Whoo-hoo! You are at the top of the ladder. Let’s review the ” I’ve changed and it’s part of my life” stage and what it means.
Many of you may believe that you are at the step below this, however I believe that some of you are actually at the top.
You see, I suspect that you may think that being at the top of the ladder means that your body is exactly where you want it to be or that you are perfect in practicing a healthy lifestyle.
But that’s not true.
Instead at this stage, your inner identity has changed to that of a healthy, fit person.
At the “taking steps to change” stage, you still have some doubt that you will forget what you learned and go back to the way you used to be.
But at the top level, you are convinced that you “won’t go back, can’t go back to the way you used to be.”
In addition, you have made the sacrifices necessary to maintain your lifestyle. More times than not, you make wise eating choices and you likely have a regular exercise program.
You may not always want to exercise, but because you are convinced of the benefits, you know your quality of life would suffer without it.
So you are willing to do what is necessary to make it happen.
You are committed.
It is possible to have to make changes even at this stage if your previous way of doing things no longer works with some aspect of your healthy lifestyle.
Think of it this way: If you put yourself at the “I’m taking steps to change” then it is like you are building your house from the ground up.
However, at the ” I’ve changed and it’s part of my life” stage, then your house is built. But you may decide that you want to update or remodel a few rooms.
See the difference?
The biggest enemy at the stage is complacence.
You may think that once you’ve achieved your goals that it is safe to stop monitoring your behavior.
While it’s true you may not need to monitor as closely, you still need to be careful that you are not allowing some of the old habits to creep back in.
In that case, you need to get real with yourself quickly and start back monitoring for a time. That happened to me.
After I got married, my pants started getting tight. I ignored it for a while, but then I had to get a larger size!
“No way,” I said to myself, “I am not going back to where I was.” So I had to start monitoring my food intake because I have learned for me that I can’t out-exercise a bad diet!
But I discovered through my monitoring that my diet wasn’t bad, however I had subconsciously started fixing my portion sizes larger. It was because I was cooking for my husband and preparing his plate as well. So I was matching my portion sizes to match his!
Mike is a big guy and I’m a petite woman, so no wonder I was getting bigger eating as much as he was. To deal with the issue, I decided to ask Mike to prepare his own plate.
My size went back down. Sweet victory!
The biggest benefit I’ve discovered in this journey is that I’ve became a better person through this effort. When you think about it, choosing to change is the same as putting yourself through a mini trial.
I say that because changing can be hard; your brain has to become accustomed to new ways of thinking and acting. But it is so worth it!
James 1: 2-4 says,
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Sounds like a great benefit, huh?
So accept that even at the top level, unexpected obstacles may stretch and challenge you.
But because you’ve endured trials to get to this level, you have quiet confidence that with God’s help, you are strong enough to outlast the trials.
That’s my new favorite word: Outlast.
Keep pressing on in practicing good habits until you outlast the bad ones. The good ones will eventually became automatic.
Wherever you are on the Ladder, decide to do what you can to climb up to the next level.
This is a journey you won’t regret and the view from the top is great!
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
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