The war in your mind can be a daily struggle or it can come in waves. You are human. We have great days and not so great days. This is life. Have you ever made up your mind to start eating healthier, stop smoking, start working out, give up the sodas, etc. Well I have battled with yo-yo dieting most of my adult life. I have tried every diet you could think of. What made me stop and go back to unhealthy eating. Stress was a big one. Also, at one time I thought oh I lost the weight I know what to do. I don’t have to log my food. I can have those cookies and wine today. Then slowly I was back to not being intentional with my eating habits. It was the same with smoking. I will have just one when we went out for a social drink. That soon led to buying a pack of cigarettes and within a month I was smoking daily.
I had every excuse in the book and I had convinced myself I will start next week to improve my unhealthy habits. Going through the FASTer Way To Fat Loss® my thought process changed to progress not perfection. It also helped that I had become an ACE Certified Health Coach© and learned alot of behavioral changes and how we go through the different stages of change. Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind, that I read years back also was a huge influence on my way of thinking. Especially the part of when plans don’t go how I have them lined up in my head. This book helped with:
Gain control over your mind and find freedom and peace
Recognize damaging thoughts and stop them from influencing your life
Be patient with yourself even when you make mistakes
Arm yourself with the Word of God, praise and prayer
Progress over perfection. I did not realize I was a perfectionist type thinker and doer. I am creative and can go with the flow, but when it came to my perception of who I am it was distorted. I had this ideal image of who I thought I should be. I only eat healthy food. I am on the diet wagon. I need to be able to wear a certain size to be accepted and loved. This thought process was destructive. I had to start understanding my emotions of why I was allowing that thought to think sweets will fix that craving or the stressful situation.
Changing this pattern of reaching for a sweet treat during a time of stress or uncertainty was just like reaching for that cigarette to “calm my nerves”. It was the feeling of defeat every time I had to start over. That feeling of weakness that soon led to a downward spiral of eating whatever. Understanding I am not perfect, understanding this sweet treat will not fix the problem at hand, owning my emotions. Giving up the excuses of I don’t have time to deal with this matter. Letting go of the perfect thinking. Giving myself grace for the imperfect food choices. Learning how to allow myself the piece of cake or chips and cheese dip on leg day without the guilt. Knowing that the next day I would be back on my schedule of healthy eating, intermittent fasting and carb cycling.
I am still a work in progress of forgiving my self. My mind is clearer and no longer grasping for excuses of I don’t have time to plan my meals, that it cost too much money to eat healthy, I can’t workout because I’m not in shape, or I am too busy. All these excuses and negative thinking does not burn calories. It only creates more turmoil and guilt (war in your mind) after you ate the extra cookies or skipped a workout. You are worth the time it takes to plan a meal, go shop for healthy food bargains, walk into that fitness center and start where you are in your fitness journey. You are strong, you birthed 3 children who are now adults, you are athletic and full of life. You are loving, beautiful and have lots to say. DO NOT be afraid.
This started the reflection or the war in my mind of figuring out I am a people pleaser. Needing to make everyone happy. Not going to happen. Needing to fit in and be like others. Not going to happen. Well this has been blow open my outlook on myself and my world around me as well as my maturity in growing my faith in Christ and learning to not take rejection or criticism personally.
The test of rejection was our sermon today at church. I am also listening to a audio book by David Groggins: Can’t Hurt Me, recommended from my brother n law. This book is his story of overcoming adversity and growing up to become an elite athlete and Navy Seal.
The test of rejection. Once you have accepted the cross and Jesus, God recognizes you and accepts you. How you handle rejection of the world determines your maturity and you being able to move out of the victim mindset. Don’t look for people’s likes, approvals or promotions. Be bold and brave and step out in your faith, live by your belief system and keep your heart pure and show the love of Jesus.
Both of these speak of mindset, self grace, and you having a higher goal and mission than people’s view.
Live your Life with your Purpose. .
This thinking of who you want be is sometimes held down out of fear. You should not have to convince yourself that you have to be like others to fit in. It is ok to different and accept who you are. The love of God and the faith I have in Him helps me concrete this into my way of thinking and destroys those excuses. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:14. Let those excuse go and be strong and courageous and do not fear… for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. Deuteronomy 31:6. Learning to love yourself and the relationships you have with others helps you build compassion, acceptance, forgiveness and selflessness. This positive thinking and mindset will conquer your fear and the excuses that hold you back.
All this comes down to the war between operating in the flesh and operation in the spirit. To disarm this way of thinking you have to arm yourself with the word of God, with prayer and praise.
The war that was building outside our house was all fun and games, until the worms stated falling from the trees and landing in our hair. Well not my hair.
Our three-bedroom, white wooden house- with red shutters, sat bout 50 yards off the red dirt road. You could smell the iron ore in the air, from the dust that blew into the unsealed windows. This small house had wooden and laminate floors. The wooden walls had peeling, cloth wall paper and paneling. Our wooden home sat on cinder block sand was surrounded by towering cedar and oak trees, with one beautiful mimosa tree entwined with a wisteria vine. The cedar trees were so large their limbs touched the ground. Their limbs created a canopy of shade and wall of protection from the red dirt road. Grass did not grow under these trees. .
We were all outside at our new brick house Dad and Mom were building for us.. Dad had a pole and was hitting the limbs of the catalpa trees. Our job was to pick up the worms off the ground and put them in the bucket. We were going fishing. These little worms were better than the earthworms we dug up at Granny’s. So much fatter and easier to thread onto the hook. When we fished Dad set us up with cane poles. It made it easier on him using these cane poles. The cane pole had a fishing line and hook that allowed us to just drop our baited hook into the creek, instead of casting a real fishing pole, which always created havoc for Dad. He was the one who had to spend time untangling the lines and casting for us.
