How many times have you gotten frustrated with yourself because you knew you should do the right thing, but couldn’t make yourself do it?
It’s a common story for those who strive to practice better health habits. However, I’ve got three guidelines that can help you change for the better.
Let’s say that you have issues with emotional eating. You know that it’s not a healthy behavior to practice but you find yourself doing it anyway.
You beat yourself up every time you do it.
When you condemn yourself for weaknesses, all you do is set yourself for more stress, frustration and depression.
That makes it likely that you will fall back on your weaknesses even more!
But what if you take a different approach?
1. Choose restoration, not condemnation.
Try this: The next time you finding yourself acting in a way you don’t want to, extend some grace to yourself.
The second you recognize your error say to yourself immediately: “See, that’s why I need a Savior.“
Call it getting some WINS: “Why I Need a Savior”
None of us are perfect in our flesh.
But when you are humble in admitting you need the grace of a Savior to help you in your time of need, you use your imperfections as an opportunity to draw closer to God.
You invite God into your situation rather than insisting that you can do it alone and don’t need any help.
Now, WINS aren’t an excuse to keep making the same mistakes. Once you admit the WIN, just simply say to God: “Help me in this area. Show me how to replace my weakness with your strength.”
And then apply the wisdom he gives you day by day.
Commit to the learning process.
2. Strive for progress, not perfection.
The second guideline is strive for progress, not perfection.
Every time you are faced with the choice to practice a negative habit, make it a game to exert just a little more self control than you did the last time.
Believe in faith through the power of God’s Spirit.
For example, you always eat a candy bar or chips as an afternoon snack. Rather than stopping it altogether (although that’s terrific if you can do that), then drink a glass of water first and cut the snack amount in half.
That is progress, so you win!
You are still going to the same destination, a healthier you, but you are just choosing to take a slower route to get there.
Another progress step could be making preparations for your afternoon hunger. You take a high fiber fruit such as an apple, pear, orange, or melon with you so that you turn to it instead of the vending machine.
Again, think progress not perfection.
As you make those “progress” efforts with small choices, your confidence will grow and you will be ready to make bigger, better choices.
3. Choose accountability.
Finally, get some accountability. It is very easy to practice negative habits in secret.
But with accountability, you brings these habits into the light so they can be overcome.
When you commit to changing for the better, a trusted friend or coach can help you keep your promise to yourself.
Keep this critical principle in mind:
If you don’t handle bad habits, eventually those bad habits will handle you!
Ask yourself right now: Are you handling your habits or are they handling you?.
If the answer is the second one, you can turn things around today by getting some WINS under your belt.
Then get ready because your life will change! Guaranteed.
I had bariatric surgery (vertical gastric sleeve) in Sep. of 2014 because I felt so completely hopeless in regards to ever being able to overcome my bondage to food. I thought at least if I have the size of my stomach lessened I wouldn’t be able to eat as much. I weighed 246 lb. then and lost 75 in less than a year. I am absolutely ashamed to admit I have gained back 20 of those pounds, even after having surgery. No,I cannot eat a lot in one sitting but what I am guilty of is eating unhealthy food at several times throughout the day, others in the bariatric world refer to this as grazing. The surgery made my stomach smaller but did nothing to shrink the desire for food in my head. Do you know of others who are in a similar situation as me? I recognize I am sinning against God when I am choosing to gorge myself on food instead of turning to Him for help. I am having such a hard time letting go! I have been in a love affair with food since childhood (I am now 44) and at this point it is almost impossible for me to envision myself as “FREE” and thin. I had the suegery out of desperation and fear of getting fatter and fatter. Yes, I cried out to God on so many occasions for help….but I think I was wanting Him to give me a quick fix and when that didn’t happen, I went and had surgery. I seem to be acontrol freak and do not know how to “let go and let God”. I am still desperate and hate to admit that now that I have run out of ways to control over eating on my own, I finally understand that living under God’s grace will be the only way for me to be free. I just don’t know if I understand how to live under His grace.
Hi Sheila – the enemy wants you to feel condemned and ashamed. He always wants to separate you from God’s love. That’s the first step of change. To see yourself as accepted in the Beloved, no matter what size you or or mistakes you make. You become graced focused, rather than sin focused. God’s grace gives you power OVER sin.
You are not the only one who has been in this position. I once coached a young woman who had had weight loss surgery. She said, “They fixed my stomach, but they didn’t fix my head.” The Bible says that we are transformed by the renewing of your mind. God’s way is internal change first, then external.
Check out my article, “Should a Christian Have Weight Loss Surgery” for insight on this issue. May God bless you on your continued journey to wellness!