Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year’s Resolution Solution

{Photo courtesy of here}

Are you one of the millions of Americans who made a New Year’s Resolution that had to do with eating healthy, exercising, and losing weight?  If so, how is it going so far?

This is just my opinion, but I don’t think New Year’s Resolutions are good for you.

First of all, these resolutions cater to our “all or nothing” tendencies.  Everyone likes the appeal of a new beginning, a new day, a fresh start, and a “do over” with a clean slate.  However, as soon as we fail, our new beginning is stained and it seems not so good anymore.  Then we are tempted to give up on our resolution entirely until we have another new start.

The second reason I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions is because it is a unique time in which we let ourselves believe in magic.  Our resolution expectations are often way too high, very unrealistic, and even unhealthy.  Yet we still make these resolutions and we still expect success.  We believe the New Year’s magic will carry us to the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams.

As soon as life gets difficult, everyone knows the magic is gone.  And our hope is gone too.

Don’t put your hope in New Year’s magic.  Put your hope in something real.  Do you know what is more real than the chair you are sitting in?  Do you know what is more real that the clothes you are wearing?  Do you know what is more real than the world in which we live?  Yes, all those things are real in a physical sense.  But everything we see with our eyes is only temporary.

God is more real than anything we can see.  We cannot see God with our eyes but He is perfect reality, perfect truth, and perfect Love.  He is eternal, He knows what is best for you, and He wants you to live forever in Heaven with Him.  Put your hope in God.

I might be wrong, but I don’t think God wants us to be concerned with our weight and our looks.

I am at a point in life where I have had enough.  I have had enough of diets, weight loss talk, fat-free recipes, work out plans, and all the “should do this” and “ought to do that” when it comes to health.  I am sick of talking about it and I am sick of listening to it.  I have never heard anyone say that focusing on their appearance helped them get closer to God.

I got to this point in my life only after a long and difficult journey.  The path I used to tread was so painful and discouraging.  For years and years, I focused most of my time and energy on trying to lose weight, keeping the weight off, exercising, and not eating bad food.  Every since I can remember, I had to keep track of what I ate; every meal, every snack, every drink, every single tic-tac.  And I did it all in the name of health.

The devil knew my weakness and used it to draw me away from God.

Each Lent, my sacrifices were centered on extreme fasting.  Before each birthday, I wanted to reach a certain goal weight.  Before each winter, I had to lose weight because I knew I would gain weight over the holidays.  Every New Year’s Resolution was to not eat dessert, or to not eat sugar, or to exercise seven days a week, or lose a certain amount of weight, or whatever.  And I did it all in the name of sacrifice.

I could never live up to my own standards.  I was miserable almost every day because I felt like a failure.  And this was exactly what the devil wanted.

By the grace of God, I was able to take a step back and look at my life in reality.

The world is polluted with diets and healthy eating information.

But, I don’t want to live like that anymore.

I want to do other things with my life than try to lose weight.

The sacrifices I choose will no longer involve food.  And my resolutions will no longer be focused on weight and appearance.  I want to focus on my relationships, in particular, my relationship with God.

Keep your resolutions in check this year.  Link them up with God’s will for your life.  Look at the fruits of your efforts and be honest with yourself about whether or not they are helping you get closer to God.

If you want some other great reads, check out these two from my favorite blogger at PsychCentral:
Until next time, take care YOU!

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