Last week I went to the Doctor for my annual checkup, and I had gained a few pounds since the last visit. My doctor gave me all the usual warnings, of what this does to joints, cholesterol, health, etc.
As planting time approaches, I am dreaming of all the fresh veggies that I will be harvesting soon. After the doctor’s visit, I thought, that is exactly what I need, a lot of fresh veggies to eat so I can lose this weight. Then I got out my copy of Rise Above, by Gwen Shamblin. Periodically, I have to re-read her books (Weigh Down Diet is her first book) to keep myself on track. It is not what I am eating, but the greed in my heart, and the love of food (an idol), that causes me to eat too much and gain the weight.
Gwen explains that God has put internal controls in all of us, and if we pay attention and eat when we are hungry, stop when we are full, and do not touch one morsel of food until we are hungry again, we will lose our excess weight and maintain a normal weight for our body. She also explains in her books… that God has made our bodies so wonderfully, if we obey our cravings, and eat what our bodies are calling for we will get the correct nutrition. God has made so many wonderful foods for us to grow and eat. He made fresh clean water that is so good for our bodies and easy to get in this country. We can eat the man-made junk food, and that is okay, as long as we eat it between the bounds of hunger and fullness, and it is what we crave, but I have found that when I eat the fresh garden foods, and drink more water, that is what I begin to crave the most.
Last week, I did a blog post on our inheritance, and what we pass on to our kids. As I was reading Gwen’s book once again, I stumbled upon a truth about another kind of inheritance we pass to our children.
“The truth we are trying to establish is that you were born to love, and you have an opportunity on earth to choose what you love. It is no wonder so many of us have selected food as the object of our affection. We come by it naturally–in fact it’s been handed down. Many of our great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents have passed down this reverence for food. For example, early in life, mothers with their babies have force-fed the bottle, even if the baby is rejecting the last few ounces of milk. We have felt obligated to serve the bottle, not the baby. It seems so innocent, but to do this action, we have to have more faith in the food than we do in God. There’s hope that the milk will give that baby health, so the mother is desperate to get it down the baby. There are hope in and dependence on the food, instead of confidence in God’s incredibly well-designed natural system.
By the time our babies are toddlers, we resort to making airplane games out of the food to coax them into finishing it. Once again, we cater more to what the food industry considers a serving size than to the child’s God-given internal control. That is a lack of faith.” (From Rise Above, pp. 14-15)
As I was keeping Finn last week, I observed him doing it right. He doesn’t think of food for a long time because he is so busy exploring his world. Usually we bring up the subject of food to him. Occasionally, he will say “eat eat?,” meaning I am hungry, or “milk?,” meaning I am thirsty.
I was feeding him after he woke up from a long nap. On his plate were baked beans, mashed potatoes, and a biscuit… all foods that he loves. He was really hungry and he ate several baked beans, between bites of potatoes. He refused the bread, because he wanted the beans and potatoes more. As he begin to get full, he refused the beans, and wanted only the potatoes. He stopped after a 2nd helping of potatoes, but while there were still potatoes on his plate. When he is full, you cannot get one more bite into his mouth, he turns his head, says a forceful “NO!” and starts throwing any food you place on his high-chair tray into the floor.
Instead of forcing our rules on our babies, we need to learn from them. We need to eat what God provides for us, choose from God’s resources what we are craving most, and stop when we are full, leaving some on our plate. And when someone tries to make us eat more than we need, we should throw it on the floor. Just kidding!:)
Then we would be at our healthy weight, and able to explore our world, and enjoy life, just like Finn.
A very good Bible scripture to help us forget about diets, punishing exercise (exercise is great when used correctly), and counting fat grams, calories, etcetera… to just relax and eat what God provides for us, in moderation without greed… is…
“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink… Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.“ Colossians 2:16a, 20-23 (NIV)