What to do when you have fallen off the diet? Or fallen the off the wagon? Is Quitting your only option?

Written by Debbie Dittrich  |  Following Him

If you have just joined us, perhaps you’d like to know I have written two posts about my weight loss journey. The first is my story of losing 64 pounds at age 63. The second is my food plan. You might want to read them first.

Each week I will be blogging about what the Lord has taught me this past year as I lost weight. I discovered I had a lot more to lose than just pounds!

Additionally, if overeating is not your issue, then what is? These blogs are written to “set the captives free”. So if you feel bound by any addictive behaviors or seem to always be dealing with the same besetting sin year after year, then please join us in our quest to be free indeed!

 

Did you start the diet January 1st and have already failed?

Did you put down the alcohol and have already had your first sip?

Did you take your first puff on that cigarette just days or even hours after laying that pack down for good this time ?

Did you purpose to read through the Bible in a year but stopped at day 4?

Did you promise yourself never to rage again, only to have poured out your wrath in relatively short order?

Do you, like Paul, cry out, “I do what I don’t want to do and don’t do what I do want to do. Who will deliver me from this body of death? Oh wretched man that I am!”

I can relate. I followed my food plan from November 19, 2014 until late July of 2015. I did not cheat one single, solitary time. That, my friend, is nothing less than a miracle and trust me, God gets all the credit as I have never once stayed on any diet without cheating longer than about 12 weeks.

And once I quit following my food plan faithfully I still did well. I even lost weight. But then instead of getting off for one meal a week, it become two meals, then three and then every meal! I gained a few pounds and got right back on my plan and lost the extra weight. But during Christmas I seriously got off my plan and was off even into January and gained 10 pounds!

I was so down. I was at the same place I’d been every January for the last thirty years.

Thirty. Years. Thirty. Looooong years.

My all too familiar companions, Hopelessness and Helplessness, overwhelmed me yet once again. I saw no way out because that is how I think when I am trapped in the tsunami of failure and defeat. I get caught up in that wave, spinning round and round, barely able to breath, believing any moment will be my last.

Sound extreme? Well, for those of you who just need to drop a few pounds and need a new plan, it may even sound insane.

That’s because it is.

I don’t need a new diet. I need a new life. I need a new thought process. I need sanity.

When the despairing-of-life-and-hope thoughts assailed me on January 1st this year, I decided (key word: decided, not felt ) to think differently about my failure. Hopelessness and helplessness have always paralyzed me making rational thought impossible. Realizing that my thought patterns never produce victory I decided to think differently, what the Bible calls “be renewed” in the spirit of my mind.

In fact, we are “transformed by the renewing of our mind” according to Romans 12:2.  And Lord have mercy on my soul, I am a girl who needs herself some change! I need me some transformation on the deep down inside of my dark, twisted, broken mind if I ever expect the outside to be transformed.

I sought the Lord January 1st. and I felt He answered by pressing in with these words, Debbie, just run the race that is in front of you. Don’t run the race that was in front of you last year or the race that is in front of someone else. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, not even yourself, especially your past success. Just run the race that is in front of you today, this minute. 

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lost heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3

If you are held tightly by the belief you will never break out of this unending cycle of failure; if you are weary and losing heart from all of your failed efforts; if in fact you are terrified to start again because you believe one more failed attempt to lose the weight or quit the drinking or to stop the adultery will surely throw you headlong into a pit you from which you will never be able to crawl out, there is hope for you, yes you, today. This passage gives us four important truths to hold on to so that we can be free indeed, not losing heart or growing weary:

Lay sin aside

Run the race with endurance

Look at Jesus

Consider Jesus if you are weary and losing heart

In this blog let’s look at the term “lay aside sin” so that we can then understand how to change our minds, because these two concepts are related believe it or not and have everything to do with our success or failure.

 “…that in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Ephesians 4:22-24

If we are going to “lay sin aside” then we must first understand what sin is.

The word “lusts of deceit” here gives insight to the word “sin” in Hebrews 12:1 which means: desire, craving,to long for, which comes from the soul’s diseased condition.

I have a disease, the disease of sin. Some say their disease is not sin, but is addiction, as if it is not sin, but is something one cannot control, like cancer, and therefore is in a different category than sin. Defining my addiction to food and your addiction to whatever substance, person, thing or activity that you are addicted to as sin is important if we are to “lay sin aside”, and especially if we are to move from hopeless to hopeful. Addiction is full blown, out of control, non-stop sin, or lust, that has taken over every facet of one’s life and renders one not only entangled, but powerless to control.

