The 15 Challenges of Successful ChristianWeight Loss
These are challenges, not requirements. Each challenge we are able to address and master brings us one step closer to successful weight loss. The first 7 challenges set the stage or prepare the path. They are just as important as the next 8 which deal with the physical aspects of weight-loss. Be careful not to underestimate the power of the first 7 challenges. Once these preparatory steps have been taken, the process of losing weight is easier and more successful.
1. Pray everyday, for yourself and for others.
2. Read your bible everyday.
Communication is a basic requirement for any relationship. These two steps allow us to build and strengthen our relationship with God. Praying is our way of talking to God. Reading the bible is God's way of talking to us. We must do both to create two-way conversations.
3. Find or form a support group and attend the meetings faithfully.
4. Call or visit with at least one other group member at least once a week, especially if you are unable to attend a meeting.
Meeting with a group and visiting with other members makes us part of a community. Transforming old habits into new healthier habits is difficult to do without help. We need to know that other people are interested in our well-being and our progress. Sometimes we need the opportunity to focus on others and their well-being instead of our own. Sharing our experiences keeps all of us from feeling isolated.
If you are unable to find or form your own group, then consider Overeater's Anonymous, T.O.P.S. and meeting with another friend or two. Following this program alone is very difficult. Losing weight with a partner or group increases your likelihood of success.
5. Ask for help when you need it.
A lot of us have tried to lose weight on our own. Most of us have been unsuccessful. We get to places where we are stuck. We have bad days and hard weeks. We have months that test our resolve. Some of us have had years of swimming in darkness. We lose our sense of humor and we forget to pray. This is when we need to ask for help. Whether it is a little pebble in our path, or a big boulder, we don't have to do it alone. We can call on God to help us, and we can call on other human beings too. A good time to ask for help is when we feel confused, frustrated or hopeless. When we think we are undeserving of help, and that no one wants to help us anyway, that's our signal. It's time to open up to others. Whenever feelings like this creep into our minds, it is a sure bet that the time has come to pray. Call a group member or a friend right away. Before you know it, things will start to make sense again.
6. Follow your doctor's health recommendations.
7. Take your medications regularly and on time.
If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, or health concern, then your doctor may have recommended you make some lifestyle changes. You may have medications you must take everyday to maintain or achieve optimum health. If we want to be as healthy as we can be, then we need to follow our doctors' advice. If we have daily medications, even something as simple as a multi-vitamin, we need to make it a priority in our daily routine. Some medications work best if they are taken at the same time everyday. If this is the case, then we might as well set a time and stick to it. Doctors really do have our best interest at heart. We have an obligation to ourselves and our loved ones, to follow their directions.
The following challenges deal directly with the physical aspects of weight-loss. Be sure to make peace with the first 7 challenges, before embarking on the next 8.
8. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day (64 oz total).
Water does a lot of good things for our bodies. It keeps our bladders and kidneys functioning properly. It improves our skin and makes our wrinkles less noticeable. Water keeps us hydrated so we have more energy. It flushes impurities out of our bodies and puts a spring our step. Soda pop, coffee, tea and kool-aid do not count as water. Water counts as water. If you don't like your tap water then drink filtered or bottled water, or keep water in your fridge.
9. Write down everything you eat everyday.
Before we get to where we're going, we need to know where we are. Before we can follow a new food plan we need to know what we are eating today. It isn't easy to write down everything we eat. As a matter of fact, for some of us it is extremely difficult. It still has to be done. Some of us may wonder why we have to keep track of the chaotic way we eat. After all, we know the old chaos isn't working, that is why we are ready to change. Writing down what we eat brings order to the chaos. It helps us come to face to face with our own behavior. Forming a habit takes 3 weeks. Writing down everything we eat for a week or two, without the worry of following a meal plan yet, gives us a head start on this habit.
10. Follow your food plan everyday.
Choose a food plan or diet plan. It can be the diabetic/weight loss exchanges, the USDA pyramid, or another healthy food plan of your choice. Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin. Next, look over the records you've kept for the past week or two. Make note of any trends in your eating behavior. For instance, you may notice that you don't always eat enough vegetables or that you eat a lot more fat than your plan allows. Keep these things in mind and address them in your plan. Our weaknesses are the pathway to success. When we can see the weak points in our behavior, we have the opportunity to overcome these weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
11. Measure and weigh your portions.
The only way to consistently maintain our calorie level is to measure the foods we eat. Food or postal scales are available at office supply stores, hardware stores and most discount department stores. Most of us already have measuring cups and spoons. It's hard to spread a teaspoon of margarine or butter on a slice of toast when we don't know what a teaspoon of margarine or butter looks like. It's smaller than one thinks. Measuring and weighing our portions keeps us on track.
-- Proverbs 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
12. Exercise 4 to 6 times a week.
Exercise builds muscle. It increases metabolism and decreases appetite. It gives us more energy. Exercise makes us stronger. People who exercise regularly struggle less with depression and mental fatigue. Exercise is easier to do with a friend. If you have a friend you can exercise with, Great! If you don't, you can still exercise by yourself. Plan on spending 20 to 30 minutes a day, 4 to 6 times a week, doing some type of healthy physical activity.
-- Proverbs 6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
13. Weigh yourself once a week, no more, no less.
Weighing ourselves everyday or several times a day is the same as measuring the length of our hair or fingernails everyday. It is a waste of our time. It will tie us up in knots and plant us firmly in the valley of confusion. The scale is only one way of measuring success. It may not always be the most accurate way. Do yourself a favor. Decide to weigh yourself once a week, and be content with your decision. Obsessive scale use only leads to disappointment.
-- Phillippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
14. Keep the dishes done and the kitchen clean.
When the sink is full of dirty dishes and the kitchen is cluttered, we can't cook. If we can't cook then we go hungry or eat unhealthy snack foods or go out to eat. All of these results sabotage our success. Cooking and eating homemade food brings us closer to our goals. Going hungry, eating out and eating processed or convenience foods makes it more difficult to reach our goals. The easiest way to cook at home is to keep the dishes done and the kitchen clean. Not everyone has this struggle, but many of us do. If you already keep your kitchen tidy, that's super! If you don't, then you are encouraged to make it a higher priority.
15. Do something very nice for someone who doesn't deserve it at least once a week.
Lots of us eat as a response to frustration, stress or anger. When we feel these feelings we need to find an alternative to eating. Being nice to someone who doesn't deserve it is a great substitute to eating. When the kids or husband or a friend or sister are doing everything they can to get our goat, we don't have to eat a candy bar or a bag of chips. We can think up ways to be nice to the offending person instead. Sure it is difficult. Sure it is challenging. It is still worth doing. We can turn this weakness into a strength. We can turn our wills to God and allow him to work inside of us when we are confronted with unfair treatment and unfair demands.
The bible verses in this article are taken from the King James Authorized Bible. You may print this article for home, church or nonprofit use. I used it for the diet class I used to lead. It works very well in a group setting.
As of June 2011, I am allowing this to be published in church cookbooks, but not anywhere else. If you use it in your church cookbook be sure to include a note at the beginning or end saying that it was taken from www.FrugalAbundance.com.
Thanks -- Maggie
GFCF means Gluten Free and Casein Free
© 2007-2012 Frugal Abundance
The Christian Counter
Proverbs 30:8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.