Do you need to lose an extreme amount of weight? I’d say you need a necessary ending to your current lifestyle, especially the way you eat.
I was struck by the concept of Necessary Endings, the name of a new book by Dr. Henry Cloud. This book is about employees, businesses and relationships that all of us have to give up in order to move forward.
The concepts definitely apply to weight loss. Those of us with extreme amounts of weight to lose have a damaging relationship with food that we don’t want to give up.
I’m also learning as I talk with people about issues such as sugar and gluten addiction that even those who have 20 pounds to lose, which seems miniscule to someone who has 200 to lose, also have this problem.
It’s as bad as an abusive relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, boss or co-worker. It is harmful to us but for some reason it’s like an old friend we can’t give up.
We think we are receiving a benefit from this food that we can never replace with anything else. After all, our friend has been helping us feel “good” for a long time.
Certain kinds of foods, such as those with high carbohydrate content like sugar, can make us feel differently. “In the reward center, sugar stimulates the neurotransmitter dopamine, and dopamine drives reward,” Robert Lustig explained in an article in The Atlantic. “But dopamine also down-regulates its own receptor (which generates the reward signal).
“This means the next time round, you’re going to need more sugar to generate more dopamine to generate less reward, and so on, until you’re consuming a whole lot of sugar, and getting almost nothing for it.”
It’s an endless cycle we feel we need energy and so we eat sugar. We eat it and it gives us a sugar boost, but we quickly crash. Then because of dopamine and how sugar stimulates it, the more sugar we consume, the more we want.
The ramping up of American sugar consumption is proof of this cycle. Even though we know sugar is not our friend, we just can’t break up with him. It’s like we need him in our back pocket even though he bites and kicks.
We need to make a necessary ending with a very bad relationship. But how do we give up something that makes us “feel” good when we eat it even though in the long run it is killing us?
What Dr. Cloud says is so true because I have experienced it. In order to change “your brain needs to really get it—that if you don’t move, something bad is going to happen, and also that if you do, you will get what you desire.”
In this case, we desire to live and feel better. We desire to be able to walk, run, play with children and grandchildren. We have dreams of helping others, starting businesses and ministries, moving forward with our lives.
We lie to ourselves all the time. We tell ourselves everything is fine. We deny that we need help even though we weigh over 300 pounds and are having trouble walking. We put on a happy face, smile and laugh at all the jokes about people like us. We might even get mad at God because we feel He made us this way.
In order to move forward we must face the gut-level reality that we are in big trouble. Unless we take a drastic measure of ending our unhealthy relationship with the type of foods, which have become addictive to us, we will never be able to lose weight. And we may very likely have a lot less time to live and spend with those we love.
It boils down to this, how bad do you want to lose weight? Is it really true you will do what it takes?
Can you do something as difficult as changing your life completely by making a necessary ending with foods, which you think you can’t live without?
How? You break up. It may be messy but in the long run the necessary ending will be worth it.
Several resources are available to help you. First, read other articles on this website, especially those under the Health tab. Second, read Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor. Third, purchase Sweet Grace Study Guide and go through it completely. Answer the questions and do the activities. Write your covenant with God available at the end. Fourth, join Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching and Accountability Group. Fifth, join me on my Facebook page where I talk about these issues daily, sharing encouragement and information.
I believe this is a God-ordained journey for those with extreme weight issues. It was for me. Know this, God does not give us a task we cannot accomplish. He only gives us tasks that make us draw on His resources completely. On your own, you cannot do this. But with God what seems impossible is possible.1
Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching & Accountability Group is Teresa Shields Parker’s new group on living healthy through a total renovation of body, soul and spirit. Teresa chronicles her journey in the memoir, Sweet Grace, and the practical application workbook, Sweet Grace Study Guide. Right now Sweet Grace for Kindle is on sale for $4.99 for a limited time. Also, get a free chapter of her memoir at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.