Does your mind feel like a war zone? I totally understand. The biggest war I have faced is the daily battle in my mind. That was so overwhelming that for years I chose just to give in to my cravings and selfish desires.

To look at me anyone would think it was a losing fight anyway since during those days I weighed 430 pounds. It wasn’t until I finally learned how to reprogram my mind with the mind of Christ that things began to change for me.

Thought Control

After losing more than 250 pounds, I’ve had many people tell me that I just must have been gifted with more self-control than they have. The reality is back when I was struggling with my weight I had no discipline. I had no stop button where eating my favorite comfort foods was concerned.

When I began to allow God’s Word to reprogram my mind to access the mind of Christ, everything changed. When left to its own devices my own mind desires what it thinks makes me feel better. For me that was the foods I loved.

When I was stressed, lonely, sad, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, upset, afraid or ready to throw in the towel on life, food was what I used to numb my pain. That seemed to work for a while and then I needed more and more to keep stuffing those emotions down.

The Bible says, “As he (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he,” (Proverbs 23:7 AMP). Of course this applies to women as well. Whatever we are fixated on in our thoughts, that will eventually come out in our behaviors.

Creatures of Habit

We are creatures of habit. We program ourselves with what we read, listen to, watch on tv, scroll by on Facebook, overhear in the line at the grocery store or hear from our friends. We are programming our minds and our thoughts every minute of every day.

It’s not just what we hear, but what we see, smell, taste or touch. I do a lot of things to minimize my input in all of these areas. A simple trip to the grocery store can become a nightmare if I don’t avoid the bakery section or whiz through it as fast as I can. The smell of fresh, baked hot rolls causes me to be tempted.

This is a normal reaction that is built into all of us. When we smell something good to eat or even see a picture of it, it causes us to salivate which triggers our brains to expect that food to hit the blood stream.

When the expected doesn’t happen our minds store the information and the brain keeps triggering us to “eat dessert!” We have to willfully take those thoughts captive and think on other things that are more in line with what God desires for us.

I have unfollowed many well-meaning friends who constantly post pictures of decadent desserts. I do it for my own benefit. I prefer not to be tempted, even though I know I can withstand the temptation. I still do not willingly put myself in that situation.

Mind of Christ

One reason I can withstand the temptation is because I have renewed my mind. This is a big way we activate the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). We know that if we have accepted Christ we have access to the mind of Christ, which means we understand what He wants us to do in any given situation if we stop and think.

For me there was another crucial step in the process to get me to stop and rethink what I needed to do. I first had to surrender everything, even the foods I loved, completely to Him. Then, in order to be transformed I had to renew my mind.

“Be transformed and progressively changed, as you mature spiritually, by the renewing of your mind, focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes, so that you may prove for yourselves what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect in His plan and purpose for you,” (Romans 12:2 AMP).

To renew my mind, I had to be intentional. I had to focus on what God wanted for me. I had to focus on His values and attitudes. I had to understand that changing my life to fit His values was good and acceptable and perfect and was His plan and purpose for me.

Strength Is Available

I already knew God didn’t want me to eat myself into an early grave. I just thought I was powerless to do anything about it. Of course that is a lie and we know it comes from the father of liars.

God was definitely leading me on my weight loss journey even though I felt I had no strength to say, “no,” to sugar and high carbohydrate content foods. Whatever God leads us to do, though, He will equip us to do it. He gave me the strength I needed and still gives it to me each and every day.

If there’s a secret to all of this, it lies in the truth of that little verse in Proverbs 23:7. If I can fix my thoughts on what God wants instead of what I want, then I will be become what God wants because I am programming that into my thoughts.

Changed From Inside Out

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it,” (Romans 12:2 MSG).

Most of the time we think if we have a huge weight problem we have to start dieting and working on the outside of us. Of course we will have to do that, but the biggest change has to come on the inside first.

When we change our minds, we can accomplish anything with God’s help! As Paul says,  “I find the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty,” (Phil 4:13 TPT).

When I allowed God to win the war in my mind, everything else began to fall into place.

What about you? What mind war are you facing? What is a first step you can take towards winning that battle with God’s help?

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.