Do you fall into the “New Year, New You” trap annually? In today’s episode, author Heather Creekmore discusses how instead of trying to get a “new” you through a physical makeover, you should try the Bible’s prescription for change — a transformation that starts with the renewing of your mind.

In this episode we’ll look at:

  1. The perfect “verse of the year” if you want to meet your health goals in 2020
  2. Why resolutions, weight loss plans, and goals that focus on changing the outside before the inside, fail.
  3. What “New Year, New You” mantras are really promising, and why they can’t deliver, and
  4. How you can start 2020 on the right foot by participating in our brand new ReFOCUS 2020 program. (If you’re reading this after January 2020, we’ll offer the program again, so watch for it!)

Listen using links below or scroll down for transcript of this episode!

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Unedited transcript of this episode:

Happy New Year, friend! I’m so glad you’re listening because today we’re going to tackle a huge topic: How can you make 2020 different without falling into the “new Year new you” pit. If you’re ready to stop making resolutions that fail and really want to see positive changes in your life in this new year we’ve been given –this episode is for you. Also, please listen to the very end when I’m going to tell you about a very special 10 day coaching program my friend Erin Kerry – a certified integrated nutrition coach – are offering starting January 6th. I’ll tell you all about it at the end of today’s episode.

In some ways New years gives me a little angst – I spent so many years setting resolutions and then not meeting them – that I’ve grown cynical. I’m jaded. Resolutions don’t work, so why set them – is partially my default setting.

But then there’s another reality at play – the reality that a New Year really is a good time to take stock of where I’ve been. What did last year look like? What did I do last year that I really wish I hadn’t? What did I do last year that was positive? What changes can I make in my life that will lead me more towards outcomes that are good, versus outcomes that may hurt me.

So, this morning, as I was trying to reconcile all of this – I had a thought. And that’s what’s inspired this podcast.

The thought is this: You don’t need a new year, new you. You need a new year, RENEWED you.

See, I hate the New Year New You mantra – I did a whole episode on this last January, but bottom line is – when you read or hear that places – it really means one thing – It means changing your outside so that you are “NEW” – It means self-improvement. It means working hard so that you can look different and the byproduct of looking different is having a new life. If you can JUST get the body, then the rest of your life will be wonderful. Get the body and you’ll get a man. Or, if you’re married, get the body and your man will suddenly start acting like a guy from a Hallmark movie.

Get the body and you’ll get the job. You’ll get the attention. You’ll get the accolades. Get the body and everything else in your life will fall in line. You’ll experience peace, love, and joy.

Oh, and, once you get the body – you can REST. That’s right – get the body and then you can just chill. No more counting calories, macros, or steps. You will have arrived and you can finally, just relax.

But, friends – New Year New You is selling a false kind of salvation. It’s a message that tells us that changing the outside changes everything.

Now, before I go on, let me acknowledge something. If your body gets healthier – other things in your life will probably change. You may have more energy for your marriage or your children. You may do better in your job because you have better mental acuity or stamina. You may be in a better mood because you feel better. Depression may lift, and you may feel joy like never before.  Getting a healthier body DOES have some impact on the rest of your life.

But, often, if we’re honest with ourselves, the impact we are looking for from changing our bodies is more than that. Yes, we long to feel better—but we also have to fight hard not to believe the messages coming at us from everywhere that once we have a “hotter” body, the rest of life will go better.

You may have heard me talk about this before – but it’s worth repeating. New Year New You sells us a “Biggest Loser” definition of salvation.  You  may remember the show biggest loser – it was on NBC for a long time – and on the show we saw people who were very overweight undergo a dramatic physical change under the direction of personal trainers. Now, let me tell you how this is a salvation story – See, at the beginning of the show… (READ ABOUT BIGGEST LOSER DEFINITION OF SALVATION HERE)

Don’t miss the salvation story in there – the personal trainer offers these contestants a chance to transform. They go from their own personal Hell to a sort of Heaven on earth. You watch the show and you get filled with hope – If THEY can change, then surely I can change.

Friend, this isn’t where real salvation comes from. And, more than that, most of these contestants gain the weight back because, once they’re disconnected from their savior – their trainer who transformed them—it’s really hard to stay on track. They tried to fix the problem physically – without fixing their heart. They thought that real transformation happened on the outside first. But that’s never true, real transformation happens on the inside first.

The other part of the New Year New  you lie that always gets me is the promise of rest. Friends, this is one I always fall for. If I can just get  this done, then I can rest. I don’t know about you –but I crave rest. I long for it. I want it so badly. So, it seems like if I could just get my body to a certain point – then that rest would come. Then there’d be one less thing on my list of things to worry about.

