Rabu, 18 Februari 2015

My Revelation: Moral Eating & Food Shame.

In my last post I mentioned I've been having some revelations about this weight loss journey lately and today I'm going to share what I mean by that. 

Often times we like to have revelation moments when they just kind of come to us from out of nowhere and we are able to pat ourselves on the back for being smart enough to finally figure something out- that is not the kind of revelation I have had. Mine has come from doing something the WRONG way, seeing the negative effects it was having & then finally God opening my eyes to the truth & showing me how far I had wandered from it. 

About 3 months ago (aka: Holiday prime time) I began realizing that I was living in a constant fog of shame and guilt in regards to what I was eating. Now, if I was stuffing my face with pizza, baking sleeves of cookie dough, eating McDonalds weekly or not ever eating anything green, then I could understand feeling ashamed of my eating because those decisions would not be me doing my best, they would not be a reflection of the freedom & joy I have, they would be indications that food was in control & not me. However, I wasn't doing any of those things- I was eating pretty close to how I've been eating for the last 3 years that I've been on this weight loss journey but things had become quite different for me- I began to feel like no decision I made (concerning what to eat) was good or healthy enough. 

Here's what I mean: After not being around the healthy eating/weight loss blogosphere for awhile, I began to get back into it & instead of reading blogs that had to do with weight loss specifically as I used to, I began to read more blogs written by super healthy gals who are whiz's in the kitchen for inspiration, since I'm really not a very knowledgable cook, was looking for more healthy recipe ideas & just kind of thought that I had moved passed needing to read blogs that were specifically about weight loss since I no longer had hundreds of pounds to lose. And let me tell you, I read those blogs and tried to model my life in a similar way for multiple weeks until I hit the breaking point after feeling like a failure after eating a bag of Lay's baked potato chips with my salad from Panera. At that moment, I knew something was very wrong. 

I had gotten to the point where NO food decision I made was good enough. If I ate: 
- Salad, then I thought about how I should have used less dressing & that cheese really was unnecessary. 
- Chili, then I shouldn't have used canned beans because well...they are canned and have too much sodium. 
- Smoothies, then I shouldn't have used any juice and not too much fruit either, carbs and sugar are bad for you, you know. 
- Chicken breast & whole wheat pasta, then I shouldn't have because those documentaries I watched told me we really shouldn't be eating meat every day and then pasta shouldn't even be in my vocabulary if I'm a seriously healthy person. 

In every food decision I made, I always left that meal thinking I could have made a choice that was: 
- "Cleaner" because anything preserved is just "trash." 
- Had less sodium. 
- Had less calories and carbs. 
And the list goes on and on.

It had gotten to the point where I felt like unless I was literally eating pure vegetables with no oil & no seasoning that I just wasn't good enough which I'm sure you can imagine just made me leave every meal feeling defeated & like I could never do good enough. 

I'm not playing the blame game & I accept FULL responsibility for my thoughts & what goes in my mouth but truthfully, I'M DONE READING BLOGS THAT OBSESS ABOUT FOOD. Ahhemmm...let me say put that another way in case it wasn't clear: FOOD IS NOT MEAN TO BE OBSESSED OVER whether it's UNHEALTHY food or HEALTHY FOOD. 

Food is just food. And after finally being set free from this flat out destructive way of thinking I feel SO very bad for the thin girls who are blogging their brains out about food 24/7; they are constantly thinking of desserts and peanut butter and anything else they have deemed "untouchable"- trying to find ways to still have it and I really don't care whose feathers I ruffle when I say this but FOOD IS NOT MEANT TO BE OBSESSED OVER. Food is meant to nourish us so we can live our lives, not become our lives. 

Don't get me wrong, I am all for sharing healthy recipes & tips that we come up with- that's part of what this community is for but there is SO much more to being healthy than just eating foods that have as little calories/sodium/wheat/carbs etc. For many of us who had or have weight to lose, we used to focus and have our lives revolve too much around food but I have to say that I don't think it's any better when we are obsessed and our lives still revolve around food even when it's healthy. Food is just food and there is SO much more to life than what our next meal will be. 

I've vented quite a bit here but I can't help but be SO glad to finally be free from constantly feeling like every food decision I made wasn't good enough just because it's main ingredient wasn't chia seeds, coconut oil or protein powder. I have worked 3 years to stop being controlled by food and having my life revolve around food & I'm not about to go back to that place but just with a different healthier type of food!?

Here's the TRUTH: 

You and I are not better people when we make healthy food decisions. 
You and I are not worse people when we make unhealthy food decisions. 
Food should NEVER cause you or I to feel guilty or ashamed unless we are letting it control us. 
There is SO much more to life than your next or last meal. 

In closing, I was reading my Bible the other day and came across this verse & couldn't believe how much it described how I was becoming: 

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ- Phillipians 3:19-20

It is so easy for our God to become our stomachs- for us to make a top priority in our lives the things we crave, the things we think will make us appear uber healthy to others & for our minds to be set on what is so very temporal. The other day I felt the Holy Spirit remind me that when I stand before God, He isn't going to ask me why I ate that half a bagel with cream cheese the other morning when I know it had "gasp! simple carbs in it!" but He'll be interested in things that matter, like what did I do with the time He gave me here on Earth? Was I obsessed with myself & the things that stroked my ego or was I able to invest my time into things & people that mattered. 

Make every effort toward freedom from unhealthy habits in your life- just don't allow yourself to become a slave all over again to trying to eat or live according to someone else's definition of perfect.