The Difference Between Surrender and Control

Excerpted from Lose It For Life by Steve Arterburn and Linda Mintle

Surrender Control
God is the Master of the Universe. I can master all things.
God’s perspective is higher than mine. What I feel is all that is important.
My circumstances are part of God’s eternal perspective. If God is God, my circumstances must be changed now.
I must allow God’s plans to open up before me. My plans are all that matter. I demand immediate results.
I accept life knowing that all things work together for my good. I blame God when life doesn’t go the way I think it should.

A Poem About Overeating

I overate for happiness – and became unhappy.

I overate for joy – and became miserable.

I overate to be outgoing – and became self-centered.

I overate to be sociable – and became argumentative and lonely.

I overate for friendship – and made enemies.

I overate to soften sorrow – and awakened without rest.

I overate for strength – and felt weak.

I overate for relaxation – and became more tense.

I overate for assurance – and became doubtful.

I overate for warmth – and lost my cool.

I overate to feel Heavenly – and found Hell.

I overate to forget – and became haunted by my excess fat.

I overate for freedom – and became a slave to food.

I overate for power – and became powerless.

I overate to erase problems – and saw them multiply. 

I overate to cope with life – and invited an earlier death.

I overate because I had the RIGHT – and everything turned out wrong.

So I made it a rule, I don’t eat unless I’m truly hungry!

For more truth about overeating join us at our next Lose It For Life Weekend.

So how does this surrender thing work?

Christine E. Buckingham

“So, how does this surrender thing work?” some of you have asked me during our on-line LIFL web chats. “Isn’t that the same thing as just giving up?” No, that’s not what it means at all. Surrender is accepting the reality that if we are to change, then we have to surrender to the One who is able to change us. Surrender means surrendering to reality—accepting the truth that the choices we make have consequences. We cannot suspend the laws of the universe just because we don’t like them. If you consume more calories than your body requires, you will gain weight no matter how unfair it seems.

If you are familiar with Twelve Step programs, this will sound like Step One: Admitting that we are powerless. Powerless is how you feel when you have vowed not to approach the fast food drive through window, yet you find yourself once again shouting an order out the window. Worse yet, when the voice on the speaker asks if you want a combo, you say yes, and then, you super-size it. Now, not only do you feel the big bloat coming on, but you’re beating yourself up with how bad you are. And trying to get rid of that feeling of being bad is what fuels emotional eating.

We don’t have the equipment to get rid of these bad feelings. They are designed to take us to Jesus so that HE can take them away.

His method is always the same: he asks us to be honest with him about what we have done and admit our failure and our need for him.

The act of surrender is to look at ourselves in our moment of failure the way Jesus does. He sees us in our weakness and in our powerlessness and then he does the most amazing thing: He doesn’t avert his eyes, nor, does he withdraw his love. He loves us just as we are.

Let him love you in your failure. Don’t run from him. Run to him. Accept his love and let him give you a new star—this very moment.

You are not alone. Come join our weekly on line chats and share the joys and the agonies of this journey called life. God is cheering for you! And so are we!

Need some help surrendering? Join us at our next New Life Weekend.

Weight Loss Nutrition (Part 3)

Remuda Ranch

In previous articles, we discussed the when, where, how, and why of your eating habits. Now, let’s consider what you are eating by evaluating how often you eat certain foods. Take a look at the following questions, then tally your points accordingly. When you answer ALWAYS, give yourself 2 points; SOMETIMES, 1 point; NEVER, 0 points.

Do you consume at least:

– 2 servings of dairy daily?

– 2 servings of fruit daily?

– 2 servings of vegetables daily?

– 4 servings of grains or whole grain products?

– a serving of meat 4 times weekly?

Add up your total. If you drink more than 2 sodas per day (diet or regular), subtract 1 from your total score.

Where do you fit?

8-10: Doing well overall, keep it up

5-7: Okay, need some improvement

0-4: Wow—what are you eating? Immediate help is needed

Keep in mind this is a quick assessment of how you might be meeting your nutritional needs. Looking at your answers will tell you if you are getting enough calcium (dairy) for bone health, vitamins, and phytochemicals (fruits & veggies) for metabolic functions and disease prevention, fiber (fruits, veggies & grains) for bowel health, and protein, iron and zinc (meat) for healthy muscles, organs, and blood. If you scored a high number, but consume significantly more servings for certain items, you could be in trouble in a different direction. In future articles, we will explore the nutrients found in food, what foods should frequent your plate, and how to keep it full of enjoyment.

Join us at our next Lose it For Life Weekend.

