I spent a few days in Fort Walton Beach, Florida last week. I’m not usually a beach lover, I tend to be a mountain girl, but who doesn’t like the roar of the ocean, the birds, and the beautiful sunsets and sun rises every now and then?
As I was editing the photos for this blog, what I remembered most about the sunset was all the time I spent snapping pictures, instead of sitting back to enjoy the disappearing sun and the sound of the waves. Like the time I spent trying to get the perfect image, I realized that I’d spent a lot of my life trying to accomplish something for the future, but not enjoying life right now. It’s a little phenomenon I call living in the future.
For me, it is all the time I wasted trying lose weight believing that next year, when I’ve reached my weight loss goal, I’ll do this, or go there, or go see my old friend who I’ve avoided because I didn’t like my weight. True friends wouldn’t care about my size!
Around a year ago, I had a profound experience where God began to answer my years of prayers for freedom. I have learned so much since then. Some of it has been some hard lessons about choices, habits, personal responsibility, and change. Change often involves a bit of crucifying of self, and that, my friends, is difficult and painful.
Something I was reminded of in Florida is just how easy it is to slip back into old habits. They are so welcoming and comfortable! The more I learn about freedom, the more aware I become of my personal responsibility and my choices. I went to the beach without a plan in place, and I acted just like a girl without a plan. I didn’t weigh this morning…my scales are broken. Thankfully! If I can’t prove I’ve gained any weight, it must not be true, right? No? :::Oh:::
Once while discussing weight loss with a friend, I argued freedom didn’t include a diet plan. She quoted the scripture, “Without a vision (plan), the people perish.” I countered that our hope wasn’t in a diet, but in Him. We may have both been a little right.
We do need a plan. The plan needs to include a complete power exchange. Instead of letting bad habits have the control, we take control of our habits. Bad habits don’t change themselves, and they don’t let go of us easily. That’s where God’s beautiful grace comes in.
I’m not saying you should ditch your diet plan. But if you have repeatedly lost weight and regained it using the same plan, it’s not working for you. If it was, you (and I) would be thin by now. Getting to know your appetite, pinpointing your bad habits, and figuring out which good habits to replace them with takes patience and perseverance. It is a process, but once the power exchange has taken place, it is no longer a struggle. You really are in control, not your appetite, no matter what your appetite is yelling at you. Over the next few months, I’m going to be working on Habit Builders like the ones below. I sure hope you join me. Five for Five. Five good habit for five days….the first one should always include God.
Five for Five Suggestions:
- 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.
- Slow down! Chew more. Put that fork down between bites.
- 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.