Hope and healing for the diet-weary soul | A Gospel Spice Wellness series with Laura Acuña

Aug 22, 2023

On this episode of Gospel Spice, Stephanie welcomes Laura Acuña to dive deep into the world of body image issues. They discuss Laura's personal story of how God set her free from her negative relationship with food, negative body image, and a pattern of yo-yo dieting. They also explore how the accumulation of little traumas can have a significant impact on a person's life. The episode emphasizes the importance of stewarding our bodies well, self-compassion, and allowing God's grace to come into our lives. Laura affirms that shame doesn't come from God and offers a prayer for listeners, asking God to help them understand their true relationship with their bodies, remove shame from their lives, and replace lies about beauty and body image with truth.

Listen here: https://www.podcastics.com/episode/241009/link/ 

Stephanie and Laura talk about:

- Laura's own story of gaining one hundred pounds as an eleven-year-old and finally being set free fifty years later.
- How to re-think your thinking regarding food, body image and dieting through the lens of self-compassion, God’s grace and His word.
- The surprising truth that you can be free from food and body image issues before ever losing a pound.
- Why so many women who struggle with these strongholds need to recover their voice.
- The importance of to learning to show up as your true female self and being comfortable in your own skin.
- How to walk away from what has never worked and embrace the important mind-shift of accepting you need God’s healing instead of relying on dieting to fix what is broken inside.
- Why rejecting shame in all of its forms is crucial for healing and peace.
- The importance of stopping legalism (fire the food police!) regarding what you eat and how you treat your body.
- Our culture’s negative view of a woman’s aging body and how, as Christians, we can resist falling for this toxic and impossible standard.

In her 31-day devotional, Still Becoming, Laura shares her personal experience of struggling with body image and dieting for almost 50 years until she found freedom. We learn about how disordered eating and body image issues are often responses to the broken parts inside us, and people often use food to numb, distract, or hide their emotions. We also address how the dieting mindset can lead to shame and legalism. Laura emphasizes the importance of giving ourselves self-compassion and allowing God's grace to come into our lives. Additionally, we discuss the importance of stewarding our bodies well for maintaining mobility and allowing us to do the things we want to do, regardless of our physical appearance. We also dive into the cultural obsession with youth and beauty, and how Christians can embrace aging as a virtue. So sit back and enjoy as we explore how to overcome body image issues with God's help.


1. How does Laura Acuna's personal story impact the way you view body image and dieting?

2. Do you believe that emotional eating and body image issues are often responses to broken parts within us? Why or why not?

3. What are some of the traumas in your life that you might have been using food to numb, distract, or hide?

4. Have you ever struggled with legalism or shame when it comes to dieting or fitness? How can you break free from that mindset?

5. What are some small steps that you can take to take better care of your body on a day-to-day basis?

6. Do you believe that the aging process is an underestimated virtue in our culture? Why or why not?

7. How can we as a society work to shift the focus away from the physical appearance and towards other qualities like wisdom and character?

8. In what ways can we show love to others regardless of their physical appearance or status?

9. How does scripture help us replace lies about beauty and body image with truth from God's word?

10. How can we support the men in our lives who may not understand or know how to support women who struggle with body image issues?


Laura Acuña is a speaker, author, Bible teacher, and coach. She’s served as a women’s ministry leader for over 22 years. A graduate of Liberty University, she earned a degree in Christian Counseling and a minor in Biblical Studies. She’s the co-founder of Sisters In Faith Ministries, a non-profit ministry to women in the Damascus, Maryland, area. Married to Pat, the two are the parents of three sons, and one daughter-in-love. They became first-time grandparents to Evelyn Grace (finally a girl!) in July 2021. Laura challenges her sisters to grow up to become spiritually and emotionally mature. Her new book Still Becoming: Hope, Help and Healing for the Diet-Weary Soul was published in December 2022.

Laura Acuna's life changed drastically when she was just 11 years old and experienced a significant weight gain, leading to yo-yo dieting and a negative body image. She struggled with disordered eating and shame for years until a series of tragic events - the sudden loss of her mother and best friend - led her to seek help from a therapist. Through years of therapy and her faith, Laura learned about trauma and its impact on her mental health, including how little T traumas can accumulate and have just as much of an impact as larger ones. With this knowledge, she was able to overcome her disordered eating and negative body image and use her experience to help others through her book.

Fina Laura at https://laura-acuna.com/

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