Eat the Next Meal

Jennifer Cecil

Don Durham, PhD, and Clinical Director at Remuda Ranch Center for Eating Disorders frequently advised the residents at the clinic to ‘eat the next meal.’ His counsel was to women who had ‘acted out’ their eating disorder, by binging, purging, or restricting their intake of food. He appealed to the women, that they could recover from their slip quickly by getting back on their food plan as soon as possible. ‘Eating the next meal,’ means to eat the next snack or meal at the regularly scheduled time, no matter what you have previously eaten.

The tendency, after a binge, is to eliminate or restrict food intake at the next mealtime. That, in turn, sets you up to be ravenously hungry as blood sugar levels drop. You will be more likely to overeat, starting the cycle all over again.

‘Eating the next meal’ also prevents the sabotaging effects of ‘black and white’ thinking. Often times when we deviate from our food plan, we conclude that we are ‘off’ our diet. If we have failed to live up to our expectations, we surmise that we may as well continue binging because we are no longer ‘on’ our diet.

Our minds gravitate to only two states, success (being ‘on our diet’) or failure (being ‘off our diet’). When we go ‘off’ our diet, we lose momentum to adhere to our food plan. Sometimes we can go days, weeks, and even months before we are able to get back ‘on’ the diet. Needless to say, this can have disastrous effects on our weight and our health as we develop the ‘yo-yo syndrome’. When we finally get back ‘on’ the diet, we zealously and religiously adhere to the plan, until we slip up again. Because we are ‘on’ the diet again, we are convinced that we will be successful and that we will never deviate from it again, displaying ‘black and white thinking’ once again.

When we ‘eat the next meal’, we are taking life one meal at a time and therefore, not reinforcing the addictive ‘all or nothing’ mindset. We will avoid the swings in behavior, the fluctuation in weight, and the frustration of never making progress towards our health and fitness goals.

The next time that you deviate from your food plan, tell yourself the truth about what has just happened:

1. It is NATURAL to deviate at times from your plan. You are human and this is a chosen lifestyle, not merely a diet.

2. Deviating from your food plan is NO BIG DEAL. You will not gain weight or set yourself back with one slip.

3. You CAN get right back on your food plan. You do NOT need to continue binging! (—There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ).

4. You do not need to SABATOGE your success. You can continue moving forward towards your weight loss goals!

5. Remember, that the goal is PROGRESS, not PERFECTION!

You don’t have to go this alone.  Please join us at our next Lose It For Life weekend!

Weight Loss Nutrition (Part 2): Exploring Eating Behavior

Remuda Ranch

In addition to the ‘when’ and ‘where,’ two other areas regarding your eating behavior must be explored. Take a look at the following questions:

1. How do I eat?

In a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere; on the run and in a rush; in a hand-to-mouth motion with no conscious thought given to taste, enjoyment or fullness?

2. Why do I eat?

Because I am genuinely hungry; or because I’m bored, angry, frustrated, tired, lonely or depressed?

Now that you’ve looked at the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of your eating behaviors, consider the following:

1. How—Eating on the run or while working may keep you from meeting your nutritional needs. What’s more, you may ingest too much or too little. Therefore, try to take a break, relax your mind, nourish your body, then return to the daily grind.

2. Why—Understanding why you eat is critical. You should be eating for nourishment and enjoyment, but not one or the other. Nourishing your body means selecting foods that meet your nutritional requirements and eating when hungry. Enjoyment means eating favorite foods as well as those falling a little lower on your list. When other reasons creep in, such as loneliness, depression or anger, over-eating often results leading to unwanted weight gain and exacerbation of the original negative feelings.

Instead of getting out the list of do’s and don’ts for eating, evaluate your eating behaviors. Start making changes in these areas first, and then we can take a look at what’s on your plate.

Need some help with the “hows” and “whys” of eating?  Join us at our next Lose It For Life Weekend.

Defining Your Inner Everest

‘Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run.’ (Habakkuk 2:2)

It takes God’s grace to walk, let alone run the mountain of life. I am grateful that every New Year is a fresh beginning. It is a time to reflect on the unique vision that I believe God wants each one of us to have for our life. If we fail to grasp a clear picture of our Everest-God’s highest and best for us-we are apt to settle into the inertia of mediocrity. The following thoughts may challenge you to start your journey into 2006 on a path that requires self-reflection and therefore courage. But if you’ll do your part, God can direct you out of a life of quiet desperation into a life of Divine inspiration. So let’s get climbing!

1. You will benefit if this year’s chapter of your adventure in life begins by answering the question ‘What is it that you are truly wanting or hoping for as a result of your faith?’ If your answer is not clear, you probably feel lost and aimless. Or you may have become ‘weary in well doing.’ It requires courage to really define what it is that you are wishing or longing for. Once you have identified what you most desire, you remove the mask of ‘not caring.’ The gap between what you want and ‘what is’ now is exposed. Honest self-assessment is always the first step to change.