But, truth is – as we already mentioned with the biggest loser contestants – if you want to lose weight or shape up your body – that’s not a one and done scenario. You have to keep up the diet or the exercise program- at least at some level – in order to maintain your results. There will never be a day when you can say, “Okay, I’m a size 8 now – I’m going to sit on the couch for the rest of the year.” It doesn’t work that way.

So, if you have health goals this year – let’s say you really do need to drop a few pounds or get into better shape so you can do what it is you need to do each day – what should you do? What can you do? Is all hope lost.

Haha. I hope not. Please don’t hear what I’ve said as discouragement. Your health GOALS are very possible to achieve. My point today is this: You don’t need a new you, you need a renewed you.

A RENEWED you is really the only kind of “new you” that’s biblical. Yes, we are NEW creations, but that doesn’t mean our physical bodies are perfect — yet! See, the Bible tells us that we all have a problem. It’s a problem with sin. God loves us, values us, sees us, and knows us. But, we have an issue that keeps us separated from him. It’s a sin issue.

And, even after we’ve become Christians – told Jesus we want him as our savior – that we accept his free gift of salvation – and that we want him as our “lord” – we want him to be in charge of our lives instead of trying to do things our own way – Even after we’ve made this commitment to follow Christ – sin can still creep in. That’s why the life of a believer is the life of confession and repentance.

My own story is that I had a big sin issue I didn’t even recognize for decades. I became a Christian as a little girl and grew up in church and Christian schools and college and even graduate school. But, I had made my body image my idol. I believed, like we talked about before, that changing my body is what would really make my life better. I thought that changing my body is what would give me all that I longed for – I thought that a smaller size and a smaller number on the scale would give me satisfaction that really only comes from Jesus.

So, I had to repent. I had to confess and acknowledge this as sin, and repent. I had to say, “Jesus, please forgive me.” And, I can’t emphasize enough what an important part of my freedom journey this was. Maybe, this is where you need to start your new year too? Maybe you’ve believed the same lies. Perhaps, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ve also been tempted to believe that if you could just change your body, everything would change.

Friend, if this is you, can I ask you to push pause right here and just say that prayer. Just confess it right now and ask Jesus to forgive you for it. He promises he will. Stop carrying the burden of this body image idol around with you. Breaking free begins with repentance.

Then, after we’ve taken care of our sin problem, then we’re ready to do the next step – that is, we’re ready to RENEW our minds. See what’s really awesome is the Bible tells us exactly how to transform. God KNOWS us – he knows that we all long for makeovers. But the kind of makeover that we really need, and really what our heart craves – is a makeover that comes from the renewing of our minds. Let’s look at what God says about this in the Bible:

Romans 12:2 reads like this: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

This, my friend, is your perfect New Year’s verse. If you’ve got a list of what you want to accomplish this year – start with this verse. Make it your mantra. Write it on your mirror. Put it on index cards around your house. Memorize it so it’s written on your heart. In fact, let me read it again since most of you probably aren’t looking at it.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I love how perfect this verse is for this time of year. This week you will see offers from EVERYWHERE about how you can lose weight and get in shape. And friend, it’s the exact same, every single year, isn’t it? I’ve fallen for it. I started the new diet on January 1st. I bought the exercise gizmos, like literally, all of them. I’ve downloaded the food plans or bought ALL the books with ALL the recipes so I could eat completely differently, and change my body to become a skinny hotty, so the rest of my life would be perfect.

And, you know what, every year I’d fail. Sometimes I’d make a little progress. Feel better for a few weeks because I wasn’t eating processed, sugary foods, but, every year I’d be staring the Valentine’s Day candy in the face thinking ‘I’ll get back on track later’—And later never came.

The problem was I tried to do it the world’s way. I CONFORMED to the pattern of this world. And the pattern of this world is insanity. It’s absolutely crazy. If you just take a giant step back and watch everyone over the next few weeks – you’ll see, you’ll see it on Facebook or with your friends. Everyone goes from feasting through the holidays to a new diet this week. And, then, just wait…and count how many of those friends are still on track six weeks from now. Let’s be honest, there won’t be many.

I’m not trying to be mean or cynical – Instead I’m hoping to get you to see the truth. Doing things the same way as we always do them and expecting to get different results is crazy. BUT – God doesn’t say don’t transform – Instead he tells us exactly how to transform. He tells us to transform by the renewing of our minds.

So what does it mean to renew our minds – I think the best place to start with that is to examine the definition of renew – there are several –but the one that fits best is this one, “To give fresh life or strength to.” Why should we renew our minds- well, so that we can test or discern what God’s will is. If we want to know what is good, acceptable and perfect – we have to have a RENEWED mind.

Without a renewed mind – our definitions are all whacked out. Without a renewed mind – we see perfection as a size two with perfect skin and good hair. Without a renewed mind, we can’t see our lives, our purpose, or our world the way God sees it. Without a renewed mind – we chase idols – like a “perfect” body — when God says, “Hey, I don’t define Perfect the same way Vogue does . . .I look at the heart.” But, hey, who’s definition are you going to use?

