13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.


Thought for the Day: “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” (1 Corinthians 10:23, see also 6:12)

Reaching my weight loss goal is a precarious place for me.  That’s because I find it is a blessing entangled with a curse.  The “curse” is the assumption that freedom now means I can return to all those things I’ve given up for the past months.  The sacrifices … the missed treats … the deprived taste buds high on salad and low on French fries.  I’m tempted to celebrate, live it up, and invite all those foods I’ve missed to a little welcome-home party.

Yet, I can’t fling open the door to all of those missed foods without welcoming back the excess calories, fat grams, cholesterol, sugars, and addictive additives.  Most of these guests fall under the category of junk foods.  The interesting thing about these guests is that they send out little signals to our brain begging us to party with them again and again.  A welcome-home party becomes an invitation to be roommates again, which spells disaster for what we hoped might be a lifestyle change.

A chips-and-chocolate girl like me can find it hard to un-invite certain foods to the party that have been regulars for years.  It’s even more difficult to reconcile that they aren’t my friends.  Some can be casual acquaintances on a very limited level, but others need to be banished for good.  Only you can determine which foods are allowed back, and which are not.

One of my favorite Scriptures in this process is 1 Corinthians 6:12: “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.”  I quote it over and over reminding myself that I could have that brownie, or that cheese dip, but they wouldn’t benefit me in any way.  That powerful thought has helped to make a healthy choice, rather than wallowing in being deprived of an unhealthy choice.

So, lest we start mourning what will be lost, we must celebrate all that’s being gained through this process.  “I can” instead of “I can’t” is a powerful little twist for a girl feeling deprived.  For example:

  • “I can” helps me walk into a dinner party and find the conversation more appealing than the buffet.
  • “I can” helps me stay on the perimeter of the grocery store where the fresher, healthier selections abound and smile that I know this tidbit.
  • “I can” helps me reach for my water bottle and find satisfaction in its refreshment.
  • “I can” helps me look at the McDonald’s menu and order a fruit tray without even giving a thought to the Happy Meals that used to be snacks.
  • “I can” reminds me to look up a restaurant’s nutritional information on the Internet before going out, ensuring wiser choices.

“I can” reminds me that no food will ever taste as sweet as lasting victory!

Reference here.

You can reach your goal weight – I can reach my goal weight.  Through Christ Jesus and His grace and His strength, I can do this!  But, only through Him.  Lest we not forget that Christ is our strength and the Holy Spirit our guide – in whatever we want or need to do in this life God has blessed us with.


Day 18: I’m not defined by the numbers

Day 18: I’m not defined by the numbers

Thought for the Day: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

I was in an exercise class one day when the gal next to me leaned over and shared concerns about her sister’s increasing weight.  I was half listening and half straining to lift my aching legs when she quipped, “I mean, my sister now weighs like 150 pounds!”  I didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or keep silent, because the number that horrified her was the exact number I saw that very morning on my scale!

However, I found great joy when I realized that my workout buddy’s statement didn’t rattle me.  It would have just a few years ago.  It would have sent me on a tailspin full of crash diets and unrealistic expectations.

However, there I was, at peace, in the midst of her harsh statement.  I wasn’t at my goal weight yet.  But I was in the process of investing wisely in my health and spiritual growth.  I had been diligently filling my mind with God’s truths.  These principles now protected me from thoughts of condemnation, jealousy, and defeat.  This is what the apostle Paul meant when he said in 2 Corinthians 10:5:

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

When we’re familiar with God’s truth, we can literally challenge any comment with the questions, “Is it true?  Is it beneficial?  Is it necessary?”   If the answer is no, then we don’t open the door of our hearts.  We make the choice to walk away from the comment and all the negative thoughts it could harvest if we listened to it.

My classmate’s shock at her sister’s weight wasn’t beneficial to me.  Therefore, I didn’t have to internalize her comment.  I could leave it on the gym floor and walk away.  That statement didn’t belong to me.  I had a choice to make.  I could feed that comment and let it crush my identity.  Or, I could see it as a careless remark and move on with my day.

Standing in the gym, I desperately wanted to yell out three glorious words, “I am free!”  In that moment, I had a small moment of victory over an identity disorder that I’d battled for a long time.  I was no longer defined by a number on the scale, because my weight loss goal was peace.  As we move through our healthy eating journey, remember that the goal shouldn’t just be a smaller measurement, but a larger measure of peace.

Reference here.

That is what I weigh  now – 150 pounds.  I should weigh about 136 pounds – to be at a healthy weight.


Day 17: Don’t fence me in

Day 17: Don’t fence me in

Thought for the Day: Boundaries are not restrictive fences meant to keep you from enjoying life, but gifts from a God who cares about your well-being.

Sometimes, the words “no,” “boundaries,” and “limitations” stir up feelings of deprivation and resistance in my strong-willed self.  But I’ve learned that I must embrace the boundaries of the healthy eating plan that I chose.  I must see these limits as parameters that define my freedom.

