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31 Days of Motivation: The 1st Step to Fitness Success

Surrender to Win: Part 1

In this 2-part blog, I will be talking about surrender, deliverance and denying ourself. I know, you are probably already looking for the EXIT key. Believe me, it may not be the motivational words you think you want to hear, but they are words (packed with truths) I believe you need to hear before you can chase your goals and begin to really change once and for  all. By the time you are done with these 2 blogs, I believe (if you apply them) it truly can change your life. With that said, put on to your big-girl (or boy) britches and get ready for some tough talk.

SURRENDER

sur·ren·der  (s-rndr)
1. To relinquish possession or control of to another because of demand or compulsion.
2. To give up in favor of another.
3. To give up or give back (something that has been granted): surrender a contractual right.
4. To give up or abandon: surrender all hope.
5. To give over or resign (oneself) to something, as to an emotion: surrendered himself to grief.

In order to change, you must first surrender the things that have kept you from your goals so you can become who you want to be. You may need to surrender certain food, or surrender your time, so you can exercise more. You may need to surrender laziness and decide that is not who you want to be anymore. Whatever your goals, I guarantee it will require a certain level of surrendering.

Deliverance vs. Surrender

desperateI believe many people are waiting around to be miraculously delivered from their addictions, struggles, weight, health, financial stress, bad habits and selfish ways. They might even pray for deliverance, that God would just take away their desires completely. I personally believe, most of us can’t be delivered until we first surrender.

Seriously, think about it this way. If you are holding on to something SO tight, how hard is it for it to be pulled away from you? It would be very difficult. However, as you loosen your grip, it becomes easier to take away (not that God needs to workout harder so he can win an arm wrestling match). But how fair is it to ask God to rip something out of your hands that you refuse to let go of? Even if He did take it from you, if your mind hasn’t let go and you will likely just take it right back.

We have to surrender. We have to take the first step and let go – in our mind, in our heart and in our actions. It may take weeks or months of letting go before you are completely delivered. You may have to let go every morning and decide to continue surrendering certain things every single day of your life.

tradeoffLook at the first and second definitions of surrender. It explains surrender is often used in reference of giving up something for something else, something better. Surrendering to either avoid something bad, or in favor of something good. In war, someone may surrender (or wave the white flag) to save their life. In that case, a warrior may even lose his rights to land or freedom (something that is rightfully his), but it’s a trade-off. The same applies for us in many cases.

surrenderWe have the right to eat whatever we want. We have the right to say whatever we want. We have the right to be as fat and lazy as we want ….BUT that doesn’t make it right or best for us. We choose to surrender those things in order to have life (and a better, happier, more peaceful and joyous, healthy life).

Of course most of us are not held at gunpoint, forcing us to choose and wave the white flag, but there comes a time in our life where we come to the end of ourselves. We get tired of feeling bad. We get tired of the repercussions of our poor choices. Then we finally realize that surrendering is the only way to deliverance – AND that it will be SO worth it!

Warning signs you may be in bondage with food:

Here are some warning signs you need to take your relationship with food more seriously and make some serious changes (surrendering) in order to WIN the fight with fat once and for all!

  1. bondageWhen you are stressful, blue, mad, sad or excited – you reach for food. It’s your coping strategy.
  2. You panic if you can’t have it.
  3. You plan your whole diet around still trying to have certain foods or beverages.
  4. You focus on adding good habits, to avoid getting rid of bad ones.
  5. You look for fitness, diet plans, supplements and diet pills that allow you to keep doing/eating what you want. You buy every gimmick you see. (Why do you think stupid gimmicks like the “Cookie Diet”, “The Ab Belt” & Diet Pills does well? Because they prey on this type of person.)
  6. You work out more than you need to, to make up for eating more than you are supposed to.
  7. You can’t control yourself around it. If you have one, you have to have 5. If you can’t control yourself around something, then it is more than an indulgence, it’s an addiction.
  8. You binge. Maybe you deny yourself something, and when you finally do give in you go crazy.
  9. It is always on your mind. You talk about it, think about it, plan your day around it.
  10. You think you need it to be happy.

Homework (for the brave and determined:

While I’m not expert of food addiction, I can tell you that I’ve seen plenty of people be fully delivered from their prior addictions. You don’t have to fight a chemical dependency like a cocaine addict, but in some ways you likely have developed a coping strategy and a dependency on food to help you through life – to comfort you, to reward yourself, etc. In a way, food addiction is just an extreme bad habit that can be broken. Breaking habits take work, a lot of practice and a lot of introspection. So be honest with yourself and be openminded to the idea that your weight issue (or food/drink issue) is more than just a luxury you aren’t willing to part with – it could be more serious. If you treat is seriously, you CAN conquer it. However, the same way you can’t expect to put a bandaid on cancer and it heal, you can’t put a bandaid on a food addiction and expect it to go away. Some things must be cut out, removed, treated, operated on – until it’s GONE. 🙂

