Friday, January 14, 2011

Is Your Eating Sin? (Part 2)

     There is no way to avoid stress, heartache, and hurt in this life. We have to live in this world where sin is rampant. Also, the way we cram our calendars with activities only magnifies our stress. What do we do when we are overwhelmed with emotions of any type? I find myself turning to a great friend for sympathy, or my husband for a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes I let ‘Calgon take me away!’ A few times, I have tried letting a new outfit heal my spirits. If I want to stop thinking and mentally escape to another place and time, I watch TV. I also have two little adorable dogs that love to cuddle and if I need a little unconditional love, I turn to them. However, there is something magical about turning to some good ole comfort food! Almost all of us have our favorites. If I am sick, I must have mash potatoes and cream corn. If I feel wiped out, ice cream can restore my senses. And when the stress level is high, anything chocolate will do.

     It is now my job and my heart passion to teach, coach, and encourage people (including myself) to achieve and maintain good health. Many times to achieve good health, we have to deal with weight issues. Other times, it is achieving healthy eating. Either way, we must deal with our love and desire for food. I remember when I started my weight loss journey, I struggled to accept the fact that eating healthy had to be a lifestyle. I did not want to give up all of my favorite food for life! I would do it for a short time to achieve my weight goal, but for life was out of the question. Food was too important to me to give up. I now know that I am not the only one who feels this way. I have talked to people from 120 to 400+ pounds who struggle with giving up food. For me, it has been a process. I first gave up certain foods temporarily, and then I realized how much better I was feeling and looking. My taste for the bad food had changed and the pull it had on me was not as strong. Then I started eating for health. Over a year ago, I took a step I would have sworn I would have never taken. I now eat organic foods as much as possible. I don’t want all the pesticides, chemicals, and processing in my body. I have learned they mess up hormones, which messes up weight loss. At 50, my hormones are crazy enough. Anything I can do to quiet them down is worth it to me. Now recently, I am slashing my carbs and sugars; something I have known I needed to do for a long time. I am barely eating red meat, which is what I ate 90% of the time. This changes are happening to continue to eat heatlhier and to get to a healthy weight.
     The real issue with food is the addiction we have to it. When we live to eat, instead of eat to live, we are out of balance. Part of the definition of gluttony was ‘a misplaced desire of food’. When we hold on to a certain food because we need it, maybe it is a misplaced desire, or in harsher terms, a form of gluttony. Last year, my doctor told me to give up carbohydrates and dairy products for a month: I refused. After all, I had already given up my unhealthy processed carbs and dairy. The only ones I ate now were healthy and now she was asking me to give them up for a month! Eventually, I gave in for a month. It taught me that I can live without them. Their power over me diminished. They were no longer a ‘misplaced desire’. What about you? If you were asked to give up sugar for a week, how would you feel? Or maybe carbs? Or maybe dairy?
     Besides the issue of gluttony, there is another area I struggle with spiritually. As a follower of Jesus Christ, should I not turn to Him when I am overwhelmed in life? Shouldn’t He be the One that comforts me, restores me, and heals me? If He is the most important priority in my life, why do I turn to other people, or things, or food to deal with my emotions? That is the role I have committed to Jesus. I should put nothing in front of Him. In the end, He is the only One that can satisfy. I heard a statement many years ago that I have tried to apply to all aspects of my life. “If Christ isn’t Lord of all, He is not Lord at all!” That includes my eating!

You know the old saying, “First you eat to live, and then you live to eat”? Well, it may be true that the body is only a temporary thing, but that’s no excuse for stuffing your body with food, or indulging it with sex. Since the Master honors you with a body, honor him with your body!
1 Corinthians 6:13 (The Message)

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