It has always been a challenge for me to stay in shape or to lose weight. Thus, baby weight was just dreadful: I was out of shape, had more weight to lose than ever before and had a newborn on top of it. I figured everything was stacked against me because of that and I was getting older, financially couldn’t pay for a gym membership, etc… until I realized that I had it easier than ever before: I had my very own personal trainer now, God was in my corner.
The book, Reshaping it All by Candace Cameron Bure, really opened my eyes. All this time, I was holding onto the control of my physical health and once I turned that over spiritually, I began getting healthy and losing that weight. Within a year, I lost 60 pounds (30 additional pounds after baby weight).
You can read my Reshaping it All journey, starting here
Here is the sum of what I’ve learned and continue to challenge myself with every day:
1) Face and identify your weaknesses
a) Whether it is fear or just not thinking about it, really come clean with your weakness. Examples are under-eating, over-eating, exercise, attitude/motivation, consistency, temptation, time/priorities, etc…
b) So you say, “Oh, I’ll start tomorrow.”
c) For me, because I was always exercising hard – I figured I could eat however much I wanted. AND I have always been a healthy eater, so even more so, although I had a salad, it would be huge. I really had to pay attention because I thought I was doing everything OK. WEAKNESS: PORTIONS, SELF-CONTROL & CONSISTENCY.
2) Get on the spiritual scale: how much weight are you carrying?
a) I was too ashamed to give this issue to God. I thought it was selfish of me to ask God for help when he has so many other bigger things to deal with. This was a part of me I was still trying to control because I didn’t want to burden Him, and I also knew my motivations were not glorifying to God.
b) I had to think, “how am I hurting God here?” Control, abusing body with food, gluttony, not loving yourself, anger… All of these hurt God, and I knew I had to give Him all my weight and strive to glorify Him through my health challenge.
“It is not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not” – Author unknown
3) Identify your motivations
a) There is a reason why they call them “yo-yo diets” or “quick fix” because so often you make drastic changes for the wrong motivation and then go back to your unhealthy routine. You hear dieters say, “I can’t wait to eat carbs again,” and sure enough, they would gain weight back and most often, even more weight. I’ve done it.
b) I had to change my view on food. We eat to fuel not exercise so we can eat.
c) A motivational change meant I altered my motivations to glorify God and be an example to my daughter. I had to permanently make these changes, thus, I had to say “bye-bye” to anything easy, a “quick-fixer” and accept the hard road (and what everyone says and so many deny) – eating healthy, eating the right portion sizes and exercise. Calories in and calories out. No pain, no gain.
4) Commit to a lifestyle change not a diet
a) Slow and steady wins the race. Make changes that you can do for a lifetime, not just to lose 20 pounds. Start small – like walking a few times a week or adding more vegetables. Use smaller plates. Think of things you can live with forever – and not short term, which makes temptation all the worse.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” 1 Corn. 6:19-20
b) With any trial we are faced with, God commonly tests us with Patience and Perseverance. So I knew asking for a quick-fix wasn’t going to do it – now that I knew my weakness and changed my motivations, I had to figure out what tools I needed from God in order to make this a lifestyle health change.
A: Admit to God your weakness
B: Believe that God can give you the strength and tools you need
C: Commit to being healthy permanently
5) Identify what tools you need
I realized that it wasn’t a desperate plea to God, “Please help me lose the baby weight!” that I needed to practice – there were tools that I was lacking. Here are a few that I continually prayed and still pray for. Not only did they have a huge affect on my health, but also on so many other things in life. These verses were also great to memorize so when I was being tempted to just walk during my run or eat more than I should at an event, I could pray these verses.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Heb. 12:11
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Gal. 5:16
“For everything God created is good and nothing is to be rejected if it received with thanksgiving because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Tim. 4:4-5
“If you find honey, eat just enough.” Prov. 25:16
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” 1Peter 5: 7-9
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Cor. 10:13
“He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matt. 17:20
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Phil. 4: 13
“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” Gal. 5:7
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Heb. 12: 1-2
LUKE 10: 38-42
Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable ones then starting with the first one.”
6) Pray for God to give you those tools and *His strength, perseverance and patience
a) Accept that God really takes His time with everything and that slow and steady DOES win the race
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matt. 7: 7-8
7) Spiritual check-up
a) Moms are pressed with time and prioritizing and I found that the days that I started with good God time and prayed for these things, I was blessed throughout the day with better eating habits and somehow, time to go run, etc…
b) Destructive thoughts will destruct you: I’m not attractive, fat, etc…
“…and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10: 5;
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Phil. 4:8
c) Ask for support/help. It was hard enough asking God (even when He already knew), but I had to tell my husband this is what I am going through and the changes I would like to make so that he was on board being supportive (and sometimes a tough coach to listen to) Friends or a program are also great ways to keep accountable and consistent.
d) Keep God as your armor because as you grow stronger, Satan will come in to tempt your last few weaknesses.
“Let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Matt. 26: 41
e) Be thankful to God. Love your body NOW (be content in all things) and pray for confidence and guidance toward glorifying God with your body. We are challenged to be “content in all things…” therefore, block out your “things will be better when…” thoughts.