2. When you pursue what you desire you may feel childlike and vulnerable. Have you ever noticed how children are not sophisticated in their unashamed pursuit of their desires? It is only when caregivers shame a child for having wants that ‘being wantless’ begins and the seeds of vision are denied the soil of the heart. Be willing to discover your childlike ability to dream so that you can reclaim the desires of your heart.

3. Many times defining our ‘highest goal’ requires that we face past disappointments. When hope has been deferred, our pain can deceive us into believing that life is easier when we don’t desire. The problem with pretending we don’t want more is that fooling ourselves requires that we deaden our souls. As the poet David Whyte writes, ‘Take the safe way, not the way of passion and creativity, . . . [But] we cannot neglect our inner fire without damaging ourselves in the process.’ Be willing to resolve past disappointments that may be clouding your ability to see clearly what you want here and now.

4. If you are confused about who you are, get help to discover who God intended you to be. Being intentional requires an inner compass to give your dreams direction. When your security comes from your identity in Jesus Christ, you will not be driven by seeking other people’s approval or ruled by their desires. If your vision offends others, remember that it is not your responsibility to live out their dreams or to make them comfortable. In fact, God may use your passion in pursuing your dreams to cause others discomfort with their status quo. Understand that you were created in the image of God. Then you are free to live the vision that He wants you to embrace.

5. Without desire, there is no hope and hopelessness is a synonym for meaninglessness and depression. As C. S. Lewis said: ‘We can only hope for what we desire.’ I believe that God wants us to be so enthusiastic about our vision that our lives inspire people to ask us about the source of our hope. As 1Peter 3:15 admonishes, be ready to give the reason for the hope that lies within us to everybody who asks. Inspired vision produces the fragrance of hope. And that is inviting.

6. Big ambitions require desperate praying. It is humbling to recognize that what you have dared to dream requires an all-sufficient and daring God to accomplish. ‘Strong desires make strong prayers . . . The neglect of prayer is the fearful token of dead spiritual desires . . . There can be no true praying without desire.’ (E. M. Bounds: Man of Prayer) Never limit God. When you partner with Him, you have access to His boundless resources and abilities. ‘The land you are . . . to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys . . .the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.’ (Deuteronomy 11:11-12)

My prayer for each of you is that God gives you the courage to dream. May He heal you of all obstacles that would hinder you from pursuing His highest and best. I pray that you no longer settle for small plans derived from false humility. And finally, that you would entrust yourself and your vision to a God Who, by the action of His power that is at work within you is able to carry out His purpose and do super-abundantly, far over and above all that you dare ask or think, beyond your highest thoughts, hopes, or dreams. (Eph. 3:20) May Jesus be glorified through you in 2006 and beyond.

Do you desire the hope and purpose of which this article speaks but feel like you need some help? Join us at our next New Life Weekend.

Be of Good Cheer!

Becky Brown

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Season’s Greetings! Feliz Navidad! It is a festive time of year and you better not pout! The holiday season is the frenzied time beginning with Thanksgiving–the time when we completely throw our food plan out the window as we check our list while grabbing a bite at the food court.

Is this really what the season is all about? Of course not, so how about focusing on the Reason for the Season!

When we read the portion of the Bible that tells about Jesus’ birth, we tend to read it with familiarity. Many of us recited it by memory for a childhood program, (I still remember nearly fainting about midway through!); we know what the manger scene looks like, and we have found out that the Wise Men really didn’t arrive for about 2 years. If you never examine the history of the birth of Jesus, you may miss the miracle of it all!

In Luke 1:5 the verse begins ‘In the time of Herod king of Judea,’ it is setting the scene for the miracle of Christ. In these times, Herod was building cities and rebuilt the temple with no detail spared. However, his treatment of the citizens was oppressive and harsh. His loyalty was mainly to himself. When he heard the news of the ‘King of the Jews’ being born, he presented a false admiration (Luke 2:8) only so he could then kill him. (Luke 2:13) And he could have, if not for the intervention of the angel of the Lord.

It is a miracle that Jesus was born of a virgin, survived the king’s attempts to kill him, and it is no small feat that God became Man! We may be frustrated by the lines at the mall or dread the evening at your mother-in-laws.  We may be stressing over the credit cards being so close to their limit that a happy new year is totally unrealistic!

Refuse to be diffused to the miracle of Christ coming to the earth! Make a choice today to draw closer to those you love, love those that are close to you, and celebrate the season of miracles!

“And Mary said, ‘My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.”’ (Luke 1:46-47) Let us remember these words as we go through this time of the year. Merry Christmas!

