My Faith: Praying away the cookies
Indulging in cookies can be tempting during the holidays. The author suggests prayer can give you strength to stop overeating.
December 23rd, 2011
11:30 AM ET

My Faith: Praying away the cookies

Editor's note: Keith Wommack is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher. He also is a media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in Texas. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then).

By Keith Wommack, Special to CNN

(CNN) - With Christmas cookies, fruitcake and eggnog tempting us at every corner, it is hard not to gain weight during the holiday season. Yet it is not just holiday foods that are enticing.

Oversized and disproportionate - that about sums it up when the average American is 20 pounds overweight. The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently said, "Obesity, and with it diabetes, are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country, and they are getting worse rapidly."

Personally, I have been fortunate never to have had much of a problem with my weight. I was an active, slender, Texas kid. Our family didn’t have a television until Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, so my brothers and I spent countless hours playing outside. I always ran like a jack rabbit, especially after jumping the fence at our neighborhood riding stable. One of the wilder horses would chase after me until I’d finally leap back over the fence.

But even Texas eventually got fast food, cable TV and the Internet, and I began to watch my friends put on weight, naïvely unaware of the staggering costs to come because of these added pounds. Now I recognize that the biggest loser in an overweight society is society as a whole. The troubles of one eventually hit everyone in the wallet.

The rising financial cost of obesity has quickly moved from a trot to a gallop. Today it carries a price tag of $147 billion per year in direct medical costs. Experts conclude that it's more than 9% of all medical spending. Just as we would pull in the reins on a runaway horse, we must rein in the costs of obesity by exercising dominion and control over its causes.

The dieter rarely succeeds when relying solely on willpower to employ dominion. Sadly, statistics and lives bear this out. Thankfully, other methods are available. And many find it is spirituality that supplies the needed dominion over rum balls and plum pudding. It stops them from overdoing. It reins in activity that hurts or harms.

My out-of-the-box solution has been prayer. I’ve found the strength to beat temptation comes from something outside of me. It comes from God. Yet God not only gives me strength, he supplies me with the ability to use it for my own good.

Several types of prayer help: petitions - asking God for the wisdom to know when enough is enough; affirmations - declaring our God-given authority to stop eating; gratitude - thanking God for creating us to be his spiritual expressions. These prayers lead to the natural eating of only what we are hungry for, instead of eating to fill emotional holes.

A method of healing that utilizes these prayers is Christian Science. This practical spiritual science teaches that the more emphasis we give our spiritual natures, the more our emotions and bodies become subordinate to our spiritual sense of things. Moderation becomes natural. We live to express God’s health and order. We like who God has made us to be.

With about half of the adult population in American (49%) now praying about their health, it seems only right to focus our prayerful attention on obesity.

Now that I’m 50ish, there are times when my jeans fit tighter. Decorated gingerbread men and homemade fudge still tempt. But the dominion I gain from prayer has been more effective for me than willpower. Yes, obesity problems in this country are getting worse rapidly. Therefore, perhaps, it is time to try something different.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Keith Wommack.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christian Science • Christmas

soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    It really is odd that most of the people who post about their faith sound like complete sourpusses. I mean, really, look at George, Chad, and HeavenSent. Based on their posts, do they appear to be "filled with joy"?

    December 23, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Hey Tom Tom, Happy Holidays! I have been on vacation all week so having a good time.

      December 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Now you're uncovering the truth. You atheists don't bring joy to this world. Tired of reading the same ole same ole egotistical baloney of the atheists.


      December 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I'm sitting here, watching the Flyers/Rangers game, enjoying a couple tasty adult beverages while my wife is in the kitchen making Christmas cookies.

      I'm enjoying myself. 🙂

      December 23, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      HS, you read that wrong. Your comment proved Tom's point: That christians like you bring no joy to the world.


      December 23, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There you go. HS, sounding as sour as two-week old mild left out to spoil.

      Doesn't have a friend in the world who wants to spend any time with it. Who can blame those acquaintances of HS for avoiding it like the plague. Wouldn't you?

      December 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      edit: "milk", not "mild".

      Ha, as if "mild" would describe anyone as acidic as HS.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  2. hahahaha


    December 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  3. sam

    Why hasn't he taught his woman to stop making fattening things? Then he wouldn't have to pray. She should stay in the kitchen and make sandwiches; just not so many.

    December 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      More cushion for the pushin'

      December 23, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  4. Reality

    Obesity is good for the economy. Next topic!!!

