It’s January 19th, and many of us have already given up on our commitment to “Be Healthy This Year!!!!” It’s not that we don’t want to be healthy. We do! We’re just demoralized by the constant failures that go along with working on a be healthy habit.
So what do we do to get out of that slump? Pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and make a commitment to try again tomorrow? I don’t think so; I used to do that all the time and it didn’t work. I didn’t have enough self-control to make myself do the things that led to health or not do the things that kept me unhealthy.
If we really want to be healthy–and we’re not one of those people who love exercising and eating healthy–we need to renew our minds. The Bible tells us we’re transformed by the renewing of the mind. This works for anything we do in life, including becoming healthy.
The more we get God’s perspective on life and food, the more we’ll want to do things that will lead us toward health. If you’d like to be healthy this year, here are a few suggestions.
5 Steps to Becoming Healthy if You Don’t Have Oodles of Self-Control
(Note: Don’t be intimidated by this list! These are all ideas, and you could just choose one or two of them to begin with. If you have a hard time making yourself do things like this, scroll down below the next image for ideas.)
- Renew your mind about food 2-3 times a day. Here are a couple of ideas of how to to do that: 1) Have a conversation with God about food. So often we pray, “Help me lose weight, God!” But those pleas don’t renew our minds. Instead, spend some time with God getting His perspective on life and food. If you’d like to give this a try, use the questions in I Deserve a Donut or the Renewing of the Mind Project to have those conversations. 2) Truth journal. This can be as simple as writing down one belief that’s making you eat and then record the truth next to it. If possible, renew at lunch and again in the late afternoon or evening. This will help you stay on track with your boundaries during those difficult times of the day.
- Make a commitment to exercise. If you don’t already have a habit, make this a really short commitment: 5-15 minutes or 3000 steps a day. Then increase it as you gain more self-control in that area.
- Renew your mind when you can’t make yourself exercise. You can use the questions in Renewing of the Mind Project in the Starting a Habit section for this. Here are some of the thought in that section of the book that have corresponding questions and Bible verses: This is so boring. I really don’t want to do this. I shouldn’t have to do this. There’s a good reason I can’t do this again. This is no fun. I’ll do it later. I’m too busy. Will this be worth all the work?
- Memorize a few Bible verses and meditate on them throughout the day. In the Bible we see Jesus use Scripture to battle temptation. If Jesus used Scripture to walk the straight and narrow, how much more do we need to use it? Here are a few suggestions of Bible verses you could memorize: Luke 12:15, Romans 13:14, 1 Corinthians 6:12, 1 Timothy 4:7b, Philippians 4:11-13, Hebrews 12:11.
- Do a weight loss Bible study. Beginning the day with a weight loss Bible study will help you start the day on the right foot. Google “weight loss Bible study” and you’ll find all kinds of options. If you’d like to try one of my studies, I’d recommend Freedom from Emotional Eating if you struggle more with emotional eating or entitlement and Taste for Truth if you’re more of a careless or bored overeater. If you like variety, do the first six lessons in Taste for Truth, then switch over to Freedom from Emotional Eating and go back and forth between the two.
But What If I Can’t Make Myself Do Those Things?
Now you may have noticed one tiny little problem. All the things I just mentioned also require discipline! This is where you need some friendship or group support.
You could do this in one of four ways: 1) Do a weight loss Bible study with a group of friends or at your church, 2) join an established weight loss or intuitive eating group, 3) get an accountability partner, or 4) start a goals group. In my last podcast episode with Dr. Melanie Wilson, called How to Achieve Your Goals – 10 Tips, we talked about how to start a goals group.
No matter which path you choose, try to incorporate renewing your mind into the group. You could even do daily accountability for renewing. Let a friend know what your goals are (I’ll renew 3 times a day, for example), then each morning text each other and ask, did you renew?
Just remember as you do this, though, that you will have bad days. We all do when we’re working on a new habit. Those are the days we get tired of the struggle and just want to give up!
But… we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! We just need to keep going to Him to get that strength. In today’s podcast episode (links below), you’ll get a chance to do that. Following are the questions we’ll be visiting with God about on today’s podcast:
Tired of the Struggle Questions, Bible Verses, and Tips
Note: The questions, Bible studies, and tips are all from I Deserve a Donut (and Other Lies That Make You Eat).
- Do you ever wish life were easier?
- Why do you think it’s so hard to lose weight and keep it off?
- What do you usually do when you get discouraged about it?
- What will happen if you keep doing that?
- Do you want that to happen?
- How do you think God feels when He sees you suffering? (Hebrews 4:15)
- What do you think God wants to do for you in the midst of your struggle? (See Hebrews 4:16 and the other verses below for ideas.)
- What do you think He wants you to do in the midst of your struggle? (See verses below for ideas.)
- What will you gain if you go to Him for help with this struggle?
- When you think of all you’ll gain, is it worth taking the time to fight the battle with spiritual weapons?
- Would it help to have someone hold you accountable to the renewing of your mind? If so, who could you ask?
Psalm 30:5b Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
Hebrews 12:11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Tired of the Struggle Tips
(I’ll also read these tips from I Deserve a Donut on today’s podcast after we do the renewing questions and Bible verses.)
Let’s face it. It’s hard to keep dealing with the same problem over and over. Sometimes we feel like throwing in the towel and just giving up.
Don’t do it.
Spiritual battles are just what they’re called: battles. And battles aren’t easy. You can’t enter into battle without entering into suffering.
Here’s a comforting thought, though. It’s far better to suffer with God than without Him. Spiritual battles can be intense, sweet times of fellowship with God—so sweet it almost feels like it’s worth struggling through the problem just to have those times with God.
I want to encourage you to keep going to Him for help. Renew your mind. Take off those lies and put on the truth. Let the Holy Spirit work in you and minister to you and conform you to His image.
The journey won’t be pleasant, but afterwards, you’ll experience the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11). And that will be worth the struggle.
Other Podcast Episodes Where You Can Renew
If you’d like to listen to more podcast episodes that allow you to renew while you listen, check out these episodes:
- Renew: Indulgence Eating
- Renew: I’ll Start Tomorrow
- Renew: Vacation and Holiday Eating
- Renew: Entitlement Eating
- Renew: Failure Eating
- Renew: Careless Eating
- Renew: Sneakiness / Opportunity Eating
Resources Mentioned on the Podcast
- Taste for Truth Bible Study
- Freedom from Emotional Eating Bible study
- I Deserve a Donut book
- I Deserve a Donut App
- Renewing of the Mind Project
- “How to Truth Journal” blog post
- How to Achieve a Goal – 10 Tips with Dr. Melanie Wilson and Barb
- Christian Accountability Partner: A Beginner’s Guide
- James Bible Study Book – Coming out March 15, 2022. The Kindle version of this book is now up for pre-sale.
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