The Book of Ephesians is a letter (from Paul to several churches) praising Lord Jesus, promoting peace and unity between all people (believers and non-believers), and emphasizing love and harmony in Christ in all settings, specifically in church and family.
Ephesians also applies to one’s journey towards physical health and spiritual wellness. It is a reminder that Christ strengthens from the inside out, through the richness and glory of the Spirit (Ephesians 3:16).
Paul likes to meddle in my business, encouraging me to stop old ways of thinking and living. He even goes as far as saying people who lack self-control, demonstrate no sense of right and wrong, or do whatever feels good are disconnected from God.
I lack self-control when it comes to food. I know the difference between right and wrong because I regret or feel guilty about indulging or eating foods that I consider to be triggers. I often do whatever feels good in the moment, especially when it comes to food and satisfying cravings. When I choose food over God, I am disconnected from Him. He is no longer a priority of mine.
I don’t want to be disconnected from God.
Since you listen to him and you were taught how the truth is in Jesus, change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were, corrupted by deceitful desires. Renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit and clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness. ~ Ephesians 4:17-24 (Common English Bible)
How does one make changes?
- Consider food a source of sustenance and energy instead of an award or the response to emotional issues. In other words, find other ways to celebrate an accomplishment. Don’t soothe emotions or stress by eating.
- Two years ago, when I found out I was pregnant, I eliminated all caffeine and sugar-y drinks – including sweet tea. Even though there are caffeine-free options available, I decided it was in my best interest to avoid them altogether. Now, I only drink water. I add flavor with sliced lemons, limes, and cucumbers or drops of peppermint oil. It’s made a big difference and I’m not drinking excess calories either!
- Portion control is a major obstacle. If I’m eating a good meal, I want seconds (or thirds). And I *ALWAYS* clean my plate. To combat these habits, I’ve begun using dessert plates. Not only are they decorated beautifully and fun to look at while eating, they are half the size of traditional dinner plates. This ‘mind trick’ is really helpful at meal time.
- Food is not part of every social activity. As a good Southern woman, I want to show people love with a hearty, home-cooked meal, but food is not a source of love, friendliness, or hospitality – I am. I can embody these qualities without a meal present. n has to include food. For instance, at church, I lead two small groups: one for Bible Journaling and the other for studying women in the Bible.
- No eating after 7pm. After dinner, usually around 6 or 6:30 every night, I don’t eat again. If I get the munchies, I drink a tall glass of water.
One of my favorite verses in Ephesians actually sounds like something my great-grandmother, Nannie, would have said to her friends or family in sticky situations. She always had sage advice and funny wits about her.
Don’t provide an opportunity for the devil. ~ Ephesians 4:27 (CEB)
In other words, don’t go to the grocery when you’re hungry.
If you are full, stop eating.
If you are avoiding dairy or excess sugar, stay away from the fro-yo shop!
Never miss a Monday workout.
If you can’t make it to the gym, sweat anyway! (Circuit intervals at home or laps around the community lake are wonderful and don’t require any equipment.)
If you make a bad choice, acknowledge it and make the rest of your day a success.
If you are feeling emotionally or spiritually wrecked, talk to someone.
Build a tribe with people who support your goals, they have your best intentions at heart.
Be your own cheerleader instead of worst critic.
Don’t provide an opportunity for the devil to wreck your plans or discourage your progress!