Monday, January 09, 2012
Do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink. Is not life more than food? See ye first His Kingdom. Matthew 6:25-33
Why does it not surprise me that once again the Bible takes me to the heart of the issue? We must first get past "living to eat" and move towards "eating to live." Until we do that, healthy eating becomes a struggle of trying to find healthy alternatives that are mimicking the unhealthy foods we used to eat. I had a WW leader once who was always telling us how to eat huge quantities of food within out daily points target. "I mean, " she'd say, "That's what its all about, right? Eating as much as you can!" Well, that never quite set well with me. It's like looking for the loopholes--a kind of rebellion that is the opposite of discipline and is sure to backfire! Its manipulating food to allow us to still live out of control.
Early on in every attempt to lose weight, I find myself with a paradox. This quote indicates that I'm not to be "anxious" about what I eat and drink. It can mean not to worry about where the provision is coming from for the next meal. In my case it has more to do with not becoming obsessed about what I eat. When I am consumed in eating whatever feels good, I am thinking about food too much. Isn't it a strange paradox that the minute I start concentrating on what and how much I eat, I often am thinking about food MORE than I ever did when I wasn't trying to eat healthy? Typically, when I'm absorbed in a task or project, I often "forget" to eat. I know that takes me into a danger zone for when I DO eat, so I have to make sure I eat evenly spaced throughout the day. It takes way more time to plan meals, or re-study the nutritional contents, try new recipes, etc.
So, how can I make this lifestyle change and NOT be "anxious" about what I eat or drink. Here are some thoughts I think might help:
1) First, seek His Kingdom first. For me that means asking God to reveal to me the important things of the day . . . and direct my steps accordingly. I ask Him to reveal things about my eating patterns and habits that I've not realized before. I find that when I concentrate on His purposes for the day, I am more fulfilled, less frustrated, and less obsessed.
2) I am going to plan menus ahead, including some quick throw-together options for when we get home late. (We live in a remote village; no "fast food" (healthy or otherwise) to fall back on. Being OVER hungry always spells disaster for me; it's when I give in to fix whatever my husband wants and don't have enough energy to prepare myself an alternative. I'm also going to try to have some "snack" options available for him that don't require me to stop and think about food, when HE'S the one wanting to eat.
3) I'm going to try at least one new recipe each week and gradually build up meals that my husband accepts and that are also healthier for me. If this is going to last, I cannot always continue preparing different foods for myself. I can relax and let this happen naturally and cover it in much prayer.
4) In one of the Daily Spark articles, the author's tip for beginners was to "Aim for better every day, not perfect right away!" Wow! That is impacting! I think it's my new theme. It helps us forgive ourselves when we could have done it better and helps us keep from obsessing. Was it better today than yesterday? If "yes," then I have succeeded and am taking steps in the right direction!
5) I will focus on investing in others. The nature of our job as missionaries IS to do this, but the more I think and plan about what we do, the less time I will have to obsess on eating to live.
Indeed, life IS more than food!