Confession: It’s Good For the Soul

I’ve dreaded writing this post but the time has come to break the news even if its not good news.  I did not accomplish my weight loss goals as I had hoped to earlier this year. In fact, I did not even come close.  I guess the good news is that I did not gain any weight. But the bad news is that I did not lose any. In February, I set a goal to lose 50 lbs by October. It was a lofty goal but I had 6 months to do it and I thought it was attainable. I also thought it would be fun to try a bunch of different diet plans and see which ones worked best.

Now that its nearly October I can tell you that, while this plan didn’t work as I had hoped, I did learn SO MUCH during the process.  Here are some of my lessons learned:

1. Don’t try a bunch of different “diets” – this was my biggest mistake.  I started with South Beach because it had worked for me in the past. I should have just stuck with that strategy and perhaps this would be a very different blog post!

2. Set small goals – I swear I thought 50 lbs in 6 months was a small goal, but it wasn’t.  It may have been a small goal at a different season of life but in THIS season it was just too big for me to manage. The Bible and common wisdom tell us to take each day as it comes, or take one day at a time, and not get worked up about the future.  For me, this means that I need to set short-term attainable goals for myself. For example, I will set a goal of losing 3-4 lbs a month + pushing the stroller 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes.  Then if in a month I accomplish that, I can reassess and add more to the next month’s goal.  If I don’t accomplish that, then I try it again for another month until I get it right.

3. All personal change starts on the inside – I knew this, we ALL know this. But even if we know and believe that, we don’t always act on that belief. Why is that? We know what is beneficial and helpful and good for us but we do something totally opposite, that tends to be bad for us. As a Christ follower I believe its the battle between my “flesh” and God’s Spirit in me.  I have a choice of which urging to follow. I used to “wish” that the urging of the Spirit was stronger than the urging of the flesh. Now I have come to understand that the way for the Spirit’s urging to be stronger than the flesh’s urging is to read, study, believe and meditate on the Bible – E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y. I have only recently come to this conclusion and I have already experienced this to be true. When I fully engage in my personal, daily, Bible study, its MUCH easier to resist the temptations that come my way. If you know me, you are probably thinking: YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT ALREADY. Well, knowing it and acting on it are, again, two very different things.

I tied this weight loss goal to a year-long focus on the word discipline, which led to a brief focus on pain, and ended in a focus on personal holiness. Now, I have come to realize that apart from the power of God at work in my life, I can do nothing. The way to have the power of God at work in my life is to study the Bible every single day. The word of God truly will transform anyone’s life if they dedicate the time to actually study it, not just read it, but STUDY it – hard – and really try to understand what the words are saying. This is my new priority. And I am no longer tying my pursuit of discipline to changing my outside. I am now focusing my pursuit of discipline on daily Bible study and allowing that to change me from the inside out.

I may not have lost 50 lbs this year, but I did gain something very valuable instead: a renewed understanding of the power of the Gospel to transform my life.

I am currently doing a study on the book of John. Its already making a huge impact on me. I have never done a Bible study on one of the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John).  One of John’s themes is how Jesus Christ is the Word of God come to life, the logos made flesh, the word and power of God made available to anyone who will believe. What better place to refocus my pursuit of inner change!

Jesus said:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:5-8)

This will be my final “weight loss” post. I am changing my focus. I will still share cool recipes and things like that but I have decided to refocus my efforts on changing on the “inside” and, Lord willing, a fruit of that will be a much healthier and happier “outside.”

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