If you are going to succeed at lasting weight loss, you need a bigger motivation than wearing a certain jean size. When you are tempted to overindulge or skip your workout, a weight loss goal doesn’t stop you from rationalizing doing what is comfortable in the moment. The isolated incidents really aren’t THAT big of a deal. And, as long as they don’t happen too often, you can still lose weight. But, before you get too comfortable with yielding to temptation, let me warn you that those incidents can pose a completely different type of threat to your lasting success. They can ruin your mindset and set you up for ongoing struggle.
Tell me if you can relate to this scenario.
You decide that you want to lose weight. A few days have gone by and you are eating and training just as you had planned. Then, the inevitable temptation comes along. Maybe it is the cake that your co-worker brought to work or the favorite dish that your mother-in-law made. You begin to debate whether or not it would really be a big deal to just give in. Couldn’t you go with the flow in this instance and STILL lose the weight?
In the face of temptation, fitting into those goal jeans really doesn’t matter because you are convinced that you can have what you want now and still have what you want in the future. In a lot of cases, you can. The problem is that getting used to always having what you want sets you up to be at the mercy of your impulses and your whims. Your inability to tell yourself no is what eventually sets you up for lasting struggle.
How do I know? Because that used to be me too. After I swore off the restrictive dieting that I had done as a physique competitor, I was determined not to feel deprived- ever. I would often talk myself into doing exactly what I wanted in any moment to the detriment of what I wanted most overall. The worst part is that I really couldn’t see that my mindset in these instances was keeping me stuck. The truth is that indulging intelligently or even deciding to skip a workout was not the real problem. The real problem was the mindset that I was cultivating- the “I deserve it” mindset. One day while reading the Bible, I discovered how it was holding me back.
Here’s the scripture that changed my mindset when it came to weight loss…
Running aimlessly? Beating the air? That sounds like only doing what you need to do when you feel like it. So, I should push through the “I don’t feel like it”?
Strike a blow to my body and make it my slave? When I don’t do that, am I the slave? There it was… my reason to let go of “I deserve it” thinking. Even if I could still lose weight. The real goal was self-control. The weight loss was only the evidence.
It was plain to see that my mindset was the cause of my struggle. The brownie wasn’t the big deal. The missed workout wasn’t the big deal. I had managed to lose weight and get in great shape with both of those in the mix. The big deal was seeing any type of in the moment self-control as deprivation. I was refusing to make my body the slave and instead succumbing to its impulses and whims.
So this is the part where you expect me to tell you that I never succumb to temptation because I am so good at making my body a slave. Nope. Never giving in isn’t even my goal right now. But, being able to not give in at times is.
There are times when I don’t bother to put in the energy to cook or get the workout done. However, my mindset is forever changed. In every moment, I am making a choice- to do or not to do. With God’s help, I work to make my body the slave. For me that means letting go of the phrases “I couldn’t help it” and “I just had to”. And, that also means practicing telling my body “no” and “you must” from time to time. After all, I have to know that I am able and willing to do what needs to be done even in the face of temptation. Otherwise, my body may begin to think that she is the slave master again.
So, what do you think about all of this? Are you ready to overcome the “I can’t help its” to end the struggle in your weight loss journey? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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