Do you really want to know how to lose weight?
Just do it.
I can’t think of a sin other than gluttony that I have ever condoned continuing until Monday. If I say a not-nice word when I stub my toe, I don’t walk around the rest of the day dropping F bombs because I said “gosh darn it” (or worse) before breakfast. I don’t spend the weekend cussing everyone out, even if they make me mad. If I realize there was a tube of lipstick under my purse in my shopping cart that I didn’t pay for, I take it back inside immediately. I don’t go on a shop-lifting spree.
But somehow it’s permissible to be a glutton, at least until Monday. Maybe I stopped for a high calorie, high fat fast food combo breakfast, and after berating myself, I would think, “I might as well pig out for the rest of the day and start again tomorrow.” However, “the rest of the day” normally lasted until…Monday. And on Monday, I would try one of the various diets, or if I was feeling a little more industrious, one of the “lifestyle changes” I’d tried and failed at many times before. Diets are bad for your mental health. All of them.
I say this all the time because it’s true: If you want to lose weight, find the way that works for you, and do that. Other than the first week or two, it is going to be a slow process. Accept that truth and move toward a healthier you. When you are healthier, you feel better. When you feel better you have more confidence. With more confidence, you find yourself stepping out and doing God’s will for your life in an open and public way, living your life so that others desire the Christ in you.
Today is Monday..but it wouldn’t matter if it was Saturday. Somebody said it well years ago:
Today is the first day
of the rest of your life.
- If your first thought is “I can’t do this.” You are wrong, Jesus says you can. You are free because Christ paid the highest price for your freedom. You may not feel free right now, but as a believer, your first job is to believe what God’s word says about you: If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed (John 8:36) Also: The Messiah has set us free so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. So keep on standing firm in it, and stop putting yourselves under the yoke of slavery again. (Galatians 5:1 ISV) Stop being a slave to your appetite!
- Step Two is to stop making it about the weight. Yes, you need to be the healthiest version of you, but stop making the number on the scale or the view in the mirror your main focus. Make Relationship with your creator your number one priority.
- If your Monday finds you automatically planning to go on the same diet you’ve tried 130 times before “because it is the only thing that works for you,” but you are still overweight and obsessing about the number on the scale, time 131 won’t work, either. The truth is that diets don’t work. A successful, happy life comes from one better choice after another. Stop thinking you can’t and KNOW that you really are in control of your flesh! Your flesh only calls the shots when you let it. God didn’t give us a free will to have us hand it over to the greed of our appetites! Get pumped knowing you get to call all the shots when it comes to what goes into your mouth. Instead of giving in with “I know I shouldn’t” and popping it in your mouth, end that thought with, “so I am not going to today.” Get used to being the boss! You can do it!
- Spend some time getting to know yourself, specifically foods you like and foods you don’t. When did eating a grapefruit you don’t like for breakfast ever lead to health or weight loss? When you are free to eat normal servings of foods you like, you won’t spend most of your day obsessing over every morsel that goes into your mouth.
- Get off the junk food. If you are eating sweets, chips, and fast food all the time, you will not want healthy food. You will want more sugar and high fatty food. That’s a fact. It’s like your spiritual food…if you fill up on junk TV and cheating songs, you aren’t going to want to sit down and study God’s word. Reading the Bible is imperative for a healthy relationship with the One who can make you all He planned for you to be.
It’s Monday. Take the next five days and commit to some better choices. Choose four or five of the following (or make up your own) and COMMIT to those choices. You can do anything for five days! And maybe you’ll find yourself on the way to some better habits….and weight loss. The goal here is to get accustomed to a healthier lifestyle and begin to do it automatically. We aren’t trading one obsession (all can I eat in a day) for the obsession of monitoring every bite you take. Next week, spend less time thinking about your next meal, it and more living your good life. Good decision examples:
- Give a sincere, head bowed, eyes closed blessing over your food, not just a quick “Thank you, Lord,” as you pop the first bite in your mouth. Take a moment of true gratitude. Not everyone has something to eat today.
- Start off with smaller portions.
- Don’t eat from the package.
- Slow down! Chew more. Put that fork down between bites.
- Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. You can more easily ascertain when you are getting if you are eating slowly. (However, if you plan to eat at noon, and you experience a hunger pang at 11 a.m., make your flesh wait until noon. You are in control!)
- Remind yourself often, “I am not a glutton. I am free from the chains of sin because of the cross of Jesus Christ.”
- No sugar (cookies, cakes, candy)
- No junk food (chips, colas, snack crackers, etc.)
- Choose to not be a glutton…which is a LOT easier with no sugar and no junk food.
- Read scripture every day, even if it is just one Psalm or one chapter in Proverbs. (This should be a life-long commitment, even if you are extremely busy, or on vacation, or whatever.) If you are going to skip something, skip a meal, not Scripture.
- Enjoy your food…again, easy to do when you slow down.
- Don’t eat a meal in your car.
- Pack your lunch instead of eating it in a restaurant.
- Skip the fast food, even the “healthy” options.
- Eat at least two healthy choices per day, such as a fruit and a vegetable.
- Fast lunch every day Monday – Friday. Use that time in Bible study and prayer.
- Fast for 24 hours: An easy first-time way to do that is sundown to sundown.
- Get educated on nutrition, not diets, so that you can make informed decisions about what you are eating, and let good choices become a habit.
- Move. Walk more. Make a real effort to just move more. Use your fitbit or Garmin, or buy a good pedometer and walk at least 5000 steps, which is much easier than you think.
Which four or five do you choose? Remember, the goal is change, not losing weight. Losing weight is a side effect of the ever-elusive change we crave. This is one of the few times a side effect is desirable! You are in control! You can make some good choices and start a new life today so that “healthier” becomes second nature. Your first nature should be the nature of Jesus Christ.
Stop trying to lose weight. Start working on changing your focus. Your best you is the you God wrote about in His book. (Psalm 139:16)