About three months ago I started a journey relating to Food Sin in my own life. Last night I chatted with a dear friend for over an hour of her struggles. Struggles that many of us face. I told her that I wrote journal entries in my process and if it would help her I would share them with her, as she begins her own journey. Together we shared how this is the struggle of many women. I decided to share publicly in hopes that others may be encouraged too.
January 5, 2012-Day One
I started asking God something different. Not the usual, “Please just change how my body processes the food I eat, please God.” In my usual prayer what I was really asking is, “Let me eat the things that this world offers as so good, and not have the results land on my body.” In realizing this I believe it was the first time that I viewed eating too much of the wrong things as SIN. I want to be in the sin of my overeating and lack of self-control. Eating the wrong things, and then not have the effects of those choices show up on me physically. Is that how sin is? So delicious and tempting and for the moment brings so much pleasure. Then there is that hiding the sin or hoping you don’t get caught in the sin, and then you become a slave to that sin. Sadly Food Sin has no hiding. Unless Macy's is having a sale on cute XL sweaters, or jeans.
If a drunk walks into a room, there is that thought of “sinner”. If Elizabeth walks into a room, assuming you all like me, there is that “Oh Hello friend let’s have tea and chat.” Yet my lack of self-control or gluttony, this kind of sin is viewed differently than that of a drunkard, gossip, homosexual, even an adulteress. All marked as sin through out God’s word. Values are placed on sin, and as far as gluttony goes, well it never really resonates as sin, because I always meant that gluttony was too much of something that distracted my heart away from my relationship with Christ. Did it? Has it? Yes it has. Rather than looking in a mirror and embracing this beautiful Elizabeth God made and designed in His likeness, I cringe and then over think how I let myself go, what I am going to do? What am I going to wear today to hide that sin. I then feel defeated when I choose to do nothing. As a culture we are all obsessed with our bodies to one degree or another. Mine is just enough of a degree to falter into sin. Lacking self-control in this area of my life, and falling into gluttony. BOOM! There I said it.
"It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age."
“Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.”
Sheesh, when it comes to the sin of food I am none of these things. I lack self-control and discipline.
I really started to think how I have always committed to pray through the really hard things in my life. Carving out quiet time, my Bible, my journal and then my list of hard things to bring before God. The reality with being overweight is that it’s so acceptable in our culture, meaning we just buy bigger and cuter clothes to cover the bigger cuter us. My prayers were not ones of helping me overcome sin, temptations or struggles. My sin became acceptable. It’s my body type. I have had five kids; I don’t process this kind of food well.
I never really had deep seeded weight issues growing up. Just the normal teenager who wanted to be 5 pounds lighter. I remember sitting at my breakfast table and crying to my mom because based on the weight chart in health class I was 5 pounds overweight. Wah, wah wah. I’d give anything to be just those five pounds over weight. As stress, life issues, and changes came along in my life food became a comfort, a staple, a crutch and a craving.
This past week I ask God to expose SIN in my heart. Deeper heart issues. I wrote in my journal that, “I don’t want to ever be so comfortable in my life that I miss growing more each day.” I continued to pray and ask. I started coming back to the same issues of sin. I kept coming back to my body. My physical body. “No, God heart issues in me.” Expose these things to me. And again, listening to God whisper in my ear that my lack of self-control, my lack of self discipline, and the gluttony of food is in fact sin in my life. OOWEEEEEE!!!!
I began to ponder the idea of eating in an extreme healthy way. Much like how I use to eat, which my friends use to think I was a geek over nutrition. When I shared this with a friend she said, “oh you mean Paleo?” I googled Paleo and realized it was another name for simply eating raw and non-processed foods. I am not really following Paleo or anything more than just my love for raw and natural foods. I like to tell stories of how I grew up with a garden for a backyard and dead animals hanging in my garage waiting to be skinned, plucked and packaged. (I should have nightmares over this, but I don’t.) I love to tell the story that my sisters and I would ask for “real milk” when visiting a friend’s house. We had no other name for that white stuff in a carton, because we were not allowed to drink it. I remember in 8th grade going with a friend to the hamburger place and getting a milkshake in a cup with a straw. We were not country folks, we were just fed from the garden to our plates. “From the gardens, mountains & lakes to our plates. “ My mom said that once when I asked her why we couldn’t have other things to eat. I still remember that statement to this day. The reality was, she was no hippie eater. We were just poor and five kids meant working hard to make ends meet, and feeding us what did not cost to much money.
Most of my life I ate this way and being a germ-a-phoebe figured that less processed, the less handled, the less germs. So in my upbringing and feeding of my family I adopted a very organic healthful way of eating. A way that was our family normal. Don’t get me wrong. I was almost the first in line at parties and potlucks. Always trying what others baked and made. The difference is that those moments were not the habits of my life. The habits of what truly became the sin of gluttony and lacking in self-disciplines and self-control.
