Monday, October 25, 2010

Food makes it better?

What is it about eating that brings so much pleasure?  Why do I use food to make myself feel better?  It is an easy place to turn when life is crazy around me.

My husband is gone, hours away with his father, who is in the hospital and very ill.  I'm home by myself with 6 kids for an undetermined amount of time.  So what do I do?  I eat the pumpkin pie cake.  And the cinnamon bread.  And finish off the chocolate cake.  I have made progress on not eating when I am emotional and have lost weight.  I've almost reached my first goal.  I can taste it, but apparently not as much as anything sweet I can find in the house.

Like so many things in life, it comes down to choosing what I want for this moment or what I want in the long run.  I seem to find this at the root of so many issues: how I spend money, how I discipline my children, what I choose to spend my time on.  And what I eat.  Our pastor says you have only a few seconds (7? 3? can't remember) to decide to fight sin or give in to temptation.

Overeating seems like a weird sin to me.  But we're doing a sermon series on the seven deadly sins, and the message about gluttony really made me think.  Gluttony always makes me picture this grossly fat man stuffing food into himself, perhaps laughing at the starving people around him.  But gluttony doesn't have to be that extreme or that obvious.  I can choose to overindulge in anything (food, internet time, tv, reading)  to try to make myself feel better.  But in the long run, none of those things will satisfy.

The lie Satan would have me believe is that I should do whatever it takes to satisfy my emotional cravings.  But the Truth is that God alone can satisfy me, and my emotions are not always the best gauge of what I need.  They tell me what I want, and what I need is often vastly different (I try and try to explain this to my children..."but I waaaaaaant to"... can you hear the whine?).

So today I threw away the rest of the pumpkin cake.  Everything else is put away in the pantry or in the freezer, so in the time it would take me to get it out, I can convince myself not to do it.  It's the goodies sitting out on the counter that call out to me.  Well, that and the pumpkin pie blizzards, but thankfully, I would have to drive to DQ and I can't leave the kids home alone.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this fight.  I ask myself regularly if it's one I want to fight.  But then I try on a shirt, and it fits, and I don't want to cry when I look at myself in the mirror.  And I can run for 20 minutes straight.  And eventually my back won't hurt so much (I hope, really struggling with that tonight).  Apparently moderation is an art, and I am determined to perfect it.

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