ESV So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
I need to confess something.
I’ve been having a turbulent secret affair with food. And I mean the bad-boy type of food. The walk of shame from my car after downing a coke and shoving a burger and fries down so my kids don’t know I had fast food without them kind of relationship.
Most people including close friends and family think I’m kidding. Really? You can’t be THAT bad. But no, yes I really, really am. THAT bad.
Just because on the outside I’ve been able to maintain a somewhat manageable weight and don’t “look” like I have serious weight or health issues does not mean in any way that I don’t have food issues. Because I do. . .
Quick background- as a child I was a picky eater, with a queasy stomach, so my sweet mom just tried to get me to eat ANYTHING. That meant late night runs to McDonalds. I also lived with my granny and great-aunt who just wanted to make me happy so they included sodas and all kinds of pastries pastries in my lunches; donuts, cookies, cakes, etc. The truth is I didn’t start eating anything green on any kind of regular basis until I met my husband and even now it takes effort to make veggies a part of my diet.
But I can’t blame my childhood because I’ve been an adult for many years now and honestly my eating habits have remained poor. There was a time in my early 20s where my breakfast consisted of a Coke and a chocolate donut before work (OK sometimes 2).. . . but it had peanuts so there was some protein, right?
It’s been bad and it’s over. It has to be.
I don’t know where you’re at today with how you relate to food but I know for me it’s been a crazy roller coaster ride that I’m ready to get off from.
I’ve been in the rocky relationship with junk food and it’s toxic. Literally. I saw a naturopathic doctor last week and went over my usual eating habits. She assured me that if I continued to eat those things, ( chips, candy, soda, fries, etc) in the same way I would continue to feel terrible.
Why am I telling you all this? What does this have to do with living or eating more simply?
You see here’s the thing I believe the first step in simplifying health is to simplify one’s relationship with food and in order to do that we need to establish boundaries that delineate what it is and what is actually is not.
Food is supposed to fuel and nourish my body, it is not supposed to have a power over me that creates feelings of peace, comfort, shame or guilt.
So we’re breaking up. We will remain casual friends because I mean our paths will cross again, obviously I need healthy food to survive but the “feelings”, they have got to go. Boundaries need to be set.
I need to remember that my body is a gift from God. A gift and an entrustment, I have been a poor steward of this gift and part of the reason that I am doing a Daniel Fast is because I really want to re-dedicate my body to the Lord.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 ESV
This verse in Romans specifically addresses the need to be transformed by the renewal of the mind. I believe this means we have to change our thinking from what the world sees as acceptable to what would please God.
And that includes our thinking about food.
Here are three principles to help simplify our relationship with food:
1) Watch your words:
I may need to rethink how I describe food, do I really LOVE that piece of cake? Love should be reserved for people, I don’t feel about that slice of pizza the same as I do about my daughter so I probably shouldn’t use the same language. Do I NEED to have a cheeseburger right now? Death is probably not imminent if I don’t have one so it’s most likely not a need. Words matter, they should be appropriate.
2) Remember what your body is and what it isn’t for:
It is a gift, an entrustment, a vessel, a place where God dwells and should be treated as such.
It is not a place to throw trash. . .
3) Plan food around your life not your life around food:
This is one of the reasons I find fasting to be such a rich experience. It really takes the focus away from food and on to having a deeper relationship with God, who can truly fill the deep hunger in our souls. Yes we need to eat and it can be a healthy and enjoyable experience but should not require constant thought or obsessing over; believe me you might be thinking about food but it’s sure not thinking about you. . . .
Once we’ve established healthy boundaries with food we can move forward and do the other stuff, the meal planning, cooking, etc. But we have to start with a healthy perspective.