For years I did all the diets.
I'd have a friend tell me about how they lost weight with a particular diet. Pretty soon, I was trying it out. Or, a diet would catch my attention on Pinterest or somewhere else the internet.
The military diet, juice fast, whole thirty, paleo, Atkins, Portion Fix containers, counting calories, tracking macros, and keto are just a few that I can remember.
And, I would do them very secretively. I didn't want anyone to notice, and I definitely didn't want my husband to comment on ANY of it (not my body and not my food).
It came down to embarrassment. Embarrassed, I had to lose weight. Ashamed I was doing another diet since I gained all the weight back from the last one.
So, to save my "pride", I would hide it.
This was one of the LARGEST mistakes I made when it came to losing weight... lacking support and accountability.
These two are KEY to being successful at making a lasting change!
The MOST significant support I never entered in the equation…
I never prayed about my nutrition or how I was going to move my body. I NEVER prayed that God would guide me so I could utilize SELF-CONTROL.
Let's stop for one second. Let's talk about the difference between willpower and self-control.
Think they're the same? I think not...
Here are the definitions:
Willpower (n): control exerted to do something or restrain impulses.
Self-control (n): the ability to manage one's impulses, emotions, and behaviors to achieve long-term goals.
Can you see the difference?
Willpower is about exertion and restraint. It takes a lot of effort.
Self-control is about the ability to manage. This is a lot less effort!
Well, researchers studied those who have "more" self-control.
They found that these people aren't all that different than those individuals that struggle with self-control.
The biggest difference between the two groups was the environment they CHOSE.
Individuals with self-control chose environments that were less "tempting". Basically, if they had a tendency to overeat, they wouldn't pick Golden Corral for their restaurant of choice.
How does this tie into including God into your weight loss plan?
God paints a clear picture of the environment that we should choose. He gives us a whole book and some really great rules to live by. The more we want an environment around Him, his creation, and his guiding by the Spirit… the less tempted we are and the more self-control we have.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Our body as the temple to house God living inside of us.
It makes sense that the Spirit would be the provider of self-control, power, joy, love.
So, if you have the Spirit, you have self-control. It's about choosing Christ first. In that choice, God gives us the awareness and wisdom to select environments that help us thrive, not tempt us into negative consequences. In making those choices, we are given the gift of self-control.
The ability to say, "I don't want the immediate pleasure. I want the discomfort now so I can have the joy that's coming."
It may take some energy. It may not be easy at first.
But it's a gift that keeps on giving once we choose it.
So, I pray, you choose an environment of compassion and grace for yourself (Lesson One). Then take some time and be intentional about what environment will support you at your natural, healthy weight (Lesson Two). Lastly, actually firstly, be sure to ask God for his guidance, support, accountability, wisdom, and self-control.
Learn from my lessons. Ditch the dieting. Lose weight for good. Live out God's good plan for your life.
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