Because of my involvement with the Thin Within company in the past and my participation in writing the book and workbook material, I have received emails and phone calls over the years asking for input, help, and advice.
One of the most common struggles that people face is with consistency. I often am asked “How can I stop failing at this? I start the day committed to giving God my eating within 0-5, but by the time dinner is over, I seem to always give in to eating constantly for the rest of the evening. What is wrong with me? How can I be successful?”
The questions vary in how they are worded, but this is the upshot.
Here I share some thoughts about this:
It sounds like you are defining failure according to the dieting mentality. How does God define failure, though?
Many of us think failure is not losing weight, not sticking to a meal plan, etc.
But what if God’s view of failure is radically different–if it has more to do with our hearts? What if it has nothing to do with our weight and is simply: Not seeking Christ with all our hearts?
Think about it. Do you desire to give God your eating? Are you growing in your awareness and taking babysteps of faith and action to surrender your eating to Him. This is seeking Christ! This is far from the “failure” that you claim!
Let’s not forget that life is a journey–it is progressive. Sanctification is a process!
Maybe we need to extend ourselves the grace that God certainly does–He demonstrated His love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Even when we had NOT A SINGLE Godward thought, he reached out to bridge the chasm between us.
God has given us a very precious gift that he intends for us to embrace that might help us to delight in Him and his goodness, rather than fixate on ourselves.
Let’s invite God to help us to redefine failure and success the way HE does. Right now, he is working on your heart. You are seeing your weakness, I bet! He says in his Word that when you are weak, he is strong. That is progress, too! If you can rest in that, it might help. Look at all the many moments in the day that you are honoring him. If it is just at night that you struggle with godly choices, I would say that probably over 20 hours out of every 24 are spent honoring God with your choices! That is far from failure!
While we DO want to repent of sin, maybe we should also declare His praises in the work He is doing in us and celebrate our good choices.
I believe that these things are CRUCIAL–to welcome the renewing of our minds and to let go of the dieting mentality that says failure is when I don’t lose weight or stick to an eating plan 100% of the time.
Nevertheless, here are some practical tips for offsetting the temptation to eat in the evening when many of us are most vulnerable. See if some of these may help you!
1.) After dinner, put up a “Kitchen Closed” sign and abide by it.
2.) Chew sugarless gum. Anything you put in your mouth when you are chewing gum will be sorta gross. 🙂
3.) (My favorite as I believe it gets to the heart…) Since you know you struggle in the evening, plan for some quiet time with the Lord immediately after dinner. This will be time to devote yourself afresh to him, to feast on his presence, to ask him to come into your weakness and to be strong in it.
4.) Plan a new activity after dinner other than computer or tv or reading (or whatever is your typical MO…). Change things up, get out of the house, go for a walk or a drive or…whatever. Break out of the rut! 🙂
I hope these help, but most of all, our THINKING is where we need the transformation to begin. I think that is one reason why this approach is called Thin WITHIN. The changes begin in our hearts and in our thinking. Let’s be sure we address this. It is hard work, certainly, but our God is faithful. Let’s invite God to renew our minds and to transform us. Let’s spend time immersed in His Word during the time of day when we are most tempted!
Wow! The paragraph about overcoming for 20 hours and failing for four really hit home. I did great all day and have one brownie at 10 PM and all I can do is wallow in my self-deprecation . The Enemy uses it to get my focus off the Lord and onto myself. Today I will praise the Lord for my victories through His grace, confess my failures, and leave them behind as I press forward. Thank you