Overcoming Unhealthy Habits with Ray Wienand


Overcoming Unhealthy Habits- Episode 8

 Sometimes the best thing was to speak to someone about it, to get the load off my shoulder.

I don’t think there’s anyone, saved or unsaved, that doesn't have a few unhealthy habits in their lives. I know I do. Fortunately, I don’t have as many as I used to. For me, this blog is a very personal one. I’ve seen the effects unhealthy habits can have in my own life. I’ve seen it in the lives of family and friends, and in the lives of people I don’t even know.
There are so many possible unhealthy habits. Like many other things they can be physical, mental or spiritual. Sometimes we’re aware of them and sometimes we only realize it when someone points it out to us. The ones we know about, we kind of sweep under the rug and continue with. The ones that are pointed out to us, we get upset and jump into defensive mode. But the fact remains.
They are unhealthy habits and we must substitute them  with good habits. The effects of those habits can also be physical, mental or spiritual. I’ve seen it in my own body, mind and spiritual life. And this I have seen before and after I was saved. I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle before I became a Christian. And sadly, I continued with some of those habits for some time even after I was reborn.
I used to smoke, drink a lot, eat very unhealthily, work extremely long hours, create stressful situations for myself, etc. It eventually took its toll. My body crashed. I ended up with several autoimmune disorders. Conditions that I live with since then. Those autoimmune disorders have physical, mental and spiritual implications in my life. Implications that make life difficult most of the time.
The saddest part, to me, is the impact it has on the lives of the people around me. Especially on my family. I have to eat differently. I can’t eat what and how I used to. Routines had to change. We had to make lifestyle changes. It has financial implications. Physically there’s a lot of things I can’t do like I used to. The list goes on and on.
I’m fortunate to have a very supportive wife. I would not be able to travel this road without her. She’s been my anchor through it all! What about those around us that have the same, or similar unhealthy habits? What do we do about it? Do we talk to them? Turn a blind eye and ignore it? I tend to turn a blind eye and ignore it. Who am I to say anything as I still have some of those habits? But is that the right attitude? Is it the right thing to do?
No, it’s not. Especially if I know what implications those habits can have! Sometimes we need to gather our strength, pray and speak into the lives of those around us.
Sometimes we have to make peace with the fact that they might get upset with us. Or we might lose their friendship. But we must do it through love and with love. We mustn’t do it for our own gratification, for us to feel above them in the fact that we can point out their unhealthy life habits.
No, it must be done with love. That’s the only way. What if they don’t want to? Often, like myself, people don’t want to admit that they have unhealthy habits. They might know it, but they don’t want to admit it to others. What do we do if they don’t want to speak about it?
There are several things we can do. Most importantly we must pray for them. If it’s a serious problem like substance abuse, we can get them professional help. Sometimes we have to change our tactics and approach the subject differently. Unfortunately, there will be those that will continue with their habits. They will keep on with their addictions.
Addictions are not always substance based. They can be addicted to working 18 hours a day, continuously getting in stressful situations, technology, pornography,and more.....
Going forward I had to learn to listen. Listen to people around me. Listen to my body. And most importantly I had to learn to listen to God in a new way.
I had to learn to accept: accept that my body and mind is not what it used to be. Accept that I had to make changes in my life. I also had to accept that I’m not always right. I had to accept the fact that those around me are trying to help me. Even if I didn’t agree with them!
I had to educate myself. Educate myself about the implications that my habits have on me. I had to educate myself on how to make changes. How to stop working 18 hours a day before I have a serious stroke or heart attack. Educate myself on substituting unhealthy habits with healthy ones.
I had to educate myself on recognizing those habits. If I don’t recognize them and acknowledge them, I can’t do anything about them.
I had to learn to seek help. Help and support from others. Those that I know love and care for me. And sometimes even from people that I don’t have a close relationship with. Sometimes the best thing was to speak to someone about it, to get the load off my shoulder.
Substituting bad for good. It will make a big difference. It takes time and patience. Remember you are not perfect! Forgive yourself, pray and start over. Beating yourself with a whip won’t help. It will only make it worse. You will only feel worse about yourself afterwards.
Make a note of what your unhealthy habits are and search for the healthy
alternatives. Start an exercise routine, eat popcorn instead of smoking, work less hours, learn how to do time management, prioritize activities. There’s so much that you can do. Are you willing to do something about it?
Ray Wienand


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