When will this not be so hard any more? When will it not be such a struggle?
To be honest, the only truthful answer to this question is… maybe never.
We have lived many years of our lives without boundaries for ourselves with our food or, if we have had boundaries, they were too broad or too stringent.
Now that we are doing something about this, we want there to be hope on the horizon that the hard work will end. That we will arrive at a size or shape that we are happy with, godly character established, shining like the sun! “Ta DAH!” Finis! Perfectamundo!
Keeping at it is hard. We wonder how we can keep on being consistent!
So, you probably don’t want to hear that this may not ever get easier. At least not until we leave this earth and are in the presence of Jesus.
I can say for certain that it gets less hard (notice I didn’t say “easier”). Our goal is to fall off our horses less frequently and stay on the ground less long. That’s the way it is with any type of sanctification. Growth in godliness, becoming more like Jesus… progressively.
Here is an assignment for you and this is one that I have been encouraging many of my coaching clients to do because I think it is invaluable for all of us if we want to stay the course. Sometimes, “losing weight” just isn’t important enough to us. Well, that makes sense, when you think about it. So how about this:
1. ) Generate a list of all the blessings, joys, benefits to living according to your boundaries, to renewing your mind, to working so hard at this. Whatever it is that you have to do that is a part of your “plan” to help you be faithful to 0 to 5 eating. Like if you listen to Sound Cloud files, watching YouTube videos, if you listen to praise music, if you have special bible study time, create Truth Cards, review truth cards, meet with an accountability partner, or even hire a coach to help you…whatever it is that are the components of your plan and the hard work you are doing to experience success and victory. Sit with the Lord a bit and ask him to show you:
- How are these practices benefiting me and blessing me and others (through me) emotionally?
- How are these practices benefiting me and blessing me and others (through me) spiritually?
- How are these practices benefiting me physically?
- How are these practices benefiting me and others (through me) socially?
- What changes are there in my life that have come about as a result of working this plan?
- Have any of these practices nurtured a servant’s heart, an evangelist’s heart, a heart passionate for people?
- Am I loving people well in any way as a result of these practices?
- Am I less focused on myself and more available to others and to God?
My hope is that you will see that the list is quite long and truly wonderful! It isn’t just about fitting into a smaller pants size, but you are seeing changes in your character that are helping you with life generally!
2. ) Once you get your list created (and feel free to add to it over time), I strongly encourage the people I coach to read this list at least once each day and, perhaps, to turn it into a prayer:
God, thank you so much for the way you have given me new awareness of the tendency I have to hide from my emotions. You are leading me to live a life of integrity, to have my emotional needs met by you. As hard as it is, I am finding myself less needy and able to focus on the needs of others and to encourage them. Thank you that you are using my renewing of the mind and truth cards to change the way I think about my job and the challenging relationship I have with my boss. I am living a life of deeper meaning because of what you have done in my life to help me stay focused to live within my boundaries. I have begun to see how I can apply the same principles of praising you, giving gratitude for your gifts to overcome other bad habits in my life…
Etc. As you do this each day (or something like it), you are, again, renewing your mind with truth, reminding yourself of the many ways God is using the hard work you are doing to affect your life on a much grander scale than merely your size! Your body and size and shape are temporary, but he is forming and shaping your character and it is changing you for eternity! As you review these reasons daily, it will help you naturally realize there are a million reasons you want to continue to be consistent! To keep on pressing on, even though it is hard.
If you don’t feel like you are working in some way to participate with God in your own transformation, you may want to ask yourself if you really want to experience victory. Many of us who struggle with over-indulging in food, also overindulge in other things, such as feeling sorry for ourselves. If we aren’t careful, this “self indulgence” can keep us stuck and actually get us stuck more deeply. Not so deep that Jesus can’t haul us out, though!
There are so many strategies we have shared here at this website that can really help a person experience victory. You have to let go of insisting on perfection and, instead, embrace the mystery and wonder of the process! One step at a time!
How About You?
Would you feel comfortable sharing with us here? What are some of the benefits that you have been experiencing in your life because of the renewing of the mind you are doing, the studying, the staying in your boundaries, the working with an accountability partner? None of us are doing this perfectly!
Realizing the many benefits (other than merely weight loss) might be just what you need to hang in there! Review your list each day. 🙂
Well, this feels quite personal, but I guess that hasn’t stopped me before :). This is the 3rd version of this (in one form or another) that I have made since April or so. It has changed as my mind has been renewed. After I made a list yesterday, I reviewed it today and added to it – it about doubled in size! There are so many reasons to put in the time and work!!
Boundaries Psalm 16:6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance
REASONS TO STAY IN BOUNDARIES AND TO WORK HARD AT THIS:
• My obedience, I follow God’s will
• Respects the way God designed my body – He put the signals there!
• Sleep!!! – good sleep makes for the best possible next day
• I will know my God given size and not have to wonder or search
• I will not dread putting on clothes, worried that they will be tight
• Shopping will be so much better
• Abundant Life, Abide in Christ ⇒ produce Fruits
• I grow closer to God, have a greater intimacy with Him
• Truth spills to other parts of my life
• Exercise is optional and I can do what I enjoy
• Peace, Freedom, Joy
• No counting points, cals, carbs, calories burned, crazy workouts
• Less time spent on food (prep, plan, eating, concerns)
• Freedom to do other things with my days – Freed for joyful obedience
• Mental health (no dieting)
• Physical health – temple of the Holy Spirit
• My eyes are focused on Him, not on my self
• Keeps my heart softened toward the Lord, my heart open to Him and my ears open to hear Him, my heart to follow Him
• Keeps my humble and dependent
• The more I stay in bounds, the faster habits will be broken and created
• Staying in bounds will eventually be more natural for me
• I say “no” to idols (food, a different body, perfection) – I can lay it all down and TRUST Him for His best
• I don’t harm my relationship with God (like an affair)
• Fosters a Spirit-led life, walking in the Spirit
• Helps to clean my heart of greed
• This is a heart issue, so working on it helps my heart
• The more I ignore bounds, then longer it will take to reach goals
• The boundaries are a good gift from God
• Helps me to take my thoughts captive and test them – this is helpful for all aspects of life
• Helps me to be grateful for God’s many gifts
• Helps me to say “no” to self and “yes” to God
• His yoke is easy and His burden light
**Mostly, it points me to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness
***In the end, I am not mastered, then, by anything but the Lord Jesus Christ!
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. (psalms 37)
Oh, Carrie…I learn so much from you. Thank you SO much for commenting, sharing this list here. It means SO much to me! I think I will use some of these for my truth cards! Borrowing! 😀
I am really late with this but I worked on this at lunch today and here is what I have so far.
Peace in my spirit which is evident by the way I act.
Looser clothes and new smaller clothes!
My stomach feels 100 times better.
I feel happier!
I feel like I have so much more self control.
My body is getting healthier.
If I work on staying in my boundaries now, then I have a chance to maintain a youthful appearance.
I feel WAY closer to God!
I like myself so much better!
I lay down and I am set free from addictions and strongholds!
Makes me want to encourage others.
Makes me a nicer person.
I am able to see my self worth and see myself how God sees me vs. self condemnation, guilt and inner turmoil.
I find my joy in God and His Blessings, like my family, vs. food and being bound to compulsive overeating.
I LOVE this list! This one is worthy of a Sound Cloud and for you to listen to eat in the morning (on your way to work?), on your walking break, before meals, etc! Thanks, Adriane!
Thanks! I need to do that!!! I am thinking of doing a sound cloud where I read my truth cards.
I personally love that for my own renewing of the mind, Adriane!