I realized something all over again this week. I haven’t been eating well and its affecting me on every front.
I love junk food. I love fried food. I adore salty food, chocolate, baked goods and ice cream. Sometimes I eat all of these things in the same day. Can’t manage the same sitting anymore, as I am apparently ancient.
I do not believe any of these foods are wrong or “evil”. I have lived too many years of Weigh Down Workshop and Thin Within lifestyles to believe otherwise. However, over the years, I have discovered very real food “boundaries” for me. I haven’t followed them. I feel convicted. I don’t feel condemned, more like I know what to do and I haven’t been doing it.
If I eat one cookie, I’ll probably want another. If I eat chips, I will retain water. It’s a given. Especially being a near-midget. It happens. I pretty much should avoid eating after dinner. Eating in front of the TV for me? Bad. And for dessert – cause that’s not leaving the table – I need to dodge the baked items I so love to create. From now on, I’m sticking with straight up dark chocolate. I also need to watch my caffeine intake so I’m not vibrating at 2:00 a.m., obsessing about non-issues. So not too much chocolate, either. These few items comprise “clean eating” for me. It’s taken me awhile to acknowledge these rules for myself. But compared to my self-flagellatory lifestyle of yore, these are easy as pie.
As a Christian, I have often thought of Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 6:12: You may say, “I am allowed to do anything.” But I reply, “Not everything is good for you.” And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. The “slavery” is the real problem. Our free will leads us down the wrong path sometimes. I eat that piece of cake, even though I’m already full, because it’s there, and I can. It calls to me. “Psst! Susan! Over here. Look at me, look at me! I am a luscious slice of chocolate cake with almond icing. Wouldn’t I melt in your mouth?” I’m there in less than a blink. Helloo, friend!
Yet, if I choose poorly, my energy is low. I lack the strength to exercise, something I enjoy and my body needs in order to stay healthy. My emotions flow unevenly and my perception-filter turns darker. My clothes strain to encompass my increased girth. I find myself hating my body, this body God made. I become trapped in a downward spiral.
At this point, it’s not about weight loss. Although I wouldn’t say no to it. What woman would? It’s about making sure my heart is right with God, myself and others. The benefits of eating this way run the gamut of increased intimacy with the Lord, greater enjoyment of life, wider wardrobe selection (yay!), and sustained energy. There’s great freedom in choosing to love yourself by treating your body like the miracle it is. As I’ve said before, it’s not about “having” to do these things. It’s doing the best for myself so I’m available to serve and to love others.
I realize this is a brutally honest post. And I know I probably won’t be able to keep these resolutions perfectly, but I’m putting it out there. Now, what about you? What have you allowed to be your master? No mere food is worthy of such a title.