“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest–and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:10
I’m looking at a book on my shelf called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. It’s basic premise teaches people the importance of learning to let go of the daily annoyances and stresses in life. These minor annoyances may include: Someone cutting us off in traffic; not returning our call; or a disagreement with someone.
Now this theory may work in the context of handling stress, but as far as weight loss is concerned, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact when it comes to weight loss, it’s the ‘small stuff’ that we really need to sweat.
People often get down on themselves about the big meal they overconsumed the other night, or the big event that may be coming up and they’re afraid that they will not have any self-control. What we really need to be concerned about is our daily habits. It’s the 100 calories of butter that goes on your toast each morning, the 100 calories of sugar that goes into your coffee or tea, or the 200 calories of dressing that goes onto your previously ‘healthy’ salad.
Oftentimes we’ve consumed an additional 500-1000 calories per day that we may not have been aware of:
- nibbling on little snacks or candies throughout the day
- tasting while cooking
- eating our kids’ leftovers
- drinking hidden calories in fruit juices
- sugar in our tea or coffee
- condiments such as ketchup or mayonnaise
By themselves, they may not seem like a big deal, but they add up and contribute to poor health down the road.
In Proverbs 6:10, the Bible talks about this principle in the context of sleep. To paraphrase, it says, ‘as we savour those extra few minutes of sleep each morning, it can have long-term negative consequences’. With food, as we savour those little extras, the weight slowly creeps up and up, yet we’re frustrated at why it’s so hard to lose weight.
Small habits can develop into big habits and big problems. At the end of the day, God wants us to give Him our best–not perfection, just our best. If we’re being honest with ourselves, our best does not include little consistent compromises. The little negative habits can sometimes take us off track if we are not diligent in managing them.
Each day pray that you remain conscious of the small things that you do. Be mindful. Ask God to help you see the small things that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Pray that God will turn you eyes away from worthless things and give you life through His Word.
As you go about your day today remember to ‘sweat the small stuff’ in your eating habits and your health.