Reshaping It All: Chapter 2

reshapingitsmall

Hi Friends! Ashleigh here.

I enjoyed meeting each of you in our discussion of chapter 1 from Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness. (If you missed chapter 1 and are new to our book club, welcome! Go ahead and join our discussion. We’re glad you’re here now.)

Let’s get started.

In chapter 2, Candace and Darlene address our thought patterns. We read:

When we fully understand what is going on inside us, we can then understand why we’re inclined to make the choices we do. We’ll understand why the transforming of our bodies must begin by the renewing of our minds. Our bodies aren’t making these detrimental choices for us; they are simply animated by a mind that needs a mental makeover.”

No matter where we find ourselves — eating too much, eating too little, or eating poorly — this chapter points us to God’s desire for us: moderation. How can we reach a place of moderation? By, as we read on page 13, realizing that the problem isn’t food, it’s “our approach to appetite.”

We’re given three reasons diets fail:

  • No Pain No Gain
  • We’re Spoiled
  • Lack of Conviction

I realized that I’ve gone from being highly disciplined in years past to a “spoiled eater.” Not only have I allowed my “resistance muscle” to grow flabby, I’ve sought out quick-fixes instead of doing what I know works. Why? Because I don’t want to put in the effort that’s required. Deep down I feel entitled to easy results. I’ve already put in successful effort several times (remember all those pregnancies I mentioned), why should I have to again? This time around I’ve allowed myself to view consistent exercise and a balanced diet as “optional,” not “necessary.”

But after reading this chapter, I’m freshly convicted.

In the 2002 film Spider-Man, Uncle Ben advises Peter Parker, “Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.” It’s a quote similar to one made by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”

In this chapter, we’re given great power in our journey to spiritual and physical health. The knowledge it provides — and the biblical foundation it draws from — challenges us to “grow up” in our approach to food; to take responsibility for the way we treat our bodies.

The question is: Will we?

I want to. And, as my first step, here is a list of reasons why I want to lose weight and, even more importantly, “grow up” in my approach to appetite. Some of them are deep, and some not so deep.

  • To set a good example for my daughters.
  • To honor God with the way I treat my body.
  • To fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes.
  • To have more confidence.
  • To feel more energetic and less sluggish.

Before I share with you this week’s questions, let’s hear from Darlene.

At the start of this journey, I understand that some of you might be asking, “How does faith play a part in my approach to good health?” or “How is it possible that walking in the Spirit can free me from the bad habits I have?”

I want to start by saying this, Jesus is the one who releases us from the bondage of sin and death. Salvation is a gift. But as long as we’re living in this earthly temple, we will constantly face temptation and a desire to serve the flesh. While we’re here on this earth, we’re constantly faced with a choice — we can yield to the flesh and go through that cycle of guilt and a feeling of failure time and again, or we can start walking in freedom.

Walking in freedom is two-fold:

  1. We allow the Spirit to transform our mind, so that we live according to our convictions. That’s what we’re focusing on this week.
  2. We are willing to sacrifice our desires to live a life that God desires for us.

We’ll get to #2 soon enough, but let’s start by laying the groundwork and building upon a good foundation.

Enjoy the journey, and until next time, live well!!

Blessings,
Darlene Schacht
www.timewarpwife.com

OK, your turn.

  1. Which one are you — No Pain No Gain, We’re Spoiled, or Lack of Conviction?
  2. How did you feel as you identified yourself? How did this further motivate you to change?
  3. What are the reasons you want to lose weight and/or adopt a healthier lifestyle?
  4. What stood out to you in this chapter that you’d like to share?
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About

Ashleigh Slater is the author of Team Us: Marriage Together and the editor of Ungrind. As a regular contributor at several blogs and websites, she loves to unite the power of a good story with biblical truth and practical application to encourage others. She has 20 years of writing experience and a master’s degree in communication. Ashleigh lives in Atlanta with her husband Ted and four daughters. You can follow her on Instagram here.


  • Ellison

    I am a certainly spoiled. It’s been so long since I ate until I was satisfied that I don’t even know the feeling anymore. I want to get healthy because I feel that life is passing me by as I stand on the sidelines. I also know that the older I get the worse my quality of life is going to be. I am very disconnected when it comes to making food choices that making a conscience effort to eat something healthy/or not eat unhealthy was the thing that stood out the most for me. I have to break old habits and replace them with new ones.

    • Ellison, I’ve realized that I too need to break habits that I’ve allowed to become a normal part of my eating experience. I’ve heard several people (including authors Crystal Paine and Arlene Pellicane) point to the importance of breaking big goals into “bite-size pieces” or “baby steps.” They state that doing so makes the goal less overwhelming.

      Let me share a way I’m taking a baby step toward my goal.

      Since I too am a “spoiled eater,” I joined Weight Watchers Online. This program doesn’t work for everyone — but it’s worked for me after two of my pregnancies, so I thought I’d return to something I’ve had success with before. I knew I needed something to keep me accountable — and it helps me with the portion control. I try to take each day at a time on it right now. If I think about it in weeks or months, I get discouraged. But as I see each day that I’ve remained in my point range, I’m encouraged at the small steps I’m taking. And, with each day, it gets easier.

