(*Note: You need to read this article all the way to the end to get my point!)
I often get questions like this:
“So what’s the diet?”
“You don’t eat _______, right?”
Let me just say, I answer the question politely. What I’d really like to unleash is the statement, “this is not a diet, but a lifestyle!”
So what does this really mean? How is this not a traditional “diet”?
- Do I count calories? You bet I do. I’m a confessed glutton. Without accountability I eat – even healthy food – without actually being hungry. (And y’all, there’s no getting around the science that if you put in more calories than you use up during normal activity, you will not lose weight!)
- Do I cut stuff out of my daily food intake that I might have consumed before “the change”? Absolutely.
- Final question: Will either of these change once I’ve attained my goal size or weight? NOPE.
Here’s where I’m going with this … these are permanent changes. I might learn more as I go (I certainly hope I do!), might tweak my habits some, but these changes aren’t going anywhere. Once you learn what sugar does to your gut, what soy can do to estrogen, how tired you feel when you eat GMOs, and how irritated your bowel really is by unsoaked/sprouted wheat, it’s really hard to go back. Therefore, I consider this a lifestyle change because I’ve changed the way I see food. I liken it to these verses in James:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
HOWEVER, it’s so much more than learning about all the things that are bad for you, and we have to be careful to remember all the things that are good for us. Very early in my journey to change the way I saw food, I read advice something to this effect: “Try to eat one of every color of vegetable/fruit a day.”
Take a look at this awesome chart from weEATny.com (and read more on the perks here at EatingWell.com):
Do you know how hard it actually is to eat at least one (try two?!) servings of each color a day?
What I found – and this principle is true for more than just food! – if you focus of what you need to eat, you don’t really think on what you can’t. Over time, I have held to this mission statement: I will honor God with my body, and that includes what I take in. Read 2 Corinthians 6:19-20 below:
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Folks, we can spend our whole adult lives being worried about what we can’t eat, and what we can’t do. It’s no surprise that there are alot of rules and guidelines telling us what we shouldn’t participate in within the binding of the Bible. We can bemoan that we no longer can eat that candy bar; we can have a pity-party that you had to say “no” to going to a certain place or participating in a certain function because it would cause you to sin.
The alternative is that we can embrace the things we can do! We can eat one of every color and begin to heal our body! We can seek after the hurting and lost, pray for those who need intercession! Y’all, we’ve been given more than enough to eat AND tasks to complete that we no longer need to worry about what we can’t! Do you sense the freedom in this… and dare I say, lifestyle change?
Lisa Harper says in her Malachi: A Love That Never Lets Go study workbook, “Our Redeemer isn’t some cosmic killjoy who gets His jollies out of making people feel guilty about their […] mistakes. […] God didn’t establish standards […] to be punitive; He established them for our good.” Not only is identifying gluttony as a sin good for the overall health of my body, but seeking after healthy food is what I believe He also intended. (See my earlier references to the verses in Corinthians.)
And if this wasn’t enough to convince you, please read what this blogger had to say about the “New Church Lady” here.
People know very well what I’m against, but do they know what I’m for? I confess, this is a lesson I am relearning daily; I hope to be more convicted about spreading negativity, instead of the hope that their physical body can be often healed by food, and their hearts healed by Jesus, Friend of Sinners.