I’ve always loved fitness. I’ve also, always loved food! I confess that I track my fitness and my food daily and at times obsessively. It’s been on my heart that this is an issue, even an idol in my life. Most of my time is spent planning the next meal (for my family or me) or thinking about the next time I’ll go for a walk or get my workout in. Like I don’t have enough other things to worry about right?!
The craziest thing is that I can justify my food and workout focus by saying that I am a temple of God and I want to focus on keeping it healthy. But, when I really examine my behavior it isn’t for God, it’s for me and my acceptance from this world. This justification is like Satan in the garden of Eden, “come on eat the fruit…”; “Come on, focus on food, your weight, and your fitness. It will make you more like God”. When in all reality it’s putting a roadblock between God and myself each time I step on the scale or beat myself up for eating something unhealthy – each time I put my worth on food or a number on the scale.
Fasting and Hunger Fear…What?
Yesterday I fasted, for the first time. I started my fast after dinner on Saturday and made it till 2:30 yesterday afternoon (I cheated with some peanuts) and then had dinner at 5:45 last night.
I kept my journal handy as I went through this fast so that I could track my struggles and write down what was going through my mind. One weird thing that was revealed to me is it’s ridiculous how afraid of hunger I am. And, I have no idea why. When embarking on this fast (which I decided to do at 5:00 am that morning), I was beginning to be emotional and cranky before I was even hungry. I was anticipating my hunger, and it was negatively getting in my head. I kept thinking, “wow, Tiff, you do have a food problem if you’re freaking out before even feeling hungry.”
This internal battle during my fast yesterday was very telling about this idol I have in my life and the attack of evil to try and make me quit by highlight my doubts. As I pushed through my hunger and mental battle many questions ran through my mind:
- Why is food such a focus in my life?
- Why am I ‘afraid’ of being hungry (I’ve never gone hungry in my experience, and I live in America – I can eat whenever/whatever I want)?
- Why can I push my fitness body to be uncomfortable (exercise) but can’t seem to push my digestive body to be uncomfortable?
Many of the questions are still unanswered. I will continue to explore them and will continue to fast at least once a month. Food is a weakness for me, and the only way to strengthen that weakness is to work on it.
I did have some victories yesterday too:
- That’s the longest I’ve ever gone without food. Ask my family, I’m eating something every 2 to 4 hours usually – did I mention I love food
- I believe that some of my ‘fear’ of being hungry is that I feel uncomfortable in other areas of my life (as I grow and push myself..) and that being hungry is one thing I can still have total control over- so I control it.
- Stupid control issues – just when I think I’m getting better it rears its ugly head in another area of my life…
- I felt better yesterday and had more energy (after the nuts) with fewer calories than I eat regularly – which means I may be gluttonous way too often
- I can do all things with God – He strengthens me
- There is a battle within us – Satan is looking for our weakest points so that he can use them as leverage to turn us from God.
- The closer we become to God, the harder the devil attacks. Have God reveal your weaknesses so that he can strengthen them and take more power away from Satan.
Temple Vs. House of Thieves
I will still track my food, plan meals, and pay attention to what we eat because clean eating, healthy living, and planning is part of the way God designed me to provide for my family. I need to, however, be sure that it’s not an obsession or idol of mine. I am going to go all weak without tracking my food and instead weigh my hunger on a scale of 1-5.
Our bodies are temples for God and His work. He wants us to care for them and fuel them correctly so that we can be ambassadors for His purpose. We can be a vessel of two things: A Temple for God or a House of Thieves.
We have a choice of what goes into our mouths, what comes out of it and what goes into our minds. Each decision determines whether or not we are letting our body be a vessel for the Holy Spirit or a vessel for robbers who steal away our joy, our worth and the valuable gifts that have been given to us by God.
Let’s consider some key Bible verses to help us overcome the challenges and temptations we have to put our body image and our food intake before God.
Proverbs 31:17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (fitness is important)
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: 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;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.