  1. What are the things (types of food, alcohol or habits) you need to surrender?
  2. Do you admit you are powerless around food, or certain types of food or drink? (this is actually the first step to recovery for true addicts. And it typically takes a while before someone come to grips with acknowledging they really are powerless. However, if you haven’t been able to give “it” up yet, it’s likely you are truly addicted to “it” or the lifestyle. Once you realize you are powerless, then you can begin “treatment” to gain back control.
  3. How do you plan to “let go” of these things? You have to know what this is going to look like. You also need to realize there’s a reward – you have to lose something to gain something (even better).
  4. What kind of support do you need? Are you willing to get the help you need no matter the cost (time, money, effort)? Put it this way, if you had cancer, would you do whatever it takes to get help?
  5. What actions and guidelines can you apply in your life that can help prevent you from falling into temptation. Drug addicts might change phones so drug dealers or friends don’t have their number anymore. They would quit frequenting their favorite hang outs, and start spending time with people who are on the same path. They would not allow whatever it is they are addicted to to be in the house, or around them. They would go to weekly meetings and they would join a 12-step program to learn what their triggers are so they can identify signs they may act out. They would require their friends and family to be supportive – and they too may join groups to learn how to be more supportive and understanding.

Note (the good news):

Realize, while some people will never be completely free from an addiction, as you separate yourself from the things that have ruled your life, it is likely those things will become less and less important to you. Over time, a rich food will likely not taste as good to you. Feeling healthy will feel SO good that you will know there is no comparison to your old past and old ways – so it will be easier to “say no”. The same way an true addict goes through withdrawals in the beginning, the hardest part will be the beginning of your journey. It will get easier, but also like an addict, you must never let down your guard. You have to guard yourself against things that can sabotage progress, as well as guard yourself against those same things when you reach your goal to avoid a relapse.

Next Up: Don’t forget to read tomorrow’s blog for PART 2 of this series. Subscribe (above right) to get notified when blogs are posted.

Bad Food is Like a Bad Ex, It Will Always Let You Down

sweet toothI got an email today from someone asking me for help. It was such a common question, I wanted to address it publicly. Here was her email:

“I have a MAJOR issue with sugar from cookies, cakes, frosting etc.  It is more of a psychological thing for me, because I used these kinds of food to comfort myself as a kid.  The connection here is food is the only thing that loves me, so when things go bad and I need to feel loved I pig out on these types of food. Can you please give me ideas on how to STOP eating sugar?

bad food is like a bad exMy first thought was “NO! It doesn’t love you!” and I remembered what a contestant from the weight loss show Steve did a few years ago said. Loralie, from ABC’s Fat March said:

“Food is like an ex-lover that is just no good for me. Not just any ex, but a really sexy ex. When I think about him (food) all I remember are the good times. I forget how much pain and guilt he would cause. And after an incredible night together full of passion, he just leaves you crying on the living room floor in the fetal position full of guilt. And yet, late at night… I still want him so, so bad”. 

Could this not be any better of a description of some people’s relationship with food? Loralie nailed it! You don’t have to necessarily be in an abusive relationship to get this.  Any relationship that is not good for you is a great example of a bad relationship with food.

No More Compromises

datingI have to admit I have been pretty lucky over the years. The guys I dated were all pretty great guys, but even good guys can be BAD for you if they aren’t RIGHT for you. For instance, I dated one guy that was really an amazing guy before I met Steve. He was talented, smart, handsome, had a great family who embraced me, and was perfect – for someone, just not me.

I found myself compromising my values and settling for just a little less. Since he really was a super sweet guy, it was easy to think of all the good stuff, and easy to forget the bad. Then, one day, I realized we were both wasting precious time focusing on what was right, but ignoring what was wrong. We could either address the bad stuff right then, or we could deal with it later. Either way we were going to have to deal with it.

Good Doesn’t Mean Right

ex boyfriend

For me, it meant coming to grips with the simple fact that we were both good, but not good for each other. We were not in a healthy relationship. He was going to make a great husband  – to someone else, but not me. And, I realized someone would love me exactly the way I needed to be loved, but he wasn’t going to be that guy.

I broke up with him that day, but it wasn’t easy. I cried and cried and cried – for days and weeks! BUT, I knew it was the right thing to do. It didn’t mean I wasn’t going to miss him and it didn’t mean that I would stop thinking about him. And, knowing I did the right thing was going to make it any easier. Even though I had a tremendous peace about my decision, it still hurt just the same.

I Don’t Need You Anymore

dieting

Food that isn’t good for you, in many ways, is just like a boyfriend that isn’t good for you.  No matter how wonderful it makes you feel at times, it will ALWAYS let you down. Unfortunately though, we make compromises even though we don’t like the way it makes us feel.