    December 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  5. The Central Scrutinizer

    I don't like cookies. Any sweets really. Don't have a sweet tooth. Do I still have to read the article? (or god forbid Kaye Patterson's life story?)

    December 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  6. George

    This article is a joke, right? This is a mockery of God. How about just exercising some self-control? Then you won't have to pray over such trivial things.

    December 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • God

      I will mot be bocked. Pass the egg nog. Burp.

      December 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      George, this article illustrates EXACTLY the usefulness of prayer. Read and learn!

      December 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      at last God i can agree "Kiss the Book" but um should an underage child, like yourself, be drinking,... and after all you forbid the angels from imbibing Alcohol seems a little un fair I hope your letting that prude Mastema get a swig although he probably wouldn’t touch it unless you commanded him such a party po.oper that one and um tell Metatron I said “get lit bi.tch” hahahahahah get it because you lit his skin of fire for getting lit. ahahahahahahahahahahahaha sometimes I just kill myself, marry Christmas to everyone from your truly the morning star

      Death to Yahweh!

      December 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • George


      Put down the alcohol and step away slowly, please.

      December 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  7. hippypoet

    "Christian Science" is that like oxy moron?
    pray doesn't do a damn thing...its all in the head...ever heard of mind over matter?
    here, try researching the placebo effect...just try not to don't hurt those remaining brain cells, you christians only have so many to begin with. And for the fun of it – jesus was a schizophrenic who, due to a lack of education of the common people, created mass delusion. If you place jesus in todays world – this is the outcome, its called truth... but back then, truth was hidden in the smoke screen called ignorance and it was allowed to stay that way by whoever was in power, afterall, smart people question things and who wants that!

    December 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • George

      Talk about ignorance. How about sitting down to study why people believe as they do without simply dismissing it as ignorance. I assure you that people have a reason for their faith, and it's not because their parents told them what to believe.

      December 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      George, I dismiss it as ignorance. I as.sure you that people have faith because their parents told them what to believe.

      December 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      hippypoet, as you continue to mock Jesus' kindness, remember it's due to your mindset of being miserable. Remember, mind over matter and you need a major overhaul.

      Merry Christmas Mr. Grinch.

      December 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually, C Scrutinizer, you atheist love wallowing in your miserable selves.

      You too can have a Merry Christmas ... but it takes that first step of turning that growl into a smile.


      December 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, because HS is so obviously FILLED with the JOY of the HOLY SPIRIT! Can't you tell?

      December 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      I spent my day yesterday with both of my wonderful intelligent children and their friends having a great time a Six Flags. Today, we shopped for Christmas and wrapped gifts and we all went to lunch (my wife and my two kids and I) and chowed down on some outstanding sushi. Tomorrow I am going to have bloody marys with my wife and watch some football and then once we cage the rabbit, put out the gifts for Christmas morning. Then on Christmas day after opening gifts and making wonderful memories, we are off to my Dad's to feast in celebration of the holidays. I am just so miserable. What do you have planned? Hope you have as much fun as I am having. Happy Holidays!

      December 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, you babbled "Yeah, because HS is so obviously FILLED with the JOY of the HOLY SPIRIT! Can't you tell?"

      Answer: Skip.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you "skip" a post by 'answering' it?

      You're a laugh, tw*t.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      HS, why did you not respond to my post? Perhaps you were to busy sharing cat food with your, ahhhhh......family.

      December 23, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  8. kaye patterson

    i want to add my story of a life filled with healing...what an adventure!


    December 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  9. Anatomically Bombed

    "Personally, I have been fortunate never to have had much of a problem with my weight. I was an active, slender, Texas kid"
    And so the fat Christians out there should listen to the guy who's telling them to pray the fat away like he did, except he's never been fat. If this was Richard Simmons telling everyone he lost his 300 lbs from praying then it might make sense to listen, but to follow the thin guy who says "It's easy, just keep praying! The power is outside yourself and you have no power to do this on your own, you need God's help, but of course if you fail and dive into another tub of ice cream, it's not your fault, it's Satan and his wiley machinations!!" If you are overweight and reading this there is only ONE person who can make a difference, and that is YOU!! The only diet that works in the PC diet, it's called PORTION CONTROL. The only weight this guy needs to drop is that load of shlt he's been shoveling.

    December 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Ghee Anatomically, I always thought it had to do with strengthening one's muscles in each arm ... and pushing yourself away from the table.

