I once had a lovely patient we’ll call Jenny, who after losing 75 lbs., turned to me and sighed, “But when I look in a mirror Ellie, I still see this huge woman who didn’t accomplish anything!”
Unfortunately, this is a common misperception. Our mind doesn’t immediately recognize our successes. It mocks us: You didn’t really accomplish anything, you haven’t changed, you’re still fat, you are the same failure you always have been, so just give up!
Don’t believe that line of thought – that’s stinkin’ thinkin’! The devil wants us to become discouraged and quit. He wants nothing more than to destroy a Christian’s temple of the Holy Spirit. Don’t believe the devil when he snickers and calls you are a failure! Some of my successful patients felt the same way. It can take a few weeks for your mind to catch up with your body image, so be patient with yourself. Positive thinking is a habit after all, and changes take time before we are comfortable with them.
Jenny was never trapped! To restore her positive attitude, I suggested some tangible actions to work on her self-image. I advised her to write down all the activities she could do with her family now. I recommended that she find an old belt or piece of clothing and try it on and see the difference. I asked her to find an old picture from a year ago and compare it to a new photo I took after she reached her goal.
“You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in the true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
By comparing her old self to her new self she discovered how far she actually had come. She was very successful even thought the devil was taunting her otherwise. She broke free of the mental, spiritual and physical bonds that had previously ensnared her.
Jenny alone lost her weight, and even though I gave her menus and common sense practices to follow, I couldn’t lose the weight for her, only she could do that. It was her decision to put that training into use and decide if she would be successful. She alone had truly become a new creation, inside and out. She was a child of the King! Eventually she developed confidence and walked into my office looking like the princess she had become. No more was her mind trapping her into believing that she had failed. It doesn’t please God when His children degrade themselves. How would you feel if your child said derogatory statements about himself?
We also accept salvation individually and put that decision into a sound spiritual habits. We must produce the fruit of the spirit. We don’t always see that fruit of the spirit immediately either. We question our faith. Sometimes it’s a two steps forward and one step back process. “I want to be joyful but, man . . . I woke up in such a lousy mood . . . and that boss of mine is such a . . . and the dishwasher’s broken and the bills are due . . . ” sometimes we just don’t feel joyful, patient, kind or self-controlled. Forgive yourself, realize you’re human, not perfect. See yourself realistically and continue to strive for excellence. God made you special, meant for a purpose and you aren’t disposable!