Friday, July 6, 2007

What's the saying? I can resist anything except temptation??

I've actually done pretty well on my goals for the month (one week down!)--no consumption of the six C's (cookies, cake, colas, chips, chocolate, and candy) and eating half as much as I normally do. I definitely am HUNGRY!

It definitely is requiring me to exercise a muscle of mine that has become flabby--my will power. During the workday it's easy because there isn't any food around, but it's more challenging at home. We've been to our favorite Mexican restaurant, and I did resist the chips. More challenging is the cookie department--I baked off some dough for a friend yesterday, and Patrick put in a request for some Monster Cookies--I made a quarter batch (which still takes up 3 cookie sheets!) with the caveat that he had to take them to work.

So why am I doing this? Well, a couple of reasons. First is the 40 Day Fast. I'm not doing 40 Days, but I do want to align myself more closely with those who are suffering real hunger. The second is that I've found myself turning to food instead of to God when I'm frustrated. They aren't big frustrations, but if I'm going to the kitchen instead of to prayer, it's an idol and I need to get rid of it. So in that way, I'm doing it more for the reasons that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 9:27: No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Food is a hard idol to deal with. We need it to survive, but how do we decide when it's occupied some other position in my life? It's one of those easy to dismiss sins, like gossiping--where's the line between sharing prayer requests and gossip? I don't know the answer to that one, and there is definitely grey around the food issue. It's a hard balance for me since I have food issues in my past. In 10th grade I was a "Peer Counselor" (who never counseled anyone other than myself, I think). We went to a training on eating disorders, and I recognized myself in 9 of the 10 symptoms for anorexia (the only one I didn't have was being underweight--I was 5'7", 121 lbs--thin but not technically underweight). Food was a god for me then--the planning of how I was going to avoid eating, how far I'd have to run to burn off whatever I just ate...at least I was able to recognize myself and change... but I turned to relationships instead...it took me several years and a life changing friendship (and breakup) to figure out what I really needed--a healing relationship with Jesus.)

So where is the balance between not turning to food at every minor crisis and not becoming overly legislative about it? Don't have a good answer to that one yet....but at least I'm now able to discern what real physical hunger feels like. I may have to re-think my month long commitment to this fast, as I want to develop some discipline, but not to let food take on some new (or should I say old) god role.

Lord, grant me wisdom about my eating habits. Show me how much discipline is enough to cultivate turning to you instead of a cookie, but not so much that it makes the act of discipline a god in itself.

3 comments:

mexicanmasala said...

This is something I'm struggling A LOT with lately. It's hard to combat comfort eating because we DO need to eat! I am doing the 40 Day Fast for one week,and it's been a blessing, really.

When I want to break the fast, I pray. I realize the true feeling of hunger and feel sad for those that feel that all the time. It's helping me keep my eating in check and letting me understand that feeling of being full. If anything, the prayer helps me a lot.

Hang in there, sweetie!

Summer said...

i'm in the battle with you! my current tempation is zucchini bread. i love making it and eating it. so i'll only make it if i know i have someone to give it to. good job on the fast. i'm praying with you...

Mindy said...

Congrats on making the first week! I am thinking about giving up 5 C's, I really just can't give up diet coke. We can chat tomorrow morning about that though. It's so hard to find a balance between not opening the fridge at every problem or bored moment, and not letting it become a set of rules you have to follow. I think a lot of it's in the mindset, which is where I get all turned around. I'm definatly praying for you, and we should chat sometime about it.