      Learn something new every day.


      December 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Have you learned what "ghee" is yet, oh, great Biblical scholar?


      December 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  10. lunchbreaker

    Step 1: realize that you are powerless to ontrol your addiction, to cookies.

    December 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  11. Sam Yaza

    thank you humanity


    December 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  12. Brother Maynard

    Keith Wommack sez
    "Several types of prayer help: peti.tions – asking God for the wisdom to know when enough is enough; affirmations – declaring our God-given authority to stop eating; grati.tude – thanking God for creating us to be his spiritual expressions. "
    Hmm - I think you should employ the 'transubstantiation'. Make the cookies burn calories instead of adding them

    December 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Transubstantiation would just turn gingerbread into Soylent Green.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • AHHH

      Gingerbread men are PEOPLE!!!

      December 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  13. Sam Yaza

    It’s not your diet it’s your lack of exercise, I eats at least 20lb of meat a day and about 18 eggs seriously I had to install a walk in frig for all my meat and dairy. It because I’m In the dairy, fish & crab, and beef industry dude I eat a lot right now I got two rice omelets, cheesy potatoes and a big old stake, with a glass a green tea but I’m still fit as a ..(what the phase, it doesn’t matter.) the point is go exercise, because if you can’t do a hand stand push up you’re not healthy, ok maybe that pushing it

    and for those of you thinking of substi.tuting prayer for exercise, good look running to your god for rapture day because my blade will be faster, not that I’ll use a blade I’m an expert marksman

    December 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I am blinded by the iridescent aura of testosterone that shines forth from your post.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Rick

      20 lbs of meat a day? You are lying

      December 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      No that about right 16- 20lb a day,… dude I seriously much out to beef jerky and smoke salmon like all day

      December 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • AHHH

      To burn the equivalent of twenty pounds of meat daily you'd have to exercise for the equivalent of several marathons. So, no.

      December 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  14. Fleeced Navidad

    "But even Texas eventually got fast food, cable TV and the Internet"
    Maybe one of these days, Texas will also join the 21st Century, and get rid of their idiot governor, and stop trying to teach Creationism as fact in their classrooms. But I won hold my breath.

    December 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      Texas has offered their governor to be president, does that count for getting rid of him?

      December 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      True. That does count. He must not actually have much work to do down there. How many days has he spent on the State's business in the last 6 months ? I bet he is still accepting his salary. What a bunch of fraud. Anyone else doing this would be prosecuted.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes, Fleeced, prevent Jesus' wisdom from being taught to the kiddies so more egotistical fools like you can walk among us. Makes sense only to those of you that are miserable in life. Then you search for the reasons why crime is out of control, rudeness is in top position while greed and envy vie for second place. I know all this goes over your head as you care less about the country as a whole and we are being flushed down the toilet.



      December 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, HS, you think schools should teach children that creationism is just as valid as evolution?

      Sure thing, as soon as you morons can provide any real evidence for it that isn't found in a bible.

      December 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      HorseSh_t, (HS),
      Your are so full of yourself. You are so miserable. You are so Christy, n stuff.
      Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, "So, HS, you think schools should teach children that creationism is just as valid as evolution?

      Sure thing, as soon as you morons can provide any real evidence for it that isn't found in a bible."

      Answer: That's just one of your problems Tommie Tom. Not believing in His truth even though you see His miracles every waking second you breath, assuming how we were created is the only Truth He teaches, allowing children from your generation to assume they derived from apes so they refuse to take responsibility for their thoughts, beliefs, actions in life because after all they're only monkeys, or better yet, came from an explosion of the big bang, making them believe that they are pent up or angry all the time because of the rude awakening that brought them into this world. I can go on and on about your babble but I'm off to spend time with loved ones and friends at a Christmas Party.


      December 23, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I got as far as "breath" before I guffawed. I don't "breath", you dimwit. I breathe. I breathe because I have lungs. Not because there's some special being.

      You are one sad little hag, lady. Your posts are evidence of your lack of any joy or energy or interest in anything but throwing flames at those you hate.

      Really. Get laid, already.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HS brags: I'm off to spend time with loved ones at a Christmas Party."

      Any bets on how many minutes will elapse between the moment HS arrives and the moment the rest of the "loved ones" begin making their excuses and leaving?

