One of the members of our 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 her noble attempts, good intentions, and prayers, she was stuck in a cycle of overeating and dieting that she just could not break.
Here was my response to her. I pray it blesses you too.
Releasing weight is multifaceted. There are spiritual, psychological, and emotional reasons why we continually make the same mistakes over and over again. If we lack clarity in any of these 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, focus on these three variables.
1. Faith (belief)
2. Habits (actions)
3. Limiting Beliefs (lies)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
All Christians have challenges with their faith in one capacity or another. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad Christian or that there’s something wrong with you, it means that you have not fully submitted your health to God. In as much as, God’s Word is enough to conquer any challenge that you will ever encounter in your life, you will have difficulty applying God’s Word to your health or seeking Him to help you if you don’t fully submit this journey to Him.
Unfortunately, faith alone is not enough to help you manage your weight if you (1) fail to apply faith to your weight loss journey; (2) believe God’s promises are for others but not necessarily for you; or (3) have never thought of inviting God into this area of your life.
It is possible to have great faith, yet you keep laying your health at the altar only to keep picking it back up again and taking matters into your own hands, or you may keep letting your fears and discouragement override your faith.
Regardless of how much you overeat or fail to exercise, believe that God can help you if you submit this journey to Him.
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1
Habits are what we repeatedly do every day. If poor eating habits and inactivity were modeled for us as children, 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; however, it will require a progressive, consistent plan. Many of us start a health regime and try to force ourselves to exercise and eat healthily. We think that if we just try harder or use more willpower, then we can change—but it doesn’t work that way. Willpower 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. What we don’t see is the years of practice and trial and error they had put in prior to their breakthrough. There is no magic program—only daily, consistent actions bathed in prayer is the way to develop permanent, healthy habits.
Whether you learned good habits as a child or not, you can develop the skill of 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 a positive direction.
3. Limiting Beliefs
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8
Limiting beliefs are ingrained thoughts, thinking patterns, or belief systems that we hold about ourselves, the world, and God. They limit our ability to live the abundant life Christ died for us to live because they are based on past events instead of facts.
When it comes to losing weight, they include beliefs such as:
- Everything must be perfect, otherwise why bother
- Practice makes perfect
- I’ll never reach my goal
- I’m too old for this.
- I can’t help it, I’m just big-boned.
- I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator.
- I guess I just don’t have the willpower.
- I’m a quitter—I never finish what I start.
- God must not want me to be at a healthy weight since he’s not answering my prayers for help.
- I just need to pray more.
Focusing on our fears/weight/health/food/tracking will make us obsessed. They are not necessarily right or wrong, but they limit our ability to move forward because they are so ingrained in us.
Limiting beliefs are challenging to overcome because most of them are subconscious and 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 and our habits from this faulty perspective (or limiting belief).
If deep down inside we believe that God is mad at us; that we are not worthy of His love; that we can’t go to Him with ALL of our concerns or a host of other wrong beliefs, it will negatively affect our faith and daily habits.
It’s not easy to overcome limiting beliefs. You must first understand what the 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.
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 attention.
Praying (faith) without changing your habits and seeking God to help you get to the root of your limiting beliefs will frustrate you and cause you to doubt God.
Trying to change your habits without understanding why you do what you do (limiting beliefs) will leave you spinning your wheels.
And understanding your limiting beliefs without taking action to develop new habits will keep you on a neverending search for answers but never taking action towards better health.
It’s a 1-2-3 punch, always starting with prayer as the first step. Start by asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate why these three areas keep holding you back. Let Him show you if you need to walk in more faith or develop better habits to let go of your limiting beliefs. Spending time with Him will give you insight into how you are to proceed.
Remember, it’s a process. It will not happen overnight, but it’s well worth the time and effort if you ever want to end the crazy cycle.
To learn our systematic approach to these 3 steps, go to Weight Loss, God’s Way and discover a systematic approach to permanent weight loss that puts it all together is a simple course for you.
Share below which one of these three areas do you most struggle with?