The number one reason why diets and weight loss programs fail is because people set themselves up an ending goal.
“I’m going on a diet until I lose 35 pounds!”.
“I want to be able to bench press over 200!”.
“I want to fit into that dress!”
What happens when you are done? When you meet that weight? When you fit into that garment? When your fitness has surpassed expectation? It’s not that the diet failed… we did. We met our goal and then returned to the very things that made us fat to begin with. The weight doesn’t stay off because we changed our diet, exercise and routine… but because we ourselves did not change. We still cave when the donuts come out at work. We still pop an extra soda when the day gets long. We still feel like tomorrow is a better day to exercise than today. “Mission accomplished!” we may exclaim, but the success is almost always short lived.
Getting the weight off is easy and all manor of trickery can be used to accomplish that. KEEPING the weight off is not so easy. It requires an internal change. You, the person, has to look at life differently. Motivation can’t be short term. You must decide that you aren’t dieting… you are changing yourself as a human being. You know what happens if you give up sweets for a week? You can’t wait for that week to end so you can dive in and make sweet-angels as they rain down upon you. (snow angels only in piles of candy).
If you want the weight to stay off, you have to say goodbye to sweets and remove them from your life’s vocabulary. Insert a never-ending multitude of evidence from those trying to quit smoking, drinking or doing drugs. It only takes one sip, one puff, one drag to ruin your life again. So it is equally with the food that is bad for us. The only people whose bodies change and stay that way, are the ones who transform from the inside out.
I hope that was a sufficient explanation, because its the exact same with our Christianity. Going to church doesn’t cut it. Adding a devotional reading isn’t enough. Read the Bible in a year? Great! Then what? Being a Christian isn’t accomplished by taking on healthy habits for a time. It starts with an inside-out complete transformation. And when that is complete, we are so wonderfully remade we want to share it with everyone. It’s like finding the perfect program that really works. We want to share.
“hey, everyone, I found the perfect, life changing, heart warming, beautiful thing and it works! Come see what Jesus did for you!!!!”. When you invite Jesus into your heart and life, things change. You don’t decide to stop gossiping for a little while. No, gossiping becomes offensive to you and you quit because the taste of it is despicable. Do you relapse? Sure. But you don’t cave in and toss out all of the progress like you would on a fad diet. You pray, you repent and you keep trucking along, maintaining that perfect spirit for the rest of your life.
Am I an expert at dieting? Have I mastered the new me and forsaken nasty foods and unhealthy habits? No. Quite the contrary. I’ve mastered quitting. I’ve become an expert with excuses. I’m in the middle of the quick sand pit, up to my neck, and I’m waving and yelling, ‘Don’t come in!’. A friend once told me he didn’t accept dieting advice from the ‘experts’. He wanted to talk to the fat people. They truly knew about failure. They experienced first hand what didn’t work. They understood the struggle and what wall stopped them from excelling. Let me be your obese guide through the guaranteed biggest failure of them all… trying to be a Christian without a full heart changed by Christ. Its as devastating as going on a temporary diet without first changing your outlook on food, health and fitness.
I’ve seen the true Christians. They come teary eyed, faith filled, knees worn, and hands raised for God. They stumble, but they do not fall. They sing praise seven days a week and their love for God is unwavering. Everything else in their lives moves around their walk with the Savior. In short… Jesus isn’t a fad and He deserves more than a fad diet.