A pregnancy about eight years ago took me down a path of fast food, fried food, and packaged food. Plumping up to over 80 pounds more in less than 8 months and well, some of those habits have not been lost and as the years unfolded. My self-image and weight have occupied thoughts that do take me away from my relationship with God. Not being happy with myself, continuing to give into the cravings, and this terrible cycle of loving Jesus, loving others, and not loving myself. Giving me meaning to gluttony, self-control, and disciplines giving meaning to food-sin.
I started asking myself some hard questions. Then asking God to expose this sin in my life. Then not praying that my body would adapt, but that God would work on this heart issue of mine. I have the choice, just like anything in this world to walk away. Sin, a temptations that affects every aspect of life and everyday making the choice to walk closer and closer to Christ to avoid sin, have that sin exposed and then calling on the Holy Spirit to break us of that sin. Asking God to break me of the sin of gluttony, lacking self-control, and lacking discipline in the areas of health. In all of my reading the past few days this one line was the most motivating line of all time. “Unless you trip and your face lands in a box of donuts, you have choices on eating healthy.” I have about nine years of bad choices mixed with my really good choices. Actually it’s all the good choices that justify the bad choices. The bad choices taste so good, and let’s face it nothing tastes as good on any day of the week than a handful of chocolate colored candies, or those mini bars, or fresh baked cookies.
Today (January 5, 2012), was my first day to begin working out the sin of gluttony. It about killed me. I looked for the box of donuts, and believe me if I found them I would have made myself trip into them. Good Lord today was hard. I took the hardest part of the day and hibernated in my bedroom. Practically handcuffing myself to the bed post. That is the evening part of the day. The house is quiet, kids in bed, husband wandering and I think open free-range kitchen snacking. Nope stayed away, but thought of many ways too not. Instead I read the first three chapters of Ecclesiastics. I watched a little TV, I wrote in my prayer journal and I thought about food and realized there are so many books written around the issues of food, so many diets, and so many ways, directions, advice, and well I need only one book and one instructor. God and the Bible is all I need. Is that even possible to reinvent a lifestyle lost for so many years. God has intervened in so many areas of my life. Growing and building my faith. Why wouldn’t he do that now? I am not asking to be blessed or honored for choosing to live in the sin of food gluttony anymore. I am asking God to deliver me from the strongholds of this kind of sin. I have been held captive in this sin. Justifying this sin, and living in it. Many might challenge how I phrase overeating as Food-Sin.
There are deeper issues of the heart to be exposed here. Food-Sin is not just a rumble in the tummy and I need food. Its beyond that rumble and tumble that I stumble. Delving into the whats, where’s, and how’s may never produce the correct answers, which is why I seek more from Biblical principles to apply to my life. What is the therapy and psychological process of overcoming the needed desire to eat? What is wrong for me? What is wrong with me? (yes, I know I wrote that twice) Does sin ever serve any of us well?
I did not grow up to be a large person. I was always had a little more weight than I wanted (yes, about 5-10 pounds), but I ran long distances, I would eat really healthy and then have the occasional snack-out on food and then stop. It was never my way of life. Never, until about eight years ago. I just started to eat whatever, whenever and through my last two pregnancies did not care about myself anymore. Cared for my family, cared for others, cared for my home, but sinking sand when caring for myself. Food Sin took hold of my life.
Why now? Why not!!! So today, day one of killing myself mentally. Killing the captivity that has been the measure of how I view myself. I am certain God is not going to change the way my body process’s the crap food I eat and make me healthier. Gosh darn that free-will thing. As I seek God in the days ahead I believe he will show up.
My mind was STARVING, but my body was not. I am not kidding when I say this day was hard! I am the preparer of everything eaten in this home, and I have two arms with hands than can easily reach, pick, taste, and eat very easily. I did not. Today is just one day. I am taking one painful day at a time. Seeking God, to be released from the captivity of Food Sin.
“They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”
“…and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”
"You" see, I can be transparent on this blog. I can be public and it’s a little painful to read this first journal entry of my journey. My raw and uninhibited writings. I know this is “you”. “You” told me so. So here I expose to “you” and to others who may struggle in this journey my heart. It’s not easy to think of eating too much of the wrong things, or to much of anything as gluttony. I was reading this morning in
“And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.”
I then read this in my Bible Commentary, “A glutton and a drunkard is an expression for a good for nothing”
If we are being honest with ourselves, isn’t that exactly how we feel about ourselves moments after indulging to much, when we eat that food that makes us feel punk. We do feel like a good for nothing. We beat ourselves us and then we sink a little further away from the heart of Christ, and His beautiful design of us. Wallowing in that state of low self esteem and low self talk..
My prayer for “You” sweet friend is that “You” begin to see the sin, the captivity, and the heart of sin waiting to be exposed by God and delivering “You” from this bondage of Food Sin.