Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

ID-100101221Most of you reading this have been on so many diets in the past, you could write best-sellers about your experiences! Sadly, I’ve heard my share of  diet failures.

You are probably wondering if this time will be any different from your past efforts to lose weight. You may be thinking, “Can I really lose weight for life?”

When answering such a question, you need to weigh the pros and cons of embarking on such a journey. If you really desire in your heart to do this, God will empower you along the way. But you have to commit to the process. This means you have to be willing to make lifestyle changes.

Read through this list of questions and answer each question honestly:

  • Do I have realistic expectations? Am I willing to lose weight steadily, slowly and sensibly?
  • Am I willing to examine other areas of my life that may need to change in order to support weight loss?
  • Will I change the focus of my efforts to health and lifestyle and not diet and weight?
  • Am I willing to cut back on unhealthy eating habits and develop new ones?
  • Am I willing to increase exercise and movement?
  • Am I willing to resolve emotional issues related to food and eating?
  • Will I monitor my progress and deal with health issues?
  • Will I go deeper in my spiritual life, renewing my mind daily and allowing God to give me a heart of flesh for a heart of stone?
  • Will I eat at regular times and give my body a chance to maximize its metabolism?
  • Will I build community and support, both necessary for long term maintenance of gains?
  • Will I develop a lifestyle of balance and moderation?
  • Will I accept the grace of God and lose the shame and humiliation associated with weight loss efforts and past defeats?

If you can answer, “Yes” to these questions, you are ready to begin.

If not, reassess why you answered, “No” and work on changing your attitude and surrendering more to God and His good plan for your life.  Weight loss isn’t successful if you are not ready to make change. Don’t set yourself up for failure again!

 

 ID-100361378Question: I married and had children very early.  I love being a mom but I just attended a high school reunion and felt a bit envious of all the things my classmates have accomplished.  I noticed my confidence dropped as I realized I didn’t measure up and had little to offer in the conversation.  How can I reconnect with a confident spirit amidst these feelings of low self-worth?

Maybe you are up to your neck in laundry and thinking, “Really, this is my life when all my friends seem to be doing so much,” but take that thought captive. Even when you are doing those menial tasks, you are home with your children, teaching and helping them grow in to productive adults. And trust me, that job has more life significance than securing a sale for your boss’ firm.

What you are doing is one of the most valuable roles you could ever play. You have, and are, accomplishing things of generational and eternal value. Every day when you love on your children and provide them a safe and secure home, you are setting the stage for success in their adult lives. And trust me, mothering skills translate to a number of job skills if you choose to go that direction at a later time.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that places great emphasis on accomplishments unrelated to developing healthy family relationships. Yet, a safe and secure attachment for a child establishes his or her intimacy needs and attachments in adult life.  And your presence helps to create that secure attachment. So while you may feel you don’t measure up to your former classmates, you have grossly underestimated your enormous contribution to those you love and cherish!

And let’s be real, people tend to exaggerate their importance at reunions. There is something about those old high school dynamics that make us all feel competitive again. My guess is they might even envy what you are choosing to do!

 

weightMy book, Lose It For Life, is a total solution to losing weight and keeping it off. Not only do we have to attend to what we eat, become more active, deal with our emotions and thoughts and behave differently, but we must grow spiritually in the process. Here are seven spiritual keys that will help you be successful:

  1. Surrender. So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you” (1 Peter 5:6 nlt). We must be willing to discover what is driving the hunger and want healing more than we want food. We are unable to accomplish our goals without relinquishing control and surrendering to His way of doing things.
  2. Acceptance.“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me” (Psalm 139:1 nlt).You must determine to face and own the emotional issues, pain, and loss that you uncover behind the hunger. Accept the reality of your weight and the need for help. Be a realist, accepting your need for help. God sees your heart. He knows your need and will provide the help you require.
  3. Confession.Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” James 5:16 nlt)Come out of hiding. Open up to God and others about the reality of your struggles. While it is often difficult to admit our shortcomings and areas of weakness, it is what keeps us honest and real with each other. Confession truly is good for the soul. You must find people you can trust who can handle your secrets and help you heal.
  4. Responsibility.“For we are each responsible for our own conduct” (Galatians 6:5 nlt). Taking responsibility for change, moving out of the victim position, and owning up to our mistakes is necessary to lose it for life. When we are hurt or experience loss, it’s easy to blame others or feel like a victim. However, we must believe that God will bring purpose and meaning out of pain and move on.
  5. Forgiveness. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you” (Matthew 6:14 nlt). Forgive your own failures and the failures of those who have hurt you. Forgiveness is not optional in the Christian life and yet many of us hold on to bitterness and wonder why we don’t experience joy and other benefits of the Christian life. When we give up grudges and make restitution for past wrongs we experience spiritual blessings.
  6. Transformation.“All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 nlt).Transform your struggle, pain, and loss into a purposeful mission. God’s way is to take those things we have suffered and use them for His glory. Out of pain and difficulty come compassion for others and a willingness to reach out because of the grace and mercy shown to us.
  7. Preservation.“So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better” (2 Peter 1:5 nlt). Perseverance is required to make it through life’s inevitable struggles and keep the spiritual gains made. When you discover the signs and phases of relapse, you will learn to maintain your weight loss for life.

eating spagettiDuring coffee one morning, Rita said, “I wonder if I have a food problem.” She isn’t alone. You may be thinking the same. Here are 15 questions to ask yourself when it comes to food or eating problems:

1. Do I constantly think about food, my body or my weight?

2. Does the thought of eating make me feel anxious?

3. Am I afraid I’ll get fat?

4. Do I keep eating when I’m not physically hungry?

5. Am I having trouble knowing if I am physically hungry?

6. Do I eat until I feel sick?

7. Do I weigh myself several times a day or week?

8. Am I upset if I miss exercising?

9. Do I think that controlling the food portions I eat makes me a better person?

10. Do I make myself throw up after I’ve eaten?

11. Have I taken laxatives to lose weight?

12. Do I use weight loss products?

13. Do I feel like food has taken control of me?

14. Do I eat when I feel unpleasant emotions?

15. Do I hate my body?

If you answered YES to a number of these questions, you may have an eating disorder or show early signs of developing one. The sooner you do something about your attitudes and feelings toward food, the more you can avoid falling prey to unhealthy patterns. Call a mental health professional and get an evaluation today!