Click here to access the "Made to Crave" blog about Chapter 19 – Live as an Overcomer (by Nikki Grygar)

Our road to victory is in our grasp.  It can be achieved one choice at a time, day by day.  The end reward being eternal bliss.  Revelation 2:7, “to him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

Discussion questions:  Has this book encouraged you to think about your health and spiritual life differently

Click here to access the "Made to Crave" blog about Chapter 18 – Things Lost, Better Things Gained (by Nikki Grygar)

I love the statement, “Gaining to lose. Losing to gain.”  What have you truly given up?  Things that are hurting you.  What have you gained?  Better health and a closer relationship to God.  The gains are clearly more valuable than the losses.

Discussion questions:  What do you think about her comments about repenting for craving food more than Jesus?  Have you ever felt this way?  List all the unhealthy things you need to give up and the benefits that will come from it.

Click here to access the "Made to Crave" blog about Chapter 17 – The Very Next Choice We Make (by Nikki Grygar)

 

This chapter is about our self-discipline to continue making the right choices every day of our lives.  We are working toward living a holier life and we can sustain our journey by surrendering to God’s will.  Psalm 73:26, “my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my potion forever.”

Discussion questions:  Will you keep a food journal to sustain discipline?  How will you sustain discipline?

Click here to access the "Made to Crave Blog", Chapter 16 – Why Diets Don’t Work (by Nikki Grygar)

We should seek to live God honoring lives through self-discipline.  God has given us freewill to make our own choices.  We need to realize this when we are depending on food to heal us in times of weakness, instead of seeking out His strength.  Making healthy lifestyle choices will improve our lives and bring us closer to God.  A strong relationship with God will leave no room for Satan to tempt us into failing, but we must have self-awareness to recognize the potential threats.  1 Corinthians 10:12-13, “everyone, no matter how firmly he thinks he is standing, must be careful he does not fall. None of the trials which have come upon you is more than a human being can stand. You can trust that God will not let you be put to the test beyond your strength, but with any trial will also provide a way out by enabling you to put up with it.”

 

Discussion questions:  Do you have a daily battle with food choices?  Do you believe there’s a distinction from being on a journey with Jesus and dieting?

 

Click here to access the "Made to Crave" blog, Chapter 15 – The Demon in the Chips Poster (by Nikki Grygar)

Are you a closet eater?!!  Ephesians 6:10-11, "be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  Cravings seem to consume us and overtake our rational thoughts at our lowest points.  It helps to keep your cravings in check when you eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and have an afternoon snack, so you do not binge eat at dinner because you are starving.  Self-discipline over your cravings and hunger is in your control.  Do not let the devil persuade you otherwise.  Make healthy choices to reach your goals and if you begin to stumble, ask God for help.

Discussion questions:  What type of unhealthy foods do you crave most often?  What healthy foods do you crave most often?  What about each attracts you to them?

Click here to access the "Made to Crave" blog, Chapter 14 – Emotional Emptiness (by Nikki Grygar)

I think we’ve all tried to rationalize our bad eating habits!  However, if we want to lose weight, it is a fact more calories consumed than expended equals weight gain.  It is a simple math equation, along with consuming the correct balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

The general theme of this Chapter, similar to Chapters 11 and 12, is that feeling empty and emotional can trigger destructive eating behavior.

Discussion question:  Do you have something that makes you feel empty and causes you to react negatively?  What can you do to fill this emptiness?

Click here to access the "Made to Crave" blog, Chapter 13 - Overindulgence (by Nikki Grygar)

Eating or drinking in excess, also known as gluttony, is a sin.  Proverbs 23:20-21, “do not be one of those forever tippling wine nor one of those who gorge themselves with meat; for the drunkard and glutton impoverish themselves, and sleepiness is clothed in rags.”  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Are we trying to fulfill something missing in our lives with food or drink?  It seems we are lost spiritually and in lieu of Jesus we are attempting to fill up on physical pleasures.  Nothing will ever truly satisfy us or quench our thirst until we receive Jesus into our lives.  Psalm 107:9, “he has fed the hungry to their hearts' content, filled the starving with good things.”

What can we do to control our urges?  We can learn about portion control and how to eat more wisely.  God used food issues to teach the Israelites to be dependent on Him for providing food.  As discussed in previous chapters, we should rely on God to help us through difficult times when we turn to food as an outlet instead of Him.  Keep asking God to be your daily portion instead of trying to fill your soul with empty calories.

Discussion questions:  How often do you eat out?  Are you ordering healthy food choices?  Could you cook at home more often to control your calorie intake and portion sizes?

