Why does food hold such a prominent place when we are dealing with emotions? That is the question that I pose to all my clients. What is your relationship with food? What is food? In a basic sense, nourishment. In our culture, food is the center of every event and saga of life. It has now become an obstacle to many of my client’s success. Today I want to open the conversation of being afraid to fail, that you succeed at failing to complete the process.
Let’s unpack this. Many clients have tried and failed at losing weight. So, a fear of failure starts to build up over time. Being afraid that you are not going to hit your goal. This fear will cause my clients to sabotage their own efforts, and their fear becomes a reality.
There is hope for you!! We dread failure because we were not created for it. God has always been in sovereign control over us. God did not create us to fail but to succeed in service to Him.
The opening chapters of Genesis plainly teach this perspective. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”
Fear is more damaging than failure. Worrying about what might go wrong will prevent you from moving ahead. Stop being afraid of failure and determine to succeed. Focus on your goals, not on your fears. Move forward with determination. Many worthwhile achievements involve taking some risks. The Bible says, God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Fear and anxiety can paralyze your creativity and generate a confusing inner conflict. This will result in erratic and indecisive behavior. If you cannot think straight, you will never be able to function correctly. The Bible clearly teaches that we are not to worry about the problems of life.
In Philippians 4:6, Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? St Paul urges us to pray about everything. In other words, stop worrying and start praying.
Why do so many of my clients get caught in this cycle? Because they cannot forgive themselves for failing. Instead of moving beyond failure to success, they continue to punish themselves with self-inflicted guilt. If you have failed, admit it and start over. Confession is the key. Proverbs 28:13 Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who confess and forsake them obtain mercy.
To fail is not to be a failure. Everyone fails sooner or later. The key to success is determining how you will handle your failure. If you try to hide it, it will haunt you. If you confess it, you can conquer it. Forgive yourself and accept God’s forgiveness as a genuine expression of His grace. Sit with God and ask for the Wisdom to understand why you are walking down such an adverse road when clearly you want the Light.
To be disciplined with your eating takes practice. You must break the task down into attainable goals. By simplifying our goals, you increase your potential for success. Remember, time is on your side. You may find yourself taking two steps forward and one step backward, but you are making progress. You will more likely reach your goal in attainable steps rather than one giant leap. Climbing a ladder step by step still beats trying to jump all the way up on the roof in one bounding leap.
Proverbs 24:16 Though the just fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble from only one mishap.
Don’t give up. God is not finished with you. Philippians 1:6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Failure is not the end. It is just a trouble spot along the way. Failure is not getting back up after you do fall. Learn to think more positively! Positive thinking is incredibly powerful. If you are finding that hard, call you, coach!
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
The Importance of Stabilization and Maintenance
Sara has lost 45 pounds and is so excited. She tells me that she is happy where she is. “I know you went over stabilization in the beginning and have been referring to it over the past few months,” says Sara. “What is it?” I say to her, “Okay let’s talk about next steps!”
You may have some of the same questions as Sara. So what is stabilization and maintenance and why should you take it seriously?
Once you shed the extra pounds, what you have learned is how to lose weight. We have identified behaviors and have worked with you to change them. But what do you think would happen if you just stopped losing weight without also learning how to eat all foods in moderation? You guessed it, over time, you would gain the weight back. Isn’t that what you have done before with other diets? Well this time around will be different because over a 12–week period, we will teach you about the different food groups and about your relationship with food.
Sara ask, “What does this do?” Well, let’s start with your weight loss plan. This will be your foundation and to this base plan we are going to work together to understand certain food groups. You will still journal and still step on the scale. What we are going to see is how your body responds to certain foods and how you handle adding in and expanding selections like, alcohol, crackers, and ice cream etc.
Sara responds, “What if I don’t want to add all that back in? What if I just want to stay on what I am doing. I like it.” I say, “Sara, it is really normal to be afraid to add food back in. Are you worried about adding in food?” Sara tells me yes and no. I ask her to clarify. “Well, what if I just don’t see the need to add that all back in?” I tell her, that would be unrealistic. You are going to eat all food again. I cannot see you going through the holidays or summer and never having anything, can you? “Well, no,” says Sara.
Stabilization is important for you. Each client will learn how to eat for themselves. We teach you to incorporate all foods into your lifestyle and how to eat so that you do not gain the weight back.
“So, how do you drink?”, Sara asks.
Good, very good. That’s the right kind of question. One we need to find the answer to. All food in moderation, but what is moderation to Sara? That is what we are going to find out. Now, journals are an important part of your plan. So make sure you keep them. This is how we will learn what foods you can have with no issue and what foods we need to modify.
Sara was starting to get excited. She said, “I have never done anything like this before. I am excited to finally learn how to eat all foods, moderately.” I said, “That is not all. Once you have gone through stabilization, you then go into maintenance.”
Maintenance is a free, weekly weigh-in accountability program allowing you to have us right there in case you need extra help. Our statistics show that the clients who use maintenance for at least two years, keep the weight off and those clients that do not use maintenance and/or stabilization are not as successful at keeping the weight off. You see Sara, you have to practice your good behaviors and you need us there to guide you. And so that is why we must first stabilize your weight and then learn to maintain it.
Are you ready? Sara says, “Yes!”