The bible uses the word “addicted” in three verses, 1 Timothy 3:3, 3:8 and Titus 1:7 and they all refer to “addicted to wine.” The word addicted means:incessant use of wine. The word-picture is that of an individual who always has a bottle on the table and so signifies addiction. The opposite of addiction is self-control. I can so relate since I so often had food on the table, or in my mouth, or in a drawer or on my mind! I “used food” incessantly.

Is there any area of your life over which you have lost all control? Is there something you do incessantly? That might be an area of addiction, where your lusts are out of control.

These lusts wage war against the soul, Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2:11. Do you feel that war waging in your mind almost all the time with no hope of a break?

But we can have hope for true healing and deliverance from sin come through Jesus Christ! We are not without hope. We are not without a Savior. We are not without a Redeemer who purchased us out of the bondage of our sin so that we could be free indeed!

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” Psalm 107:19-20

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:2

How then do you lay aside sin? How do you put it away from you? 

Colossians 3:10 says we are to take off the flesh, that part of you that loves sin and longs for sin and we are to “put on the new self”.

We lay sin aside by “taking it off”, which is a clothing term. If you were hot you would “take off” your coat.

We lay aside our sin by changing our minds, changing our thoughts. First we change our thoughts, then we change our actions.

My “sin” sounded like this on January 1st as I considered my out of control eating and weight gain: I can’t believe I did it again! I’ll never learn. There is no hope of escape from this sin. I knew I would never succeed forever. This was all too good to be true. I might as well give up now. In years past, I have even wished I were dead, even begging God to take my life to end the incessant struggle with sin.

How do we put on the new self? By deciding to change our thoughts. I put on the new self January 1st by changing my thoughts: Yes, I did eat too much, but thanks be to God there is now, right now, no condemnation for me since I am in Christ Jesus. Lord, thank you that you died to set me free. Thank you that staying in my sin is not your will for me but that freedom is your will for me because you died to set me free. Thank you that you paid the full price for my sin making it possible for me lay  sin aside right now and to keep on running. Thank you that though I am powerless, you are powerful. Thank you that even though I fail, You never have and never will. Thank you that your love for me is not based on how much I weigh.

How often do you change your thoughts? As often as needed.

How often do you change your baby’s stinky diaper? As often as needed.

While we might like incessant eating, or drinking, or smoking or exercise, or immorality, most of us don’t like the thought of incessant work, like incessantly putting off the old self, putting off sin, and putting on the new self.

We like to start the New Year off right and stay right!

We like to start a diet, stay on the diet and be done forever with our weight problem.

We like to run towards the finish line without delays and certainly without falls, without trips, and without failures of any kind.

That is why when we do fail, fall or falter we want to quit. We like easy. We like quick. We like permanent.

My friend do not grow weary and lose heart. Do not quit running the race. Start now, not tomorrow or Monday to run your race again and start by making one simple change…as you mess up just lay aside the sin, whatever caused you to trip, and keep running! And continue, incessantly laying that sin aside all day long if you have to. Every time you “mess yourself” by eating too much or drinking too much, just like a baby messes himself, lay aside the old thoughts and put on the new thoughts.

John 8:32 tells us that the truth will set us free. I lay aside the sin that entangles me by making myself tell myself the truth about myself using God’s Word, using His Truth. And I start eating right, again, yes again and again and again, doing it over and over and over again, striving for progress, not perfection.

Runners don’t stop running when the weather is bad or the rain is pouring or they don’t feel good or if it is too hot or too cold, or when they are too slow. They run day after day. And most importantly if they trip, they get up and keep right on running!

Have you quit running the race that you so earnestly purposed to run this year? Have you become a spectator instead of the athlete God intended you to be? Are you at the end of your rope, exhausted from all your efforts? Perhaps these two videos will inspire you to continue running your race!

And this one is just way too good to miss!

It is time to get up, brush yourself off, lay aside the sin that entangles and trips you up and lay it aside as often as you trip over it, putting on the new self, created in Christ Jesus and run like the wind!

Run now! Now! Not another day! Not next Monday! Not tomorrow! Now!

May I end in prayer?

Lord, You love this sweet brother or sister in Christ so much that you laid down your life for them so that they would never have to suffer, really suffer, with any sin, or addiction or encumbrance that continually entangles them. Would you, dearest Jesus, give courage to my friends, to me, and help us face the mess we have made with power, not hopelessness or fear? Would you help us to be willing to lay aside that sin and to keep laying it aside no matter how often that might be? Lord, let us crawl, or hop, or drag ourselves on our bellies, propelling ourselves forward on elbows if we have to, but let us keep going, keep running our race until we cross that finish line falling into your precious arms of love. May you do more in us and for us than we ever asked for or imagined according to the power that is at work within us! Amen.

Please share how I can pray for you or insights as to how you lay aside sin. I’d love to hear from you. And please subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss my next blog where I’ll explain how to run with endurance.

 

 

 

 


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