We, being my sister and brother. I am the oldest. My sister is the middle child and brother is the baby. At this point of our life we were 5, 7, and 9 years old. We moved in with Granny when I was entering the 4th grade. Granny’s house became home to us for 5 years. The red dirt road and surrounding woods was our playground.
We were running around laughing and picking up these smooth black worms with the yellow feet and under bellies. They moved really slow, so they were easier to pick up than the earthworms that quickly buried back into the dirt. Sister was standing beside dad asking him about when we would go fishing. He was telling her we would take the lanterns and try some night fishing down at the creek. The creek was behind our house. We loved traveling the red dirt road with dad in his blue pickup truck. This is where we got to practice driving, even though the breaks sometimes didn’t always work. I was thinking; I wonder if he will let us practice night driving when we go fishing tonight when we heard a shrill of a scream come from Sister.
Sister was screaming, dancing and jumping up and down pulling at her hair. Brother asked, “What’s gotten into you?”
She boldly said. “Worms!”
Sister had long blond hair and right now it was flying everywhere as fast as her hands could comb through it. I ran over to investigate the situation. Yep, there was catalpa worms stuck in her hair. How are they sticking? The more she moved her hands around in her hair the deeper the worms went into the thick mass of hair she had on her head.
Dad put his pole down and walked over to help us. One thing about Dad he never was in a hurry. He casually, in his laid back style and calm voice said, “Looks like you got a mess of worms there Sister.”
Brother was laughing and pulling off the first worm. Dad held up the layers of her hair trying to calm her down. I started pulling off the worms I could see. I probably shouldn’t have said the next thing, but out it came.
“If you hadn’t been standing under the tree where Dad was hitting the worms, this probably wouldn’t have happened.”
Sister shot me a look that if looks could kill I would be laid out on the ground with the worms. We finally got all the worms out of her hair and off the ground. Dad took the worms we had gathered and put them in a safe place for fishing later. He told us to go find something to do, he had to go back to work on our house.
It wasn’t even lunch yet, so this left the rest of the morning to explore. Sister was barely talking to me, so I decided to go see what Brother was doing. Brother was on top of a dirt mound we had in the back yard. He was trying to dig a tunnel out the other side. He hollered for us to come up top and look at what was going through the field.
Off at the back of the field behind my Aunt’s house we saw the big yellow backhoe rumpling down the edge of the tree line.
“I wonder where it’s going?” Brother said.
Sister’s attitude changed from angry to excited when she the big yellow machine. She excitedly suggested, “Let’s go follow it.”
We took off across the field to the far corner. We could see our Uncle digging the red dirt with the backhoe and piling it to one side. We climbed up on top of a fallen tree and watched him slowly operate this huge yellow machine. This hole he was digging was getting bigger than the machine he was using. He was moving the red dirt from the hole and pilling it onto the sides, making tall mounds. When he was done you could have sat Granny’s house into the hole, it was so large. We could see the bottom of the hole had a small amount of water oozing in. Our thoughts, he is building us a pool.
When he was finished and started back to their house, we knew we had to go see how deep this hole was. We scrambled down from our perch and slid down the side wall of the hole, landing feet first into a pit of red dirt mush. Brother said, “This is like a mud pit.”
He picked up a handful of mud and made a mud ball. Next thing we saw was a red mud-ball flying at our faces. Sister and I ducked as it whizzed by our heads and landed in the field.
This started our game of having a mud-ball fight, instead of a snow ball fight. We were down in the middle of this pit trying to make mud-balls as fast as we could and chunk it at each other, before the other had time to get their mud-ball launched.
“Hold up! Time out!” I hollered. “We need to make a shelter to hide behind. I’m getting tired of getting hit in the back of the head.”
Sister quickly agreed as she ran to the best spot ever. She must have been thinking the same thing. She ran right to the tree that was on the edge at 9 o’clock if your facing the pit looking from Granny’s. I chose the tallest pre-made wall from all the dirt piled on the edge. I was located at 3 o’clock and started digging me a trench to burrow down into and hide my mud-balls. Brother had his amo piled up behind a great wall of red dirt. He was directly located between us and closer in our target range at 12 o’clock. Sister and I could barely make the throw across the pit to hit each other. This started our first all out mud-ball war.
We threw mud-balls at each other till lunch time. Brother making the most direct hits. We may have been closer to him, but this also meant he was closer to us when he threw his mud-balls. We called truce and climbed out of the mud pit to head home. All three of us looked like we had been rolled in the red mud pit like little pigs. We were covered from head to toe in red dirt. This was all good, that meant we got to play in the water hose before lunch.
The fights we had away from the pit always involved yelling and arguing about who goes first, who sits up front or whose turn it is to do the dishes. War and fighting in the pit was filled with laughter and stained clothes. Wet red dirt just doesn’t come out of light colored clothes.
Learning to pick and chose our battles with each other only improved as we got older. Very similar to how you mature with your relationship with Christ and letting him fight your daily battles, knowing your war is won because of the blood Jesus shed on the cross to cover you. Even the war or battle you have with your own thoughts can be controlled with your walk in your faith of knowing God is in control and will not leave you.
Psalms 56: 4 & 13 In God I have put my trust, I will not fear what flesh can do to me. For thous delivered my soul form death, will not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light to the living.