Is it a love-hate relationship? Used to be for me. I loved to eat, then again I hated to eat. Mostly because sometimes what I wanted to eat (and how much I ate) was ‘not good for me’. I used to think I had a food addiction. Now I believe that what I was ‘addicted’ to was the habit of eating certain foods to cope with life struggles. Or maybe to even avoid those issues for a few moments at best. Then there are also the celebration aspects of life centering around food like birthdays and holidays. Eat when we’re up, eat when we’re down . . .
It is really good news that I am not actually addicted to food because I have to eat to live. How cruel to be hooked on something that you actually need. That was the first clue. God is not cruel and since He created me and He is perfect in all His ways, being born with an addiction to something that I have to have for existence just is not how it works. That in essence would be the easy way to explain why I did what I did. I’d have no accountability for my actions . . . explanations like “the devil made me do it” or “I just can’t help the way I was born” don’t take into account the simple truth that I have a choice to make when, if, what, where, how I eat. I am not saying that there are no influences from evil or genetics (and our childhood experiences), just that we can’t explain and excuse our behavior away on those factors alone. They have a place in the grand scheme of life but we don’t have to know exactly how and why to make changes.
So now my relationship with food isn’t all or nothing. That is no way to live a healthy life. We require a balance between what is needed and what is wanted. Otherwise eating would not be pleasurable. I am so thankful that my mindset has changed. I can enjoy food and not punish myself for eating, even if I eat something that isn’t ‘healthy’.
I find it interesting that I can apply this thought process to so many other areas of my life that before I had allowed to be controlled by my emotions. I call it a grace mind-set or living under grace (as the Biblical says) rather than living under some law that I made for myself or someone else came up with. Like the ‘fat-free’ 90’s from which we are now reaping the damage. Fat isn’t our enemy. Food isn’t our enemy. It is actually our friend! We just need to have the right relationship with food.
I remember hearing someone say once that God didn’t put chocolate and lasagna on Earth to torture us.
I would not know what that right relationship was if I had not been willing to see that how I was thinking had me traveling down a path of destruction. When I came to understand that my thought life and how I defined me, who I am, what I was made for, was directly linked to how I lived, wow, that was a moment that changed me forever, and for the good. I remember hearing someone say once that God didn’t put chocolate and lasagna on Earth to torture us. He’s not like that. His enemy (and ours if we are children of God) is the one that wants to destroy, steal, and kill all the good things that God has in store for us.
Sometimes I wish I had learned some of the biblical view points earlier in my life so I would have avoided making some of the bad choices I made. Then I rethink that wish (which is actually a thought) and I realize that I would not be who I am today without the experiences I have had and that it is solely by God’s grace that I am who I am.