Okay, okay, don’t freak out. I won’t make you actually ditch the scale. But hopefully by the end of this post, at the very least, you’ll have learned not to rely on it so much… and definitely not to let it completely alter the course of your day!
In my post, Toxic, I briefly touched on the fact that we can have a toxic relationship with our scale. How many times have you stepped on that thing, only to have it leave you feeling frustrated, depressed, and downright angry? It can ruin your whole day when it doesn’t read what you thought it would, and potentially, your whole meal plan for the rest of the week if that “why bother?” mentality creeps up on you. I know this, because I’ve been there!
Shortly after writing my post, Getting Back on the Wagon, I had made up my mind that it was beneficial for me, at least in the beginning, to follow a meal plan. This isn’t because I wanted to live by man-made rules, but following a plan that’s already laid out for me does help me to have structure. Food freedom or not, following the meal plan that I had found to be so successful in the past was a good way for me to start getting my act together. I decided I would still only eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m satisfied, and not eat after 7:00 pm, but my food choices, for now, would follow the meal plan with which I had previously found tremendous success.
In the past, I’ve been known to lose up to five pounds in just my first day with this carb-cycling meal plan, and after two days of nothing but protein and vegetables, I was excited to check that scale on Wednesday. I am ashamed to admit that it’s even what got me out of bed that morning. Imagine my shock and disappointment when I discovered I’d only lost two pounds!
I know that two pounds in two days is nothing to sneeze at, but for me, it was a lot less than I had been used to seeing since starting this program four years ago. Never mind that the protein I chose for dinner Monday night was higher in sodium than my usual choices, and never mind that I am now 47 years old and my body is changing. Yes, I’ve been using this meal plan with successful results for four years, but when you’re in your forties, a four-year difference is a much bigger deal than when you’re in your twenties. At the time I write this, I am on the “upper end” of forties, while, when I started with this high-protein meal plan, I was still at “39 and holding!”
In a moment of desperation, I texted one of my dearest (and most health-conscious) friends who always tells me I can reach out to her at any time, but I never do because I know she’s always so busy. I went as far as listing every single thing that went into my mouth over the previous two days like I had done in the days when I kept (shudder) food journals. I told her I didn’t know what was wrong, and I begged for her words of wisdom that I knew would surely encourage and enlighten me.
She began saying things like, “What worked for you before may not work the same way now,” and, “Our bodies don’t need that much protein; that’s for younger women and body-builders,” and, “Dairy is not our friend.” I immediately regretted eating three ounces of hard cheese with my lunch on Tuesday.
She went on to recommend a diet lifestyle book that catered to the hormonal changes of older women approaching (or in full swing of) menopause. Because I value my friend’s wisdom and opinion so highly, I immediately purchased the book with no hesitation. I was excited because there was a package deal going on, and I was able to get the cookbook with it. I anxiously and hurriedly ripped open my package when it arrived two days later, and I began skimming through it immediately. Then I saw words I’d never even heard of before like jicama and kohlrabi and kimchi. If you all know what these things are, kudos to you! But for me, I had a revelation that the numbers on the scale that day not only made me frustrated and depressed, but they made me impulsive, too.
I knew my dear hubby was not going to want to spend the money required to eat all organic and cage-free, and although I can certainly use most of the recipes in the cookbook, I had ultimately decided that making healthier choices and listening to my body’s hunger and fullness signals was still the best plan for me. I had been praying for material to use for my next blog post, and God delivered!
I now want to share with you eight daily affirmations that will help you avoid the repercussions of a disagreeable scale, and focus more on how God, not the numbers, dictate your success on this journey. (Don’t worry! I won’t make you look into a mirror and say, “I love you!”)
