Self-control with eating is hard sometimes, isn’t it?
Not only must you handle outward circumstances, but conflicts inside of yourself!
Here is an eating conflict I faced the other day.
I opened the refrigerator and saw a jar of peanut butter.
Before I even thought about it, I grabbed the jar and opened it, intending to eat some.
I had to laugh at how quickly I did it.
Now the problem wasn’t with the peanut butter. The problem was that I wasn’t even thinking about peanut butter until I saw it!
So I set up a battle for myself that I did not need to fight.
Have you ever been there?
But life is easier when you practice one principle that is based on God’s word.
This will help you not only with self-control in eating but in other areas of your life.
This is a principle that Jesus taught in Luke 16:10:
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”
Jesus says that how you handle little things in life indicates how you will handle the bigger things.
The peanut butter temptation was a little thing. However, I did not want to re-ignite a bigger problem I used to have.
When I weighed 240 pounds, I used to eat emotionally and out of impulse.
But God delivered me from that.
Eating the peanut butter would have been the wrong thing for me because I wasn’t hungry at that time. I just wanted to eat out of impulse because I saw the peanut butter.
Here is a principle I live by that Jesus’ teaching inspired:
“Keep the things you want to do close to you; keep the things you don’t want to do far away from you.”
This is how the principle works:
What to Keep Close
For me and eating, that means keeping healthy foods that do not hijack my brain in my home.
I accept that I must either prepare these foods myself or buy them already prepared.
In the mornings or the night before, I plan our meals for the day and assemble the ingredients. That way, everything is right where I need it when I am ready to cook.
They are close to me.
What to Push Far Away
To avoid the things I don’t want to do with my eating, I keep brain-hijacking foods out of my house. I avoid the restaurants where those foods live too, or if I must go, then I decide ahead of time what I am going to eat and stick to my plan.
To keep the peanut butter far away from me so that I did not eat it out of impulse, I pushed it to the back of the refrigerator.
That little action worked!
I still eat peanut butter, but I do it according to plan and not out of impulse. I don’t want to re-train myself to be impulsive.
Now you might ask: What if other people are bringing the tempting foods close to you in your home or work area?
Ask them to keep it far away from you, such as in the back of the refrigerator, cabinet or pantry where it is not easy for you to get.
Or you can put a covering over it that you cannot see through, such as foil or an opaque/color plastic wrap.
Be willing to test out which approach works for you.
The good news is that this principle even works for other things besides eating.
For example, to keep exercise close to me (because I want to do it), then I use exercise DVDs or sometimes videos on YouTube or FitnessBlender to work out.
To keep procrastination far from me (because I don’t want to do it) I started using an app that blocked certain websites during my work hours.
I had a problem surfing the internet when I should have been writing. I would go to the same websites during those times and willpower to stay away from them wasn’t working.
Now, if I even try to go to one of those websites during work hours, the app will display a message that reminds me I should be working!
I recommend creating a list for yourself, one list for “I Want to Do” for your day and another for “I Don’t Want to Do” for your day.
Then, ask the Lord for wisdom on how to bring the things you want to do closer to you, plus how to keep the things you don’t want to do far away from you.
I guarantee if you do this and obey what He says, you will make your life much easier.
In the end, life is all about finishing your race well in the Lord. Isn’t life hard enough without creating unnecessary stumbling blocks that stand in the way of your ultimate goal? I’m sure you will agree that this is the wisest way to live!
Be blessed in health, healing and wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge (inside the the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss success.