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In order to help us live on the healthy side of emotionally normal, we need to eat a healthy diet. I’m defining that broadly. I’m not saying you must become a fanatical eater who only allows certain foods to go into your mouth or who only eats a certain number of calories a day. As one of my daughters told me when I discussed one diet with her, that is unsustainable.

Sustainability is important to think about when considering a diet plan.

When you decide to eat a certain way, you need to think about sustainability for sure! If  you have only a limited number of foods you can eat for a certain diet and your routine is messed up, you will not be able to sustain it. That is one of the benefits of Weight Watchers. There is a lot of flexibility built into the diet. You want to consider that when thinking about any diet.

So, when you think about the way you eat, particularly if you struggle with depression and/or anxiety or deal with a lot of negative thinking about yourself. Stop and think about what you eat. If you eat a lot of food that is high in sugar or simple carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels are going to be bouncing around and your emotions will bounce along with those levels. When you eat simple carbs and sugars, your body sends a bunch of insulin to knock down your blood sugar and often it goes way down. Then you get hungry and grab more sugar to help your craving and the cycle gets going again. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you feel you need something sweet, it is much better to have a complex carb which has fiber mixed with it and it makes it slower to digest. Most fruit is like this. You can’t go overboard with fruit, but if you have to make a choice between candy (simple carb) or fruit (complex carb) it is better to grab a limited amount of fruit. Better yet, is to grab nuts because they are protein and will take longer to digest. They still have calories, but they won’t set off that insulin/blood sugar bounce that can send your emotions all over the place!

I was on a diet that is called the Daniel Plan that was helpful to me. It had a cheat plan worked into it. It had ordinary food along with snacks. I did fine for quite a few months…even when Ron was hospitalized twice. But after the third time he was hospitalized, I lost it. I’m working my way back now and have lost 10 pounds again. But I found that once I was eating the right food, I didn’t have a taste for sweets like I did when I was eating poorly.

If you are struggling with weight that doesn’t stay away like it is supposed to, you may need to question why you need to eat that comfort food. What do you need comfort for?

When it comes to eating, it seems that eating well leads to more eating well. And once we get out of our poor eating habits, we tend to lose the weight we have been hanging onto. It’s not so much a matter of, “I just need to lose x number of pounds.” It is more a matter of figuring out why I feel I have to eat that comfort food. Why do I feel I need it? What do I need comfort for?

Once I find that out, sometimes with outside help, then I need to find the motivation to actually find my comfort somewhere other than in food. Losing weight is not nearly as easy as I once thought. In fact, it can be quite complex.

Weight loss and eating habits are much more complicated than I once thought…before I had trouble with my weight!

Our eating is often tied to our happiness or sadness over relationships, feeling overwhelmed at certain periods of life, trauma that we have experienced, and a host of other causes. When we see someone who is overweight, it is not something to snicker at, it is something to feel for them. They are struggling somewhere.

They certainly don’t need to become our project. I’m not saying that at all! But if it is someone we care about, we can pray for them at least. Losing weight is very difficult. It is made more complex by factors that may lessen our ability to exercise. It takes dealing with a lot of issues that are often very painful. Then, in addition, it means changing the way they have eaten.

If you are one of these people, I sympathize with you. But I also know it is possible to do it. It takes a lot of hard work and it will most likely take the support and encouragement of friends as well. There will be times you will fail. Then you will have to get back up and start over again.

But whether you need to lose weight or whether you simply need to change your eating habits, change is possible. GOD is able to help you. And the encouragement of friends is great as well. Ultimately, you have to make the change though. No one can do it for you.

Some of you don’t have to lose weight, but you do need to change your eating habits in order to better your health. It may be something as simple as drinking more liquid in a day or cutting back on simple carbs for the sake of your future health. Making changes like that while you are healthy is much easier than after you have had a major health event that forces it on you. I promise!

So this week, start moving in the direction of the change you need to make. Do one thing to improve your health from the perspective of eating healthier. Even if you need to lose weight, Take one step of cutting out a food that you know shouldn’t eat. Maybe it is regular cokes. For me, I had to stop regular chai lattes. Not for the rest of my life, at some point, I could have them for a rare treat. But I needed to stop them for awhile. You may have a food that you need to leave out forever.

But take that first step…in the direction of health

 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.
In any and every circumstance,
I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger,
abundance and need.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:12-13 ESV