How Diets Teach About Change

The first three letters of “diet are d-i-e. Does anyone else see the irony?

For the last two months I have been dieting. I finally reached my weight goal.

I’ve discovered that diets teach a lot about change and spirituality.

First, it is hard to change.

Change is more expensive and takes longer than you initially think. Originally my weight goal was to be reached in one month. It actually stretched over three months. Three times as long as I planned.

That is true for life. Do you want to become more positive in the way you think? Do you want to learn a new language? To play the piano?

Do you want to become more competent in your golf game? Are you going to remodel your house? It probably is going to take longer and be more expensive than you planned. So, be patient with yourself and with the task at hand. You can accomplish your goal. And don’t be surprised at how long it takes.

Secondly, the journey of change is full of plateaus. Several times on my diet weight loss stopped. No matter how faithful I was, no matter how hard I tried, I was stuck.

Then a dieting friend told me that plateaus were normal. Change is not continuous. It comes with plateaus, with dips, valleys, and setbacks. Don’t give up. That is just the nature of growth. Sometimes change is rapid. Most often it is slow.

Plateaus are a normal part of life. Learn to be content even on the plateau.

It helps to have someone on your side. My wife Nancy made sure that only the diet foods were in the house. (Though secretly I think she had a hidden stash of chocolate.) Without her help, my diet would not be successful.

Jeff, a good friend, gave both encouragement and pointers. Twice, I might have given up without his help.

We need people who are on our side. We need encouragement. We need accountability.

What kind of change are you trying to make? Don’t go it alone. Find trusted friends, buds, who have your back, who will go the distance with you.

All of these lessons are true when it comes to our spiritual life.

Do you want to improve your prayer life? Know that it will take time to develop positive prayer habits. Eliminate distractions. Realize that sometimes prayer seems to hit a plateau. Find a prayer buddy that can encourage you. Keep at it.

With time and patience you will reach your goal.

“Exercise daily in God'”no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.” 1 Tim 4:8 Message