Click here to access the "Made to Crave" blog, Chapter 12 – The Curse of Skinny Jeans (by Nikki Grygar)

This is an interesting concept that we tie our happiness to things instead of God.  “If my happy was missing when I was larger, it will still be missing when I get smaller.”  Incomplete people believe tangibles things will fulfill their emptiness.  There are so many incomplete and empty people in the world constantly looking for affirmation.  Jesus tells us in John 15:9-12, “I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.”  He loves us in skinny jeans or not, so fill your emptiness with Him and help lead incomplete people to the light.

Discussion questions:  What have you tried to tie your happy to?  What makes you happy?

Click here to access the "Made to Crave" blog, Chapter 11 – Stinkin’, Rotten, Horrible, No Good Day (by Nikki Grygar)

Do you stress eat, or drink?  Instead of turning to food or drink, why don’t we turn to quiet time with God and let the Holy Spirit enter our heart?  Romans 8:26, “and as well as this, the Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words.”  God will give us everlasting love, whereas unhealthy food or drink provides nothing but unhappiness.

Discussion questions:  How do you relieve stress and anger?  Do you take time out of your day to pray?

Click here to access the "Made to Crave" blog, Chapter 10 – This Isn’t Fair (By Nikki Grygar)

What can derail us from our journey towards a healthy lifestyle?  Temptation.  The definition of temptation is a desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.  Satan is constantly trying to tempt us to drive our focus away from God.  This can feel like a constant battle while we are cutting out carbs, junk food, sugar, Starbuck’s, etc.  Your mind runs rampant as to what would it hurt if I cheated just a little, and why can’t I have these drinks and foods.  As God gives us free will to choose, you can have those things, but as a consequence you will gain weight.  Afterwards, you end up wasting time feeling guilty instead of having purposeful thoughts.  To avoid this downward spiral of weakness, it is imperative to seek God’s help to stay strong and overcome your desires.  James 1:3-4, “my brothers, consider it a great joy when trials of many kinds come upon you, for you well know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, and perseverance must complete its work so that you will become fully developed, complete, not deficient in any way.”

Discussion questions:  What is your greatest food temptation?  How do you battle your temptations?

Click here to access the blog for "Made to Crave", Chapter 9 – But Exercise Makes Me Want to Cry (by Nikki Grygar)

Have you ever heard the saying “hard work, pays off?”  Exercising can be a mental battle and physically painful at times.  Often after a few initial workouts, instead of praying and focusing on God to help us through it, excuses are made, and people quit.  If your attitude toward fitness is dismal, do not be afraid to ask God for help.  We owe it ourselves and to Him to honor our body over cravings, desires, and various excuses for not exercising.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “do you not realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you received from God?  You are not your own property, then; you have been bought at a price.  So, use your body for the glory of God.”  You can accomplish anything with God, but you must make time for Him in prayer and ask for help.  With an open mind and heart, you will feel His love and hear His answer!

Click here to access the blog for "Made to Crave", Chapter 8 – Making Peace with the Realities of My Body (by Nikki Grygar)

Define your success by discipline, not by a number on the scale.  Do not let the number on the scale discourage you, especially if you are working out.  Fat turns into muscle, so your overall weight number may not change on the scale because your lean body mass is increasing.  This is a good thing!

At the end of the day, we must be grateful for the body God gave us and love ourselves.

Discussion questions:  How often do you weigh yourself?  Have you ever been on diet and found the scale not moving down frustrating?  Why, or why not to both questions?

Click here to access the blog for "Made to Crave", Chapter 7 – I’m Not Defined by the Numbers (by Nikki Grygar)

Do not get down on yourself and never compare yourself to others.  You are you and that is ok if you are not a size 2.  That is not the point of this book.  It is about living a healthy lifestyle and embracing God’s love along the way.  The Holy Spirit uses God’s words to nudge us, remind us, redirect us, empower us, and lead us on to victory.  Stay the course, be open to the Holy Spirit and you will succeed.

Discussion questions:  Do you exercise at a gym?  If so, are you intimidated by others that may be more fit than you?  If not, are you afraid to go to the gym because of what others may think about you?

Click here to access the blog for "Made to Crave", Chapter 6 – Growing Closer to God (by Nikki Grygar)

How can we grow closer to God?  Luke 9:23, “'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.”  By denying ourselves things that we want, but know is bad for us, like junk food, and cherishing our physical being, it brings us closer to God.  Romans 8:11, “if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead has made His home in you, then He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through His Spirit living in you.”  We are living for Him and our wants should never come before Him.