I learned this principle through my sweet, little dog, Chelsea, who isn’t the brightest canine around cars.  She’s obsessed with trying to attack the tires crunching against our gravel driveway inside our fenced-in yard.  As a result, she had an unfortunate encounter with a moving vehicle about the same time I started my healthy eating plan.

After Chelsea’s injury, the vet informed us that helping her heal meant we’d have to keep her calm for three weeks.  This recommendation sounded crazy considering it’s hard to keep Chelsea still for three minutes!  Worse, she was forbidden to bite or pull at her bandages and stitches.  So, the dreaded cone was placed around her neck to keep her injuries out of reach.

As Chelsea healed, I was the master of her new limitations.  She punished me with hours of whining and crying.  She constantly tried to escape through our fence and kept snapping at her bandages.  However, my love for this dog wouldn’t permit me to let her to harm herself.  Her brokenness couldn’t handle that kind of freedom.  Not yet.

As I watched Chelsea struggle, I was struck by the way her situation applied to my issues with eating healthy.  My brokenness couldn’t handle freedom with food outside the boundaries of my plan.  Not yet.  Eventually I would be able to add some things back into my diet in small quantities.  But not yet.

Since my brokenness with food runs deep, my new healthy habits need time to run even deeper.  Here are a few of the boundaries I’ve created to ensure success on my healthy eating adventure:

  • I am not made to be a victim of my poor choices.  I was made to be a victorious child of God.
  • I can find ways to celebrate that don’t involve blowing my healthy eating plan.
  • If I am in a situation where the temptation is overwhelming, I will have to choose either to remove the temptation or remove myself from the situation.
  • Struggling with my weight isn’t a curse from God.  Being overweight is an outside indication that internal changes are needed for my body to function properly and for me to feel well.

I’ve learned that boundaries aren’t restrictive fences meant to keep us from enjoying life, but gifts from a God who cares about our well-being.  Whether you are staring at a party hors d’oeuvre table of all things cheesy, or ready to bite your friend’s head off as she reminds you of the healthy eating plan you chose, I pray these boundaries help you like they’ve helped me.

Reference here.

And here is the thing:  God loves us.  He loves us too much to keep us the way we are.  Many of us are born into broken worlds, and many of us are born broken.  Our lives, our childhoods, our experiences as we grow up only contribute to that brokenness.  So, if you’re eating out of anxiety, or to escape the brokenness, or whatever your reasons, then you are not eating when you are purely hungry.  Which automatically implies that you are in bondage.  And if you are in bondage, then you are not free – and Christ came to set us free.

Galatians 5:1 NIV

Freedom in Christ

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

And here for me is the clincher – I have this uncanny, innate desire to be once again burdened by a yoke of slavery – by eating too much and allowing too much anxiety in my heart and mind.  Just as I get to that point of experiencing some sort of freedom, I find myself allowing fear to knock on the door.  And fear will knock – Satan WANTS to bring us down – but its whether we allow the fear to come in that is the point.  Remember, God wants to keep us safe – and giving us guidelines on dealing with fear and gluttony is what is best for us, is what will help us grow, is what will eventually give us freedom.  Complete and true freedom.  Don’t allow fear to become resident again in your hearts and minds.

Matthew 12:45 NIV

45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there.  And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.  That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

Thought Conditioner #14

Originally posted on Jubilee Journey:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.Psalm 46:1, KJV

When trouble strikes, what you want is comfort and protection. You want strength to stand up to it and meet it. 

You can have both. This text contains the answer. Frequently remind yourself that God is with you, that He will never fail you, that you can count upon Him. Say these words, “God is with me, helping me.” 

This will give you a sense of comfort. New hope will flood your mind. New ideas will come. A new sense of power will be felt. As a result, you will rise above your trouble. 

When a particular trouble arises, before you do anything else about it, sit down quietly, repeat this text a half dozen times, and put your full faith in it.

~ ~  Norman Vincent Peale

Beyond the armor discussed…

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Why Should I Trust God? Why Should I Submit to His Lordship?

Originally posted on Peacefulwife's Blog:

Mile High bridge at Grandfather Mountain Mile High bridge at Grandfather Mountain, NC

People have legitimate questions:

  • Don’t I really know what is best for me better than anyone?
  • Why would I yield control of my life to God?
  • How do I know I can even trust God?
  • What if God wants to hurt me?
  • Who is God?
  • It’s too hard to stop trusting myself and to trust God instead.

According to Scripture – we have two choices about who controls our lives:

1. Our sinful flesh – the result is always the same -> death on every level

2. God’s Spirit – the result is always the same -> life and peace on every level

(Galatians 5:13:25, Romans 8:9-14)

God never expects us to trust Him blindly without reason. He reveals Himself to us in nature and in the Bible so that we can get to know Him and so that we…

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