When I was a little girl, my daddy used to say, “Darlin’, I eat three meals a day. You eat one meal ALL DAY.” What can I say? I’ve always loved my vittles.
My sister loves to tell the story of the time two-year-old me licked all the icing off her birthday cake. She says that cake was so slick she could see her reflection in it. While I don’t remember that incident, I have no doubt it’s the truth. I seldom ignore the serenade of creamy sweet treats.
I remember sitting at the table with my little blonde boys when little Garrett left the table to go potty. Before he walked away, he put his hands over his plate and said, “Don’t eat it, Momma.” Ouch.
I have been in bondage to food my whole life. Until now.
A few weeks ago, I decided to follow a friend’s advice and try a ketogenic eating plan. Basically, eating keto means your macronutrients consist of around 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. (That adds to 100, right? I hate math.)
Within a week, my sweet tooth plumb fell out of my mouth! I’ve been around sweets, but I have no desire to eat them. Soon after, my carb cravings just stopped. I’m not just avoiding breads, pasta, rice, and starchy veggies; I don’t want them.
I had breakfast with a friend earlier this week. The menu included several ultra-sweet pancake and waffle dishes that would have made my mouth water a few weeks ago. I had absolutely no problem ordering an omelette with all kinds of keto-friendly ingredients instead. I didn’t have to resist the chocolate-stuffed churro waffles. I honestly didn’t want them.
Yesterday, my sister and I went to Logan’s Roadhouse. Normally, I would have eaten at least two of those fantastic yeast rolls slathered with butter. Nope…the rolls sat on the table between Karla and me, and I didn’t even flinch!
What has happened to me? I don’t know this girl!
Now, the purpose of this post is not to recommend a certain diet plan or a brand of supplements. I’m happy to talk to friends about what’s working for me, but here’s where my heart is right now.
I have always run to food for comfort. That would be called idolatry.
“Do not turn to idols…I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:4 NIV).
I have always eaten too much. That would be gluttony.
“Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags” (Proverbs 23:20-21 NIV).
I have always struggled with resisting certain foods. That would be a lack of self-control.
“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control” (Proverbs 25:28 NIV).
Christian society makes a huge deal over certain sins, but food-related sins? Now, that’s meddling! Don’t mess with our church potlucks and picnics.
“While many churchgoers have heard their pastors warn against the dangers of indulging in sin we almost never hear about the sin of indulgence” (ERLC).
Why is that?
I think part of the problem is that food issues are tricky. Only God and I know when I’m overeating or emotional eating. You could be eating a piece of pie out of legitimate hunger, but I might be eating it because someone yelled at me at work. We could eat the same amount at the table, but only the Lord knows that I ate half a sleeve of Thin Mints an hour before.
In the article, “The almost forgotten, always misunderstood, all-consuming sin of gluttony,” the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) further explains the complicated nature of food sins.
Part of the problem is that gluttony is frequently mistaken for obesity. Not all who are fat are gluttons, just as not all gluttons are fat. Gluttony—a term derived from the Latin word meaning to “gulp down”—is usually used in reference to over-consumption of food or drink. But from a Christian perspective, it applies more broadly. Thomas Aquinas said that, “Gluttony denotes, not any desire of eating and drinking, but an inordinate desire . . . leaving the order of reason, wherein the good of moral virtue consists.”
Yes, food-related sins are complicated, but isn’t God worth the trouble? Isn’t He worth it to do whatever it takes to flee from all sin in our lives? Even tricky food ones?
I spent the bulk of my life gulping down way too much food for all the wrong reasons. These last couple of weeks gave me a taste of what it feels like to not be a slave to food, and I like it.
It’s not about the diet plan I’m following. It’s about the condition of my heart. I want to honor God with my body and with what I put in it.
I don’t think God is necessarily concerned with what foods we’re putting in our mouths as much as how much we’re eating and why. He doesn’t want anything to hold us back from the abundant life.
Gluttony, emotional eating, and poor self-control have been holding me back from being who He made me to be.
I’m changing because I need to. And I can’t change without Jesus.
You say in Your word to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV). I’ve been tangled up by food sins my whole life. I want to be free, and these last couple weeks have given me a taste of what that feels like.
I feel lighter, and it’s so much more than the numbers on my bathroom scale. Sin is heavy, and by Your strength, I’m throwing off the burden of food-related sins and taking on Your better, lighter yoke.
I hear You sing to my soul, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your [soul]. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Keep refining me, Lord. I don’t want any sin to have power over me.
In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN
Are you tired of carrying the weight of food-related sin? Join me on Fridays for #fitnessfriday where I’ll pray without ceasing through my journey to be fit in body, mind and spirit.