take back your temple by choosing to eat healthy
Eating healthy is something the majority of us agree should be a priority in our lives and for the most part, we know the foods that are good for us, and we know what we need to avoid. However, the pace of our modern lives often leaves us abandoning our good intentions as we supersize our orders. It's hard, I get it, I fight this battle of time and intentions daily. Here is the real kicker for me, maybe you can relate, my success with making healthy choices directly impacts other areas of my life. When I am making good decisions, my life feels intentional, I feel more in control and optimistic. When I am feeding myself and the children garbage, I get trapped in a cycle of guilt that is so disruptive I feel thrown off in other areas of my life leaving me frustrated and often feeling depressed. If I had a dime for every time I promised myself I would begin eating healthy tomorrow, I'd be writing this from my yacht in the Mediterranean.
I recently began to realize that this cycle of staying too busy to plan a healthy menu and consequently eating over processed convenience foods leads to consequences that extend beyond my guilt and waistline. I am realizing that this destructive pattern is preventing me from living the life that God intended. I mean I get it, that feels like a big leap to go from guilt over a Whopper to saying I'm not living as God intends... but let me explain. This destructive pattern of eating poorly, feeling guilty about it and promising to do better tomorrow almost always leads to the cycle repeating itself the next day and before you know it, Thursday has arrived and who begins a diet on the eve of Friday so I might as well enjoy my last weekend before I have to make these major sacrifices in my life so I'll just plan to start for real this time on Monday... wash....rinse....repeat.... I know this logic is flawed and for those of you reading this who are familiar with the cycle, you know it's flawed and destructive. It's a cop out. Getting caught up in this cycle of eating poorly, justifying it while making a renewed commitment only to break it again led me to realize that I am not trustworthy, I cannot believe myself and the promises I make to myself. How sad is that. This ongoing battle raging in my mind keeps me so distracted that if God has given me talents and skills to use in this one life He has given me, then I am squandering them because I'm too distracted by my own empty promises to hear Him. In all honesty, I've never felt good at hearing Him, I always question and/or doubt, I am one of those people who needs a burning bush to get my attention, but alas, He doesn't communicate like that with us anymore. He relies on the Holy Spirit to guide us and to hear the Holy Spirit requires us to listen, intentionally listen. You know that passage "be still and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10) well if my thoughts are too occupied with either guilt or empty promises I am making to myself, how can I know He is there communicating with me? I honestly believe that God never intended for me to use so much emotional energy doing battle with food, nor did He intend for my body to become a dumping ground for unnatural garbage that is proven to shorten this one life I have been gifted. In fact, we are called to glorify God with our body . In 1 Corinthians 6:19 we hear "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own." That's a jarring reminder. I cannot help but also share another passage from the same book of the Bible "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me but I will not be enslaved by anything." 1 Corinthians 6:12. So breaking this down to nuts and bolts here, my body is a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit who is here to guide me in responding to Gods calling for me, and while yes, technically I can choose to feed the Holy Spirits dwelling place with anything I choose, poor food choices are not helpful. My body is meant to be treated with respect, I do belong to Him after all, and I am best able to hear and respond to the Holy Spirit when I am not enslaved by poor choices and drowning myself in a daily dose of guilt and garbage. When I step back and gain this perspective it becomes much easier to make healthier choices, I actually feel motivated and happy to do so (most days, I do still have my temptations!)
I know that changing your lifestyle is much easier said than done and honestly, it is a decision that you have to commit to daily. I keep the passage from 1 Corinthians 6:12 on my refrigerator as a reminder that yes, I can open this door and choose to eat anything I want to, but will it benefit me? Sometimes just taking a moment to pause can give you that opportunity to get ahead of the temptation and make a better choice.