      What is a baby step you can take today toward your goal? Is there one old habit you can start replacing with a new one? And is there a trusted friend or family member who can help keep you accountable to stick with the new habit?

  • Sarah

    I’m spoiled I suppose since I eat what I want/when I want it. I want to lose weigh and eat healthier so that I can be a good example to my children. I’m tired of feeling tired and rundown. I want to have the energy to play with my children and do fun things with them. I want to feel good about myself. I have always had a bad self-image and the Lord has really been working on me to get that straightened out. I don’t know how to do it but I pray that He will show me. Reading this book and participating in the book club is my first active step in learning to like myself and take better care of myself!

    • Sarah, I’m excited that we can be part of your first active step in this journey. You and I have a similar goal: setting a good example for our kids. I’m looking forward to how we can encourage each other in remembering this reason — our children — along the way.

      When I read how you’ve struggled in the area of self-image, I could relate. In the past, I fought dislike for myself — sometimes quite intensely. In the last several years, I’ve come to a new place of liking myself; not because I believe I’m wonderful, but because I’m starting to see myself as God sees me: His precious, very-much-loved daughter who doesn’t have to do anything to earn His approval. I’m going to pray that God will bring you to a similar place.

      This doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle — I do at times. Just the other day I told my husband, Ted, “Sometimes I think God sees me as the kid that He puts up with. The one who is there, but doesn’t really invoke any special emotion or attention on His part.” Ted responded, “Which one of our kids do you feel that way about?” I answered, “None of them.” He smiled and replied, “Then why do you think God feels that way about you?” In that moment, Ted helped remind me of God’s love for me.

      Lisa Bevere’s book, You Are Not What You Weigh: End Your War with Food and Discover Your True Value was helpful to me in the area of self-image and how that interacted with my relationship with food. I read it over a decade ago when I struggled with an eating disorder. I thought I’d pass that title along to you to keep in mind for the future.

  • Ellison

    I too have joined Weight Watchers online. It’s been great for me. I have started meal planning for the week so that I don’t panic and eat out.

    • Ellison, that’s great! I need to be more intentional about meal planning. I sometimes plan the night before or that morning, but usually only for the upcoming day. I’ve noticed that a lack of planning is when I don’t eat as well too.

      Have you found any recipes you like that go well with WW? If so, please share! :-)

  • Kerrye

    I see all 3 problems in my battle with losing weight/getting healthy. Something about the book’s idea of separating my thoughts into my “Godly wisdom” and my “flesh desires” really spoke to me. I saw that idea in regards to other temptations – but never applied it to my own food temptations. I have a skewed image of food – it’s just so good! LOL! Pure pleasure. Not that that is a bad thing, but when I get to the point of wanting EVERY meal to be that kind of “oh this is SO GOOD” kind of experience (instead of an occasional treat), I’ve let my flesh take control back from my wisdom.

    • Kerrye, your comment reminds me of something I’ve been convicted of since starting this book. I haven’t struggled with every meal needing to be “pure pleasure” for me — but I sometimes start thinking and planning the next meal before I’m done with the one I’m currently eating. How bad is that? I realized that I have food “on the brain” way too much and how out-of-balance it’s become for me. My “lust” for it has been so strong that I’m not even really taking the time to enjoy what I’m eating at that moment.

      Although I believe this ties into a bigger issue in my life: not enjoying the here and now. I consider myself a “planner” — always thinking ahead. But sometimes I live in the future so much that I don’t make the most of the present. It’s something I need to not only change in my relationship with food, but in every aspect of my life. And I love how this book encourages balance in every area — not just our eating habits.

      • Kerrye

        Yep. “food on the brain” here too. But in my defense, it’s everywhere I look lately. (I’m afraid my little Southern Baptist church is not helping either, with a new potluck, Sunday school donuts, loaded potato fundraiser, or home-made ice-cream social every other week. Ugh.)

        I’m a planner too, and can get downright “obsessive” about counting all the numbers and calories burned, which is exhausting and never lasts. This time I’m trying to just be smart about what and how much I eat. I think my obsessiveness over dieting has fed that lust in the past… (I can even spend too much time on pinterest searching for the newest “healthy” recipes. Speaking of which, I’m having to UNfollow some “food” boards – too many temptations there too!)

        • Wow, that makes it hard when every event at church involves those types of food!

          The book probably addresses this in later chapters, but let’s chat about it now: Does anyone have any ideas on how to deal with this? I’m interested in how we can still enjoy the community and fellowship in these settings, yet exercise control in a way that doesn’t come across as rude or prideful.

          What are practical tips that can help as we’re strengthening our control in this area? Just like going to the grocery store hungry isn’t wise, maybe going to these events hungry only makes the temptation worse. Can we eat something healthy before we go or drink a big glass of water? I’d be interested in having some ideas in mind if I face this dilemma in the future.

