I was writing about the challenge and left off with day nine and with the renewing of our minds. We are now down to the last two days. I am down 8 pounds and feeling diet fatigue in a big way. I ask myself, why now, you have seen some success, you have stuck with the challenge, what’s going on?

I’ll tell you what’s going on. I quit making a priority of the daily inspiration of a healthy living devotional that was emailed to me. I quit writing about what meant the most to me. I watched the video and read what was presented, but I didn’t write about it, I did’t talk to God about it, I didn’t do anything with it. Surprise, surprise, yesterday and today have been a real struggle with cravings and my mind wandering back to the old tapes that have always played.

So I have decided to recap the days I did not write about. I decided to make the information pertinent to my life. I decided to reconnect my weight loss efforts with God. A healthy lifestyle should not be a 21 day effort but a life long endeavor.

So here we go.

Day Ten – I do not gamble so I don’t know why this came to mind but it seems to be a perfect example. You know the “oh man, slap on the forehead” feeling you get when you have been gambling at a machine and you decide to go elsewhere. You get up and walk away, someone else sits down and they hit the jackpot. You feel dejected because you know that if only you had stayed the course you were on you would be the rich one right now.

 It is important to stay the mark and not give up because you never know when your breakthrough will come. Don’t give up right before you have the lightbulb moment of which things that keep you from reaching your weight loss goals.

Scripture inspiration-“ I do the things I don’t want to do but the things I want to do those I don’t do” ~ Romans 7:15

Boy isn’t that the story of our lives!

Day Eleven- Slaying our dream robbers. God doesn’t want us to live an unfulfilled life. He gives us the tools we need to live in freedom. We are just to stubborn, afraid, busy, important, dirty,

It is not a game of hide and seek. He really doesn’t want to hide himself from us. He wants to make Himself know to us. He created us, He wants to take pleasure in us.

We have things that we believe about ourselves. These things get in the way of reaching our goals. There are the things that cause us to procrastinate, make excuses, blame others. These are responsible for low self-esteem and a bad self-image. These false beliefs (that we all have) are at the root of why we do what we do.

I felt there were two scripture that were especially relevant for this day.

They continued to follow their own gods according to the religious customs of the nations from which they came.”~2 Kings 18:33

John 10:10 states: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Day Twelve- My first thought this day was, oh my gosh, I made it over half way through! I have kept journaling, posting to the Facebook page and tracking me food. Year Dottie! Then I started reading the topic of the day, excuse making. It made me want to shut the IPad down and go back to bed. But I didn’t, I waded in.

We can’t really move forward if we are not taking responsibility our own actions and our own lives. Excuse making can and will kill dreams. To make an excuse is to give up personal power and leave us feeling helpless and often hopeless. I believe that each of us are all to familiar with this feeling.

To move forward we have to get to the bottom of why we make excuses and begin to deal with the real issues that lie behind the excuses we make. After all, it is impossible to change what is not acknowledged.

Relevant Scripture- “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”~John 5:7

Day Thirteen- The best friend to excuse making is “blaming”. We blame our genetics, good down home comfort food, our friends who just have to take us to lunch, Satan for tempting us beyond what we can endure or maybe we even curse God for making us with so little willpower.

The blame game has been around since the beginning of time. Adam, Eve, the Garden of Eden, you remember the story. Adam blatantly blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.

Often we play the subconscious blame game. We don’t recognize that deep down we might be blaming our parents or just about any other reason you can come up with.

However blaming will get you no-where. As long as you are blaming others, you remain stuck in the problem and are not focused on finding a solution.

Relevant Scripture – “It was the woman who you gave me who game me the fruit, and I ate it.” Gen: 3:12

Day Fourteen- Procrastination. Perhaps I’ll start someday in the future, I’m not ready yet, I will begin another day. Later. Procrastination is a thief. This struck me profoundly. We honor our commitments to anyone else in our life, except the commitments we make to ourselves. Why do we do that? Probably the biggest thing for me is fear of failure, I know I will fail so why start? I know I will be ready someday, but just not today. Sound familiar?

Relevant Scripture.

“How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given to you?”

That pretty much sums up our lives doesn’t it?

We keep forgetting we have an inheritance. We certainly overlook the fact that it already belongs to us and is free for the taking.

