It was a familiar scene: me sitting in the recliner, stuffing my face. Food of choice: chocolate Teddy Grahams. About two minutes into shoving a handful of cookies into my mouth, I stopped. But ONLY because the box was empty.
I wish I could tell you this happened a looong time ago, before my revelation about the poor state of my health and before my commitment to an active, healthier lifestyle.
It was ten minutes ago.
I may be able to exercise for hours a week, but put me in front of some sweets or junk food, and I can easily become my former fat self, shoveling in food faster than I can even chew it. The fault is totally mine; I know that if I don't portion out things like Teddy Grahams or nuts or basically any kind of food that comes in a package, I will NOT stick to a serving size. I will tell myself, “I'll only eat a few.” But of course a few becomes many, and then I'm left feeling guilty and woeful. I know that the afternoon is my weakest time emotionally, and yet I still allow myself to wander into the kitchen, ignore the questions I posted to avoid these very moments, and eat away.
If I could truly learn just one thing, it would be this: FOOD DOESN'T LOVE ME BACK. I can eat all of the goodies I want, love each morsel I put into my mouth, look with longing at the display of donuts, turn to food for comfort or out of boredom, but NEVER does the food offer me in return what I am truly looking for. So why do I keep looking to food to satisfy me? I know satisfaction in food is a temporary, fleeting thing. I know in a few hours I'll just be hungry again and have to fight the urge to eat the healthy choice instead of the junky one. I know that tomorrow I'll be waging this war all over again. I know that any time I indulge I won't feel comforted but guilty, and yet I continue this self-destructive pattern! Sure, the lapses occur far less frequently than they used to, but they still occur more often than I want them to, more often than they should.
I am a glutton, plain and simple. I make an idol out of food, expecting it to do what only God can. He alone can satisfy; He alone is my comfort and hope. How do I find the balance? How do I view food in a healthy way, as fuel and a necessary part of life and not as the entirety of my existence?
I am not entirely sure of the answers, but I know for certain the answer isn't in the bottom of a box of Teddy Grahams.