Life’s Too Hard Right Now…Or Is It?
By Julie Morris -
“I can’t lose weight. Life’s just too hard right now. Maybe later when things settle down,” Susanne said dejectedly.
She had come to me the week before, ready to take her first step toward healthy living, but after trying a few days to make a few simple changes, she had already given up.
She was clinging to food as if it were a life raft that was her only hope in a turbulent sea.
I encouraged Susanne not to rely on food to numb her worries, but the Lord as her only hope in these troubled times. And I told her what she already had discovered: there will always be troubles. Life is never easy, and if we put off making needed changes until that perfect time, things will just go from bad to worse.
Susanne and I had a long talk about baby steps she could take to start on her journey toward healthy living. We mapped out a simple strategy that would help her to stay on track with her eating, exercising and quiet time goals.
Here’s what Suzanne said she would do:
- I will have a quiet time every morning for just a few minutes to write a prayer about my eating, asking God for the willingness to make healthier choices and the ability to cast my cares on Him—not the refrigerator.
- I will listen to my Bible CD in the car on the way to work.
- I will write down on a little tablet what I eat during the day.
She was able to do these things for two weeks, so she decided to add two more goals:
- I will limit trigger foods that make my cravings worse. (For Suzanne these were things with sugar.)
- After eating a sandwich and fruit during my lunch break, I will walk up and down the stairs in my office building.
A few weeks later, after success with those goals, she added another one.
- Every time I eat, I will make the healthiest choice possible.
Finally a week or two later, she heard about a Christian weight-loss group and decided to join them. She made going to that group a final goal that helped her to learn how to rely on God’s power to eat right and make other healthy lifestyle changes… instead of her shaky willpower.
During our last counseling session, a thinner Suzanne told me that she felt so much better, and even though her challenges hadn’t changed, her ability to cope with them had. She said, “All of the things I’ve been able to do wouldn’t have been possible without my quiet time every morning. Those 10-15 minutes have made all the difference! And it’s also such a big help to have my Christian weight-loss group to encourage me!”
Then she added something that so many people need to understand: “I’m really glad I didn’t wait until things were easier to try to lose weight. I thought that overeating was making my life easier, but it was really making it harder. Carrying around all of those extra pounds and experiencing those sugar highs and lows made me too exhausted to deal with my problems. And thinking about food all the time distracted me from the Lord and the helping hand He was holding out to me.”