It kinda feels like a trap.
You’re desperate to lose weight, but you know that diets have made you feel like a toddler denied a candy bar in the checkout line. It seems insane to go back to the very thing for “help” that caused you this angst in the first place, but it feels like you have no other options.
Today, I am speaking to the Christian woman who realizes that she is ready to bring God into this process of losing weight and getting healthy. Yet, she feels completely discouraged and unsure that she can actually make it happen this time.
Is this you?
Are you ready to put your faith into your food choices…but you’re afraid of yet another diet failure?
Pick your head up, friend, because it’s your day. Today, we’re going to talk about three really important things that will help you stop failing your diet, ditch the negative self-talk, and find hope for change.
Are you ready?
1. YOU’RE FAILING YOUR DIET BECAUSE…YOU’RE TRYING TO DO IT THE WORLD’S WAY.
You cannot compare the world’s way of dieting with following God’s way of healthy eating–it’s like apples and oranges.
Doing diets the world’s way is all about self-promotion and forcefully restraining ourselves. That is the complete opposite of the way that we do things with God.
With God’s way, we talk about glorifying Him and promoting Him through the process.
Pride is the beginning of failure for the believer every time.
When our complete and total focus is on making ourselves look better–on doing things the way the diet says, on fixing it ourselves, on being the source of our change–we’re bound to fail our diet every single time.
However, when the focus is promoting our Lord and Savior, glorifying Him in our actions, making our body the temple of the Holy Spirit…our motivation is blessed by the very Creator of the universe. God is on our side, and the Holy Spirit is working within us to strengthen us for the task at hand.
We’re locking arms with the One who rose from the dead in order to make these changes in our lives. It’s a completely different scenario. It’s like comparing a beautiful rainbow to a grain of dust. The world’s ways and God’s ways cannot be compared.
2. YOU’RE FAILING YOUR DIET BECAUSE…YOUR DEFINITION OF FAILURE IS WRONG.
When you change your motivation and your goals, your definition of failure changes too.
When you’re going on a traditional restrictive diet (cutting out carbs or trying to eat only a certain amount of calories), you are walking a fine line of failure because the “expectation” is nearly impossible.
How do you expect yourself to never eat carbs again? Or to only eat 1,200 calories with a precise amount of protein and fat and carbohydrates?
It’s too hard. It’s all about you and your performance; and the definition of failure is vast and wide.
If you miss a workout or eat an extra cookie one day, are you a failure? The diet says so.
When we move things into God’s sphere and the way that He does things, and when our goal is to glorify Him, the definition of failure changes.
Is slipping and falling, eating too many cookies, really failure?
What if you assess what happened, turn to God, repent, and ask for Him to strengthen you? Goodness, if growing closer to God is your goal, that’s hardly a failure at all!
In fact, it’s actually a really amazing and awesome thing.
The goal is to make His Name great. And when you fall: (1)share vulnerably with others, (2)ask them to pray for you, and THEN (3) you bring back those answered prayers. Now THAT is a success of the eternal kind.
We need to change our lenses for what our goals are. If your goal is holding fast to God, then a failure may be the exact thing that He needs to get you there. Because you realize that your strength is nothing, and you can’t do it on your own.
Your gratitude for His salvation and the fact that He died for you, even when you have cookie crumbs on your face, is encouraging.
3. YOU’RE FAILING YOUR DIET BECAUSE…YOU THINK PERFECT IS THE GOAL.
Put a Christ-centered focus on food, embrace the imperfection, and let it treat you.
As I spoke of in the previous tip, failures and imperfections are just part of the human condition.
…to bite it.
…to end up face-first in the mud.
The really amazing thing is that God knew this from the beginning of time. When He created you and He knit you together in your mother’s womb, He knew that you were going to get so stuffed at the buffet that you’d think you’ll never eat again.
Yet, with that knowledge, He still chose to die for you. All of these things that are considered flaws are actually there and allowed in order to draw us to Christ and to teach us something new.
Let’s say you go to a party, and you lose a little bit of control over the special birthday cake that was served. Rather than beating yourself up, let’s take a step back and learn from the situation.
- What were your thoughts?
- What were your feelings?
- Who was around you?
- What was going on?
- How did you react to that decision?
It’s all data and information. Nothing’s personal. Yes, we make mistakes. But there are things, moving parts, that can actually be changed in order to support you more in the future:
- Maybe you realize that you don’t want to go to a party overly hungry, because you might make poor food choices.
- Maybe you learn that you’re kind of awkward in social situations and that gives you a lot of anxiety. Then, you brainstorm that next time you’re going to pray before you go, so that you have less anxiety. You rely on God to help you reach out to others and make them feel important when you’re there.
- Maybe you realize that you want to save a little bit of room for cake, because when you started eating it, you were already full. That felt really yucky and you kept eating and eating because of it. Maybe you decide you don’t want cake the next time.
There’s no one right answer, but that’s the beauty of this process. That’s how we can turn those slips and falls into really awesome learning moments that draw us closer to God. The Holy Spirit will guide and direct you in each step along the way.
I believe with all my heart that God has allowed this struggle for a purpose in your life. The purpose is found in getting out of that struggle with and through Him.
In all honesty, I don’t walk in freedom every single day. And, if I never do, it’s okay because this is my ministry and it allows me to see my need for Christ and to pray daily, hourly, and by the minute,sometimes. It’s all good.
You are not broken, my friend. This time can be different when you approach it differently. If you approach this like a diet where you’re either on or off, you will fail. It will become just another check mark of things that went bad.
Come in with a new mindset that you are going to glorify God. You’re going to react to slips by going to Him and working through it. You’re going to realize that it’s “apples and oranges.”
This time can be the time that changes your life.
Brandice Lardner is a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Author, and Jesus Girl whose mission in life is to help women ditch the diet mentality and find peace with food and their bodies so that they are better equipped to do the great things God has called them to do.