The problem with our minds, friends is not just that they don’t define things the way God does, but that they are fallen – we are bent towards our flesh. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking about things the way the world does, because that’s our human nature. In contrast to this is the fruit of the spirit – Galatians 5 – Love, joy, peace, patience, long-suffering . . . I don’t know about you, friend – but these are not instinctive to me.

So, everyday we have a job to do. We have to put on the whole armor of God so we can fight the devil – yes — (if you grew up in church you may be singing a song or picturing cartoon armor now) – but WE also must daily choose to walk in the spirit, not walk in the flesh. Sometimes, friends, we may have to make that turn back to walking in the spirit mid-day, sometimes several times a day. Because, if you’re like me – the flesh can take over so quickly. I find myself snapping at my kids or not acting in a loving way towards my husband or not being patient with someone I’m on the phone with . . . When I act in the flesh – I have to make a choice to stop walking in the way my flesh instructs and turn back to walking in the spirit.

So what does this have to do with your physical health goals? This is where it gets really good.

To better understand these verses we have to go back – look at what Paul (the author of Romans) is saying right before this verse – and friends this is when it gets good. In Romans 12:1 – the verse right before it – we find out that Paul is actually talking about get this — OUR BODIES…

Paul actually tells us how to change our bodies – and the secret has nothing to do with joining weight watchers, again, or hiring a personal trainer – the secret is right there in the Bible – we must renew our minds. Let me now read for you both verses – Romans 12: 1 and 2:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Friends, I could go on about this for days – but let me try to tie it up here. God knows that you long for 2020 to be different. God knows that you crave transformation. God understands the temptation to be conformed to this world and to see things the way the world sees them, instead of the way he sees them. And, so, God gives us a solution. What a good God, right? He doesn’t leave us in our predicament. He says, I made you –so I know how to solve this. You have to renew your mind. This is the transformation that will change everything.

Friends- this is my story. I have freedom from body image bondage that kept me trapped for decades. Honestly, I used to doubt it was ever possible to not obsess over my weight or appearance. I believed, falsely, that I had to change my body to get free. But, what I really had to change had nothing to do with my body. I had to transform my mind.

If this sounds appealing to you – then let me encourage you friend – it is possible! And, like I mentioned at the start of this episode – my friend Erin Kerry and I are going to run a 10 day coaching community to help you renew your mind at the start of this year.

Erin is a certified integrative nutrition coach. Erin was a contributor to Compared to Who for many years and she’s battled her body image, depression, and other mental health issues. But, Erin has experienced an amazing transformation in all of these areas through combining the truth about our bodies, food, and genetic composition, with the truth from scripture. Erin has personally helped me find the supplements I needed to have more energy and feel better more consistently.

We’re calling the coaching community REFOCUS 2020 – because, as the year implies – 2020 is a call to see clearly. And, so Erin and I want to help you – we’re like your optometrists for the new year – we want to help you see your health more holistically – and therefore, we believe, more clearly.

So, in this community – you’ll get daily instruction from by Erin and me. I’ll be talking abou the spiritual aspects of getting healthy, while Erin shares her insights on nutrition and other holistic health strategies. We’re running the community through Facebook and we’ll do one LIVE Q&A session to field your questions as you go. We’ll also be interacting with you on Facebook and offering some giveaways to help you stay engaged and on track.

The program is super cheap friends – We should charge more –but we want to give everyone a chance to participate who wants to – It’s only $20. $2 a day – less than a coffee. And, if you decide to continue in nutrition training with Erin or in body image training with me after the 10 day course is over, we’ll deduct that $20 from what we charge for our trainings. If you’ve ever considered coaching – you really have nothing to lose by trying this!

I’ll put the link to sign up on Facebook in the show notes. It starts January 6th– so if you’re listening to this episode later than that – I’m sorry you missed it –but make sure you’re following me on Facebook and subscribed to the blog – because we may offer this again in the future.

Before we close –let me pray for your new year.
Dear Heavenly Father – Please help my friend to be truly transformed in 2020. Please help us all to surrender our physical goals as we transform our minds to get healthy in the ways that please you. Help us to shut out the lies coming from everywhere that tell us that a “new year new you” is what we need—and help us to instead, spend more time reading and studying your word, talking to you, and in community with other believers so that we can truly have a transformed perspective on our lives. Help us father. In Jesus name, Amen.

That’s all for today’s episode! We’re starting a brand new series soon called “Real Women: Real Hope” where I’ll be interviewing a bunch of women from all over the country to talk about their struggles with body image and comparison and how they’ve found new hope. I hope you’ll subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!

Bye bye!

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