  • Sarah

    I can most identify with No Pain No Gain. Being able to kind of place a title on it has helped me change my thought process about my goals of weight loss & living a healthier lifestyle. The very last sentence in the No Pain No Gain section in the book really hit home & I believe will be a reference point for me in my journey. It’s really about changing the way I think of exercise & living healthier; it’s about making them “necessary rather than optional.” My main motivator for living healthier & losing weight is that I want to just be more comfortable in who I am. I am tired of not being the healthiest me that God has created me to be.

  • Natasja Sambale

    Which one am I? Though question! I’ve been all three over the years. I’ve gone on a diet through a doctor for a while. During a check-up 3 weeks after I started, he asked how it was going. I told him I missed eating something hot. Granted my diet was 2 apples in the morning, chicken ceasar salad or tuna salad with light dressing or half the portion of a normal dressing and dinner was 3 fruits and a low-fat yoghurt. For snacks I could have lettuce or cucumber. Diet sodas, tea or coffee with low-fat milk and sweetener, grapefruit juice and water were my options for drinks. The result was severe headaches the first 2-3 days cause of going cold turkey on any sugar (no chocolates, no sweets,..). I managed to do it cause I was unfit to work due to a torn ligament in my wrist. I doubt I could have managed this while flying. Yes, I lost weight and quite quickly the first few days/week but at some point it goes slower that it discourages one. I’ve realized it’s not the way for me to continue. During check-ups there was no talk about the future would hold when it came to food. And one can’t expect anyone to live like that for the rest of their lives. Spoiled? Oh yes, fast food in Bahrain can be very cheap to expensive and the delivery scooters are almost up and running 24/7. So much more convenient to stop by a shawarma place and pick up a few after work than to go home and make something to eat. The choices seem unlimited. Lack of Conviction? Hmmm, sleep is more important than cooking so getting that snack after work before going to sleep takes up less time. Why buy fresh fruits and veggies when they’re going to spoil soon and I’ll be flying for the next 5 days? Well, I won’t have my hot meal onboard the aircraft, I’ll just stick to that mini mars to keep me going until I reach home or the hotel… Definitely excuses enough… Especially on long flights, when we’re done with the service and passengers are resting or watching a movie, we tend to eat out of boredom. We’ll check what is left-over from the passenger meals in all cabins. Why go for just a piece of cake from coach when there’s a nice big piece of chocolate pie in Business class? :-P And after all that, some check out what the options of our crew meals are and attack those too. Identifying yourself, well, I don’t know how to describe it. You know and yet you don’t. Or more like, you know but you don’t want to admit to it. Mindset for sure. And it’s not easy to change that. So reading about Candace’s struggles is motivating. And this stood out to me too. Not just in this chapter but in the book overall. Candace walks the talk, her talk. Just before this book club started, I made the choice to do my Lent. Unlike last year, I decided to be a bit more stricter this time. Last year, I decided no sodas and no alcohol. Yes, on occasion I enjoy a glass of wine with my meal or a Baileys after my meal but I’m very happy I know my limits with alcohol and know when to stop. Even with the alcohol being so cheap for the ladies around here (if there’s no man around who would be more than happy to pay for you), I won’t cross my line. So this year, I chose the no soda and no alcohol again and I’ve added no chocolate or any other candy/sweets. I do carry granola bars in my bag. Instead of going for the ones with chocolate in it, I’m loving the oats and berries and the apple crunch ones. My reasons for losing weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle? Well, I have to. Cause I gained some weight over the past year or so and with change of work load the past few months, I’ve suffered some physically. So losing weight is there not just to fit into my jeans again, but also to take off some of the load on my knees. Healthier lifestyle? Well, I’d like to be on this little planet for a little longer. I still have hope one day I’ll meet the one grow old with and have a family. And Candace mentioned it in her chapter. If/When the day comes that I have a family of my own… How can I encourage my family to have a healthy lifestyle when I don’t have one myself?

    • Natasja, it sounds like your work schedule offers a challenge when it comes to healthy eating. I’d love to hear how Lent goes for you. Could you keep us updated on it?

      • Natasja Sambale

        The job is definitely a challenge when it comes to eating. On the short flights I try to stick with fruit or a bowl of cereal. For the long flights, not so easy and I try to go for the healthiest option and leave the dessert and chocolate on my tray untouched. So far, Lent is going good. I’ve got my cravings mainly with the sweet stuff. It’s not easy. Whenever the craving becomes too great, I’m happy to be strong enough (at the moment) to grab a granola bar or a fruit or go for a yogurt and add some banana or nuts to it. Just need to work on my walk with the Lord. I’ve not been successful so far in reading the Bible daily, so prayers are appreciated  I carry my Bible on every flight though I don’t always have time to read. Just lately I got carried away reading the 2nd book of the “Left Behind” series. I couldn’t put that book down and it becomes so visual in my head cause I saw the movies with Kirk Cameron and his wife in it.

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Reshaping It All: Chapter 2

by Ashleigh Slater time to read: 3 min
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