Have you ever thought, after accomplishing something extremely tough but satisfying, Why did I grumble so much, thinking I couldn’t do it? Well, let me ask a question.”Who influences you?”
We all complain sometimes because we aren’t perfect and God doesn’t expect perfection. In our imperfections God allows us to grow, building confidence through a sense of accomplishment because no one did (whatever) but you (with God’s help I trust)! Feels good doesn’t it? So stop complaining!
“Why didn’t I do this sooner?” is usually the next comment I hear. All that complaining and believing stinkin’-thinkin’ negativity is time wasted! Who said you couldn’t accomplish something? Unfortunately, whether it’s a parent, employer, acquaintance or sibling, don’t hang around those who express negativity! It only brings you down.
1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
How does this relate to weight loss? Well, even though I assured patients they could indeed lose weight, (Philippians 4:13) some kept whining, “You don’t understand, it’s too hard.” Actually, the harder a challenge, the more satisfaction comes in conquering it! I’ve worked with patients who had hundreds of pounds to lose. Talk about mountains to conquer . . . well even climbing a huge mountain begins with a single step. Start walking!
The Israelites complained almost every day after fleeing Egypt and meeting struggles along the way. “Oh to be back in the days of leeks, onions, cucumbers, meat and garlic.” Complain, complain! I miss a nice drink of water . . . complain! I wish I could take a hot shower . . . complain! Even Moses couldn’t stay positive as he led through challenging circumstances. Even he lost his optimism around complainers. He then sought positive influences through quiet time and prayer with his Lord.
Quite frankly, I’m uncomfortable around critical people!! Even being a highly positive individual, if I’m around complainers too much, I found myself being negative too. Didn’t like that “me”, so I decided to change my outlook! Now if I’m around a chronic complainer, I’ll smile and say something my mother used to say, “Now say two good things.”
Don’t get me wrong, I understand legitimate gripes – that’s totally different. Everyone has to vent sometime. If one holds stress inside, it will come out in self-destructive ways. But either rectify the situation or let it go, before it destroys your godly character.
Proverbs 22:25 “or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.”
Negative speech corrupts good thought patterns no matter how strong one is. Remember Job’s friends who simply sat with him at first as a supporter? Then they opened their mouths. As the saying goes, with friends like those, who needs enemies? Pray for spiritual friends who will build you up, not drag you down! Find happy, optimistic people to be around and it’ll change your outlook. Find someone who will rejoice in your weight loss accomplishments, not envious that you’re motivated and reaching goals.
So how does one develop positive influences?
- What do you do well? Don’t know? Ask a trusted friend. Remember you are unique. You don’t have to like everything about yourself but everyone has good points. Discover and embrace yours!
- Do something nice for others. Remember life isn’t all about you. Sharing happiness while helping others is an uplifting feeling!
- Find ways to learn different activities to attract upbeat friends into your life: photography, art, sports, theater, comedy or some other club.
- Maybe you can join a Bible study, Toastmaster’s, Optimist Club, discovering new influences. Invite positive friends over for coffee or go shopping.
- Read motivating biographies or self-help books, highlighting inspiring points.
- Reward yourself with small non-food treats or chart accomplishments after reaching goals. It will build confidence and gratitude.
Happiness is a choice. Choose to glorify God and find the peaceful JOY He gives! Rid yourself of the negative influences, both spirituality and nutritionally. Memorize Philippians 4:13 and trust in God’s faithful direction.