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Hope and healing for the diet-weary soul | with Laura Acuña

Gospel Spice Wellness Series

Season 11, episode 231
42 min / Published

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.

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/

We invite you to check out the first episode of each of our series, and decide which one you will want to start with.

Identity in the battle | Ephesians

Centering on Christ | The Tabernacle experience

Shades of Red | Against human oppression

God's glory, our delight 


We invite you to enjoy a Christ-centered summer by experiencing Jesus through the lens of the body of Christ. We bring you a diversity of viewpoints on several issues, and invite you to discover Jesus through their own journey with Him.

Our Summer series invite you to ponder important topics for daily living. Stephanie and her occasional guests tell us about the importance of our definition of success, the key elements of leadership roles, the traps of comparison, the importance of theology, and much more! These stand-along episodes are meant to encourage you and challenge you to experience deeper fruitfulness in your various roles and ministries, in all the relationships and areas of your life. The topics we discuss are eternal and apply to both genders, across time and space and culture and age. So, join us for deep conversations with inspiring Christ-followers, conversations that will flavor your summer with the Gospel.

Conversations about culture, leadership, success, dating, gender, and struggles with comparison, pride, and more: that is your Gospel Spice summer!

We are spending one whole month having conversations with inspiring guests about parenting at different stages of life - from newborns to adult children, and every stage in between! And then, we spend another whole month discussing essentials of physical, mental, and emotional wellness with a wide range of Christ-centered experts. 

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Show notes

"Still Becoming offers the freedom we’ve all been looking for. Steeped in scripture and wrapped in
wisdom, each day’s reading takes us one step closer to embracing a vital truth: our loving God created
us to be healthy and whole. Prepare to breathe a deep sigh of relief, sisters. Hope is here!"

- Liz Curtis Higgs | best-selling author of Bad Girls of the Bible

"Are you tired of dieting? Gaining. Losing. Gaining. Losing. It can feel like a discouraging, demoralizing, and
destructive collision course. Next comes guilt, followed by shame – and the cycle continues. In this honest,
well-written, thirty-one-day devotional, Laura Acuña offers biblical, practical, and transformational help.
This is the resource you’ve needed to begin embracing a grace-filled, joyful life."

- Carol Kent | executive director of Speak Up Ministries; author of He Holds My Hand

"When you read Still Becoming, you will meet a tender, faithful friend. That’s who Laura Acuña is! In this
wonderful devotional, she will give you the understanding of a trusted sojourner and the counsel of a very
wise mentor! So read, enjoy, become, be blessed!!!"

- Jan Silvious | author of Courage for the Unknown Season

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