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Weight loss is hard. It can feel impossible, even. Past failures might have you thinking, ‘Why bother’ but sometimes a new perspective can make all the difference in helping you finally lose the weight for good.
Have you hit rock bottom when it comes to losing weight? Maybe a better question would be–how many times have you been there? As I look back over my rock bottom moments, there have usually been tears and there has always been praying.
Have you tried program after method after company after book after plan. Yup. Me too. Some successful, some not. But after all of this, there is one thing I’ve learned with 100% certainty. The only true thing about weight loss.
Ready for it? ….. Here ya go:
There is not just one way to lose weight.
I mean, I guess scientifically there IS just one way—burn more calories than you take in. But what I’m saying is that there is not simply one plan or program that will work for everyone. And (unless you are magnificently lucky) it will likely take some trial and error for you to find what works for you.
Weight Loss Trial and Error
Almost 25 years ago I convinced my husband to purchase our first piece of exercise equipment: the Nordictrack. You see, an acquaintance had lost considerable weight, and when I asked how she did it, she said “The Nordictrack.” (I found out later she was also on a doctor supervised program of appetite suppressants. So no big surprise that my weight didn’t fall off like hers.)
Over the years I have lost and regained too many pounds to count. I lost weight quick with a fasting program that caused my hair to begin falling out. I’ve counted calories, fat grams, carbs, steps, and more. And I even volunteered for a clinical trial. Yeah, that didn’t work either.
Everything that did work…well, the continued cost always got to be too much and I had to quit. Pounds back on.
So if you are feeling hopeless and overwhelmed….I feel you. I have been there.
What exactly do you need to be successful?
After my latest rock-bottom moment, I began to create a list of what has worked for me over the years. I decided I needed to focus on those things.
(1) Something I can do for the rest of my life
I don’t do well with rules. Lists of dos and don’ts have never been effective. “Creating a lifestyle” is a catch-phrase you hear a lot. But if your plan for my ‘lifestyle’ involves cutting an entire food group out…I know myself well enough to know I will not continue that for the rest of my life.
The most successful I’ve been in a way of eating that I know I could do for the rest of my life is focusing on eating only within the God-given boundaries of physical hunger. No rules about what I can and can’t eat, just when and how much. It’s about being intentional.
I learned about this about 20 years ago in The WeighDown Workshop, and have had sporadic success with it at various times since. This article also has some really helpful and tangible suggestions for recognizing satisfaction while eating and putting the fork down.
(2) Accountability is key
I need accountability. As a giant quitting quitter by nature, I need someone all up in my face. I need somewhere to check in. Someone to be expecting a report from me. Something!
(3) Focus on multiple aspects of health
I recognize that lasting weight loss involves more than one aspect of health. One program I did a number of years ago involved eating, exercise, and the psychological aspects of losing weight. I had a lot of success with it, but couldn’t continue due to cost.
(4) I need to exercise
Lastly, although it’s not always my favorite thing, I know that exercising regularly makes me feel better. The program I mentioned above had a fantastic trainer who pushed me to push myself physically. It was the only time in my life when I craved exercise. It felt so good to feel strong and fit.
Finding something that works
Amazingly (but really, not, since God is so good and kind) after making my list and praying about it, I almost immediately found an incredibly affordable course and a book that covered everything on my list…and maybe your list too.
The fact that we’re all different is one thing that stood out to me in this course that I’m taking. You see, there’s not one answer, one plan. The course is teaching an individualized way to determine healthy steps and find success in those goals.
Do you need a structured eating plan? It would work with this course. Are you more like me, and want to learn to obey the physical cues from my body and not overeat. That’ll work too!
Healthy Habits, Healthy Living! is a course in five steps based in Scripture. In the first step, you take a week to work together in establishing the four major barriers to your weight loss specifically. The next four steps are about facing each of those barriers.
The beauty of this program is that it is creating a weight loss plan that is specific to your needs.
This 5-week course can be (and probably should be) repeated as many times as you’d like. You have lifetime access to it! Each time you complete the course, it will likely look totally different, since you spend the first week examining and creating new goals. It grows with you as you begin to take steps.
AND did I mention that you have access to accountability in the form of a private Facebook Group?!
Your five steps and my five steps may be quite different, but we can still support one another and pray for one another as we work to accomplish them.
Since God is so clever and kind, the same week that I was introduced to this course, I found a book while cleaning that I had ordered who knows how long ago and never read. It’s called Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction. And, paired with this course, it is changing me.
I am struck on every page with wisdom that just about knocks me over. After finishing the book, I decided to go back through my much written-in copy and choose from the numerous underlined and starred passages to find gems to copy into the journal I’ve dedicated to this process.
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. -Isaiah 55:1-2
I will not seek comfort in what doesn’t satisfy! God’s greatest desire isn’t just to kick sin to the curb. He wants to draw me closer.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. -Matthew 5:6
As much as I’m pursuing a healthier body right now, I am more actively pursuing my relationship with my Creator. The first -and most important- thing I am committed to doing every day is my daily Bible reading.
Healthy Habits, Healthy Living!
Three things really drew me to this course (besides the perfect timing, that is).
- It is Scripturally based. It’s not pulling obscure texts and twisting them to fit modern opinions on health. Instead, it encourages me with God’s word and reminds me that my goal is to honor the body He has given me. It helps me to listen and obey.
- It’s not just a list of rules to follow. There is no list of approved foods, measuring, or weird recipes to follow. I can take what I know about myself and what God is speaking into my life right now and create the habits I want to work on. (And maybe there will be a time when God calls me–or you–to give up a particular food for a time, but that is not dictated to everyone, which I respond better to)
- It’s affordable. I don’t have an extra $300 a month to spend on products for the rest of my life. Money has been a huge barrier over the years in sticking with a weight loss program long term. This course is only around $50 and you have access to it forever! For-e-ver!!
Walking the Walk
Most of my weight issues stem from food, so I know that’s where I need to begin to solve them. Having said that, I know I also need to exercise. I had a bad experience with a gym last year and as a result found something else that I’m still sold-out on….something I can do in my own home: Leslie Sansone’s walking videos. And they are really pretty fantastic.
I subscribed to her monthly calendar of walking videos at Your Daily Walk. It’s under $10 a month and I can do any distance (from one mile to 4) that I want. As a fitness beginner, I feel encouraged and motivated. (As opposed to bad about myself and judged…like at the gym). And I love that I can do the workouts whenever I want….which is a lot more often when I’m feeling healthy with my eating, I find.
As my fitness level increases, I don’t know if I’ll stay with these or move on to something else. For the time being, I’m in love.
I’m still working my way through the Healthy Habits, Healthy Living! course for the first time. So while I can’t offer a dramatic before and after story, here’s what I can tell you: since starting the course, I’ve been losing 2-3 pounds per week. That may not seem like a lot, but anything that is happening consistently, I’m happy with! I’ll keep you updated on my progress!
Read more in the creating habits series:
4 – Christian weight loss help for the one who is ready to forget past failures and finally lose weight for good. (this post)