How do you lose weight, and how badly do you really want to lose weight? How desperate are you? Do you to lose it quick and easy like another diet or do you really want to keep the weight off for the rest of your life? In other words, are you ready to totally change your life? Are you willing to change the habits that have begun to stab you in the back? Or do you just want another magic fix that won't stand the test of time? How do you begin to change your entire life?
To begin, we have to get rid of our bad habits—for good. Habits really can be a good thing. They help us to navigate through our days. God designed our brains to store routines that we engage in daily as shortcuts. It's very similar to a shortcut on a computer.
On our computer, what might take us a sentence or two of typing we can just hit a key where we have that routine stored and it is done. Then, we can use our brain power to figure out how to do something else.
Things we do every day, we don't even have to think about. My brain already has it figured out, and I do it without thinking. It's one of the great things I love about exercising every weekday in my community pool. The exercises and movements don't require me to think. I'm on autopilot. My brain is free to listen to what God is saying to me. It's a good habit I've adopted by giving up a bad habit.
Swimming is a time I look forward to because it involves transformation in every part of me. I am transforming my body through exercise, which also builds my beta endorphin levels and makes me feel great. I am transforming spiritually because I can be focused on communicating with God. All of this is transforming me both mentally and emotionally. It's daily total transformation in an hour!
Yet, there was a time more than 10 years ago when I thought I had no time to exercise. I thought I should be doing something to make money. I should be trying harder at everything else. Exercise took too much time, and because I thought it was a time-stealer, I told myself I wouldn't enjoy anything about it. I complained to God with every step I took.
What happened to change me? God showed me if I was ever going to live past the next few years, I was going to have to change. And I had to change not just in a few ways, but in every single part of my life.
Commit to the Impossible
For years I resisted even trying to embark on what I thought would be the impossible work of weight loss, much less transformation. I thought it was impossible because I didn't think I could never say no to the kinds of foods I loved and ate continuously.
Jesus showed me, though, that if I would commit to what I thought was impossible in my own strength, He would show me how to make it possible by relying totally on His strength.
"What is impossible with men is possible with God" (Luke 18:27b).
No Quick Fix
The big thing I had to understand was this process would not be an instantaneous healing. God taught me how to do away with my negative death-giving habits and incorporate brand new life-giving habits to help me step into total lifestyle change.
Even though I was made new when I accepted Jesus at age 7, I had to be made new again. "Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new" (2 Cor. 5:17, TPT).
I thought I knew everything about the Christian life, but it was apparent that one thing had never been made new—the habitual way I ate. Eating the sugary and starchy foods I grew up on was something I had never considered ungodly.
Yet at 430 pounds, I knew I was not taking care of the body God gave me. "Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don't belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary. You were God's expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God!" (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Transformation Begins and Continues
So my journey to my transformation began and continues. Even though I've lost more than 250 pounds, my transformation will continue until the day I am called home to heaven. That's because transformation isn't just about the food we eat or the exercise we do.
As children of God, we should all be always transforming into the image of God. "But we all, seeing the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18, MEV).
We never fully arrive at total transformation on this side of heaven, but we will be "[growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into [our] daily [lives]," as Matthew 5:48 (AMP) tells us.
We will be living fully surrendered to our wonderful God and Savior.
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, Christian weight loss coach, speaker and author. Her newest book is Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy. She also has four other books, including Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Get free chapters of her books, plus many other free resources, on her blog at TeresaShieldsParker.com. Connect with her there or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.
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