Take Action Identify Your First Steps
Welcome to Session 1 of the Made to Crave Action Plan. You're about to embark on a spiritual adventure with great physical benefits! if this is your first time together as a group, take a moment to introduce yourselves to each other before watching the video. Then let's get started!
Video: Take Action (27 MINUTES)
Play the video segment for Session 1. As you watch, use the outline (pages 11–14) to follow along or to take notes on anything that stands out to you.
Made to Crave was about finding your "want-to." Made to Crave Action Plan is about finding your "how-to."
Most of us feel underweight spiritually and overweight physically.
Combining the power of scientific research, biblical principles, and loving accountability will help us reach our weight loss goals.
We feel defeated when we bounce back and forth between gaining and losing, feeling deprived and feeling guilty, trying to eat healthy and eating whatever we want.
This is an issue physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
This is a grace place. God loves you right where you are. You can't use up all your grace with God.
The story of Adam and eve (Genesis 3)
God is asking us to go to a new place. We have a physical indication of a spiritual situation. We are spiritually underweight and physically overweight. Made to Crave is about learning to crave God more than we crave food.
"Seek first his kingdom ... and all these things will be added [given] to you" (Matthew 6:33 NASB).
The Greek word for "seek" is zeteo (dzay-the'-o). It means to crave.
* * *
Influences that make healthy eating hard for people:
The marketing efforts of the food industry push us to consume 3,800 calories a day. (Average daily calorie intake to maintain current weight is approximately 2,000 calories—1,800 for women and 2,200 for men.)
God created us with hunter/gatherer genes that would enable us to survive famine.
There have been dramatic changes in the packaged food industry, including a significant increase in the use of high-fructose corn syrup and refined oils and the removal of whole grains from the food supply.
The impact of these factors and other changes to our food supply has led to terrible problems:
It's not your fault. You are not bad, horrible, and lazy.
It's important to look at what is healthy for each individual person. We must individually determine what we need and what our goals are.
Five principles for healthy eating and weight loss
1. Add fish (omega-3s)
2. Increase fiber
4. Reduce calories
5. Increase nutrient-rich fruits and veggies (polyphenols)
These are scientifically proven strategies we can utilize to lose weight without being hungry and to develop a healthy lifestyle.
Women: 25 grams of fiber a day Men: 35 grams of fiber a day
Fiber signals satiety genes that tell you you're full. it allows you to diet without being hungry.
Tip: Drinking 16 ounces of water in the morning can reduce your caloric intake by up to 25 percent for that day.
Optional Video: Interview with Kathrine Lee (9 MINUTES)
If your group has more than one hour, consider watching this video featuring an interview with Kathrine Lee. Kathrine describes how she has gained and lost weight, and shares the vital importance of building healthy eating efforts on the right foundation.
Group Discussion (31 MINUTES) Take a few MINUTES to talk about what you just watched.
1. What part of the teaching had the most impact on you?
A Grace Place
2. One of the first steps in developing long-term healthy eating habits is choosing a food plan. Which of the following movie titles best describes your response when you hear the words "food plan" or "diet"? Share the reasons for your response.
Leap of Faith
Life Is Beautiful
Do the Right Thing
A Time to Kill
3. Lysa describes how she felt defeated when she continually bounced between gaining and losing, progress and failure, deprivation and guilt. How have your past efforts to eat healthy or lose weight impacted you—physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
4. On the video, Lysa says, "Many times I felt like I was going to use up all my grace with God. Like God would say, 'Enough! You need to go away.'"
What thoughts or emotions are you aware of when you consider inviting God into your struggles with food?
What kind of grace or mercy do you need most from God?
What would help you to feel safe here—to feel that this group is a "grace place"?
Healthy Eating Factors and Principles
5. Dr. Chilton described several factors that make it difficult for people today to eat healthy. For example: hunter/gatherer genes; food industry marketing; increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup and refined oils; and diminished use of whole grains.
After hearing about all these factors, what was your response to Dr. Chilton's statement, "it's not your fault"?
How do you think this statement might be misunderstood?
6. Dr. Chilton outlined five principles that are scientifically proven to help us get healthy and lose weight: (1) add fish (omega-3s); (2) increase fiber; (3) exercise; (4) reduce calories; (5) increase nutrient-rich fruits and veggies (polyphenols).
What is your initial reaction to these principles?
Which of the principles are you most interested in learning more about and putting into practice? Why?
Individual Activity: What I Want to Remember (2 MINUTES)
Complete this activity on your own.
1. Briefly review the outline and any notes you took.
2. In the space below, write down the most significant thing you gained in this session—from the teaching, activities, or discussions.
What I want to remember from this session ...
Close your time together with prayer.
Between-Sessions Personal Study and Action Plan
1. On the video, Lysa says that most of us are underweight spiritually and overweight physically. Which of the phrases below best describes your current spiritual condition?
