Making lifestyle changes to improve one's health can be challenging. Understanding that a person can have a biochemical addiction to wheat and sugar helps a person make necessary modifications (see the previous article "This Common Stronghold Is Why You Keep Getting So Sick"). Also, there may be a spiritual component—that these products may be a stronghold we turn to instead of God. In the "Five Steps to Freedom from Addiction" article, we examined a detailed five-step spiritual plan for resisting temptation to help break the cycle of addiction. Today we will review the importance of a support system.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us, "And if someone might overpower another by himself, two together can withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken." Obtaining a support system helps a person make the transition to improve their health. Therefore, you should ask someone to be your accountability and prayer partner.
Bringing our struggles out of the closet and sharing them with someone we trust is valuable. We can call a prayer partner when temptation arises. It is helpful when a friend speaks the truth in love. Prayers are powerful, especially from someone who understands us for who we truly are. Having someone pray for us during challenges is essential for spiritual victory.
A vital component of making a lifestyle change is tapping into God's power through reciting Scripture. God's Word offers guidance in every area of life, including health. Use the sword of the spirit as a weapon when a negative food habit is triggered. Write down a Bible verse that opposes a food issue. Speak the verse with authority, believing in its power. The spoken Word of God defeats the enemy. Unsheathe the sword of the Spirit and slash the enemy when tempted. Hiding God's Word in your heart is vital to spiritual success on this journey to change.
To make the lifestyle changes necessary, access God through prayer. When Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, he prayed. Follow Jesus's example and pray to receive power to face struggles. Jesus' brother told us in James 5:16b (TLB), "The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results." Prayer reduces the resistance experienced as you make changes. Ask God to replace your desire for food with the desire to please and serve him.
Plan for Pitfalls
No one is perfect. You will have days when you eat poorly. This happens to everyone; don't let it discourage you. Share your feelings with your prayer partner. Write about your hurdles and victories in a journal. Changing the way you eat is a challenging journey, but one you can master.
Every morning, plan your day. Determine your menu and what temptations you might encounter. Decide how you will fight food temptation for that day. Select a Bible verse and begin the day by reciting it.
Resist Food Temptations
When you recognize food temptation, remove yourself from the area. Some strategies for resisting temptation include: pray, take a walk, recite a Scripture, call your prayer partner, drink two glasses of water or listen to praise music. Think about how far you have come in overcoming your negative eating habits and whether you want to experience the withdrawal symptoms again.
If you relapse, get up, brush the dust off yourself and start again. Realize what triggered your cravings. Ask God to help you do better. This cycle continues to repeat itself, but as you continue to turn to God and rely on his strength, you will gain control of your body, mind and spirit.
The changes in your eating habits are a lifelong lifestyle journey so you can live the abundant life Jesus wants you to experience; not a life filled with disease and unwanted, unhealthy symptoms. To help you transition to a healthier lifestyle, please download this free pamphlet, "7-Day No Sugar/Wheat Challenge." This guide provides a day-by-day plan to wean yourself off these addictive products.
Susan Neal, RN, MBA, MHS is a certified health and wellness coach with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She has published three books, including the Selah Award winner, 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. Susan blogs and provides healthy menus, recipes and corresponding grocery lists at HealthyLivingSeriesBlog.com. You can find her books on Amazon or at her website, ChristianYoga.com.
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