Before I begin my list, I do want to briefly touch on the benefits of daily affirmations. I was in a program once that taught you, through a series of inspiring video lessons, how to reprogram your mindset. While most of us, myself included, believe the lies of the enemy, this program taught its audience how to dispel those lies and create new truths. In a nutshell, if you looked in the mirror and called yourself a failure, you would always fail. On the contrary, if you looked in the mirror and said you are a healthy eater, you will eat healthier. One of my favorites is, “Healthy is who I am, not what I do.” See how that works? You must say it with conviction, though. You have to believe what you are saying, or fake it until you make it!
The premise of the program was this: what you focus on, you believe, and what you believe, you become. One of my life verses comes from Romans, and it reads, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV) I could spend the next several paragraphs picking apart this gem for you, but for the purpose of this particular post, let’s focus on the “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” part.
I’d like to share with you some of my favorite daily affirmations on which to focus, and when you do, you will (hopefully) no longer want to smash your scale with a sledgehammer! Not only will you stop letting the scale control you, but my hope is that you will be able to start walking in renewed confidence and hope.
Here we go!
#1 “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalms 139:14) Okay, I know this is cliché, but it is one of the most well-known Scripture verses for good reason. It’s true!! Your body is a living, breathing miracle. The design of our minds and bodies is so intricate, that only God could have created it. Maybe you don’t like your flabby arms, but think of the love that oozes from them when you are embracing your spouse, children, friends, and family. We have eyes to see, ears to hear, and honestly, even if someone is lacking in one of the five senses, God designed us so that our other four are heightened. The female body can bring a new life into the world, and the mind is more sophisticated than a computer. Regardless of your size or shape, remember that your body is a gift and a miracle!
#2 “I am a fighter, and I do not give up.” This affirmation will do you some good no matter what battle you are facing from day to day. We are warriors in God’s army! I could list several verses of Scripture that tell us we are warriors, and we must persevere, etc. But this is what I want to share with you in this moment: “For the LORD your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!” -Deuteronomy 20:4 (NLT) The Lord is with us in every battle. Why would we ever give up when we know God is fighting with us and for us? To stop fighting would imply we don’t think God is capable of doing what He says He can do. Why surrender when God has already won the victory for us? And that brings me to the next affirmation…
#3 “I have overcome by the Blood of The Lamb.” (Revelation 12:11) My Pastor is a big fan of saying, “I read the back of the book, and we win!” I love that concept, because the truth is that we already have the victory through Jesus. The enemy tries to make us doubt this all the time, because he wants to keep us under his thumb. He wants to be in control, and he absolutely does not want to see us succeed- in anything! But we need to remember God’s truth and walk in it! If God says we’ve won, then we’ve won! If God says we have victory in Jesus, we do! The reason I love this affirmation is because it keeps me motivated and encouraged. If I believe I have overcome, I will be an overcomer! The key word here is “believe.” Another one of my Pastor’s little nuggets is that if you believe some of the Bible, you have to believe all of it. Start believing you have overcome by the Blood of The Lamb, and you will- even if it’s just one step at a time!
#4 “I am healthy in body, mind, and spirit.” Jeremiah 33:6 (NIV) reads, “’Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” Girls, this is God speaking! He promises to bring healing to us, and not only healing, but abundant peace and security. Abundant peace sure would make us healthy in mind and spirit! If we can embrace this truth-stand on this promise-we can begin to heal from the inside out. Belief is half the battle, my friends. If we tell ourselves we are healthy, we will begin to believe we are healthy, and like I said in the beginning of this post, what we believe, we become.
#5 “This is between me and God, not between me and the scale.” Can I get an Amen? From the time I started this blog, I have made it known that this is just as much a spiritual battle for me as it is a physical one. If you are anything like me, you have beaten yourself up for believing that you loved food more than you loved God, and for those of us who put our focus more on food than on the Creator, the scale becomes our God. (FYI, that’s a form of idolatry!) We allow the scale to measure our physical success instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to measure our spiritual success.
