|Reflections (Deibert Park)|
One day in early January, I had lunch with my daughter. We went to a “meat and three” restaurant. The meat choices were a fried chicken breast or chicken and dressing. The vegetable choices weren’t that great either, either fried or “carby.”
I chose the fried chicken. I fully admit it was quite tasty and I ate the whole thing! I nibbled a little on the vegetables. I left plenty on the plate, and left feeling comfortable, not full.
As soon as we were in the car headed back to work, guilt set in. I ate fried food! Do you know what the dieter mentality does? It lies. I ate a normal-sized plate of food, but because it wasn’t what we’d consider diet friendly, I wanted to mentally beat myself up. That is very destructive behavior, and it makes me want to eat. A lot. Such a reaction doesn’t just affect a diet (which I also consider destructive behavior, at least for me), it affects how I feel about myself. It zaps my strength, and it steals my focus.
That’s not freedom. That’s not even sane! Thankfully, I recognized it for the lie it was, and I tossed the pseudo-guilt out of my mind, and went on about my guiltless and free day...
...and I lost 18 pounds in January.
I certainly don't want you to think I'm at a place were I am fully trusting God and not relying on myself at all. That, my Friend, is a battle I fight most days. Why? Because of impatience, for one thing. Trying (and miserably failing) to rely on myself my whole life, and old habits die hard, for another.
I have had a sudden realization that there’s going to be a Part 4
of the Change Your Focus” saga. I know you are excited.
Let’s talk just a moment about power and authority. As a child of God, as a believer in Jesus Christ, we have access to the power of the Name. But we also need authority. How do we get authority? By one way only: Getting closer to the Source...our heavenly Father. How do we get closer to the source? Simply put: by prayer and fasting, by spending quality time in the Word, and being in constant communion with Him.
When I start getting closer to Him, I recognize that instead of focusing on food, what to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat, etc., etc., I realize I need:
- To :::gasp::: love others.
- To not gossip.
- To quit complaining and start listening.
- To help others.
- Did I say “stop complaining?” Yes, murmuring and complaining is a big one for me. It can be an attitude not just words.
A great benefit of changing our focus to the Father and seeking Him first in all we do, is a greater understanding. I begin to realize just how dependent I really am on Him, and I do not have to rely on myself! What a relief! (While I talk a lot about losing weight, changing your focus will help any issue you have.) When I am tied to what the scale says…whether I lose .5 pounds in a week or 18 pounds in a month…if my focus is on the numbers, then when I don’t see the loss I want, I find myself slipping back into the pit, back at square one, trying to figure things out myself (with short-lived and limited or NO success) instead of trusting the One who can really help me.
For reasons of His choosing, God has allowed my family to have a issues with diabetes, high blood pressure, and some other conditions. For my own good, over the years, God has shown me (through doctors, counselors, friends, relatives, and even an Overeater’s Anonymous leader) that sugar is addictive to me and detrimental to my physical and mental well-being. When I am in the throes of gluttonous behavior, I am disobedient and I can't even love myself...much less anyone else. How do I show God that I love Him? By my obedience. (John 14) The simple fact of the matter is, when I don’t eat sugar-laden food, I feel better mentally and physically, and I am much more positive about everything. I’m nicer, too. Giving up sugar is not relying on myself, it is obedience. (And I didn't do it without His help.) I also don't allow myself to think about "never eating sugar again." One day at a time, that is truly all I have to manage.
This post is now well over 600 words. I guess that’s enough for Part 3, isn’t it?
PS: I'm not telling anyone what to do or what not to do. To that, I would say you do what works for you. You find that way that you can live with the rest of your life. I never found that in any thing I've tried, so I'm now working on relying on God's strength...which is what I should have done to begin with.