How many times have you gone to bed at night knowing with absolute certainty that the next morning would be day one of your new healthy life? I do this daily.
My alarm goes off way too early. I drag myself downstairs, drive my son to school, and head down the road to my favorite local coffee drive thru. This, of course, sets the tone for the rest of the day. You know that “oh well, tomorrow would be a better day to start anyway” tone.
Why is it so hard for me to come home and make a healthy green smoothie or a nourishing smoothie bowl rather than pull up to that S’more latte delivering window? Why don’t I climb the stairs to my cute little gym instead of parking on the couch with my laptop after I arrive home with the aforementioned S’more latte? Both of these choices always seem to lead to a day filled with heavily processed junk food and far too much time sitting.
Yet I continue to ask myself those same questions on this long, winding journey to health. Why isn’t self-control enough? And where did the little I still had disappear to? Can you relate?
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Amen, brother. I’m so with Paul here. He continues contemplating the subject with this:
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. (v.18-19)
I completely get this! My desire to take care of this body God created for me to use while in this life is monumental, yet I continue to choose gluttony and an incredibly sedentary lifestyle. So what is a well intentioned, donut loving, Netflix binge watching woman to do?
Here’s the key our dear friend, Paul, uncovered all those years ago:
Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (v.24b-25a)
We are human, flawed, and inherently sinful. God is our answer. Self-control will never be enough to get our bodies healthy and lose the weight we desire. We need soul work first.
I’m a big believer in prayer and fasting as amazing tools for body, mind, and soul. You can read more on my thoughts on this topic in Choosing God Over Food but let me share here again what a life changing choice it is to turn to Him instead of that bag of chips.
I’m a work in progress with this. I go for months without a fasting day. But I can tell you this: whenever that day happens, when I spend more time with God who lifts me up rather than the unhealthy foods that weigh me down, I’m made anew. There’s a definitive and beautiful shift deep inside me.
This is the focus for this month’s Turning to Food series. Let’s get back to choosing Him over food. I’m certain from past experience this is absolutely possible. Care to join me?
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If you are new here, my plan and part of my food addiction story can be found in An Addict’s Journey or you may want to check out some of the other monthly updates in the Turning to Food series.
“when I spend more time with God who lifts me up rather than the unhealthy foods that weigh me down” <– This is an excellent line! I think I should follow your series! Blessings!
I would love to have you follow along on this series, Liz. I’m getting back to posting with it monthly now after a little break earlier this year :). Blessings to you!
Sometimes I ask myself, “Now why did I eat that? I wasn’t even hungry!” I can notice that when I eat more sweets or junk food, I don’t feel as well. I’m trying to eat less of it, but I’m also trying to get away from the guilt feeling if I do slip up. I don’t think God wants us to beat ourselves up either. I know eating healthy can be a daily struggle, but do give yourself more grace, my friend. Yes, we definitely need God more! Love and hugs to you, Candace!
I’m so with you on everything you’ve shared here, Trudy. I eat without even being hungry and then spend way too much time beating myself up for it. It’s funny I have the word “grace” tattooed on my wrist as a reminder. I really need to look at it more ;). Love and hugs to you, my friend.
This is a cycle that I am trying to break. I have gone from exercising everyday to doing things haphazardly. I am finally ready to xercise again after going through physical therapy for my back. It’s a long road and the more soul work I do the better off I will be.
I’m glad to hear your back is healing up and ready to start your exercise program back, Mary. It’s so hard when we get out of the habit to start again. You were really in a great rhythm with it. It’s been years for me but I know exercise is an absolute must so I’m determined to start again ;).
Man, this so true. I don’t really like mornings, and especially when I am tired, that whole self control thing seems to be a myth. Great truth today!
Self-control really is a myth, Sarah. I completely agree! I wish I was more of a morning person, but I just don’t see that in my future ;).
Candace, in November of 2015 the Lord got right smack in my face and told me to choose the word DISCIPLINE for 2016 because, He said,I had none. In 3 areas: Reading, Praying, Moving (R.P.M.) I said Yes, Lord. When I make a vow to Him – I think at least 99 times before I break it. My practice of RPM in my daily, Mon-Fri, life has not ceased. Praying for this journey you are on.
I love your RPM practice, Susan. Thanks so much for sharing that. I need to try it. It sounds like a wonderful system. Thanks so much for the prayers!
I’m looking at some soul work myself, Candace, so thank you for this encouraging push in the right direction!
Soul work is something I’ve finally learned is a lifetime journey, Michele. I used to think I would just arrive at this amazing healed place but that is definitely not how it works in this lifetime ;). I’ve got a lot of work to do and I’m finally ok with that.
I needed these words today! I keep trying to lose weight in my own strength and that’s not so great when you’re not very strong. I need to remember to seek Him and ask Him for help. Thanks for reminding me today!
Losing weight is such a struggle, Becky. It’s something I’ve fought most of my life although not always to this extreme. May we all learn to seek Him first. I’m definitely a work in progress in this area as well :).
Oh man, I so relate to this! Years ago I dropped over 70lbs. I was taking a break from having babies and worked hard. Now I’ve had three more babies since then and I know I’m capable of losing the weight but I frequently self sabotage with snacks and tv rather than what I actually need. I recently started running and I’m using it as part of my God time. I’ve met God so many times on that running path with worship music in my headphones. I’ve found motivation is increasing as I look at my running as time with God rather than exercise. Soul care is exactly what I needed – not self control.
Thanks for sharing this wisdom!
70 pounds is an amazing weight loss, Katie. I can completely relate. I lost this 80 pounds a couple of times over the years since I had my son. It keeps finding me again unfortunately. I love the idea of running with God :). That is definitely soul care in action.
Oh my goodness that is such a great concept, it’s not just about having soul it’s about working on our soul. Fabulous read!
Thanks, Jen! Working on my soul is a lifetime journey. Coming to grips with that has changed everything ;).
*Raises hand* I’m so guilty of always pushing back healthy living by yet another day. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!
I’m with you, Leslie. I’m the queen of “start tomorrow” ;). Thanks for the linkup!
OH yes to this, Candace. I’m SO with Paul too… in pretty much everything I do! No matter the addiction, the challenge, the huge mountain in front of us- we just can’t do it alone.
I love your message here- SO many of us need to be reminded that we must walk with God through these healthy choices- reach for Him instead of food/drugs/nameyourthing.
Thank you, dear friend. Your transparency is so beautiful.
I love that you said nameyourthing, Chris. We all have something that we too often choose over Him. So good to see you, my friend :).
Candace, I genuinely want to thank you for sharing your heart here. This has been such a struggle for me over the years. Your reassurance that I don’t have to do this alone was perfect — and a great truth to put in my pocket because heaven knows that I’ve proven over and over again that I CAN’T do it all by myself! I loved your words so much that I included you and a link to your post in my most recent article around physical fitness as a Christian woman. Thanks again! I pray that God continues to bless you and your ministry.
Hi Becki! I’m sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been on vacation :). Thanks so much for your encouraging words and for sharing my post. I will definitely come check it out!