One of the members of our Haven program expressed her frustration with her inability to stop making the same mistakes over and over, year after year. If you’ve struggled with your weight then I’m sure you can identify with her frustration. Despite good intentions, prayer and motivation, the goal of permanent weight loss is still elusive to most women.
Here was my response to her. I pray it blesses you too:
There are spiritual, psychological and practical reasons why we continually make the same mistakes over and over again. If we struggle in any of these 3 areas then we will stay stuck in our old patterns of gaining and losing the same 10, 20 or more pounds year after year. In order for us to stop repeating familiar weight loss mistakes, we need to work on these three variables. They are 1. Faith ( belief) 2. Habits ( actions) 3. Faulty programming (lies).
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God” ~Eph 2:8
If you struggle in this area, it does not mean that you don’t have faith in God. In fact, we all know people with great faith who struggle with their weight. We may even find it baffling how they can be so ‘spiritual’ and yet struggle. Unfortunately, faith alone is not enough to help you manage your weight. There are many spiritual giants 1. fail to apply their faith to their weight loss journey, 2. believe God’s promises for others but not necessarily for themselves or 3. their faith may be negatively impacted by thier limiting beliefs (see point 3 for a definition of limiting beliefs).
It’s possible to have strong faith but deep down inside believe that God is judging you every time you overeat. Or you may have great faith but you may believe that you are not deserving of God’s help because you’re being lazy by not exercising or gluttonous by over-eating. All of these beliefs will affect your faith by making you feel shameful, guilty, hopeless which can often lead you to continue in your negative cycle.
Regardless of how much you over-eat or fail to exercise, believe that God can help you if you submit this journey to Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you some of the faulty beliefs you may have that might be affecting your faith in Him.
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. ” 1 Cor 11:1
Habits are what we repeatedly do every day. If poor eating habits and inactivity was modeled for us as children then there’s a higher probability that we will continue these poor habits as adults.
If you have not developed the habit to exercise each day or to crave healthy foods, you can learn these habits but it will require a progressive, consistent plan. Many of us start a health regime and try to force ourselves to exercise and eat healthy. We think that if we just try harder or use more will-power then we can change but it does not work that way. Will-power always wears off.
Developing healthy habits are a skill that can only be developed over time. Sometimes we see people who join a program and have amazing results. The weight seems to melt off and we’re left wondering why it’s worked for them and not for us. The truth is, we don’t know home many times they’ve tried before and this final program might have been the one that clicked for them.
Whether or not you learned good habits as a child or not, you can learn them by committing to taking daily, consistent action towards your goals regardless of how big or how small the action is. The goal is to just keep moving in the positive direction.
3. Faulty programming
“Would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:21
Faulty programming describes wrong mindsets and limiting beliefs that we have about ourselves, our bodies, the world, or even God that constrain us. Over the years of working with women, I believe that this is that limiting beliefs are the biggest reason why we continue to make the same weight loss mistakes over and over again.
Faulty beliefs is the most challenging barrier to overcome becasue most of them are subconscious so it’s difficult to change what we don’t know we’re doing or not doing.
We approach our faith and our actions from this faulty perspective or limiting belief.
eg. If deep down inside we believe that God is judging us then our faith and actions will be directed pleasing God.
If deep down inside we believe that God is mad at us; we are not worthy of His love; we can’t go to Him with ALL of our concerns; we are not worthy of His love; or a host of other wrong beliefs then our knowledge of God is based on lies and will keep us from experiencing all God has for us.
This is the big piece that many people who are stuck experience. It’s possible to have faith and good habits but if you have faulty programming about who God is you will not experience a breakthrough.
Which one of these 3 areas most apply to you? For most of us, it’s all 3 and for many, we may never have thought of the third variable. This journey will look at the first and second variable with strong emphasis on the third. Thoughts?