In an ideal world, our bodies would send us signals to let us know when we are hungry and when we didn’t need to eat anymore. In an ideal world, we would listen to those signals, know what and when to eat, and all live happily ever after.
This is not an ideal world.
Early on, we learn to associate food with comfort. Babies cry and moms nurse them. Toddlers fall down, and a favorite treat can distract them from their tears and get them back on their way.
And there are rules. Veggies before dessert. Clean your plate. Green is good and sugar is bad. You have to eat breakfast. One year eggs are good, the next they are bad. Artificial sweeteners are life-savers and then they’re death in a little pink, yellow, or blue packet.
I wonder who spends more on advertising: the food industry or the diet industry?
No wonder we’re all confused.
I used to feel really deficient because food and eating were my weaknesses. I mean it’s just food. It isn’t alcohol or drugs or anything else that gave a discernible high. In fact, eating too much can be downright painful. Why would that be appealing? Then, about the millionth time I read Genesis, I realized something. Food was the very first temptation. To Eve, food was, “good … and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable.” Wow.
I want part of my journey to help me sort through the whys and wherefores of my own eating habits. Why do I think sugar will get rid of a headache? (It’s not blood sugar related; mine is fine every time I check.) How come I still feel the need to eat everything on my plate even though I’m 42 years old? Why do I sit down to eat meals when I’m not even hungry and why do I feel that I have to eat at social gatherings if food is served? Why can’t I just eat when I’m hungry, stop at enough, make healthier choices, and say, “No, thank you” when I’m not hungry? It’s not from a lack of knowledge. There’s something else going on.
Here’s my real goal: “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
What about you? Are food and eating struggles for you? If so, how? Is it the meal planning end of things or the eating part? Do you want to replace your cravings with food with cravings for God? How can we do that? Seriously — I want to know.