So, how’s your diet going? 😏 We all (small and large) at some point “watch” our food intake: fewer carbs, less sugar, limited red meat, more veggies, gallons of water, etc. After personal experience with several diets, here is my conclusion: they all work. Yep. They all work—except for the scams, the “magic pills”—watch out for those! 😕 So here is the real question—why did I ever need to try a second diet? If they all work, why did I need another one? And this is the startling answer: My eating habits (which I can change) and my exercise routine (which I can improve) are not the problem. It’s me! I am the problem, not the diet. And I think I am not alone in this quandary.
What’s wrong with us? Well . . . many things, 😏 but my short answer is that we do not commit to anything for very long. It’s an endurance issue. We start strong and then we peter out. Here’s what James has to say on the matter. “Let steadfastness have its full effect” (James 1:4).
We are not very good at being steadfast, which includes being patient, persevering, and enduring to the end. We are quick to quit, give up, and cheat on our diets (and other things); therefore, we rarely experience the “full effect” of the diet (and whatever else “it” is). And then, of course, we blame the diet (or the “thing” we have abandoned) and accept defeat. We settle for less. And feel bad about the whole thing. ☹️
What shall we do? How do we become better at endurance, at seeing something through to the very end? It is not easy. As a matter of fact, endurance is only mastered when things are tough. It always comes in the form of a test. Look at verse 3: “for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” This idea awakens the teacher in me. How should we prepare for the test? Two ways: study and practice. If our “test” is a weight problem, we need to find a good plan, set a goal, and stick to the plan until we reach the goal. When we do that, the result will always be steadfastness—and losing a few pounds! 😁 The same truth can be applied to any situation that requires endurance. Finishing any task is a test of faith—faith in ourselves, faith in the plan, faith in God. How do we have faith? Only with God’s help but rest assured, “he gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29). Did you catch that? “To him who has no might”—to that person, he “increases strength.” Have faith that God will make you steadfast.
And here’s the best part: when we pass the test, when steadfastness is produced in us, we will “be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4). Completing something generates such a feeling of accomplishment! And we will be stronger for the next “thing” that needs our attention. And eventually, we will look forward to the challenges 😮 and “count it all joy, my brothers, when [we] meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:1). 😀
Wow. Just wow.
So, my advice to those of us watching our weight? We don’t need to find a new diet. We just need to allow one to have its full effect.