Weight Loss Nutrition (Part 1)

Remuda Ranch

When wanting to ‘get healthier’ you may start by examining your own eating habits, then obtain the latest diet on the market. Though what you eat is certainly important, four additional questions must be considered. The first two are as follows:

1. When do I eat?

Does my eating have structure, meaning? Do I eat three meals daily or is it hit or miss? Do I consume snacks, or do I automatically grab for food the minute I enter the break room, hungry or not?

2. Where do I eat?

At the kitchen table, in my car, at my desk at work, in front of the living room TV?

Now that you’ve evaluated the when and the where of your eating habits, consider the following:

1. When—The goal is to eat when hungry, then quit when full. The reality is that hunger and fullness fluctuates as does food and time availability. Therefore, strive to eat three balanced meals a day with snacks as needed. This will keep your body running efficiently, maintain alertness, and keep your metabolism burning. Skipping meals and snacks can lower your metabolism, causing your body to burn fewer calories ‘ exactly what you don’t want to occur.

2. Where—This plays a critical role in the type and amount of food consumed. Eating throughout your living and work spaces promotes ‘grazing’ behavior. Setting eating boundaries, such as the kitchen or breakroon, can promote enjoyment and remove interruptions.

Next time, we will discuss the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of eating.

Join us at our next Lose It For Life Weekend.

Thoughts for the Holidays

Deborah Tyrell

‘I dread the holiday time of year’ is a statement shared with sadness from many of my clients that trust me enough to be completely honest with their feelings and thoughts. Even though most of us long for the warm feelings evoked by images portrayed on greeting cards of ‘roasted chestnuts and open fires’ shared with loved ones, for many people this happy and loving picture is far from their reality. Instead, they feel overwhelmed by the prospect of obligatory gift buying, feigned merriment at parties they would rather not be at, frantic eating, and nostalgia from memories of times past with people who for various reasons are no longer part of their holidays. If you can relate to a vague sense of bewilderment elicited by this time of year, the following thoughts may help.

Many people have unrealistic expectations about the holidays that are promoted by the media showing extravagant presents underneath the tree being opened by families looking ecstatic about their perfect gifts. What cameras don’t capture are the worried faces of the people wondering how they are going to pay off the debt when they get their credit card bills in the mail.

It is important to remember what really matters. Do not confuse giving love with giving gifts. Although gifts can be an expression of your love, so are your time, your affection, your words of affirmation, and your willingness to forgive an offense. Decide on a budget and invite someone to hold you accountable for keeping it.

Next, you do not have to go to a party just because you were invited to it. Be a good steward of your time and energy. Even Jesus, the Son of God knew He had to retreat from the clamor of the crowds for quiet times with His Father to renew His strength. Pace yourself and find the balance between togetherness and separateness. Also, understand your personality to know if you are the type who is energized by a party or drained by the demands of interacting. Discover and do more activities that nourish rather than deplete your soul. When you take care of yourself you remind yourself that you are worth caring for.

Holidays do not need to be a time to binge on food. Learn how to celebrate Christ’s birthday in other ways. Although you can grant yourself the freedom to eat without guilt when you are hungry, savoring the tastes of your favorite holiday foods with pleasure, you can also make the day special by playing games with your friends, singing, attending church, praying together, or serving the less fortunate together. Remember that it’s creating and sharing positive memories together that are important. Do not confuse receiving love with eating food that you love. When you ‘numb yourself out’ by overeating, it’s difficult to feel the subtle but tender moments of being in the presence of those that you love and you may leave the encounter feeling physically stuffed but emotionally empty.

Finally, don’t let your fond memories of past holidays sabotage your enjoyment of the present by comparing then with now. Although you may realize that loss is inevitable because there will always be those moments of happiness and special meaning that can never be recreated because certain people are no longer part of your life, your sadness is no less genuine. Give yourself permission to grieve ‘what was’, but be careful not to warp the past into a time so perfect and flawless that it can never be achieved in the moment. Sometimes when we recall past favorite holiday seasons, we see our significant loved ones giving us what we have always dreamed of instead of what actually was. But we can only begin to accept our losses when we honestly evaluate the people we loved who are gone for who they were, both their good and their bad.

It helps to remember that all of us are part of broken humanity in need of God’s redemptive love, and sorrow is part of living even in the midst of the season to be jolly.

My prayer for those who struggle during this holiday season with loneliness or sorrow is that you will find God’s peace, comfort and hope in the midst of your pain. And that as you press into the presence of God, the power of the Most High will overshadow you and the Christ Child will be birthed in your heart revealing to the world His unfailing love and faithfulness.