What to practice to develop self-control
This is how I practice being LED in the Spirit vs. being mastered in my flesh! This is what I do personally to QUIT cheating on myself…even in weight loss!
I used to be sneaky in the ways that I would cheat on myself with wrong foods/wrong snacks when I couldn’t lose weight. Tell me if this sounds like something maybe you’ve done because I can’t imagine that I’m the only one! I would go to the grocery store, and I would buy things for “the kids” to snack on, knowing that I wanted to also snack on those things, (and I eventually would too b/c I had NO SELF CONTROL!) I simply wanted what I wanted, and I would eat whatever I wanted. I was like a big baby who just did whatever I felt like doing; eating included. And I wondered why my body was so unrecognizable to me! I wondered WHY I couldn’t lose weight! Or how about this more sophisticated scenario: as I matured in my faith walk and thus, in my weight loss journey, I would buy chips that were compliant to my weight loss plan, thinking to myself, “Oh, I’ll control myself with these compliant chips” Ha! Nope! Never! I would always ruin my progress with familiar justification that would lead me into overeating them those compliant chips. I always had an excuse to just reason eating at least 3/4 of the bag. In one sitting, mind you. Y’all I was so bad before God changed me and showed me that his divine nature within me could (AND SHOULD) be applied, even in weight loss. He SHOWED me, through His Word, that being a Christian counted wherever I was acting in accordance with my OLD sin nature, in my fleshly lusts and desires versus knowing and acting like I’d been born again, renewed, with a spirit of self-control where I could harness God’s divine spirit within me. God showed me that if I wanted more fruit in my Christian life, that I would need to stop cheating on myself and lying to myself because it all mattered. My cheats and lies were spoiling the Christian Fruit in my life. Because my weight loss kept me stuck from stepping into the fullness of what God had planned for me. In the Seeker’s Method I teach something called “The power of When.” It’s a Christian Life Coaching for weight loss principle that applies to this area of our lives and helps us to STOP the cheating. Even better, to see a cheat when it’s about to happen. And to then be empowered in our Spirit to overcome the temptation and the lies. The little lies that lead us to cheats, that lead to never losing weight. These cheats keep us stuck. Because it’s in these WHEN moments where we experience justification or reasoning that many of us cheat, right? So, here’s the lesson for you, when you notice yourself being sneaky, when you noticed the lie, or an evil plot being formed in your mind, that is when you stop it. (THIS IS HOW YOU DO WHAT 2 TIMOTHY 2:22 SAYS. THIS IS HOW YOU FLEE FROM YOUTHFUL LUSTS!) **
You stop it in all forms at the onset. When it is just a sneaky thought. The POWER OF WHEN keeps you from inviting the temptation into your head and/or home. It’s how you metaphorically slam the door on temptations face. When you notice the temptation entering your thinking, that is when you stop it. You abort the evil mission all together. So that’s how I use the power of when to stop me. (Example: when I’m standing in Whole Foods and I think of buying the snack for the kids-the snack that I will eat-that’s when I put it back on the shelf. Or when I grab the compliant chips from the organic healthy isle…WHEN I grab it and I notice the lying thought that I’ll have self-control…that’s when I put the chips back. I never let them into my cart!)
The workshop on THE POWER OF WHEN, within the Seeker’s Method is profoundly more powerful than just this message that I’m sharing with you today because it’s all about King David and his affair with Bathsheba. Let me tell you quickly about the way I’m using THE POWER OF WHEN now, in my life, to help me from temptation in other areas. Now, the Power Of When is coupled with a CHRISTIAN timer. Because I have other WHEN moments where I need to apply MORE self-control. Areas that contribute to my inability to completely step into the true fullness of my life. Moments when I slip into doing what I know I shouldn’t do. And the results are equally as catastrophic as eating a complete bag of chips. You see now I have a new temptation in my life. Just like wrong foods, I also have wrong behaviors. Recently mine has been with scrolling social media. So now, I give myself an allotted time every day, little pockets throughout the day, where I allow myself to scroll social media but with a twist. When I sit down to scroll Instagram, or Facebook, or Pinterest, I play a worship song on my phone. And I allow myself to scroll away to my heart’s desire while that worship song plays. But when it ends, my scroll must end too. This is how I practice obedience to develop my self-control strength.
Self-discipline COMES pre-installed as a Christian! It’s a fruit of the Spirit. But you must develop it b/c it isn’t natural in such physical places where we’re used to ALLOWING our flesh to master us! Let me tell you how I’ve been using The Power of When to get better/more sleep. When I get into bed, I usually like to scroll all the social platforms for about 15 minutes. Except it ends up being more like an hour. An hour of scrolling when I should be sleeping translates to me not going to sleep on time. Which means I’m late to waking up. Which means I’m more prone to be cranky, less likely to have strength against temptation with food the next day, and it also means I very likely have compromised the amount of time I get to spend with God in the morning. And I don’t like that. So, I’ve been doing the power of when at bedtime. I play a worship song on my phone; I hit play, and then I scroll all the social platforms. And when that song ends… So does my scroll. This is how I practice obedience. This is how I practice YIELDING to my divine nature vs. my sin nature. This is how I practice being LED in the Spirit vs. being mastered in my flesh!
I encourage you to try it. Let this be the way that you develop your self-control muscle! Use the power of when to notice whentemptation is knocking at the door, and then slam it shut! Use the power of when to develop your self-control through obeying your own self-imposed rules. These self-imposed rules CAN CHANGE your life, but you need to know how to PRACTICE following them. You CAN become self-disciplined through practicing the RIGHT things!
Why does this matter in weight loss? Well, in the case of sleep, it matters because your sleep affects your hormones (which can slow/stop your weight loss), it impacts your mood, your mental clarity and even your ability to be strong against tempting foods. This matters with stopping bad habits b/c bad habits often limit us and keep us from doing the hard things on our weight loss journey…yet we don’t do much to stop them! Right? Sometimes just mindlessly scrolling social media can keep you from doing what you know you should be doing, like meal prepping or doing your morning journaling in TSM. And I firmly believe that whatever we practice, we get good at. So, if you are perpetually practicing leaning into cheating on yourself or wasting time, you’re getting good at cheating on yourself and wasting your life. Am I right? Your flesh wants what it wants & your habits are well formed from years of practice! Start practicing new things; things that WHEN YOU PRACTICE THEM, they actually matter and will change & improve your life. Things that will help you to have the right kind of fruit in your life… things like even weight loss!
4 Christian Life Coaching for Weight Loss Questions for you:
1. What are YOUR when moments? Identify them!
2. What could CHANGE in your life if you actually took your thoughts captive WHEN you noticed the wrong, lying thoughts starting to form?
3. How could practicing self-discipline with a timer help you to be better at self-control?
4. What could happen if you had THE COURAGE to TRY these techniques?
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