For the past two weeks, I’ve been thinking about how my last blog post relates to emotional eating. I had no idea it would cause me to
re-think my own eating boundaries, but it has. I’ll tell you more about that in my next post, but for now I’d like to talk about goals.
Here’s my question: Is the goal of being skinny a good enough goal to get you to give up the foods you love to eat, in the quantities you love to eat them? For me the answer to that question has always been no—except for special occasions, like weddings and reunions, or shocking moments, like stepping on the scale and seeing a number that you usually only see when you're pregnant.
In the past, if one of those moments happened to coincide with one of my rare bouts of actually being able to stick to a diet, I would lose weight—for awhile. But usually only until I reached an acceptable number on the scale, at which point I would joyfully give up the diet and revert back to my old ways, and eventually my old weight.
The fact was, I enjoyed recreational eating far too much to give it up
long-term for a skinny body. It was just like my old running career. The prize wasn’t worth the sacrifice.
Then one day I realized I was going after the wrong prize. That it really didn’t matter if I was skinny—but it did matter if food was affecting my relationship with God. That was the day I realized that sweets had become an idol in my life - and even though I loved God with all my heart, I was still turning to food for comfort more often than I was turning to Him. Crazy.
Although my love for God wasn't strong enough to actually get me to make the sacrifice of removing this idol from my life, it was at least strong enough to get me to want to make the sacrifice. For the first time in my life, I was willing to give up sweets--for good if necessary.
I spoke a little bit about that time in my life in Freedom from Emotional Eating, so I won’t go into detail here. Suffice it to say that having the desire to give up the idol wasn't enough to tear down the idol, just as having a desire to win races wouldn't have been enough to win races.
I also needed the right training methods (replacing lies with truth) and a good training schedule (boundaries). When the three of those things came together in my life, food lost its control over me. It’s been several years now of being free from its control, but what I just realized last week is that I’m still not free from its influence.
I’ll explain this more thoroughly in my next post. If you want food for thought between now and then, read Hebrews 11 and make a list of all the weights those old saints had to cast aside in order to run the races (or trials) that were set before them. Then spend a bit of time meditating on Hebrews 12:1-2 and ask God to show you if you have any weights you need to cast aside to run your own race. The answer might surprise you—it sure surprised me.