A Flatter Stomach Begins In Your Head
Three Reasons Why We Start with Engaging The Brain
What’s your secret? This is often the first question that we ask anyone who has reached what others see as an unattainable goal. Well our “secret” here at Shape Up Church is really no secret at all. We believe that lasting health and wellness is achieved through three central tenets: Engaging The Brain, Engaging The Tongue, and Engaging The Body. Remove any of these three from the equation, and long-term success is out of the question.
Today, I’d like to focus in on the first tenet: Engaging The Brain. In my three decades of helping people with weight loss, I can attest that those who lost weight and kept it off long-term didn’t just transform their eating and exercise habits, but committed to transforming their thinking as well. Thinking and believing that a fitter, healthier you is possible is foundational to success. Here are three reasons why:
#1: Thoughts >> Beliefs >> Action
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.”Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Science and Scripture agree that our thoughts shape what we believe, which in turn shapes how we act. While we are prone to think that our propensity for success is determined by our circumstances, it is actually how we choose to respond to our circumstances that determines our lot in life. If we believe that we are “more than overcomers”, then we will overcome.
Dr. Caroline Leaf puts it this way in her book Switching On Your Brain:
God designed humans to observe our own thoughts, catch those that are bad, and get rid of them. The importance of capturing those thoughts cannot be underestimated because research shows that the vast majority of mental and physical illness comes from our thought life rather than the environment and genes.
Did you catch that? Our thoughts actually have the power to influence our health and ability to fight disease! Are we using that power to position ourselves for better health, or allowing negative thinking to yield negative effects in our lives?
#2: You Are What You “Eat”
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
The old adage “garbage in, garbage out” stands the test of time. Certainly, if we feed our bodies a steady diet of French fries, donuts, and milkshakes, we can expect to feel pretty terrible and find ourselves sizing up our wardrobe. The same holds true for our mind and spirit. Filling our minds with anxiety-producing headlines, malicious gossip, and questionable entertainment is the gateway to hopeless and negative thinking.
I’m not suggesting that we stick our heads in the sand and ignore the challenging realities of our own lives and the world around us. Rather, let’s feed our minds a steady diet of God’s Word and surround ourselves with anything—books, people, sermons, music—that is going to continually remind us that He is good and has good things in store for us when we seek Him.
#3: Reinforcement Is Our Super Power
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
Lasting transformation does not happen overnight. It takes practice to pay attention to our thoughts and redirect our attention when they are leading us away from God’s truth. But as with anything else in life, practice makes perfect. Intentional and consistent reinforcement is key. We start by setting aside time daily, if not multiple times a day, to check in our thoughts and prayerfully consider how they are influencing our beliefs and behavior. Are they bringing life or death? These moments with the Holy Spirit don’t have to be more than few minutes, but they will slowly and steadily transform us from the inside out.
If you’re ready to take the first step to Engage The Brain in your weight loss journey, our 7 Day Body for God Challenge is an excellent place to start. You can join any time, and get 7 days of FREE training on health, fitness, and nutrition from our best-in-class mentorship team PLUS join a community of Christian believers challenging each other toward better health.