Early on while trying to figure this whole health and fitness thing out, I learned I had to build up my mental arsenal. I wrote down scripture I felt God brought to mind so I could put food in its proper place.
The first one was 2 Peter 2:19 … “for a man is slave to whatever has mastered him.” Try as I might, I knew food had become my master. Anytime a person is unable to walk away from a food they know they shouldn’t have or doesn’t fit within their goals (even if it is healthy), if it’s a battle at all, they are slave to that food. It’s just reality and accepting that reality truly helped me start to put food in its proper place.
I began there, then added more scripture I could speak OUT LOUD (do not underestimate the power of speaking vs. thinking encouraging words). These several passages have helped me immensely, but there are many, many more if you choose to search them out.
***I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13*** Such a well-known passage, almost seems cliche, BUT the wonderful thing about this is, since it’s easily remembered, in times when your mind has a hard time bringing ANYthing to mind, the best thing to do is simply speak this passage over and over and over until His peace overcomes you. When I was struggling with anxiety and nighttime was the worst, I’d repeat parts of Ps 23. I couldn’t even remember it all, but I’d repeat over and over and over the parts I could remember until a calm would overcome me and I’d fall asleep. I’ve held on to that practice of simply repeating His Word until I feel His peace.
***”For a man is slave to whatever has mastered him. 2 Peter 2:19.” *** <<<This verse helps me because I do not want to be a slave to food. I’m able to recognize this and say to myself, “I am not going to be a slave to food.” My body is flesh and my flesh fails me. My spirit is strengthened through the power of Christ. Think about it, even in actual historical terms if you have to, Jesus KNEW he was going to be beaten, flogged, and nailed to a cross to die. He KNEW he was going to rise from death after all that so he walked that path even after He prayed that the Father would take the cup away. Really let this sink in because that SAME power is within your spirit. And mine. We just have to grasp it hard because Satan is going to be pulling us back as hard as he can as well.>>>
***1 Cor. 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” *** <<The context here was geared toward fleeing sexual immorality, but the principle remains. You have to choose moment by moment to not be mastered or pulled under the power of the things of this world… including food. THIS is the hardest thing to do! You can joke about these moments when you’re not sitting in the middle of the battle, but when the battles hit, they’re frustrating and heartbreaking. Staring down at ‘xyz’ food, you want it but you know it defies your goals. Speak His truth over your life then walk away for at least 30 minutes. (More on tactics in another post.)>>>
*** 1 Cor. 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” Walk away from the food and go to a mirror. Don’t look at yourself, but look at the Spirit of the Living God within you. Ask Him to feel His presence and listen for what He may speak into your heart. ***
*** 1 Cor. 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”*** <<< Always be vigilant to listen to His voice at all times, what is He saying to YOU. Because what He speaks to you may be very different than what He says to me. And even though temptations some days feel insurmountable, for certain, you are far stronger than you know! >>>
***1 Cor. 10:23 “I have the right to do anything,’ you say – but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’– but not everything is constructive.” <<< Meaning, you COULD eat whatever you want, but is it beneficial? The world we live in now says “it’s your right, you deserve it, why not?” but whether you do or not is irrelevant, does it fit within what you’re hoping for…freedom from food, a healthy body and mind, a fit body, etc.? Has God told you told whether “it” is or isn’t okay for you? >>
*** 2 Peter 1:5-8 “… For this very reason add to your faith goodness, to goodness knowledge (scripture, prayer, listening), to knowledge SELF-CONTROL, to self-control PERSEVERANCE, to perseverance godliness, to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” *** [emphasis added] <<< You can gain all kinds of knowledge, fill your mind with all kinds of words of encouragement but in the end you have to exercise self-control, not once or twice, but 490 times if necessary. >>>
*** 2 Cor. 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”*** <<You are going through this for a purpose! His word says freely you have received, freely give. For what you learn through YOUR experience, use it to build up others fighting this same battle.>>>
*** 2 Cor 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.*** <<<– the why!! We’re called to love others and the most poignant way we can do that is by comforting them in whatever way they need. Most of the people on earth that need healing need it first in their heart. Be comforted through this process and one day He will bring you to someone who needs to be comforted by you through this same or similar battle. >>>
His Words are words of life; they will draw you closer to Christ and TRUE peace. I encourage you to look up all these scriptures yourself too, see the context in which they’re written. It’s always wisest not to take a human’s word, but go directly to God’s source.
—-In The End
If ever I have a moment (and I still have them, even now, the battle will never end so long as we live in a country of excess) when my mind seems to be taken over by some debate over food, I say these things out loud to myself. I literally command my own mind out loud to “stand down.” That may sound silly, but it works. I speak these words of scripture, then tell myself OUT LOUD … “No, I am NOT a slave to ‘xyz’, I am called to be free and that includes not falling prey to whatever my body thinks it wants. I didn’t come this far to let food take me down.” ***
—>>>Do not underestimate the power of speaking words out loud!
Your mind can think what it wants, but the voice has more power. Other things I say to myself … if something on a Tuesday is taunting me (like chips and salsa), I’d say “It’s okay, Rhonda. You can wait 3 days. You are a grown up. Get a grip.” Literally, I have said that… out loud. 🙂 “Walk away Rhonda, you’ve never cared about tootsie rolls before, truly you don’t like them anyway, so this fight is not allowed to rent space in my head.” Find your mom voice! 😉
I believe so passionately this is where the war on weight/health/fitness is won or lost — in the mind. You are meant for something far greater than yourself. Let Him build your spirit and faith through this experience! Just do not try to assume what the ride is going to look and feel like. Arm yourself as if your about to go to war, because you are (Eph 6:10-20). Then when the battles arise, you’re already prepared to strike them down. Think ahead always. Training is constant. You will persevere.
Finally, I LOVE these words from Joyce Meyer “Do what you CAN do, even if you think it’s not enough. Do what you CAN do, and God will do what you cannot do.” Life is always busy and we bounce from one short mixed-up season to another. Be okay with small steps in areas that have to take a slight back seat while you take care of you. And even be okay with small steps when learning a new way of life to take care of you. Small steps moving forward are still forward motion.