Rocky Balboa



Fair warning, I’m about to step on some toes. I hope we can still be friends. Promise me you’ll read to the end. I think I can prove the claim I’d like to propose.

Diets don’t work.
(There, I’ve said it.)

The following is a list of “diets” I’ve tried (at least once). I lost weight with some of them, gained it all back with all of them. Some of them you may have heard of. Some may be unfamiliar. I’m not against them (except one that I question the real motives), but the point is, not one of them helped me achieve lasting weight loss.

Weight watchers.
Weigh Down Workshop.
Cabbage Soup Diet. (oh man that one was horrid)
Metabolic Research Center.
South Beach.
Advocare 24-day challenge.

I don’t think this is the entirety of the list, but I think you get the jist. I have, at one point or another, been actively following each of these plans. In the case of Weight Watchers, it’s more like 5 times (I secretly just wanna rock some hot pants like Jennifer Hudson). Grin.

{{Sidebar: The way I write tends to be a bit quirky…I write snippets, and save them as a draft, some become posts, some don’t. I wrote the above snippet last week, but didn’t finish it. This weekend, I had a nasty case of Vertigo. (For those unfamiliar with it, think roller coaster ride that doesn’t stop) I’ve never been so dizzy in my life. There were points where things that were totally stable looked like they were moving. It was a nightmare. I am much better today (thanks to some wonderful friends who knew how to get my inner ear back in balance!), still feeling a bit weak, but I think I’m going to be fine. I pray I don’t ever have to do that again, and you don’t either!}}

Ok, back to my point about the snippet I wrote – all those diets, plans, tricks, formulas – it was like a mental case of vertigo – they had me so dizzy I couldn’t think straight. I felt for years like I was spinning from one diet plan to the other. I would follow a plan for a couple of weeks, lose interest and quit. Then I’d get mad at myself again when something didn’t fit anymore, pick another plan, and “THIS TIME”, I’d stick with it. Only I wouldn’t.

I remember complaining about it to John a few months ago, and I told him how mad I was at myself (again). For the record, he is not one to get involved in the “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” trap discussion. (He’s such a brilliant man) But that day, as I was lamenting, he gently said, “It isn’t what you do about it when you’re mad. It’s what you decide to do when you aren’t feeling mad anymore.”

He was so right. I was allowing feelings to determine my course and emotion rule the moment. See, when I was mad, I was the best dieter in the world. I was on fire, like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, running up the stairs, punching the world in the face. BOOM. Take that saddle bags!

But then I would wake up one morning, and suddenly, I wasn’t quite so mad. I wasn’t “feeling it.” So I’d skip the Rocky workout. I’d justify a few decisions, make a few compromises, and then before I knew it, I was back in my old habits, and that particular diet was a thing of the past. Until a shirt was too tight and then I’d start the cycle all over again.


There has to come a point where we settle the matter, once and for all.
Diets, in and of themselves, do not work.

The only thing that will change your body and life is the decision that you will care for your body (no matter the plan you choose), and love yourself (no matter what a scale says). We have got to get off the lose-gain-lose-gain-lose-gain roller coaster. We need a shift in thinking – from “I have to do this so my body looks good” to “I want to take care of myself”.

Somehow two weeks ago, when I first posted about this, the light switch went on…it was a shift from the dizzying-mania of diet-jumping to stable, steady, consistent choices that benefit my body. By the grace of God, I got off the roller coaster. And just to give you some much needed grace, some of us have been riding the roller coaster for so long that when we get off, we’re gonna be a bit weak in the legs, still shaky. Don’t be afraid to ask the Lord for some courage and clarity here. He so graciously gives it. You are valuable and loved by God – adored, cherished, smiled upon, because of who you are IN HIM. He hates seeing you struggle. So take it to Him. Let Him love on you through this.

If you can, where you are, read this passage outloud. It has nourished me at this place I’m in. May you be blessed by it also.

Psalm 40
1 I waited patiently for the Lord,
and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
2 He brought me up from a desolate[a] pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.

4 How happy is the man
who has put his trust in the Lord
and has not turned to the proud
or to those who run after lies!
5 Lord my God, You have done many things—
Your wonderful works and Your plans for us;
none can compare with You.
If I were to report and speak of them,
they are more than can be told.

6 You do not delight in sacrifice and offering;
You open my ears to listen.[b]
You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering.
7 Then I said, “See, I have come;
it is written about me in the volume of the scroll.
8 I delight to do Your will, my God;
Your instruction lives within me.”[c]

9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
see, I do not keep my mouth closed[d]—
as You know, Lord.
10 I did not hide Your righteousness in my heart;
I spoke about Your faithfulness and salvation;
I did not conceal Your constant love and truth
from the great assembly.

11 Lord, do not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your constant love and truth will always guard me.
12 For troubles without number have surrounded me;
my sins have overtaken me; I am unable to see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my courage leaves me.
13 Lord, be pleased to deliver me;
hurry to help me, Lord.

14 Let those who seek to take my life
be disgraced and confounded.
Let those who wish me harm
be driven back and humiliated.
15 Let those who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
be horrified because of their shame.

16 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
let those who love Your salvation continually say,
“The Lord is great!”
17 I am afflicted and needy;
the Lord thinks of me.
You are my helper and my deliverer;
my God, do not delay.”

He wants to bring us up from the desolate pit, and set us on a rock.
Let’s walk like we are loved.
Because we are.

Day 12: Worked in my backyard like a crazy woman for nearly 1.5 hours.
Day 13: Demolished a storage shed in our back yard. Crowbars & sledgehammers, baby. It was an assault on my whole body for 3 hours.
Day 14: VERTIGO!! No workout.
Day 15: Still spinning…no workout.
Day 16: Today…A walk to the park with my sweet dog.

**As for the list of diets I’ve tried…I want to make a disclaimer…most of them are balanced approaches to weight-loss. I just don’t think they are the cure to the underlying problem some of us are struggling with. Until we decide we want to simply care for our bodies in a reasonable manner, it won’t matter what diet we choose. A weight-loss program in conjunction with a healthy mind-set is the only way it will work (long term).


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