Maybe it’s time you treat food like a bad ex. Remember, as much as you may love it, it will never love you back. Not only does it not love you, it will hurt you – leaving you feeling a little worse day by day. The only answer is to say goodbye. The longer you stay away, the stronger you will become. As you lose weight, as you get healthier, you will discover a new confidence – and you will love the new you more than you ever loved food.

It’s Time to Move On – and Move UP!

true loveShortly after breaking up with that guy, I met Steve. He was everything I ever dreamed of. He was romantic, loving, sensitive, funny, passionate, smart, handsome, and loved me completely. I could have NEVER imagined how good it would feel to be loved this way – and I would have never discovered his love if I didn’t first turn away from what I thought I loved at that time.

If you hold on to what just feels good right now, you may never discover just how great things could be. Healthy food loves you back. Fitness loves you back. Unhealthy food will always leave you unhealthy, and in a pit of regret and shame. Don’t let the initial taste of something sweet fool you, and lead you to a bitter end. Maybe today is your day to end your love relationship with food.

FAT & UNHAPPY: How Strong is Food’s Grip?

Does food have a grip on you, or do you have a grip on food?

I can’t tell you how many people tell me they are so sick of themselves. Sick of not controlling their food intake and weight. Food clearly has a grip on their life and they are eating themselves unhappy. Today we’re going to dive deep into the seriousness of letting food control your life. Get ready, because this isn’t going to be pretty!

Gluttony: to gulp down or swallow, means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth.

You don’t have to be FAT to struggle with food

When I think of gluttony, I think of seriously overweight people  like “Fat Bastard” in the Austin Powers movie. However, you don’t have to be morbidly obese to struggle with gluttony. Just ask Steve and I. We’ve seriously gulped down hideous amounts of food at times, and not once did we ever push away from the table feeling good about it. And we make a boatload of excuses to match the boatload of food we consume.

“We deserve it”. “We’ve been training so hard”. “At least it was all healthy”. But no matter what our lame excuses are, too much is too much – and it’s not healthy.

We humans like to rationalize pretty much everything. We’re the first people to judge someone else’s “sin” and then make excuses for our own. Of course, most of us don’t think of ourselves as gluttons, but if you are gulping down too much food, then you are indeed a glutton. Sorry, but it’s true.

If you can’t control it…

Sure, it would be super easy to look at someone addicted to crack and think “wow, I can’t believe someone would do that to themselves”, yet you maybe addicted to food. Just because food is legal, doesn’t mean we should abuse our bodies with it.

This is not a fun topic, but I think it’s important to address. Coming from a strong Christian home, I was taught to take care of my body – and treat it like a temple. However, I’ve treated my body like a saloon, garbage dump, and smoke stack in the past. I would have NEVER brought some of the things I put in my body into a church. Ironically, when I was the least disciplined with what went into my mouth, I was also the least disciplined in other areas of my life.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to target alcohol, cigarettes and drugs as the evil things you should get rid of – but what makes us think we can continue overeating and not practicing self-control with the rest of our life?

It’s not about Vanity

Interestingly enough, most of us know better. We know we should be working out and eating healthier, but we don’t do it. Did you know that just knowing what to do and not doing it is wrong? I’m not just suggesting it is not good for you, I’m saying it’s flat wrong.

“It is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:17

You don’t have to believe in God to benefit from scripture – and I believe most of us want to do the “right” thing. I think the problem lies in that we don’t think of eating poorly as right or wrong, but just a matter of vanity or choice. I mean, there are no food police giving out tickets for poor eating. We have the “right” to eat however we want – right? We may have that right, but that doesn’t make it right.

Maybe, if you’re struggling with self-control around food, you should treat the problem less like a vanity thing, and more as a right and wrong thing. You probably know what’s best for you, now you just need to start doing it.

Food Addiction: 

1.) Decreases self esteem
2.) Increases jealousy 
3.) Causes us to hide (especially from cameras)
4.) Makes us tired and lazy
5.) Makes us look and feel unattractive, which can be harmful in relationships
6.) Makes us physically ill
7.) Can be expensive (dining out/cocktails)
8.) Makes us unhappy
9.) Causes depression and added stress
10.) Makes us insecure and lack confidence in our work

If those are just a FEW things unhealthy eating habits can do to our lives, then why would even hesitate to get help and get healthy? It’s time to get healthy and happy again!

NOTE: If you think for one minute I’m judging you, or anyone struggling with eating – think again. We ALL struggle. I struggle. If you put a basket of nachos in front of me, I’ll out-eat any of you if I don’t practice self-control – and even my best self-control will still be overeating I guarantee!! The only difference is, I may go run it off. This is something I will continue to improve and manage for the rest of my life. When it comes to my body, I don’t want to look bad as much as I don’t want to disappoint God by mistreating this body he gave me. I want to be a good steward of my physical body as well as my life. When I’m done with this life, I want Him to say “Well done”. I will never be perfect, and I will always fail, but I will never stop trying – and I think that’s all He asks for. 🙂

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