Put the Past Behind You; Strain Toward Your Healthy Life

Do you sometimes get bogged down by guilt, feeling badly about the health choices you’ve made in the past? If so, you’re not alone. It can be really hard to forgive yourself for the poor choices you’ve made in the past. You may find yourself saying…

  • “If only I hadn’t quit exercising…”
  • “Why couldn’t I stick to my eating plan last week?…”
  • “I wish I hadn’t stopped by the donut shop yesterday…”
  • “If only I had made better choices during the holidays…”

But beating yourself up about past decisions won’t help anything. In fact, it may make it harder to get back on track. The Apostle Paul struggled with his past in Philippians 3:12-13, but he discovered a healthy perspective of it:

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” (NIV)

Forget the Past

Paul had many things in his past that he regretted … terrible things like murdering and torturing Christians. But instead of letting the guilt paralyze him, he focused on putting those things behind him since he couldn’t do anything to change them.

You can do the same thing on your journey to health and weight loss. Accept the fact that you can do nothing to change your past decisions. Let go of the guilt. You aren’t where you’d like to be, but you can make a new start today to change your future.

Plan for the Future

Paul hadn’t reached his goal either, but he was determined not to let his past keep him from achieving it in the future. He made the decision to “strain toward what is ahead.” Straining involves effort and intention.

Paul knew that just hoping for results wasn’t going to cut it; he had to take action to “take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of [him].”

As you press on toward your health goals, put a plan in place:

  • Spend some time with the Lord; meditate and journal about past regrets and failures as well as your goals. Seek Him for His wisdom and direction … He cares about helping you get healthier and lose weight.

  • Change your perspective on failure. See each failure as a learning experience. You’re learning what works and what doesn’t for you. Forgive yourself, make adjustments, and keep going!

  • Discover which foods are addictive for you (usually foods such as processed foods, fast food, flour and sugar), and avoid them like your life depends on it. Understand that you often feed your cravings by what you choose to consume.

  • Choose healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts & seeds, and lean protein. Or to make it even easier, choose one of Abide’s top weight loss programs to support you every step of the way.

  • Be mindful of what you’re eating and why you’re eating it. Make sure there’s a purpose.

Failure isn’t who you are; it’s something we all do as humans. If you messed up for lunch, do better for dinner. Every day is a new start … every moment is a new beginning. Put the past behind you and strain toward your healthier life.

~ Jennell Houts