Accountability - What Is It Good For?
Often times it's difficult for a person to be transparent in weight loss, they may have a lot to hide. Many individuals make excuses as to why numbers look the way they do on the scale. They explain away why they eat, what they eat or why they are inactive. But beyond the "excuse makers" their are pretenders.
Pretenders talk a good talk, but really never make that much effort towards real change. They tend to have an unwillingness to become transparent and with that comes the likelihood to remain secretive. One of my clients disclosed to me that she was buying her junk food at the gas station so her husband thought she was just purchasing gas. In her shame and lack of accountability she was hiding her addiction from him.
I used to be a pretender. As a fitness competitor I would eat perfectly all day long. I had a great body and I was strong. I ate dry chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli like any good competitor does. However, at night a different side of me that came out. After I put my kids to bed I'd pull out a whole pie, hamburgers, or ice cream, and I'd eat like crazy. I'd also have a gallon zip lock Baggie sitting on my lap and I'd chew to the point of swallowing and then spit every bite out. I'd neatly seal the bag, put it inside another bag and put it deep in the trash can outside. Hiding an addiction can get pretty messy.
Luke 8:17 says that “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed”. If we choose not to take care of ourselves properly it will show up in our size, mood or in our health. I speak from experience that when we don't get enough rest, don't manage stress, don't eat well and don't exercise it may lead to:
-stress, anxiety and depression
-brain fog, which can cause us to lose sharpness on the job
-decreased decision making skills
-breakdowns in communication and relationship with our spouse, family and friends
-negative thoughts and feelings about life
-shame that may cause us disconnect from spiritual practices like prayer, reading the Bible and church attendance
My most successful clients are the ones who are willing to be transparent. Individuals who are willing to share their food and exercise logs... good, bad or ugly, are the ones that thrive in the process. Why? Because in transparency there is transformation. Shame can't hide in the accountability of a trusted friend or a small accountability group. Finding a faith based group that includes the practice of repentance and forgiveness is especially helpful. There is peace in the wellness process when you are connected and committed to brothers and sisters in Christ who are walking toward freedom right alongside you.
On the other hand, I have had clients who are unwilling to use a food journal, who won't participate in accountability, who make a lot of excuses and have an overall rebellion to the wellness process. They are generally the ones who have wasted their money in hiring me. Humbleness is a necessary requirement in learning how to take care of ourselves. Proverbs 11:2 says it well, “When pride comes, then disgrace, but with the humble there is wisdom". Eleven years and 90 pounds ago when I decided enough was enough, I hired somebody who had wisdom to guide me on the excursion. My personal trainer knew what she was talking about and I wanted to humble myself to learn all that I could. I desperately wanted to get out of the prison of fat, depression and suicidal thoughts I had built and I was willing to humble myself to get free.
I encourage you to live your life OUT LOUD with your mentor, accountability partner, personal trainer or coach. Share your success with others so they can rejoice with you. Remember, Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”. People are watching your life. That should place a little bit of healthy peer pressure on you.
As you begin to have a willingness to be transparent, don't be afraid to disclose your slip ups, nobody is perfect. As you share your imperfections you will find you'll get a lot of encouragement and prayers too!
Dear Father, I don't want to have to strive in my own flesh to be perfect. I want to the help that you make available to me through the power of your Holy Spirit. I also want to place trusted people around me that are willing to encourage and pray for me as I run the race of good health that you have set before me. Help me not be afraid to be transparent, I understand that is where the most meaningful transformation can happen. In Jesus name, Amen.