Why is it so hard to make changes in your life that last? It seems that despite knowing that what we are doing/not doing is harming us, we hold fast to our old habits. We are creatures of habit and don’t like change. We’re very good at looking reality in the face and denying it. So how do you make changes that last?
One of my main goals in life is to #LiveHealthy. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had health issues. I was diagnosed with asthma at age 5, so I know what it is to struggle to breathe. Having lived with infertility and endometriosis, I’ve experienced the heartbreak of childlessness. Having suffered from fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism, I know unrelenting pain and fatigue. So, I don’t take good health for granted.
In my last blog post, Healthy New Year, I spoke about my determination to change all this and what I am doing to change. (First victory: I have eliminated one of my asthma meds!) I think it’s human nature to share what one is learning with others, especially on social media, and as I share I’ve been getting interesting feedback that highlights our struggle with change.
Keeping in mind the principle of uniqueness, which says that everyone’s body is different, we know that there are certain principles which govern how our bodies work. We know that ingesting poison is harmful and ingesting freshly grown fruits and vegetables is good for us. Our bodies innately know what is good and what is bad, but years/decades of eating incorrectly confuses our body’s signals, so we often misinterpret what our body is telling us.
Time For Change
When we’re not feeling well, we’re not motivated to make changes. Yet, paradoxically, that is precisely the time we need change the most. I knew for a very long time that I needed to change the way I eat. I just didn’t know how to do it. So I procrastinated.
Finally, I discovered that my body was toxic and inflamed. I knew that it was crucial that I get what was inside, out of me. I learned which foods to remove from my diet and which foods would restore my body to health.
But having this knowledge wasn’t enough. After all, I was a creature of habit and I was used to resisting change. Although I knew that the number one enemy was sugar, I had quit eating sugar many times in the past and had always gone back to it. Yes, I was addicted.
But I was determined to live out the rest of my life healthy. And logic wasn’t cutting it. Sugar, I told myself, was poison. I told myself that I would benefit by eating God’s food, not the devil’s (fake) food. But it was all so tempting!
How I Did It
In my blog post, Make Next Year Better, I talked about how futile it is for humans to make resolutions because the flesh is weak. I said:
So, how do you make things better, especially if 2015 wasn’t especially kind to you? First and foremost, pray. Ask God for His guidance in your life, and go to Him daily, asking Him what to do.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5,6 NLT
Ask Him to give you the desire to do the things He is guiding you to do. You will be amazed at the changes that happen when God is in the driver’s seat!
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 KJV
So I took my own advice and asked God to help me do the thing He had been gently encouraging me to do. And He was there for me. After a few days, maybe a week, I noticed how good green beans were! In fact, they were sweet! How could that be? How could I possibly be enjoying zucchini? Me, the person whose favorite food was chocolate cake? What was happening to me?
What was happening was FREEDOM! I had been chained by my own control. Once I let go and let God work, I was free. There is freedom in surrender. As long as you are focused on making something happen, you find yourself tied in knots.
You see, making changes that last is not my job, or yours. It’s God’s job. What a relief! He changed my heart, my thinking, and my body. What freedom!
Learn more in my new book, Be in Health: Bible-Based Health Restoration: Living in Harmony with God’s Ways Regarding Health. Available now.