A week ago I asked via social media what is the one thing that you struggle most with when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. The overwhelming thing asked in different ways was:
“How do I stay consistent with my healthy eating and exercise routine”
You all spoke about starting out great, planning meals, packing food, reading labels, making time for the gym. Then something happens and it just stops. Then it is that much harder to start again.
The issue is not in what you eat or when you eat it. There is almost too much information out there it becomes a distraction and very confusing to sort through it all. The reason we find it so hard to remain consistent can be found in that “something” that happens. I want to address that great big elephant of a “something” that is in the room.
Most women, myself included decide to start on the road to a healthy lifestyle because they want to look better. Lets be real. We say it is because we want to feel better, be healthy for our children but we are just fooling ourselves. If getting healthy was all about feeling good there would not be all these miserable get skinny quick diets that leaving you feeling anything but good. The billion dollar diet industry manages to stay in business with more of these diets than you can count.
There in lies the problem. Like anything else we are motivated to do in life, if we want to stick with it we need a better why. In my experience being skinny or weighing less is not a big enough why. Many times being skinny becomes a cover for many other things that just hurt too much to think about. Being skinny to many means:
Being good enough
Being desirable to my husband
That is the yucky stuff. The lay in bed alone on a rainy day and cry when we think about it stuff. But that is the truth. The amazing thing is that the yucky stuff loves the darkness and isolation and facing the truth shines a big light on it. You can choose to stay in the dark under the covers and hope that if you just try hard enough and get to that magic number on the scale you will have all the things that you have ever wished for. But I know plenty of beautiful SKINNY women who have none of the things listed above.
So how to we figure out our why? How do we make it about more than our outward appearance? I decided to address the list above one by one. To flip the light on each of them and see why I let food and how I look decide my worth.
I looked to the only source that I knew in my heart would not lie to me and that was the bible.
What does God have to say about all this? In 1 Cor 13:4-8 God says
Love is patient
Love is kind
It does not envy
It does not boast
It does not dishonor others
It is not self serving
It is not easily angered
It keeps no record of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil
But rejoices in the truth
It always protects
Love never fails
I realized that I did not love MYSELF. I didn’t even know what love was. I was going through life telling myself I was fat, dumb for not getting this food thing right, posting on instagram when I lost weight, subjecting my family to all sorts of crazy eating plans, beating myself up when I messed up even a little putting my health in danger with all the extreme measures I was taking and definitely not believing the truth that God was telling me.
This is my why. To love and care for myself the way God loves and cares for me so that I can then love and care for others and serve my purpose. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor 10:31) I have found the answers to all of those dark questions not in food but in Gods truth. I am accepted because God accepts me no matter my size. He loves me even when my pants don’t fit. He hears my prayers and answers them (not always the way I want Him to). I am patient and faithful. I am successful I am desired and I am seen by Him.
I want to leave you with some practical things that you can do to help you on your journey. I have also included some scripture to give you confidence on your journey:
- Have a plan: The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty (Proverbs 21:5) Find a good coach or nutritionist or read a book or listen to a podcast that is based in current nutrition information to help you know what to eat. Have patience. Know that this is a marathon not a race and that a healthy lifestyle is something that will last for your LIFE not just for a finite amount of time
- Have an accountability partner: Though one may be overpowered, two can defeat themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecc 4:12)
Starting anything with a couple of friends makes it easier and studies show that you will be more successful in the end. Your friend can support you, laugh and cry with you and keep you on the path of truth
- Remember who you are: For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (Eph 1:4)
No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37)
I leave you with this: Think about your why. Turn on the light to those yucky places. Replace foods position in your life as the thing that will make it all better with God’s truth and love.