Food was once my master. I ate just about whatever I wanted even though I am a Type-1 insulin dependent. Eat a big unhealthy meal? No problem. I’ll just pour in more insulin to balance it out.
I was more concerned with blood sugar levels and my A1c test reports than I was about my growing belly.
My attention was on my blood glucose numbers rather than focusing on healthy eating.
When I went on my insulin pump about ten years ago, my trainer told me that I’d gain weight. “They all do,” she said.
But, hardheaded me threw her cautionary words to the wind. For me, I had a license to eat pretty much whatever I wanted knowing I could cover the excess carbs with boluses from my pump.
I think that’s part of what Jesus meant when He said, “They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand” (Matthew 13:13).
As a result, food got a hold on me.
“Fast food’s got a hold on me, and I don’t stand a chance. I love burgers, and I love fries; I wanna milkshake on the side. Cheese and ketchup everywhere. There’s nothin’ that I won’t try.”
I was unaware of my growing belly until that fateful day after Christmas 2016. I looked in the mirror, and said to myself, “You could stand to lose a few pounds.”
I stepped on the scales which I had been avoiding for a while. I don’t think many of us like to deal with reality. I know that I don’t. Reality is often unpleasant. I’d rather fantasize, rationalize, and deny.
But, there was no denying the reality on that fateful morning! The reality of 240 pounds stared back at me hitting me square in the gut!
I had to do something but didn’t know what or where to turn to for help. I eventually went to my pastor-counselor, Rev. Roger Bennett, who I knew had lost some weight.
“Roger, I need to lose weight. I’m up to 240 pounds!”
Roger has a huge resource of Christian self-help books that he uses in his ministry. Marriage problems? Read this book. People-pleasing issues? Read this book. Self-esteem at rock bottom? Read this book. Weight problems? Read Dr. Colbert’s I Can Do This Diet.
Then, I began to implement what I’d learned. My starting weight was 240. I’m down to 232 as of this morning. It hasn’t been a phenomenal weight loss for me of 20 to 30 pounds. But, it has been steadily going downward. I am grateful. I lost 1/10th of a pound from yesterday morning to this morning! Anything’s a cinch inch-by-inch! Right?
As a result of Dr. Colbert’s book, my entire focus has changed. Now, I am mindful of what I eat, and put only small portions of healthy food into my body like the good Christian doctor says to do.
Focus is significant. It helps to control ourselves. The Bible warns us that if we do not have self control, we will be slaves to what controls us and that includes being a slave to food. We can find ourselves overwhelmed with the consequences of not having self-control over food. Being self controlled is the very foundation for living a life of righteousness that reflects Jesus and brings glory to God. We have the power to bring food under our control!
The Apostle wrote in the sacred Scripture, “I will not be mastered by anything. 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 (1 Corinthians 6:12; 19-20).
Where I focus my attention determines how I eat and feel. Gratitude for healthy food is a joyful place to be. It helps me eat right as I focus on being grateful for the ability to eat delicious, healthy food that serves my body instead of being the master of my body.
I had failed miserably at this food thing. I even half-heartedly tried to lose weight not having a clue on what I was doing. For example, I thought skipping breakfast would help, but I found out that doing that is one of the worst things I could do.
Isn’t it wonderful, though, that God uses our failures to educate us. He certainly used my food failures to bring me to the point that I had to swallow my pride and ask for help. That was a big step for me.
I became successful at losing weight by learning what doesn’t work, praying, and seeking help. I refused to be a victim of my failures and turned unhealthy eating habits and binge eating into habits of healthy eating. Through my many mistakes, God turned bad into good as He always does for those who diligently seek Him.
Regardless of your obesity or being overweight, focus on God. Focus on His unchanging nature, His goodness, His love for you, and that He is for you. Know that He has a good plan for your life and being fat is not part of His plan for you!
Also know that big food corporations, fast food corporations, and restaurants want to make us their slave. They make their food addictive on purpose by adding extra sugar and salt to keep us coming back for more.
There’s an increasing body of research that tells us sugar could be as addictive as some street drugs and have similar effects on the brain.
Sugar activates the reward center in our brain through the neurotransmitter, dopamine, much the same way that drugs do, and provokes similar cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
The feel good sugar high leads to compulsive behavior despite the negative consequences like weight gain.
Processed food corporations hide sugar in many of their products. Did you know barbeque sauces, breakfast cereals, and white bread are loaded with sugar? These are just a few out of hundreds of ways, maybe even thousands of ways that giant food corporations hide sugar to addict us making us come back for more. It’s good for business. But, bad for us.
Food giants and restaurants also hide salt in their products too. Did you know most processed pasta sauces contain a lot of added salt. For example, Prego’s Organic Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce contains a whopping 540 mg of sodium per half cup serving.
And my favorite Mexican restaurant, Pablanos, serves salty salsa and cheese dip. We went there a couple of nights ago, and for the first time, my wife and I tasted the salt in them. We have removed the salt shaker from our table and no longer add salt to our cooked foods. Surprisingly, it’s very, very good. But, by removing the salt, we can taste salt in restaurant food. So, the moral of this story is never add table salt to restaurant food. They’ve done a good job salting it down already!
So, we have salt and sugar added to our foods everywhere. Why? To addict us and keep us coming back for me. They, in effect, make slaves of us.
The 13th Amendment ended the owning of another person. But, no law prohibits food corporations, fast food places, or restaurants from owning you and making you and I their food slave.
Only you and I can set ourselves free from food slavery and remain free from it. Live healthy. Enjoy eating healthily! Break the chains. Be free from food slavery!