This post is part of a 12-week journey through the lies that keep me eating. Please click below to read the other posts in the series or subscribe by email to receive next week’s update straight in your email inbox.
I’m giving up desserts for lent.
No chocolate for 40 days.
This month I will fast from sugar.
I’m going to eat only protein until I lose 10 lbs.
If I can just do this for a while, I can eat whatever I want.
It’s funny. Most of those statements are not inherently bad. Sacrifice and giving certain foods up is a good thing. It’s the heart behind it that causes the problem. Because if we are just in this to see the numbers on the scale move, we won’t see long term change. Habits will creep back in and the scale with go right back up with it. Trust me, I have so been there. In fact, about 6 years ago there was a doctor in our town that had a miracle weight loss program. 100’s of people bought into it. Several family members and a few dozen friends ALL lost weight. Most of us lost 50-100lbs of stubborn weight that we had struggled with for years. The result? I don’t know ANYONE who kept it off. Oh friend, it’s so disappointing to even think about that. Not one of those people who spent $1000+ dollars to lose their weight have maintained that loss.
To those who don’t struggle with their weight, this seems ludicrous. But for many of us, just the thought of it sparks tears over our own attempts and failures. We have been there and we know the reality of the ever-increasing scale.
I’ve looked back at that time with wonder as to how I can repeat that success again, with long term results. In fact 7 weeks ago when I started this journey with you, that success was on the front of my mind. But in the past few weeks as I have struggled to get that back, God has shown me that restricting what I put in my mouth is not about the number on the scale. It’s about being healthy and taking care of the body that God has given me.
Anytime I set a weight loss goal with temporary eating fads, I am setting myself up for failure. Rather than avoid, we need to replace. I am horribly guilty of this. For example, dessert. Rather than finding healthier options, I just fast from it for a period of time. Then begin eating it all over again. As you can imagine, this is rather unsuccessful long-term…
Because this is NOT only for a while… This is forever.
I want to FOREVER seek healthy food because it pleases my Lord. I want to eat Brussels sprouts because he made them and He said they are good. I must seek to change a lifetime of wonder bread and spaghettios habits into a hunger for natural and healthy food. It’s a hard road. It requires sacrifice for sure, but it’s not temporary.
At the beginning of this journey, I made three temporary rules: No restaurants, no refined sugar, and daily exercise. I made these rules with the intent to either eliminate or drastically reduce sugar and eating out. I would be lying if I told you that I have kept these rules. In fact, I have failed dismally. Sugar is still a huge problem and exercise…ha. However, I have done a lot better in all three categories than where I began and I am starting to replace those bad habits with good ones.
Rather than avoiding, I’m now replacing. My biggest area to tackle? Anything with a cake-like consistency. I don’t struggle with chips or overeating of regular foods. I struggle with dessert-like items. Even at breakfast. Ya know, pancakes, muffins, cinnamon rolls. I love this stuff.
Instead of cinnamon rolls, I’m eating Baked pumpkin oatmeal or Breakfast Cookies.
Instead of pumpkin pie, I’m eating Pumpkin bars.
*What food(s) do you need to permanently (or nearly permanently) remove from your diet? Leave a comment so we can encourage one another.
*Make a list of all foods for a week, putting them into three categories: healthy, should never be in my diet (like soda), and needs healthy alternative (like pancakes or wonderbread)
*Find some alternatives for your favorites. If dessert is an issue for you, check out the Healthy Dessert pinboard that I made. Also, Chocolate -covered Katie is a healthy dessert blog, where all recipes are dairy free, but she also has gluten-free, sugar-free, high-protein, and raw!
The learning curve is huge friends. I get that. But it’s worth the work. Little by little we can change.
Looking for other ideas? This series is part of a Get healthy & Fit Series hosted by 19 bloggers. You will find fitness tips, ideas, and various eat plans. Click below to see what everyone else is up to!