiritual growth. Jesus said, when speaking of certain types of demons, "This kind comes out only by prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29). Though we do not consider overeating to be demonic in nature, yet we embrace the truth that some sins are so stubborn that spiritual growth may best come through earnest seeking of the Lord in prayer and fasting.
Course member Shon wrote, "I look forward to fast days more than any other, because it reminds me of my fleshly weaknesses and how I must seek the Lord for strength. This seeking of the Lord, and enjoying the strength that He provides, makes for a truly enjoyable time of spiritual growth. Believe it or not, I have found fast days to be the times when I have the MOST energy and the LEAST temptation to indulge in eating! The Lord takes the desire away, and leaves me with a sense of peace that is difficult to describe. My next fast day is tomorrow, and I am so eager to get to it!"
Many of The Lord's Table course members look forward to their "fast days" more than any other, because of the spiritual growth that comes from denying the cravings of the flesh in order to earnestly seek the Lord.
How do you define overeating? How do I stop?
Overeating is easy to define but hard to stop. Overeating is defined as eating more than the body requires for sustenance. In order to stop we must first meet the need that is pushing us to turn to food. Some people overeat because they need comfort, or they overeat as a stress reliever, or because of loneliness or boredom. Food is not designed to meet any of these needs of the soul, it is designed to sustain the body. So the first step is to learn how to feed on Christ, as our "Bread of Life" thereby removing the need to turn to food to meet emotional needs.
Secondly, disciplined eating without overeating is not about the "what," but the "how much." Our goal is deliberate, conscious eating with thanksgiving. We do not deny ourselves any food, but receive it all with thanksgiving. However, we eat all these kinds of food in moderation, according to our plan and with purpose and intention. One way to describe eating without overeating is that we eat only when we're physically hungry and stop when we're full (not stuffed!). And finally, the Christian life is meant to be lived with daily accountability (Hebrews 3:13). If we want to overcome overeating there must be high accountability, especially in the beginning stages. These are the foundational truths that make up The Lord's Table program.
I hate to exercise. Do I have to?
The Lord's Table course is not about a diet or a temporary method to weight loss, but about developing a lifestyle that honors the Lord. It is honoring to the Lord to develop good eating habits and to exercise our bodies. This is why we recommend and encourage exercise. In the beginning, especially if you are well overweight, thinking about exercise can be a scary thing. Our advice is to start very slow, just with walking if need be, until the weight begins to come off and the exercising begins to get a little easier. Then we can progress to different exercises that continue to produce sweat.
Many of us are in bondage not only to the sin of gluttony, but also to the sin of laziness, which is often at the root of our attitude toward exercise. This course helps us to attack both attitudinal sins.
What kind of exercise should I do?
God told Adam that he would work the garden "by the sweat of his brow." Our bodies are designed to exert energy and sweat. Today, in this age of computers and telecommuting, we are not exercising as we should so as to work up a sweat. We do not recommend any specific exercise but rather suggest doing something, anything, that causes your body to exert energy and produce a sweat, which normally takes around a half an hour. This should be done daily, five to six days a week.
I am scared to start yet another program, having failed in so many of them. Will I make it?
Jesus says, "If you hold to My Word you are My disciples indeed. And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" (John 8:30-32). Many people fail in different programs simply because they are not grasping biblical truth. The diet is focusing them on food, rather than on Christ. The Lord's Table is designed to help infuse the truth of God's Word into our hearts, help us be accountable to it, and by knowing and implementing this truth we become free. Freedom from overeating is available to anyone, regardless of how many diets, plans or programs you've tried, if you are willing to receive and act on the truth of God's Word. The main mission of the Messiah is to set captives free (Isaiah 61:1-2). Will you be one of them?
What does "feasting at the Lord's Table" mean?
"Feasting at the Lord's table" is a bit difficult to wrap words around, but let's try! Feasting at the Lord's Table is more than just reading our Bibles, it is a term to express the fattening of our souls in Jesus Christ. It means that we are sitting at the feet of Jesus, hearing His Word and believing, for the purpose of implementing the truths into our lives. It means we are receiving spiritual nourishment and that we are delighting our souls in His grace and truth. This can be done reading our Bibles, hearing God's Word preached, interacting with others, studying through this course...etc. This definition is at least a start, more is explained in the course.
I can't fast a whole day due to health reasons (such as borderline diabetes or hypoglycemia). How should I handle the fast day?
We would recommend that you not fast the entire day. You could begin by fasting one meal and only drinking liquids during that meal, and then as time progresses and things change you could work your way into fasting two meals while closely monitoring your physical condition. And then you could, over time, move to a full day as long as your health doesn't deteriorate. Keep a close eye on it and make changes as needed. The objective is to give something up, and then seek the Lord during that time with the energy that you would have spent on the other.