For the last couple of years, we have made a conscience effort at our home to eat in a healthy, balanced way. Although we are BIG into treats, and try never to become legalistic with our eating habits (can you say Coldstone’s???), we try to eat lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and nuts as our staple foods.
When my husband and I took a trip to Miami last spring (can you say SWIMSUIT????), I was much more careful with what went into my mouth! I ate only veggies, fruits, and nuts. Everyday I had a fresh spinach salad full of raw, sliced vegetables. The salads were beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. I got to the point that I didn’t even care for dressing- just a little lemon juice splashed on top. The funny thing was, the more I ate these spinach salads, the more my body craved them. Salads from restaurants, with iceberg lettuce, lots of cheese and loaded with heavy ranch dressing, usually my favorite menu item, became repulsive.
Another strange thing began to happen to my eating habits. Normally an avid dessert eater, I avoided sugar until my trip. And, the strange thing was, the longer I fasted from sugar, the less I craved it! Saying “no” to sweets eventually became easy (definitely NOT normal for me!).
After a couple of months eating this way, I was so excited when our big trip finally arrived. I thought I would have so much FUN eating all of the foods I had been “denying” myself. Funny things was, when I finally DID eat the juicy steak, scrumptious cake, and all of the goodies, what I really was craving was my homemade spinach salad.
There were definite benefits when I changed my eating habits.
I lost a lot of weight!
I had so much ENERGY.
I felt GREAT!
My body, once purged of all the “bad” food wanted the “clean” food. It craved the healthy food. Once I had gotten rid of all the “junk” food from my diet, I no longer wanted it. My body was functioning GREAT.
But, then…..Father’s Day arrived and with it, a new grill for my husband. It was a new “toy” and Brian starting cooking on it DAILY.
We immediately became CARNIVORES….eating LOTS of meat- hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs….. And, for some reason, chip and dip, breads, and desserts just seemed to go so well with the meat. Even though I continued to prepare the salad, we began eating less and less of it.
After a few weeks of eating this way, I began noticing a few things.
I was CRAVING sugar again.
I was feeling tired and cranky at times.
I gained back weight!
This didn’t happen immediately, but little by little. But, before I knew it, I really didn’t “want” the salad any longer. It just didn’t “look” good anymore. I really just wanted to eat chip and dip and brownies! The more I gave in to the cravings, the more I craved the junk.
Interestingly, the same thing was happening to me spiritually.
I had been getting up and spending time with God. My mind was being renewed and His Living Water was refreshing my soul. I was CRAVING God, wanting more and more of Him and desiring to spend my time with Him.
But, little by little, I began choosing “junk”. I overslept in the mornings, making for just “snippets” of quiet time with God, not really quality chunks of time alone with Him. We were traveling often and missing church weeks at a time. I wasn’t keeping up with my Bible Study. Before long, I found it easier to turn on the TV and “veg out” instead of spending time with God. Picking up a magazine, flipping through and reading it seemed “more fun” than reading my Bible. Just like junk food became easier to choose, junk “activity” became easier to do. I began filling up on the “world”, instead of drinking in the life-giving Presence of God!
And, after a few weeks of living this way, I began noticing a few things.
My soul felt downcast.
I was cranky.
My mouth “got me into trouble,” and I don’t mean with eating!
But, most of all, I just felt “off”……something was wrong.
I missed God!
And, for some reason, it seems harder, both with eating and spiritually, to “get back on track” then to “fall off the wagon”! But, thankfully, God is patient, loving, merciful, and forgiving! He LONGS for us to come back and drink Him in! He misses us even more than we miss Him. All we need to do is turn to Him and tell Him we need Him. He waits with arms open wide.
“O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You. My soul thirst for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water……Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You….My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You.” Psalm 63:1-5
- We Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
- Things That Go Bump in the Night