Thursday, October 10, 2013

Oh, Grow Up!

I'm growing up!  My doctor told me I had to.  He did!  He shook his finger at me and said, "Mary, you need to grow up!"  No, just kidding.  He did, however tell me I needed to change my lifestyle.

It was time for me to stop eating packaged and processed foods.  I thought I was doing pretty well.  I didn't do fast food.  I was buying boxes of brown rice and quinoa (pronounced keen-wah; it's a grain). I ate whole wheat pasta.  I ate those "low cal" frozen dinners. But my "numbers" were still high. Maybe it's because I still ate bagels and cream cheese, cookies, mint M&Ms (oh, they are sooooo good!)...sugar in general.  I would tell people that I can't buy a bag of Oreos--it's like an alcoholic buying a six-pack of beer and saying, "I'm just going to have a sip."  You know that the alcoholic won't have one sip-the whole six pack will go.  That's how I am with a bag of Oreos-I can put away the whole bag in one sitting. I had a sugar addiction. And while I said, "Oh, I don't have a problem with carbs," once I looked at my eating habits, I realized that I did like foods that were high in carbs.

So, I decided that, for health reasons, I needed to start eating better. I also needed to lose weight. My doctor said so. I tried all kinds of diets, but none really "took".  I didn't like starving myself.  I didn't like denying myself.  It only made me want it more.

Then I came across something that made sense to me-eating more alkaline foods (green vegetables, raw foods) which would raise the pH level in my body.  That, and eating smaller portions, but more frequently to keep my metabolism rate steady.  While both of these plans claimed to be the "be all to end all," and promised me that I'd lose like 20 pounds in a month, I thought some of what they were suggesting was a bit extreme.  However, it still made sense to me, so I took what I liked from each and made my own little program.  I did so for the purpose of eating healthy, not to lose weight.  I was tired of always thinking about my weight.  If I lost weight from it, then that would be an added perk, but I decided to stop obsessing about it.

Two months later, I realize that it's "taken" because the other day I forgot my lunchbox and felt lost without all my special foods!  They are only special because they are healthy foods that I like to eat throughout the day-every two hours.  Some are things I already liked-watermelon, carrots, almonds, a slice of cheese, a banana. Other things were an acquired taste for me-avocado, almond butter, almond milk, oatmeal.  

I'm growing up.  I don't buy packaged rice or quinoa.  I buy the raw stuff. (My friend, who is a chef got a kick out of that one when I told her). I don't eat packaged oatmeal (oatmeal has always made me gag-it's a texture thing).  But I've learned to enjoy Irish oatmeal with honey and cinnamon. I don't eat sugar on a daily basis.  But I treat myself every now and then. I even "drink" kale, watermelon and spinach with my nutritional supplement every morning.  Yeah, I thought it was gross too at first.  I got used to it.  I actually don't mind grocery shopping, because I know what I'm there for.  I have purpose.  I don't wander aimlessly and say, "Oh, what should I buy?"  I think about what I'm buying and I think about what I'm eating. I'm growing up.  I broke the cycle. I still have a long way to go, but I feel good. Sometimes I slip, but my system has gotten so used to healthy eating, that I don't feel right afterwards.  That's a great reminder!

What is in your life that is hindering you from "growing up?"  What bad habit, addiction, sin, "issue" are you holding on to? Maybe it's a resentment, a wrong that was done to you that you won't let go of, you won't forgive. Maybe it's just something you've always done and don't know any other way. Maybe you just don't want to give it up because it tastes soooo good and it brings you such pleasure, or comfort.

I simply needed to replace my bad habits with healthy ones. if it was simple. It wasn't simple. It was hard. And I didn't like it at first. But I felt better, and I knew it was for my benefit. I had to, or face going back to the doctor and be scolded...again...for not eating better or losing weight. I tried other things and they didn't work.  They weren't right for me.  

It kind of makes me think about Jesus because, hey, everything is a lesson for me, right?  The path to God is through the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus answered, "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) We can try other "gods." We can worship other idols.  We can try to compromise by continuing in our habit, our sin, but still follow God.  Because sometimes it just tastes soooooo good! It brings us pleasure or comfort.  And besides, it's too hard to change. It's too hard to let it go. It can be done!  Trust me, I know!

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him (Psalm 34:8). I love the way The Message says it:  Open your mouth and taste; open your eyes and see how good God is!  Blessed are you who run to him.  Other versions use the word "happy" instead of blessed. Take notice of it.  Discover it. Enjoy it. Not the Oreos...God!  Discover, enjoy and take notice of how good God is. Run to him and be happy! We can overcome, we can change our habits, we can conquer our sin when we taste and see our God! It might take awhile and we might slip, but that's ok because the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.  His mercies never come to an end.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! (Lamentations 3:22-23).

And when we're on the other side, when we've overcome the struggle, our "system" will be so used to our "new way of eating" that when we do slip, we won't feel right afterward.  We will return to the way that is right and give thanks to God. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony (Rev 12:11). 

Blessings Along the Path,

Songs of the Day:
 O Taste and See (Brian and Jenn Johnson)
Steadfast Love (Scripture Lullabies)

1 comment:

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