      Can you imagine HS at party? Talk about Debbie Downer! It'll be telling all those present that they're hell-bound if they so much as crack a joke.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  15. BimotaGrrrl

    Very inspiring article. When you've tried everything else, why *not* try God? The Bible is full of success stories of healing when people finally turn to God to help them and abandon material ways of solving things. Thank you for the article and the inspiration!

    December 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I'm going to go out on a limb now and suggest that they haven't tried everything else.

      Just don't eat the damn cookies!

      December 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Portland tony

      Judging by the girth of my many church going peers, I think God is more interested in your mind.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • UncleM

      The bible is made up. Try exercise.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      UncleM, you posted "The bible is made up. Try exercise."

      Answer: For a book full of wisdom, it really irks you atheists that you could never come close to writing anything that He had penned.

      LOL. You'll always be on the losing miserable team.


      December 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You were always the last one chosen for the volleyball team, weren't you, HS?

      You always appear to be so sour and mean-spirited. If that's what belief does for you, I'll pas.

      December 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • tallulah13


      Try Weight Watchers. That's a REAL method for taking off weight. It takes more work than talking to the air, but it's actually effective if you follow the guidelines.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  16. Rainer Braendlein

    In contrast to Mr. Wommack I think that we first need deliverance by Jesus Christ, before we can pray successfully.

    Jesus died for us on the cross. There he has borne our whole sin (also bulimia). By faith and sacramental baptism we get spiritually connected with Christ's atonement, that means that our old man of sin dies and we resurrect together with Jesus. By faith and baptism we get a new life in Jesus. We become able to overcome our sinfulness, which is connected with our body or flesh or limbs, and we become able to live a life of Christian love.

    First, when we have entered the Kingdom of God by faith in Christ and baptism our prayers become really meaningful. Then of course we can pray that God helps us to control our appeti-te.

    Practical advice: Former people had a so-called larder or pantry, where they stored their food. As far as I know it was not unusual that the larder could be locked and the key was safekept by the wife.

    December 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      To our genius Pope, Ranier,
      What if the wife is the fat slob ?
      You must have a sermon ready for us about that. Please keep it to no more than 100,000 words.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Fleeced Navidad

      If the wife is weak, a further idea would it be to have got no larder at all and to store no food at home. Maybe food should be bought daily only for the current day.

      Did not Jesus say that we merely should care for the current day?

      December 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      on one hand I agree,... on the other i hate Jesus for saying that,...seriously way to avoid posterity Jesus

      December 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  17. Portland tony

    Totally disagree with this article. Dieting has to become a lifestyle. Eating cookies and sweets during the holidays doesn't make you obese or fat or ugly or an atheist. Eating and drinking during the holidays is why we have holidays. To forget yesterday's and maybe tomorrow's burdens, if only for a day, and allows the human spirit to renew.

    December 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  18. Doc Vestibule

    Christian Science! BAH HUMBUG!
    Pretending that bad things don't really exist doesn't make them disappear – it just makes you delusional.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • captain america

      Pretending that a canadian has anything to offer to America BAH BULL SH IT. There's your sign

      December 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • maggiemaye

      But it's not pretending to know that good is the only real...

      December 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    Christian Science is a cult, isn't it?

    December 23, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      They're an odd Christian offshoot.
      They supposedly adhere to the Bible, but don't take it literally.
      They believe that heaven and hell are but states of mind and that evil does not really exist, save for in your own head.
      Bad things like famine, disease, drought, earthquakes etc. don't actually happen – you just think they do.
      The founder of the sect, Mary Baker Eddy, set herself up as a faith healer and claimed that Jesus' method of miraculous healing can be learned by anyone.
      Her books are full of testimonials from the people she healed through prayer.

      December 23, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Sam Yaza

      I’m pretty sure it just an oxymoron

      December 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • kaye patterson

      over 50 years ago i had never heard of CS...today i can say i have had a life filled with healing


      December 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  20. anna

    The Anti Obesity drug makers and diabetes drug makers take in 10 billion$$$$ every year with no cure!!
    Food Chemicals are the cause of the diabetes and obesity crisis
    The FDA and Drug makers know this and are laughing to the Billionaire$$$ bank
    The food chemicals break the gut(insulin) and this is the cause of the diabetes and obesity crisis
    A filmmaker has been reversing diabetes and Obesity in now 10 countries and the drug makers do not promote the story
    just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

    December 23, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      Don't bother, unless you're hard up for a few laughs. Paranoid, junk science at it's best.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.