In A Healthy Weight is not a Skinny Weight, we discussed how a healthy weight can improve libido.
We also worked through simple numbers of weight loss. Numbers are neutral. Numbers have no power.
The plain truth is, for a lot of us, emotions are attached to weight loss. Emotions give power to the numbers.
There was a time in my life it was less painful to sit through a certain 6 minutes of the movie 127 Hours (you remember, the guy cutting his own arm off?) than to try to create new eating and exercise habits.
New eating and exercise habits would force me to learn new coping skills and endure some physical discomfort as stamina is built. Do I possess that kind of strength?
What you think, your heart hears.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
Do you say things like:
Why couldn’t I resist that cookie/bread/ice cream? I’m a failure.
Why didn’t I make myself exercise today? I’m a failure and lazy.
Why couldn’t I just eat one portion? I’m a failure and have no self-control.
What difference does it make now? I’ve already eaten a package of Oreos. I’m a failure.
I said things like this, too.
My mindset started to change when I began to seriously consider Jesus’ words.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” The often-quoted verses are found in both Matthew 22:38-39 and Mark 12:30&31.
‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ is also found in Leviticus 19:18.
I didn’t treat others as myself. I treated them BETTER. It says to love them as I love myself. God was giving me permission to be kinder, gentler and less judgmental toward myself.
I diligently and persistently rewrote the emotionally abusive thoughts my mind was feeding me. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Yes, my thoughts were emotionally abusive. I wouldn’t talk to a swamp rat the way I talked to myself. If I was going to make my thoughts obedient to Christ, I had to start by nurturing myself with sweet words.
Answers that are loving sound like this:
Why couldn’t I resist that cookie/bread/ice cream? I’ll pray about it and try again tomorrow.
Why didn’t I make myself exercise today? I’ll pray for strength and energy and try again tomorrow.
Why couldn’t I just eat one portion? I’ll pray and try to eat slower next time.
What difference does it make now? Show me how to love myself, Lord and help me tomorrow.
It’s OK to cut yourself a break. You are allowed to be sad about giving up a comforting food-oriented coping mechanism. You are allowed to not succeed. You are allowed a second, third, and fourth attempt. You are allowed an infinite number of do-overs.
Do-overs do not make you a failure. Do-overs help you develop strength of emotions, strength of body, and strength of soul.
Emotions give your numbers a weak kind of power. However, true power does reside in you. It’s the Holy Spirit!
I didn’t have to have to learn new eating and exercise habits alone. I didn’t have to try to change my thought pattern alone.
What you read, your heart hears.
Fill yourself to overflowing with spiritual food. Read the Bible daily. Just leave it out on your counter, nightstand, or in the bathroom. Leave it open. Read a paragraph a day if that’s all you have time for. Just read it. God’s Word is living and active and will meet you where you are at the moment.
Food equals comfort to many of us. It takes moments to fill my stomach. I feel the results of fullness easily. But, that satisfied feeling doesn’t last long. I lose the comfort rather quickly.
Reading God’s word and being told daily of his love and his care for me, that is long term satisfaction. The more I read about His devotion to me through His son, the more comfortable I become with who I am.
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