Day Fifteen and the home stretch of the challenge. Emotional Eating

Yikes, how dare she bring that dirty little secret out into the open. She even included statistics! Like I want to know that 80% of my eating is done for emotional reasons. But wait a minute, 80 percent? Wow! It gives new meaning to the phrase eat to live instead of living to eat. Thus far in my life I have been living to eat. Oh how that statement hurts the ego. I had used the popular catch phrase emotional eating often but it was not until I sat down and talked to God about why I eat in response to my feeling instead of when I am hungry that I came to know how big of a problem this really was for me.

Long story short, learning to feel our feelings and not stuffing them deep inside is when we will quit using food to pacify, comfort and fill us.

Relevant Scripture- In your anger do not sin… Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.’~ Eph. 4: 26- 27

Day Sixteen – This is the day that it became very apparent to me that we were hitting the big, hard stuff in the minefield of weight gain and loss. It really isn’t about the food but about what we believe about food and eating.

Self-esteem and self –image, it is hard to even think about, let alone talk or write about. Often our lives are filled with rejection, rejection and more rejection. We usually do not find unconditional love and acceptance on this earth. I loved the acronym that was presented to us this day. F.E.A.R. (False evidence that Appears Real) Admit it, we all see ourselves, those around us and the world in general, through glasses that are tainted and colored with past experiences. If we continue to walk closely with God He will remind us to take these glasses off and see life and Him as they really are.

Learn to look at your strengths not weaknesses. Look at what is right, not what is wrong. See yourself as God sees you, beautiful, whole and complete. Go ahead, name ten things that you love about yourself, it is not as easy as it sounds to do.

“We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers…!” ~Numbers 13:33

Day Seventeen- Satan prowls, all the time, every day. It is when we get lax on our time with God that Satan springs into action. We must remain on guard, we must remain vigilant at all times.

We must know ourselves, our circumstances and the situations we allow ourselves to be drawn into. If you know you overeat when you are hungry, find a way to eat before you are ravenous. If you know you head straight to the junk food when you are mad, physically make an effort to find another solution to your anger. If you are feeling vulnerable in any way, your self control is compromised. Pay attention.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. ~ 1 Peter 5:8

Day Eighteen- Computer or video games, Facebook, crocheting, reading, you name it. These are the things that can rob your focus and steal your time. Focus is what it takes to live a healthy life, it doesn’t magically happen. We have to continually adjust, and readjust as we work to maintain our focus and concentrate on our commitment to healthy living.

“…….knew you not that I must be about my Father’s business?” Luke: 49

Just as Jesus had to remain focused of God, we must also. Peter sank when he lost sight of Jesus and started to worry. Keep your eyes on your goal and focus on God. Don’t put your focus on the challenges of maintaining your weight loss when the situation is conspiring against you, focus instead on the power of the Holy Spirit and tap into His source of strength.

Day Nineteen-

 “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:30

Depending on how you look at it and how you chose to spend your time, this could be a pretty stark message to take in first thing in the morning.

I have tried to lose weight every way imaginable. Alone, with friends, with every diet book imaginable, in groups, you name it, I have done it. More often than not however, it is a lonely and isolating venture. Being the human that I am, when that gets old, and it will, I revert right back to my old habits. I need someone to point me to God when I get off track, someone to bust my chops when I make a trip to the convenience store just to buy a candy bar/donut/icee/.

Support equals a better chance at success. Motivation soon wanes when you are your sole cheerleader.

Day Twenty-

You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little…Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.” Haggai 1:9

I have almost done this! One more day and I will have successfully completed a health challenge for the first time ever with a new loss of 8 pounds. My eyes have been opened to the things that are affecting my ability to lose weight. I now know that I was the one who stood in my own way of losing weight and keeping it off. It all boils down to surrendering the journey to the only one who can free me from trying to lose weight on my own. God can do what I have not been able to.

Have I ever made myself a priority and put my health needs before everything else that commanded my attention. Maybe for a minute or two, but never for a lengthy or lasting amount of time. I am a priority, I do deserve to nurture myself. I deserve to make myself a priority.

It does take effort. There is never enough time for exercise, never enough money to buy healthy food. I can make excuses with the best of them for things that I don’t want to do or things that matter to me. I see now that I am not being noble or loving to others so much as saying I am unimportant to me. God wants me to view myself as He views me. I am important enough to take care of.

“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little…Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.” Haggai 1:9

Dottie

…………and so I ride

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