“I might fail so I don’t even want to start trying.”

“I’ve always been fat. I’ll always be fat. Nothing ever worked in the past so why try?”

Ever had those kinds of excuses about trying to lose weight?

Not failing is a huge topic on the minds of those who want to lose weight. And I totally understand. I blame it on the diet mentality.

Quick Weight Loss

Diets promise quick weight loss and that’s what we want. We want to fix the outside and do it now. However, God is all about fixing us first on the inside in our hearts, minds, souls and spirits. This is where the desire to eat resides.

Until we get to the root of why we eat, we will always gain the weight back and add more on. We will be stuck in the gain-lose-gain cycle. I lost 100 pounds at least five times through the years and gained it all back plus more when I got to my goal weight and started eating again.

Finally, I just threw up my hands and said, “I give up! I can’t lose weight. I am just a failure. If I don’t try, I won’t fail. So I just won’t try because failing is too much for me to take. I will just be fat and happy.” That didn’t work either because I wasn’t happy being super morbidly obese. So I ate to assuage the unhappiness. That made me gain more weight which made me feel like more of a failure.

The Food Weapon

One big issue is evil one is using the desire for more and more food as a weapon against God’s people. We understand that we shouldn’t indulge in alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, overspending or other vices. However, everyone has to eat, don’t they? So we indulge in food, the sanctified sin.

It isn’t so sanctified when a cardiac surgeon tells you that you will be dead in five years if you don’t lose at least 100 pounds and keep it off. See, it wasn’t the 100 pounds. I knew I could lose that. It was the keep it off part. That’s where my self-effort ended.

I have lost 250 pounds and kept it off. Am I a failure for having weighed 430 pounds? Oh, I can go down the road with the best of them. I can beat myself up all day for what I did to myself. However, God uses our failures as well as our successes to help us.

God Works In All Things

Romans 8:28 NIV tells us this. We just have to read between the lines. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Notice that it says in all things God works. It’s not only in all the successes and accolades that He works to bring good out of our lives. He works through our failures, trials, temptations and defeats. I also believe that God, who stands outside of time, has already seen all of our failures and factored them into how He’s going to create something good out of our failures.

For instance, had I listened to God in 1977 when He told me to stop eating sugar and bread, I wouldn’t have gained up to 430 pounds. I wouldn’t have had to surrender completely to the mercy of God to help me lose 250 pounds and keep it off. If I hadn’t lost the weight, I wouldn’t be coaching others and they wouldn’t be allowing God to help them overcome their food issues. And I wouldn’t be doing the job that God called me to and that I love.

Failure Is a Great Teacher

I am not happy that I gained that weight and not happy that I had to go through the process of losing it. I am happy I learned how to change my habits, give up sugar and gluten, and get closer to God than I ever have been.

It’s from my failures that I have learned the most. Failure is our best teacher. We remember our lessons best when we failed. Still, we use our continued failures on diet after diet as excuses not to try again. We need to look at them as opportunities to do better. Then when we face the same issue again, we can’t help but succeed. We can’t do it in our own strength, though. We must do it in God-power!

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV tells us, “He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Strength Comes From God

Paul says when we are weak when we are failures, the Holy Spirit’s power is even more available to us. So that when we are weak, then we are strong because we are resting in God’s strength and not our own.

Many are so afraid of failure that they won’t even start on their healthy living journeys. This is exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us stuck in failure and despair. He is a master at trying to keep us there because he knows our tendencies are just to eat more which will eventually destroy us.

We must remember his agenda. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10:10 NIV). There is nothing more destructive than the fear of failure. It stops us in our tracks.

God’s Already Ahead of Us

Deuteronomy 32:8 ESV tells us how to deal with our fear. “The Lord is the one who is going ahead of you. he will be with you. He won’t abandon or leave you. So don’t be afraid or terrified.” Some of us are scared of failure like we are letting God down when we fail. Don’t be afraid. God knows we are weak humans and we need Him.

When we confess our failures to Him he doesn’t condemn us. He just comes alongside us and helps us grow stronger and be more committed to following Him.

For more on this topic, listen to Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast episode 138: I’ll Fail So Why Try, https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/podcast/.

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach, podcaster and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds and kept it off since 2013.

Her books include: "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor"; "Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds"; "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy"; "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help": "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation"; and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, more information on both is available under the weight loss tab. Don't miss her weekly podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, where she shares tips from her personal journey of losing weight and discovering healthy living. Find that under the podcast tab and anywhere you find podcasts.