Stephen Arterburn and Linda Mintle
Diets promote us to miss something based on the premise that we may never be able to eat it again. Sound familiar? Let’s say it’s Christmas and you pass the buffet table at the office Christmas party. It’s loaded with your favorite chocolate eclairs. Usually the thinking goes like this: It’s Christmas. I only get these once a year. I’ll need to eat one, no two or three! After all, it’ll be an entire year before I see these again. I can’t let this chance pass.
Two weeks later you are at a baby shower. The cake has your favorite frosting, rich cream cheese. Oh, can you believe this? I’m on a diet and I can’t eat that cake. It’s right in front of me and I can’t have it. Everyone will enjoy the taste but me. I will miss out—I better grab it while I can.
One month later, you are in Chicago for business. You pass Giordano’s pizza, home of the best stuffed pizza you’ve ever tasted. I can’t be in Chicago and not eat Giordano’s pizza. That would be a crime! But I’m dieting. Even though I could order a small single pizza, I would miss eating all I wanted this one time. I’ll get the big stuffed pizza and take the rest back to my hotel for later. Of course, none of the pizza makes it back to the hotel!
Lose this mentality and lose it for life! When you diet, you keep restricting yourself in ways that set you up to fail. Dieting means you’ll be missing the good stuff, when in fact you could have just a taste, or just one piece, or just one slice of the good stuff. You wouldn’t gain ten pounds. But thinking you are going to miss out on something sets you up to overeat. What you can’t have, you want. This idea goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were given the freedom to eat from any tree in Paradise, except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That was the one tree Adam was told to avoid. When the serpent came to tempt Eve, he began by questioning what God had instructed. He sowed doubt in Eve’s mind. The very tree Adam and Eve were to avoid, they ultimately ate from! Think about it. They could have eaten from any tree but one! Eve was deceived and thought she was missing out on something, and Adam disobeyed with her. From the beginning, dealing with restriction has been a problem.
There is always a choice; to eat food, eat less of it, or skip eating it entirely. A little of something may satisfy our want. The problem is we eat without thinking and focus on what we might be missing. Again like sin, a little of something forbidden usually ends up being highly desirable. Rather than being self governed, we give in to the temptation.
Please remember there are no ‘bad foods’ (well, perhaps there are no bad foods other than the deep fried Twinkies at your local fair), but there are wise choices. Actually this is a grown-up idea. Most people over twenty-one can have anything they want, but this doesn’t mean they should indulge in everything just because they can. There are activities we should choose to do in moderate amounts, like watching TV or sports, and others we should do more often, like playing with our children. Finally, there are other things we shouldn’t do at all, like viewing pornography. In every case, we have a choice. Though we don’t have to miss a thing if we don’t want to, it is very important to note that though everything may be available to us, it is definitely not all good for us. This is especially true of food.
Join us for a weekend of encouragement and healing: Lose it For Life.