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 their 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 is a skill that can only be developed over time. Sometimes we see people who join a weight loss program and have amazing results. The weight seems to melt off them and we’re left wondering why it’s worked for them and not for us. The truth is, we don’t know how many times they’ve tried before and this final program might have been the one that clicked for them. There is no magic program on daily consistent actions to develop permanent, healthy habits.
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 limiting beliefs are the biggest reason why we continue to make the same weight loss mistakes over and over again.
Faulty beliefs are the most challenging barriers to overcome because most of them are subconscious so it’s difficult to change what we don’t know we’re doing or not doing.
Limiting beliefs even affect the first two variables because we often approach our faith (1) and our habits (2) from this faulty perspective or limiting belief.
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; or a host of other wrong beliefs then it will negatively affect our faith and daily habits.
It’s not easy to over-come limiting beliefs. You must first understand what your limiting beliefs are that are keeping you stuck; get conscious of how they show up in your life and sabotage you and then develop a plan to replace your limiting beliefs with the Word of God. Over-coming limiting beliefs is what we teach on our Haven Program.
Putting it all together
To successfully release weight and stop making the same weight loss mistakes over and over again, all three of these variables need to be in place.
You can have faith and good habits but if you have faulty programming about who God is, you will not experience a breakthrough.
You can have right beliefs and good habits but if you don’t believe God’s promises are for you then you will not experience a breakthrough.
Lastly, you can have faith and right beliefs but if you have not learned how to develop consistent habits then you will not experience a breakthrough.
Start this process by first learning about who you are in Christ. This step is crucial before you can change your habits or understand your limiting beliefs. Learn what the bible says about who you are. Read, study, pray, renew your mind. Once you begin to believe that you are who God says you are then you can begin to look at the other two variables.
Remember, it’s a process so it will not happen overnight but its well worth the time and effort if you ever what to end the crazy cycle.