Learnings from Lent

Lent has been over for several days now, and I was successful in my goal to steer clear of wheat and Iced Capps, although I can honestly say that it was not always easy and I could not have done it on my own strength. The entire process was amazing from personal and spiritual perspectives. I learned a lot about God, myself, and the way I think about food issues. Even now that Lent is over and I am no longer holding to my self-imposed restrictions, I am still learning!

I have become aware of just how often my thoughts turn to food, especially the art of justifying my need for ___________. That blank could be filled with pretty much anything: potato chips, Iced Capps, fast food, a second or third helping, and so on. The good news is that I am recognizing those thoughts for what they often are…temptation to indulge in something that I do not need or does not benefit me. Don’t get me wrong here! I am not saying that food, in and of itself, is evil, wrong or sinful. That is not what I am saying at all. However, I do believe that, as believers, we are called to be self-controlled and to take care of our bodies in a way that glorifies God. Having a piece of pumpkin pie for dessert is not sin, but having second slice when my stomach is already nearly bursting just does not seem like a very godly thing to do. I am completely okay with having a fast food meal on occasion (I actually do like a variety of fast food places!), but it sure is not healthy for my body to eat fast food every day.

Last night I made a healthy dinner. It was a new recipe and, while it was tasty enough to eat, it was a little bland and boring. Still, I ate my dinner and was physically sated. My head though was not. Almost as soon as I had finished dinner, I began to think about running to Subway or McDonald’s for something to fill the gap, even though I was not hungry! I did not give in to those particular temptations, but I did end up eating a bunch of chips…for no other reason than that I was bored and thinking about food. Aargh!

Sometimes the act of making better choices seems to be a dance of one step forward, two steps back, and it is all to easy to feel defeated in those backward moments. But I do not feel defeated today. In hindsight last night, I regretted my poor choice, dealt with it, and let it go. I choose instead to dwell on the good choices I did make, despite the tempting voices inside my head! I worked out yesterday. I am not succumbing to my old Iced Capp addiction now that I can have one when I wish. I am increasing my water consumption again. When I pause to consider the good choices I have been making, I realize that I’m really taking two or three, sometimes four steps forward for every one step back! God has definitely been working in me.

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