On Saturday, I was putting up the dishes from the dishwasher and I started to do something automatically I am trying not to do: put the knives into a standing metal rack on the kitchen counter.
Although we have a wooden block to put knives in, there are too many knives to fit them all. So I had started putting the “overflow” into this wire rack.
Well, my husband Mike has told me several times not to put the knives into that wire rack because when you pull a knife out, the blade scrapes against the metal and it ends up dulling the blade.
Even though I know what he says is right, I still found myself putting the knives in there anyway out of habit.
But this morning as I was taking the knives out of the dishwasher, I got a revelation about how to fix my problem.
What I did was use a Biblical principle that Jesus taught. This principle will help you to become more consistent with your weight loss habits – if you put it into practice.
Here’s the story, told in Matthew 12:43-45:
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first…”
Before we get into the principle that helped me solve my consistency problem, I do want to say that I don’t believe that those in Christ Jesus can be possessed by unclean spirits (because we are already sealed for the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit). However, I do believe that we can be influenced by them if we heed the wrong voice through neglecting to take lying thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.
Now, here’s the principle: It is far better to replace a negative habit with a better one than just removing the negative habit alone. Just removing the old habit without a replacement is the equivalent of leaving the house empty.
In my case, I saw something I’ve never seen before as I started to put the knives into the metal rack automatically: the metal rack stays empty if knives aren’t in it! So that rack’s emptiness was just begging for me to put something in it.
So I found a new spot for the knives and I filled up the metal rack with plastic cooking utensils instead. That way, I have a visual reminder not to put knives in there because that rack is already occupied.
Think about your old health habit: That old habit was filling a role in your life in some way. Whether you used the old habit to respond to stress, made you feel special, helped you relax after work, stuff down your anger, comfort grief, or served as an activity for you to do if you felt bored, it performed a function in your life.
If you just remove the old habit, you’ve left a void in your life that remains unfilled. You will feel restless with the loss of it. To me, that’s similar to being plagued with a restless spirit.
Many people say that they lack consistency in their health habits. But that’s not really true. The truth is that they are likely very consistent with their old habits!
Why not leverage the consistency you already have?
The real problem is that some of those old habits with which you are now consistent aren’t serving you anymore. They are no longer consistent with the person you want to become.
To change, you need new habits that are consistent with the new person you want to be now.
To turn things around, I recommend asking the Lord in prayer for insight as to what that old habit meant to you. Often, an emotion is under-girding that habit. If that habit is meeting an emotional need, that’s the root that must be dealt with. Otherwise something else is going to try to fill the empty spot left behind.
Let’s say that you come home from work and your pattern is to go into the kitchen, get some cookies, sit down in front of the TV and that is your cue to relax.
But then you decide that it’s not good to eat cookies every day. You get rid of the cookies, but then you think subconsciously, “How am I going to relax now? I can’t relax without my cookies!”
If you are feeling you can’t relax without cookies, then how long do you think your resolve to give up cookies is going to last? Say it with me: “Not very long!”
What can you do instead?
You might decide to test out putting some herbal teas in the space the cookies use to occupy and drink the tea to help you relax. Or you may put some fresh fruit or individual packets of nuts there.
Whatever replacement you use, try to make it fit into your “normal” routine as much as possible, the one with which you are already consistent.
Does that make sense?
To summarize, I recommend focusing on replacement rather than removal when it comes to your old habits. If you do that, you will be much more likely to stay consistent with your new habits with repeated practice!
Be blessed with health, healing, and wholeness,
Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. When it comes to weight loss, do you often know what you should do but have a hard time doing it?
I struggled with this issue on my own weight loss journey, but I discovered that “Nothing is different until you think differently.” – Pastor James MacDonald
The value of the Take Back Your Temple program is that you will learn how to think differently through using Biblical keys to overcome obstacles. You’ll discover how to win the Spiritual and mental battle that often causes us to become inconsistent and get off-track on our weight loss journey.
Join a community of like-minded Christians losing weight and keep it off.
Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program
This is so helpful and it makes so much sense! Thank you! I’m going to print it and post it where I can see it to remind myself. My hardest time to resist eating mindlessly is when I get home from work.
I am so glad you found it helpful Cynthia. You’ve got a consistent pattern already – you just need to work on tweaking some things with that until you find a pattern you can live with that helps with your weight loss goals. With God’s help, you can do it 🙂
CONSISTANCY !!! I DO have it. All this time I thought my yo yo lifestyle was due to LACK of it! I feel great , Kim, now I realize that I have a Very strong Consistant personality…….so when I ( with The Lords insite) Replace bad habits, like eating in the evening after supper ( adding hundreds of calories to my daily intake…..ugg !) I can Continue to be Consistant but this time with a new and better habit. Thank you so much. Your ministry is so valuable and I honor your gift of teaching.
I appreciate that, Sherry! Truly, I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to share what the Lord teaches me. It’s an adventure with Him, that’s for sure 🙂
Awesome Kimberly…Love every read.
Thank you, Pat – all glory to God!
Thank you Kimberly. Using that scripture really makes the concept of replacing bad habits with good ones understandable.
Glad that was helpful, Teri – so much practical wisdom in the Bible!
Great insight! Going to start replacing right now!
Wonderful, Bice – take advantage of those replacements 🙂