Have you ever quit a diet because you got off track? You were doing so well and then you were tempted? You had a craving? Your friend said, “Just this one time won’t hurt. You can get back on track tomorrow. No one will know.” Then, there you were. Just you and that chocolate-covered, heaping mound of ice cream with a warm, fresh brownie underneath. Whipped topping! Nuts! Perhaps, it is your favorite Mexican restaurant calling out your name as you drive by. Whatever YOUR temptation might be, we all have them followed by that temporary, heavenly moment when we cave in and indulge.
Fast forward. Next day. We step on the scale and we have gained 2 pounds that took us a whole week to lose in the first place. We feel heavy. Uggh! Do you find that you then start beating yourself up or giving up or rationalizing your behavior? Making excuses?
Let’s talk about triggers for a minute. Something unexpected just got thrown your way. You are going along your merry way in your perfectly organized and controlled piece of the world and then… you have a chaotic, frustrating, over-the-top day at work and to erase it all, to cancel it out you turn to ________. (You can fill in the blank!)
I am sure that we can all relate to this is in some way or another. I want to share how it most recently relates to me aside from the actual diet and Mexican restaurant incident!
I keep a prayer journal. It is my daily conversation with God. Sometimes I start my day journaling or perhaps end it that way. There are even days I go to it many times a day, bending God’s ear when my world seems out of control. I always feel better when I practice this discipline. It brings order to my otherwise chaotic life.
However, there was a day that I just could not get to it or so that is what I told myself. What is one day, I thought? One day led to two. And then, even looking at the prayer journal, I felt ashamed. Much like weighing myself on the scale after those chips and queso! That was the beginning of my “yo-yo” praying! Miss a day. Beat myself up. Apologize to God. That was the cycle. My cycle.
I thought about this very thing when I looked at my prayer journal with a very heavy heart. I realized that Satan was using my own prayers against me. He would not allow me to give myself credit for all the times that I turned to God in prayer, but he sure was quick to point out all the times that I did not. He had me thinking that God was tired of me and all of my failed attempts. He was manipulating my mind and my thoughts. He is a master at that! Satan was keeping me from praying. I can imagine him doing the happy dance over that one. How long would this pattern have continued if I had not gotten wise to his ill attempts?
Finally, I realized I need a new approach. I was determined not to allow Satan to win another victory. I bought a new journal. One that was not so filled with shame and guilt and reminders of my continued failed attempts. A clean plate!
God offers us a clean plate. The plate that Satan hands us is messy- all covered with slop and looks like it needs to go straight to the kitchen to be washed. Satan wants us to hold on to our failures. Oh how he loves to remind us of them! He does not want us to live and reach our full potential in any area of our life – even dieting.
What areas of life do you find yourself in a constant yo-yo cycle? Do you ever feel that you just cannot seem to conquer a challenge but rather the challenge seems to be conquering you? Are you focusing more on your failures than your successes and victories? If you are, Satan is right there doing his own happy dance in your life. He loves “weighting” you down!
God on the other hand took on the “weight” of our burdens himself. In Christ, we are victorious. Period. End of Story. Commit all of your endeavors to Him whatever they may be. God is in the details and if we keep him there, we allow Satan no wiggle room – the same lack of wiggle room we will have in our jeans if we continue to let him win!
I am celebrating my own little victory today. In times past, if I blew a “diet” I found myself just quitting much like the prayer journal- at least until the next time around. The ever familiar yo-yo effect! Well, the scale by which I weigh myself has shifted. I sent Satan packing and I told him to take all that extra weight of the guilt, shame, and frustration that he was using to tempt me with him. I am back on my diet and my pretty new prayer journal is calling my name. Yes, I hear it now! Or was that ice-cream?
Until Next Time,