You don’t need anyone else telling you that you need to lose weight because you already know. You know that it will improve your health; you know that it will make you better able to fulfill the purpose to which God has called you; you even know that it will enable you to enjoy life more because you won’t have the excess weight holding you down.
What you need is for someone to tell you how to end the struggle to lose weight.
I can help. But the sad fact is, not everyone is ready to end the weight struggle. So before I tell you how to end it, I need to separate the wheat from the chaff (so to speak). Let me ask you a simple question: “When are you going to start your weight loss efforts (or start again if you have gotten off track)?”
* If your answer is “Monday” or “tomorrow” or “after I have another chocolate/cookie/potato chip”, then stop reading. You are not ready to end the struggle.
* If your answer is “Right now. I am unwilling to tolerate this situation a second longer”, then congratulations! Let’s end this thing.
I have lost 40 pounds so far. I still have a few more to go, but I will achieve my goals in a couple of months. Weight loss was a big struggle for me at the beginning, but it isn’t anymore. I want to share with you a few things I did to end the struggle. If you take them to heart and act on them, they can end yours, too. But, let me warn you. After reading this, you may never look at your old unhealthy habits the same way again.
Here are the steps you need to take:
1. Meditate on what the word “struggle” means. According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the word struggle means “to make strenuous or violent efforts against opposition”. The word struggle implies that, for one to occur, at least two parties must be at war with one another. In your weight loss struggles, we know that at least one combatant is You.
2. Ask yourself, “Whom am I battling against?” Some of you might be saying, “I know the answer. I’m fighting Satan.” While that is partially true, it is not the whole story. Are you ready for the real answer?
The opposition is also You.
Think about it. On one hand, you want to be healthy, look good, and feel good. On the other hand, you want to cling to the old habits that are keeping you overweight. After all, these habits are easier and they are comfortable. You know what to expect from them.
You don’t believe me? You still believe that an outside force is making you act against your will? If you have accepted Christ, then you know that this is impossible. Take a moment to pray that God reveal to you clearly the ways in which you have struggled in this area. Meditate on it for a while and you will see that what I’m saying is true. The war is within because you are harboring two opposing desires that are struggling against one another.
3. Ask yourself, “Which of these opponents do I want to win?” The bible makes it clear in James 1:8 that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. As long as you don’t consciously choose a winner in this battle, the struggle will continue and your life will be unsettled. You will never have peace because you will be fighting against the very thing that you say you want.
If you say that you want health, then continuing those habits that made you overweight will not get you what you want.
If you say that you want to continue the old unhealthy habits, but continue to yearn for a healthy body, then you will not get what you want either.
So, decide right now which opponent you want to win:
* Healthier You: If you want to get your health back, then you must cut off the habits that keep you overweight. When the desire to return to the old habits comes up (and it will), don’t even argue with yourself. The minute you start to argue or debate with your old habits, you have already lost the fight. Why? Because your old habits are stronger and more entrenched. If you give your mind two options, then it will naturally want to take the path that is easiest to follow.
Instead tell yourself, “That is not an option anymore,” and replace that desire with a healthier alternative. You will need to educate yourself on healthy alternatives that you can live with to know what those are. Once you find them, apply them. If you stick with them long enough, they too will become easy and comfortable, just like the old habits were. But you need to be consistent for that to happen and have faith in the process.
* Unhealthy You: If you want to retain your old habits (which means staying overweight with the likelihood of getting larger), then you must cut off the possibility of changing for the better. You must accept the situation as it is. A few of you might be saying, “But I don’t want to do that. I want to be healthy.” I’m sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. Again, if you want the struggle to end, you must choose one way or the other.
But, know this: if you choose a habit, you are also choosing the results of that habit. Since you can’t separate the habit from the result, you’d better be careful about the habits that you allow to continue in your life.
Once you have made your decision, realize that it is not one you make once; you must make it every single day for the rest of your life. If you don’t consciously make the decision daily, then your old habits and the world will choose for you.
Ending the weight loss struggle takes courage. The world is set up for those who want to stay in it. It presents pictures of youthful, slim bodies and at the same time, gives discounts at fast food restaurants for those who super-size their meals! The only way to end the struggle is to decide which side you want to win, and then to do whatever is necessary to help that side succeed.
It is the only way to have lasting peace in this area.