Learn these steps to renewing your mind so that you can walk free from those negative food and body image thoughts!
“I am fat.”
“I might as well eat the whole bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs…that way I won’t have to keep the rest of the bag around any longer.”
“I am going to exercise extra hard today because of my horrible food choices yesterday.”
“I’ve messed up. What can I eat next?”
When the lies speak louder than the truth, do you allow your thoughts to spiral? Negative hit after negative hit, you find yourself in a pit of fear, anxiety, worthlessness. You feel like you’ve been hit by a Mack Truck you didn’t see coming.
Renewing Your Mind Step 1: Take Every Thought Captive
In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul’s letter to his church plant in Corinth, he directs us to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (ESV)
We take captive every thought that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, that does not line up with God’s best will for us.
We should not carry any sort of guilt and/or shame. Thoughts that tell us our bodies are less than He’s created them to be, or that our food choices are good or bad, are not of Him.
God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear, anxiety, worthlessness, or worry. So when we take a step back and consider where our negative thoughts may be coming from, we’re better able to understand, analyze, and process each thought’s intent.
Now, let’s dive into those oh-so-common lies and rebuttal them with truth from God’s Word.
RENEW The Lie: “I am fat.”
“I am fat.” The word “fat” carries a sting and a punch that isn’t true, noble, praiseworthy, or kind.
Therefore, that thought is not of God and doesn’t belong in our hearts or in our brains.
We need to stop the thought in its tracks and ask ourselves where that thought might be coming from– We may realize that we feel less than awesome in our clothes today and that thought could be true and is a valid concern.
It’s okay to have not so good days. Those days happen.
What we do next with that thought pattern is important.
Here’s an opportunity to tune into our body and our food and movement choices throughout the day with grace, mercy, and lack of judgment.
RENEW The Lie: “I Need to Eat This Entire Bag of Candy.”
Let’s process the thought of eating an entire bag of candy.
When we stop immediately and ask ourselves where past experiences or the diet mindset may induce these types of thought patterns, we can ask ourselves:
- Is this “Last Supper” thinking?
- Have I truly given myself permission to have this food again?
- Do I trust myself around food?
- Do I believe the notion that I can’t be trusted around sugar?
- Have I labeled these foods as “good food” or “bad food“?
What makes us believe that eating an entire bag of candy is the solution? Where did that thought come from?
Years and years of deprivation, binge eating, and all-or-nothing mentality. Why is this wrong thinking?
No food is “good” or “bad,” and when we categorize them as such, we put them on a pedestal, something to covet, something we allow to have power over us.
RENEW The Lie: “I Am Going To Exercise Extra Hard Today Because Of My Horrible Food Choices Yesterday.”
Sister friend, exercise was never meant to be a form of punishment. When we see exercise as something that we need to do to maintain a certain size, be a certain image, or be a specific number on the scale, we invite ourselves to strive for more.
Suddenly, we’re beating our bodies into submission. Telling God that His creation isn’t enough.
God never intended for us to try and manipulate our bodies.
In fact, Paul reminds us that our body was bought with a price, the blood of Jesus.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
Why would we treat our bodies in a way that is not pleasing to God?
Movement can and should be joyful, pleasing to the God who created us.
The Lie: “I’ve Messed Up. What Can I Eat Next?”
This is the all-or-nothing mentality, friend.
Chances are, if you’re thinking these thoughts, you’re holding on to hard and fast diet rules.
Pray in the gray.
If we take away the black and white thinking that aligns itself with diet culture, then we’re invited into the gray spaces of food choices.
Next time a craving hits, remind yourselves that “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” (1 Corinthians 10:23 CSB)
We have permission to eat all foods. There are no good and bad food labels, therefore, I have permission to eat this food at this moment. However, do I really need it right now?
Keep in mind, there is no right or wrong answer here.
When we give ourselves permission to eat all foods, take away the food labels and food rules, and give ourselves grace and mercy in our food choices, we take away the feelings of wrongdoing and debunk all thought patterns that attach themselves to diet culture.
Soon enough, the rebel inside of you will no longer feel the need to binge…no longer giving food power over you, and handing that power to the Holy Spirit within you.
Renewing Your Mind Step 2: Measure Your Thoughts Against His Truth
Is my thought pattern true, noble, praiseworthy, kind?
When thoughts such as these creep in, I invite you to take the thought captive, analyze it, and ask yourself where it may be coming from.
Is the thought true?
How does your thought measure up? When you walk those worldly worries to the throne of Jesus, what does HE say?
Then you can replace the lie with the truth. “I can have a couple of pieces today and I can choose to have another piece when I see fit.”
This Is How We Fight Our Battles
What happens when we go from…
Noticing a thought-– exploring it, evaluating it in the eyes of God, and changing it into a thought process that aligns with the knowledge of Him?
Everything changes. We begin to see ourselves through the eyes of our Creator and therefore begin to view ourselves in a different light. God’s light.
How does He see us? Our body image? Our food choices?
When we allow God to work in and through our battles, we are better equipped to deal with the lies. Challenging every thought process that sets itself up against His truths, His values, His promises.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of Switch on Your Brain, is a communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist, specializing in cognitive and metacognitive neuropsychology.
She has studied neuroplasticity and agrees that, eventually, we will be able to replace these damaging thoughts automatically, rewiring our brain, and standing firm in His truth.
Day by day, challenging the lies becomes easier. We begin to form a new habit and a new truth, accepting the perfect creation that He has made.
Renewing Your Step 3: Remember You Are Made In His Image
We are an expression of Him and girl, that IS enough.
Stand firm and deeply grounded in HIS words only. Notice the difference between the lies and the truth. Soon enough, being rooted in His truth will become all that you believe and rely on each and every moment of each and every day.
Don’t waste another minute believing anything that tells you that you are not worthy, enough, beautiful, made for a purpose, and deeply loved by the Creator of our universe.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Romans 12:2 ESV
You’ve got this, sister friend!
MEET TRUDY LONESKY
God girl. Wife. Mom of 4. Surrendering and reaching for God’s guidance in all areas of life. Leading, guiding, and directing women to find their identity in Christ alone.
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Brandice Lardner is a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Author, Amazon #1 Best Selling 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.