I could get into a whole discussion about the logistics of weight fluctuation, but that’s not what this post is about. Let me end this paragraph with this: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) For all intents and purposes, ladies, the scale is another tool the enemy will surely use against us, because he will not waste any opportunity to crush our spirits!
#6 “My body is a temple, and I honor God when I take care of it.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us this very thing. It reads, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” (NIV) I don’t think it can be made any clearer to us. But just in case you missed it, jump over to 1 Corinthians 10:31 where it reads, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (NIV) Friends, listen… I’m preaching to the choir here. If I followed my own advice, I would be able to do this faithfully every day, if for no other reason than just because our Lord asks us to! I get that some days are easier than others, but God’s grace is sufficient, and His forgiveness is unconditional and unending. He also wants to be your strength when you are weak, so tell Him you need His help!
This doesn’t mean you can never have dessert again. As I said in my Food Freedom post, all foods are a gift from our Creator. If we ask God to bless that brownie and give Him glory for the marvelous creation that it is, that honors Him. However, if we indulge in the whole pan of brownies, that does not honor Him, and it definitely isn’t taking care of our temples. Does that make sense?
#7 “Every good decision is a victory.” Although our victories may sometimes seem small in comparison to the big battle, each one counts. (Even two pounds in two days!) Each time you make a healthy choice over an unhealthy one, that is a victory. Each time you wait for hunger instead of obeying the clock, that is a victory. Each time you pick yourself back up and start again instead of waiting for Monday, that is a victory! I know I’ve used this verse in other posts, but it bears repeating. “…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…” Hebrews 12:1b-2a (NIV) In addition, 2 Timothy 4:7 reads, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (NIV) Girls, I may not be a size two when I get to Heaven, but like Paul, I want to be able to say, “I have fought the good fight!”
#8 “The enemy has no power over me!” Forgive me, but I must take a moment to give a throwback to the 80’s cult classic movie The Labyrinth. Did you ever see this David Bowie film from back in the day? If you are anything like me, you are covered in goose pimples at the end, when Sarah faces her enemy and finally rattles off the line that, until then, she had trouble remembering. The most important thing to note here is that she remembered that crucial line at the time it mattered the most! How often do we, like Sarah, forget that the enemy has no power over us? He only has the power that we give him!
John 10:10 tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV) In case you didn’t already know this, the enemy of our souls shows no mercy. He comes to steal our joy, kill our confidence, and destroy our hope… among other things. And as sure as he shows no mercy, he will indeed kick you when you are down. When the scale doesn’t give you the numbers you’re looking for, he will take that disappointment and frustration and proceed to rub salt in the wound. He will start whispering those little lies into your ear. He will push play on the negative tapes that repeat themselves in your head when you feel as though you failed yet again. Don’t let him do this to you, Beloved! It is only a scale, and they are only numbers that fuel his fire!
There is a lot to glean from The Labyrinth when you think about how Jareth and his goblin army stop at nothing to deter Sarah from reaching her end goal. They confuse her, distract her, try to make her doubt herself… does this sound familiar? Tell yourself every day (and tell the devil and all his little minions) that he has no power over you, and then watch him disappear just like Jareth, The Goblin King, did!
Remember that while God does ask us to take care of our temples so we can fulfill our purpose in the way He designed, this human life is really just a blip on the radar. It does not mean you have to reach your goal weight before you can start serving Him, and it doesn’t mean He is disappointed with you. He loves us so unconditionally that our human minds can scarcely understand it. He looks at the heart, Beloved, not the pants size!
If you have enjoyed these daily affirmations and think they would be a good asset for you on your journey, you will find a free printable on my Freebies page that you can print out and laminate at your leisure. It’s postcard size for convenience, so you can keep them tucked into your bible and recite them every day when you sit down for devotions and prayer. Or, if you prefer, go ahead and tape them to your mirror. Say them every morning while you’re gazing at your beautiful reflection! Whatever works for you is how I want you to do it!
God bless, Warrior Princess!