Take This Diet and Shove It!

“We could light up the night, like shooting stars!”  My 5-year-old sang her favorite song from the “Home” soundtrack while jumping on the indoor trampoline that had arrived earlier that day.  After all, it IS easier for Mama to hop on Amazon and order a trampoline than to bundle up and take a walk in the cold with her kids.  You read me?

My two girls were having a BALL, peacefully and miraculously taking turns on this bouncy wonderland, singing their favorite Rihanna and Taylor Swift songs with huge smiles on their faces.  Life was good.  And then…

I went into my inner thought world to do a quick recap of the day.  How had it been?   Did I do what I was supposed to do as a mom?  How much TV had they watched?  Did we get enough fresh air?  Will I have enough time to read to BOTH OF THEM before bedtime?  What about brushing and flossing?  I am now officially depressed.

While my kids were delighting in their new toy, I began the downward spiral into “I didn’t do what I was supposed to do, according to someone else’s standards”.  As I imagined the  American Academy of Pediatrics giving me a shameful finger-shaking with a “Tsz, tsz, tsz,” I started to recognize this ugly feeling inside me.  This guilt of not following someone else’s rules for “a good and healthy life” brought to mind another “prison” that God has graciously set me free from…

The Diet.  

This man-made invention that usually starts with something like flaxseed at breakfast generally ends in one of two ways for me:  either I no longer pay attention to what my body actually needs and is asking for (water, rest, Gilmore Girls) or I don’t stick to the plan and then feel VERY guilty for being a TOTAL failure.

However… Our Maker created me to tune into Him and to pay attention to my body so I can follow its signals to find solutions.   In the same way we head to the bathroom when our bladder gives the signal to our brain,  we were designed to head to the kitchen when we feel hunger around our mid-section.   We no longer need to call foods “bad” or “good” but, in the context of hunger,  we are free to choose foods, both the nutritious and the not-so-nutritious foods.

And what happens when I begin to choose foods freely, without guilt? I find this strange transformation happen in me.  Midway through my second slice of pizza, I stop to ask myself, “Am I still hungry?  Do I really want more pizza? ”  When I’m free to eat it, I find that I’m also free to not eat it.  I can enjoy it again tomorrow if I want to.  This thing is not forbidden to me, at least not by God’s standards.

“Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:  “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?  These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” Colossians 2: 20-23

Like sheep who line up at the Apple store when our iPhones break, we can go to our Maker for help with our “broken” eating habits.  He will help us choose foods, enjoy our freedom and learn wisdom and self-control.

Yeah, but what do I do?

Ask God for help and direction on how and what to eat.  Enjoy the variety we have been given (Yes, Virginia, there is a balance between sweets and salads!) and ask Him to help you eat with hunger and stop when you are satisfied.  Then, listen for that still, small voice guiding you.  With His help, you may even want to create a plan (and stay flexible!) that seems to be a good fit, rather than a diet that always seems to feel a little too tight.

 

Thanks for reading!  Our goal at Releasity is to help as many overeaters as possible.  If this helped you, please share it with a friend.

Steven Mast