The Pitfall: I was once in a movie theatre, watching the latest blockbuster. I had an extra-large tub of buttered popcorn in my lap. The movie was good. The popcorn was good. I grabbed a handful of popcorn and stuffed it into my mouth.
As my mind was engrossed in the movie, my hand had a mind of its own. Like a machine, it moved from the tub to my mouth and back again.
I only came to myself when my hand scraped the bottom of the popcorn tub.
While I told myself that I was going to share the tub with other people, I ended up eating it all by myself.
The Way Out: I fell into a bottomless food pit. That’s when I used to set an entire bag, box, or tub of food in front of myself and use the whole container as my serving.
I did it mostly when I was watching television. I would “blank out” or immerse myself in the program, and just eat without even tasting it much.
The Change: Since food is a weakness for me, I had to learn to put safeguards in place to make it easier for myself to practice self-control.
Nothing is different until you do something different.
So I stopped putting large servings in front of myself.
I wanted to be aware of what I was eating. I wanted to eat in my right mind.
I practiced this Biblical wisdom from Proverbs 23:1-3:
“When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.”
I was the ruler since I was the one serving food to myself.
So I started considering the amounts I served myself carefully. I wasn’t anxious or worried about it, but I decided to be wise and make it easier for myself to exercise self-control.
One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is the fruit of self-control. I already had it, but like any muscle, I had to exercise that self-control for it to grow stronger.
Here’s what I did:
- Snack Foods: I just bought a single serving bag or box just to have a taste, not to fill up on. All I wanted it for was the taste anyway. Having the large bag or box in the house was too much of a temptation. Even though I had good intentions of dividing up the box into individual servings with sandwich bags, it rarely worked out. I’d eat one of the bags and then develop cravings that prompted me to eat the other bags!
- Movies: I stopped buying the huge popcorn tubs because I NEVER shared those with others, even though I told myself I would. I bought the smallest size without the extra butter because I found the regular kind is buttery enough.
- Fast Food: I stopped “super-sizing” my meals. I decided my body didn’t need all that extra food, no matter what the price was. Most of the time, I got the Kids meals and was surprised that that turned out to be enough food. Plus, I got a great prize!
- Pizza: I stopped putting the box in front of me. I took 1 piece, put it on a plate and left the box in the kitchen. I blotted any extra grease off the cheese too. I focused on enjoying that one piece and when it was done, waited for a few minutes for my brain’s appetite center to register if I’d had enough food or not.
If my body was still hungry, I got another piece. If not, I would move on to other things.
I used to tell myself I ate so much because I like to eat. But most of the time, I ate so fast that I barely tasted what I was eating.
Now, I’ve learned to relax and praise God for His provision while I am eating. And I have more peace as a result.
P.S. Whenever you decide to change your life, you are always going to be tested on your resolve. I learned that the hard way. I’d be doing well with my weight loss program for a couple of weeks, then “something” would happen to get me off course.
Next thing I knew, I quit.
But then I learned to expect the tests and prepare myself for them. The Take Back Your Temple Program will help you recognize the tests so that you can learn to pass them!
Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple Program.