Stay the Course

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by emotions or life circumstances? 

Most of us are more susceptible to eating off our food plans when we are hungry, emotional, busy or tired. And for some of us, that’s every day! 

We need a plan that helps us take our thoughts captive and battle those tempting food thoughts. We need to practice stepping outside of the overwhelm and taking our emotions to Jesus.

Today I want to share with you how I handle those crazy, stressful moments when I am face-to- face with big emotions or food temptations. This is my step-by-step way of taking thoughts captive and submitting them to God. 

We’ll use word FOCUS to guide us through.

  1. Find a quiet place

The first thing to do when you are feeling overwhelmed or agitated is to step away from the situation. Get away from the noise. Step away from the food. Change the scenery. Press pause on whatever is going on and take a few minutes to be alone.

  1. Orient yourself to the present

Often our stress comes because we let our minds run into the future or get tangled up in the past. Try orienting yourself into the present moment by using your five senses. 

Focus on what you can see around you. How many colors or shapes can you find? How many different textures can you feel? Now close your eyes. What do you hear? What can you smell? What can you taste? Try taking a drink of water or some other beverage. Focus on the temperature, taste, and smell as you drink.

Just take a minute to really be right here, right now. 

  1. Connect with your emotions

Turn your focus to your own body. Do you feel tension anywhere? Do you need to cry? Are you angry or anxious? Breathe deeply and lean into those emotions. Acknowledge them without judgement. Assess if there is anything you can do right now to make yourself more comfortable.

  1. Unburden your heart

Now that you have calmed your nervous system, take a minute to unburden your heart! Talk to God about whatever is going on for you right now. If necessary, repent. Pray for wisdom. Jesus delights in carrying our burdens. You are not an inconvenience. Getting to help you gives Him joy!

  1. Savor Christ

And finally, savor Christ. Drink in the deep love and acceptance that can only be found in Him. I encourage you to mediate on any scripture you know. Singing a worship song. Pray a prayer of gratitude and praise. Just let yourself be with Jesus.

Savoring the truth of His Word renews our hearts and our minds. If you take the time to submit your heart and thoughts to God in prayer, then scripture promises that the peace of God will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

You may need to stop and FOCUS again and again. This isn’t a one and done kind of thing!

Rather it’s a daily, hourly practice that will help all of us take our thoughts captive and walk in the freedom we have in Jesus.

Do you need more help learning to FOCUS? Simply reply to this email and let me know what challenges or questions you may have that I can address in future posts. I would love for us to grow in this practice together as we all learn to savor Christ more deeply.

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      Almost three years ago, I finally admitted that I was a food addict. I said those very hard words out loud and in my mind – “I AM A FOOD ADDICT.”  That was a very painful admission. It meant that I had a greater problem than any diet or exercise plan could solve. It meant that I had to FULLY surrender to God. It meant that a new way of life had to be learned and executed if I wanted true healing and success.

        With those words also came an excitement that was born, a hope that was created, and a fire that was stirred.  I started down a brand new road; a road that I knew was going to get me where I wanted to go, but also a road filled with unknowns and challenges.  This was a road that I gladly and willingly traveled.  This new road was paved with new ideas about food and the science of food addiction. There were lots of new road markers to study along the way.  I gathered as much information as I could as I joyfully skipped along the road. I couldn’t see what was around the bend, but I knew there were others up ahead of me that could extend a hand along the way.  Food boundaries were put in place in regards to food; no sugar, no flour, 3 meals a day, and measured portions. Sometimes they were hard, but mostly they brought freedom! I was free to plan my meals and eat what I had planned – nothing more, nothing less. My new lifestyle was born!

       Sometimes, just like in this picture, there is a staircase on the side of the road that may look tempting – an easier way, a new diet, a new weight loss pill – don’t get sidetracked. You might spot a side trail that looks tempting or think you see an alluring shortcut.  Whatever you do, just stay the course and keep your eyes on the road.  The road is successful and will bring freedom. There will be a freedom that allows you to just simply take one step at a time.

       If you happen to find yourself on a side trail, a staircase, or in a ditch; just find your way back to the path and there will always be someone there to help.  If you need help getting back on the road, the best way is to run towards it and yell for help.  Reach out to a friend, another person on the path, or myself – I am here for you.

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