Discussion questions:  Do you think we grow closer to God when we deny ourselves something that is permissible, but not beneficial?  Have you ever had a health scare that made you change your diet?

Click here to access the blog for "Made to Crave," Chapter 5 – Made for More (by Nikki Grygar)

I love this statement, “We were made for more than this”.  We are not made to be ruled by food.  We eat to live, not live to eat.  When we ask for God’s guidance daily, we empower ourselves to take control of our lives.  Ephesians 1:19-20, “that power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”  We have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.  We need to embrace our shortcomings, love ourselves, and find the strength to persevere through prayer.

Discussion questions:  How might God use your journey toward healthy eating as a way to help you get to know Him better?  How do you feel after you give in to an unhealthy craving?

Click here to access the blog for "Made to Crave,"Chapter 4 – Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Before Thinking (by Nikki Grygar)

1 Peter 5:7-8, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  Be self-controlled and alert.”  The devil is constantly roaming around preying on our weaknesses.  We must stay strong, control our urges, and stay focused on God.  One of the best ways to do this is through the support of friends and family.  Do not be afraid to let your family or friends know your goals and lean on them when you need a boost of encouragement.

It is important to have a support system to help you get through life changes and remind us what we are giving up is for long term gain.  Sometimes we need reminding that a few minutes of satisfaction impairs our long-term goals.  It really helps to have someone go on the journey with you.  A buddy’s support, encouragement and accountability helps you feel less alone and some competitive spirit between friends is also a great motivator to stay on track.

Discussion questions:  How do others inspire you to want to eat healthier?  Do you have a friend or family member supporting you on your journey?

Click here to access the blog for "Made to Crave," Chapter 3 – Getting a Plan

A plan is an important step in weight loss.  Short term diets do not work; sustainable weight loss necessitates a lifestyle change.  It requires making long-term sacrifices and incorporating a healthy diet.  It is not easy in the beginning, but as you see the benefits in increased energy and other health benefits, it becomes a new way of life.

Discussion questions:  Have you tried dieting before?  If so, did you lose weight and has it been sustainable?  What are your thoughts on keeping a healthy eating plan, or tracking your calories?

Click here to access the blog for "Made to Crave," Chapter 2 – Replacing My Cravings

John 2:15-16, “Satan wants to distract us from God and replace our craving for Him with something else.”  This goes back to Adam and Eve when Eve was tempted to eat the fruit on the tree.  She was overcome with her personal desire over God’s command.  Also, remember when Jesus was in the desert 40 days and 40 nights and was tempted by Satan to eat?  Jesus replied to Satan, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

What does food do for you?  Is it used as a reward, needed to your calm nerves, relieve stress, to make you happy, or remedy sadness?  What does the power of craving hold over you?  Psalm 78:18, “They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.”  As a result, the Israelites never reached the Promise Land and wandered in the desert for forty years.  Have you ever thought to pray when you have a craving, rather than give into it?  Try it, every single time you have a craving, and God will answer.  The cravings will become less and less powerful, and you will win the battle with God’s help.

Discussion questions:  Do you turn to food when you’re happy, sad, as a reward, in times of stress?  If so, what is your unhealthy food choice you have the most trouble avoiding?

Click here to access the blog for "Made to Crave", Chapter 1 – What’s Really Going on Here?

There are some great simply-stated one liners in this book, for example, “We crave what we eat.”  If you constantly eat junk food, your body will continually crave it.  Plus, food with no nutritional value will never satisfy your appetite and you will be continually hungry.  It takes will power, but once you break this vicious cycle and begin to eat healthy, your body will crave healthy foods.  The thought of junk food will become less and less appealing to your taste buds.  1 Corinthians 10:23, “everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial.”

Discussion questions:    What do you crave that makes positive contributions in your life?  What distinguishes that kind of craving from one that leads you to eat in unhealthy ways?

Click here to access the Introduction blog for "Made to Crave"

The introductory chapter begins with “wanting to” diet versus feeling like you “have to”, and the mental battle between the two.  We all know what we should be doing, but we often end up rationalizing our eating behavior instead of changing it.  As we also know, it is very difficult to break the cycle of unhealthy eating and usually takes a life changing event to implement a sustainable lifestyle change.  This book gives insight, hope, and encouragement to implement life change with the help of Jesus Christ.  Matthew 19:21, “if you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”  This scripture talks about self-sacrifice, we need to give up something that we crave more than Jesus.  Mark 8:34, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  She discusses if we want to conquer our cravings, we need to ask for God’s help to change – spiritually, physically, and mentally.

Discussion question:      Are you giving up anything for Lent?  Why, or why not?  Have you used prayer in your previous food battles?