What factors contribute to your current spiritual condition? For example: a consistent practice of spiritual disciplines, or the lack thereof; difficult or beneficial circumstances; emotional setbacks or breakthroughs, etc.
2. Struggles with food can cause problems physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. To get a clearer picture of where you are right now, complete the Starting Point Assessment on pages 24–26. Respond to the questions below after completing the assessment.
Would you say your response totals and assessment descriptions for each section seem true of you? Why or why not?
3. Wherever you are right now, God's loving invitation is to begin a journey to a new place, a grace place. Lysa describes it as a spiritual journey with great physical benefits. How do you feel about embarking on this journey? Circle the number below that best describes your response.
What might the number you circled indicate about your need for grace?
What kind of grace do you feel you need to help you take your next steps?
4. Page 22 lists three action plan options to help you take next steps. Some are simple and can be done within a day or two; others are more involved and may take additional thought and planning. All of them focus on helping you to establish your starting point.
Take a few moments to review the Action items list on page 22 and to consider the action(s) you might take. Place a checkmark next to any items you want to consider. If you would like to do something not on the list, write your own ideas in the space provided at the end.
Go back and review the items you checked. In the chart on page 20, write down the actions you want to take. For each item you list, write down a timeframe in which you will either complete or begin to take that action (for example: by Tuesday or within two days, etc.).
After completing your action plan, use the guided prayer on page 21 or your own prayer to conclude your personal study.
Thank You for inviting me to begin a journey to a new place, a grace place, in my struggles with food.
I feel all kinds of things right now, but I especially feel ...
I am deeply aware of my need for Your grace, specifically for ...
I commit my action plan for this week to You. I ask for Your power and encouragement to achieve my goals. Specifically, I ask for help with ...
Thank You, Lord, for all the grace You've given me my whole life long. Help me to believe deep down in my heart that Your grace will continue to sustain me on this new journey. Amen.
Starting Point Assessment
For each of the items listed below, rate the degree to which that statement describes you. Use the following scale:
3 = Completely true of me
2 = Mostly true of me
1 = Somewhat true of me
0 = not true of me
Section A: Physical
________ I have gained and lost weight several times.
________ I don't have as much physical energy as I wish I did.
________ I have health concerns that are weight related.
________ I sometimes eat in secret or hide food.
________ My food choices are often high in fat or sugar.
________ I sometimes skip meals.
________ I avoid stepping on a scale because I do not want to know my weight.
________ I eat foods typically considered unhealthy fast food several times a week.
________ I avoid going to the doctor because of my weight.
________ The clothes I wore at this time last year are uncomfortably tight or no longer fit.
________ Section A Total
Section B: Emotional
________ I think about food way too much.
________ I feel embarrassed about my weight or appearance.
________ The thought of changing how i eat makes me feel sad.
________ I feel defeated and discouraged about issues related to weight or food.
________ I say negative things to myself ("You're so fat," "You're ugly," "You're not capable of getting your act together when it comes to food").
________ I feel guilty or embarrassed about what I eat or the size of my portions.
________ I think I will always struggle with this issue.
________ I eat for emotional reasons—for comfort, out of boredom, to relieve stress.
________ I sometimes feel like food is more powerful than I am.
________ When it comes to food and weight, I feel like I am trapped in a vicious cycle with no way out.
________ Section B Total
Section C: Relational
________ I avoid doing things with friends if the activity requires physical exertion.
________ I don't have much confidence when meeting someone new because i am self-conscious about my appearance.
________ My marriage or dating life has been negatively impacted by my weight or other issues related to food.
________ I avoid reconnecting with old friends because I don't want them to see how much weight I've gained.
________ Friends or family have made comments about my weight or other issues related to food.
________ I avoid dating or being intimate with my spouse because of my weight or other issues related to food.
________ I feel I would be easier to love if food or weight weren't issues in my life.
________ I My kids or others I am close to sometimes seem embarrassed about my appearance.
________ I avoid spending time with people who are attractive because i feel so unattractive around them.
________ I feel my relational life has been significantly impacted by my weight or other issues related to food.
________ Section C Total
Section D: Spiritual
________ I'm not sure this is an issue God cares about.
________ I The Bible hasn't really helped me with this area of my life.
________ I don't see a connection between what I eat and my relationship with God.
________ I tend to think of overindulgence in food as the "acceptable sin."
________ When I need comfort, I turn to food before I turn to God.
________ Prayer doesn't seem to help me with my food issues.
________ I'm reluctant to bring this issue to God.
________ I'm open to God challenging me in any area of life except food and exercise.
________ I sometimes feel angry or resent God for allowing food to be my issue.
________ I am embarrassed to ask others to pray for me about my struggles with food.
________ Section D Total