Don't Think About It
Mimi and I have been trying to lose some weight....it seems like forever. We're always talking about it, devising new plans. Keeping lists. Joining clubs. Counting. Weighing. Planning.
Well this weekend, I decided that the real secret to losing weight is not to think about it so much. Forget about dieting and counting and talking about it. Admit that the secret to losing weight is changing your eating habits. It is all about a healthy life style change not staying on a diet. I am going to refocus my attention away from dieting to eating healthier.
This also ties into what I have been reading in Rick Warren's book, "The Purpose Driven Life". On Day 27 of my 40 Day journey, he talks about "Defeating Temptation". He explains that if we are having trouble dealing with a temptation, whatever that temptation may be - food, alcohol, lust, etc. - we need to refocus our attention on something else.
He says, "It may surprise you that nowhere in the Bible are we told to 'resist temptation'. We are told to 'resist the devil', but that is very different. Instead, we are told to refocus our attention because resisting a thought doesn't work. It only intensifies our focus on the wrong thing and strengthens its allure."
He goes on to say, "Every time you try to block a thought out of your mind, you drive it deeper into your memory. By resisting it, you actually reinforce it. This is especially true with temptation. You don't defeat temptation by fighting the feeling of it. The more you fight a feeling, the more it consumes and controls you. You strengthen it every time you think it.
Have you actually watched a food ad on television and suddenly felt you were hungry? Have you ever heard someone cough and immediately felt the need to clear your throat? Ever watched someone release a big yawn and felt the urge to yawn yourself? (You may be yawning right now as you read this.) That is the power of suggestion. We naturally move toward whatever we focus our attention on. The more you think about something, the stronger it takes hold of you.
That is why repeating 'I must stop eating too much....or stop smoking....or stop lusting' is a self-defeating strategy. It keeps you focused on what you don't want. Most diets don't work because they keep you thinking about food all the them, guaranteeing that you will be hungry. In the same way a speaker who keeps repeating to herself, 'Don't be nervous!' sets herself up to be nervous. Instead she should focus on anything except her feelings - on God, on the importance of her speech or on the needs of those listening.
Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. Once your mind is on something else, the temptation loses it power. So when the temptation calls you on the phone, don't argue with it, just hang up!"