At the most, I’m around 10 pounds overweight. I don’t think that’s too bad. After all, I weighed 110 pounds until I was 40 years old. Over the years, the pounds creep, and the food settles in less than desirable places–mostly around the middle. But like so many folks, I like sweets, and sure, even junk food. It tastes good, and it’s like a little treat for when you’ve been good, or things have gone bad, or just cause it’s there on the shelf, calling your name. Or maybe you noticed that doughnut at the bakery, or maybe you were hungry while food shopping and your sugar level was low… at any rate, I ate; in-between meal snacks, and a snack before I went to bed (usually a bowl of breakfast cereal–a tradition while growing up). Red licorice, Little Debbie Star Crisps, pretzels, Oreo Double-Stuff cookies, cheese cake with strawberries, cream puffs… you get the idea.
I knew better. I knew that I should eat healthier, I knew I couldn’t eat junk foods the rest of my life and not suffer the consequences–high cholesterol to name one. I don’t do diets, I don’t even try, but about 3 weeks ago, the words, “candidate for a heart attack” came into my mind. I don’t know where those words came from, because anyone looking at me would never think I was a heart attack waiting to happen, but I was immediately convicted of my unhealthy snack eating, and I prayed, “Dear Lord, please take away my desire for junk food and help me to not eat after the evening meal.” I decided one thing: I would allow myself one junk snack a day. Just one cookie, or just one serving of snacks–(but it had to be a healthy snack). Just one piece of licorice, just one small slice of cake, or whatever.
Here’s what happened: God took away my desire for eating junk, and I haven’t had an after-dinner snack since I ‘heard’ those words. How is it working? It’s working good. Have I been tempted to ‘fall off the wagon’? Well, one day, I decided I could have two double/triple/quadruple scoop chocolate ice cream cones instead of one. (Okay, seriously, its like a triple scoop). In the midst of devouring that second cone, I lost my desire, I could have done without it. Now, I’ve lost my passion for all things junky. Sure they look good, sure they taste good, but do they make me feel good? No. And I want to feel good, and be healthy.
The results: I think my facial skin is looking smoother and has better natural color. When I see sweets and junk food at the grocery store, it’s like, “well, it looks good, but I know all the sugar and preservatives that are in it, and I don’t really need it”, and I just pass it by. Well, actually, that’s not entirely true. I do buy some for my husband… yes, he still likes junk food, but I’m saving some money cause I only buy half as much now.
I allow myself healthy snacks–nuts, granola or fresh fruit over vanilla yogurt, maybe some crackers with cheese. And water. Water is a Good Thing. I’ve found that when I thought I was hungry, I really wasn’t. A drink of cold water did the trick– after all, I had just eaten, I didn’t need more food, I would live til the next meal. And I’m not so focused on having to be eating something all the time. For quite awhile, I’ve eaten almost constantly–finish a meal, and then I was looking in the fridge or the pantry, asking myself, “what can I eat now?”
Is is really true? Can I really do “all things through Christ who strengthens me”? (Philippians 4:13) If I’ve felt a little twinge of wanting to grab more than my allotted one junk food item a day, I’ll again ask God to take away my desire for unhealthy food. And it works, and frankly, it’s been easy. But not because I’m doing it in my strength, it’s because God is doing it. I think He convicted me, and if He convicted me, He is up to the challenge of helping me through it.
I won’t be weighing myself to see if I’ve lost weight, I’m not going to obsess over a scale or number. This has to be a life-style change, a change in eating habits based on knowledge and awareness of how I am taking care of the body that God gave me.
The next time I see a slice of cheesecake topped with smushed, sweetened strawberries, I’ll probably have a slice, but it will be a moderate-sized slice and that’s only if I haven’t had my snack that day. I really don’t feel deprived at all.
Will I let you know if I blow it and dive headfirst into a pan of Texas Sheet Cake like my sis-in-law makes? Yeah, I’ll let you know.
Okay, update on The Food Thang (July 26): I had a double-sized portion of spice cake w/home made cream cheese frosting, but before I finished it, it wasn’t even tasting that good. So far, so good. Still drinking water, eating yogurt with granola, no in-between meal eating or snacks after the evening meal–smaller portions too. The junk doesn’t even look that appealing! I am very much liking this.