I spend a good amount of time thinking, planning, and agonizing over the food I ate, what I’ll eat next, what I shouldn’t have eaten in the past and how to eat better in the future. Food is one of the biggest contributing agitation in my internal and external battles. Yet it’s the one of the least influential parts of our overall health and weight?
Food is the least influential part of our overall health and weight
From the continuous flooding of food posts and advertisements the message we receive from social media, tv, gyms… We’re told that abs are made in the kitchen or that we should all follow a specific diet. This constant flood of information has left many of us convinced that our hyper focus on foods is good, honorable and a self-loving activity, but what’s happening when we hyper focus on anything created is that it becomes a god (idol).
Food becomes our comfort, becomes our reward, becomes our punishment, it’s no longer a healthy relationship, it is our source of worth, dare I say our source of worship!?
We turn to food for a treat when things go right and a way to comfort ourselves when things go wrong. The whole time we’re losing focus on what’s really important and where our real comfort comes from. We reach for immediate gratification instead of lasting comfort and end up victim to the immediate, instead of fixating on the lasting comfort in God. He alone is our joy, comfort, rescue, hope, peace, satisfaction… We need to find real satisfaction instead of the quickly passing hormone spikes that crash hard and leaving us less fulfilled than when we started.
This is a focus on ‘secondary’ foods and it causes us to lose focus on ‘primary’ ones and that leaves us out of balance and longing for more. We can stop struggling to lose weight, maintain weight, and trying to manipulate our bodies and instead we can find contentment and embrace our journey as we grow from where we are today, not trying to rush ahead.
Primary and Secondary Food
Primary foods are foods that aren’t on our plate. The top 4 primary foods in everyone’s lives are relationship, spirituality, physical fitness and career/school.
Secondary foods are the foods that are on our plate and are influenced by how balanced our primary foods are. (the food we eat comes second to our mental health)
Both foods impact our health, but the primary foods have more inputs in our lives than the food we eat because we spend more time living than we do eating, therefore, impacts our health more than the secondary ones. No amount of food can offset a negative and toxic thought life.
As we saw when we covered thought life, up to 95% of disease is caused in the mind! For true health we have to start with relationships, spirituality, fitness and a focus on the places that we spend the majority of our time (work/school) and taking a deep look at the thoughts associated with these areas of our life.
The First Battle is in Our Thoughts
All the healthy foods in the world will not heal us from our body-image battles if our thoughts toward ourselves and food are filled with negativity. The reason body-image is a distraction and keeps us from walking in our purpose is because chasing an image will always disappoint. Look at scripture, every idol that was formed as a god, did nothing but disappoints and fail, because there is only one true God and He deserves all our thoughts, time, energy… Looking at an image as our worth will leave us stuck in the trap of pursing more and more success, worth, acceptance and the only thing we’ll get from these pursuits is burn-out.
I promise we’ll talk a bit about the food on our plate, but we must start with the ‘food’ that goes into our minds. Nothing will change in our weight unless we steward our time, money, energy, and thoughts in a godly and righteous way. When we make food so important in our lives that we drown out everything else. Being focused on the things of this world, we’ll miss the joy and peace that we can only find in God.
Our salvation is in Jesus and our sanctification happens as we spend time with Him, in God’s Word and partner with Him as He teaches and guides us. We need to put food and our body image in its rightful place and God in His. Whenever we are seeing an area of our life as a repetitive struggle, we need to take that to God by asking Him to reveal to us the root and reason for this stronghold in our lives. Then pause and listen to the things that come to mind. Expect the Holy Spirit to stir in us at least 3-4 different things. Write them down. Then ask which one us and the Holy Spirit will work on first and, again, listen.
God is more concerned about our character than our weight or jean size. Our journey with God will begin as we enter into this and stirring and work with the Holy Spirit. Don t rush ahead or go to google for the how to’s let God reveal to us through daily prayer and meditating on scripture He will heal us and transform us from one degree to another into His likeness. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
When inputs off our plate leave us feeling flat and defeated, when we aren’t living in step with the Holy Spirit the food on our plate will reflect the inner battle. But when we live in step with the Holy Spirit we will be filled with peace and our plate will reflect that as well. For example, when you’re stressed do you turn to vegetables and eating slowly with thankfulness?? I know I sure don’t! When I’m stressed and living in a state of self-disappointment my plate reflects that and is filled with salty sweets and things that usually lead to a downward spiral of further disappointment. Now, when I’m trusting in the LORD and thankful my plate is filled with fruits and veggies, I stop when I’m full and I start and upward spiral of contentment and peace.
When we look at our life, do we see that we believe that life is only about food and clothing? Do we fall for a belief system that is all about adorning my outward self with little to no focus on my inner self? Let’s look at the top primary foods, not in any order, and how our thoughts within these areas impacts our life, health, and purpose.
The next few blogs and videos will be a breakdown of the primary foods in our life. Physical activity, relationships, career, faith and spirituality and we’ll close out this section with food talk.