When I woke up one day and found myself at a size 24 again (I had lost 100 pounds with a popular weight loss program previously and gained most of it back in a very short period of time) I realized that I didn’t get that way magically. It was action upon action that had gotten me to that place. Actions come about as a result of thinking.
So, it made sense that the key to why I gained weight again so readily is I had never learned to think differently. It was my thinking that caused me to act in such a way that all that extra weight landed on me. By the time I lost the weight in 1997 with Weight Watchers, I was even more obsessed with food and exercise than when I started. I know this may not be the case for everyone, but it was for me. While the outside of my body was changed physically,my heart and mind had been changed too…not for the better either. My mind was riveted to food as never before. I thought about it constantly. When an overuse injury kept me from being able to exercise excessively as I had been, my thoughts and actions about food and eating were betrayed. The weight poured back on.
It was time for me to realize that, if I wanted to see an outward change–to be a healthy size once and for all–I needed to not only act differently, but also to think differently.
In all honesty, this process continues to this day. It is a constant training!
James 1:14, 15 speaks of a progression. We have a thought. We mull it over. We ponder it and allow the thought to grow. Finally, it incites us into action.
Before it ever gets to that place, Paul in 2 Corinthians urges us to take the thought captive and submit it to obedience to Christ.
It stands to reason, if we want to act differently (knowing that health is found there), we have to learn to think differently. We have to train our minds.
This takes work. But anything worthwhile is worth working, fighting for!
And notice this…all along the way, we have a choice about what we will think. We can think the thoughts that lead to actions that don’t correspond with our godly goals and with truth. Or, we can choose to think thoughts that align with my desire to honor God with my eating and drinking and with my living.
Here are some things that we may need to think differently about–that we may need to renew our minds about.
ABOUT THE BATHROOM SCALE
Thoughts you may have now:
- I need the scale to land on this number ______.
- I need to see the numbers go down.
- The scale will tell me if I have been doing this “right” or not.
- The scale tells me if I am a failure or not, if I have value or not.
- I need to get on the scale each day (or multiple times each day).
And other thoughts like these. The thoughts you actually have may be more subtle, of course.
Do these thoughts pass the Philippians 4:8 test? Are they true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? The answer goes without saying.
What is really true?
- The bathroom scale is a piece of metal and springs with an arbitrary number system on it–that is ALL.
- I can survive even if I don’t get on the bathroom scale. I can use other tools to evaluate my progress in losing weight–such as how my clothes fit or what I see in the mirror.
- God is after my heart and the scale can’t measure that! I can go to the Lord and ask Him if I am doing this as He would have me. HE is the only one I will go to for approval–not a machine made by man.
- God redeems all my past mistakes. He has declared me precious and holy in His sight. He has declared me HIS. He declares forever that I reflect HIS success through Jesus on the cross. He determines my value and worth. Not the scale.
- I do not need to get on the scale each day. In fact, I will survive if I never get on the scale again. (Yes, you really will.) The scale is designed to be a tool to help me. If it is not helping me, I can get rid of it until the time comes when I can think about it differently.
If you are feeling down about what the scale is telling you, my suggestion to you is get off the scale. Replace the thoughts you have about the scale with God’s thoughts about it.
Did you find yourself responding like this to my suggestion? I could never stop weighing myself at LEAST once each day!
Replace that thought, too! How about with this thought: Ok, God is doing a new thing. Me staying off the scale really WOULD be proof of that! I will choose to stay off the scale and I will survive! 🙂
ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF FOOD NEEDED BY YOUR BODY
Many are surprised about how little food it takes to satisfy physical hunger between 0 and 5. You may have thoughts like these about the small amount of food it takes to sustain your body:
- I can’t believe that I am not still hungry. Of course I need more food than that little bit!
- I really HATE that I can’t eat more that this without being over a “5.” God couldn’t possibly expect me to live on so little food!
- I will never be able to live like this the rest of my life! I love food just too much!
Here is another opportunity to see if these thoughts pass the Philippians 4:8 test! Are these thoughts true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy?
What is really true?
- My body is remarkably efficient! I don’t need that much food to sustain me. How COOL is that? God, I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
- God empowers and strengthens me to break strongholds such as eating more food than I need for reasons other than physical hunger. He is in the business of sanctifying–purifying–perfecting and this is part of that work. He is teaching me to depend on him so much. He is calling me closer to His heart through this struggle. With an invitation like that, I can definitely learn to feast on the Lord and release my hold on so much food!
- For my entire life, I get to walk with God in humble dependence on Him as He continues to work this fact–my need for so little food–into my life. I can’t fathom the great intimacy with a mighty, good, and wonderful God that is yet ahead for me!
- God promises to be my portion. I know that he means what He says and His promises are true. He will work into my life a deeper love for Him than I currently have for food.
- I have the wonderful privilege of selecting foods from all that is available. I may not eat very much of it, but I get to relish each and every bite and enjoy it thoroughly. What a gift that is!
What other thoughts could you use to replace the negative thoughts that don’t pass the Philippians 4:8 test relative to the small amount of food it takes to sustain you?
ABOUT THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND
You may have thoughts about the process mentioned in Romans 12:2 about the renewing of your mind.
- It is just too much work to change the way I think!
- Do I really have to sit down and journal about all of this EACH time I am faced with the temptation to eat?
- This renewing the mind stuff takes too much time. Just gimme a diet so I can GET THIN!
These thoughts don’t pass the Philippians 4:8 test either. How about replacing them with:
- This will be worth fighting for, worth working for. This is transformation I am after and God will do it in me. I will participate in it with Him as He calls me. It will be worth it!
- I sit down to do things all the time (tv, read, computer, etc.) so I probably have more time to sit down and journal than I want to admit, but I also know that as I develop renewing my mind as a habit, I will be able to do it “on the fly” and won’t always need to sit down to do it! It is a process and I am in the early stages! It is worth learning. Romans 12:2!!!
- I have done diets before and gotten thin(ner) before. But they haven’t worked for me. I want a change that will draw me closer to God and change my inside AND out–for the rest of my days! This is it!
What other thoughts have you had that you want to renew your mind about?