Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reconstructing My Food-Worldview

It's amazing how easy it is to gain weight. Many of you would know more about the struggle than I. I have not yet had children, I have not encountered any health problems, and I have not even hit age 22! However, hopefully you will find this advice helpful.

We all know that it's so easy to have dessert when we feel like it. It's pleasurable to fill ourselves with yummy bread, sweets, cakes, french fries, pasta, and all sorts of delicacies. I know that more than most, as I spend most of my life in the kitchen. I swore to myself, the day I learned to cook, that I would NEVER settle for boring food again. I still don't. But there is a reason I went from 135 to 173 pounds since I quit ballet, and along with that, lost all desire to be a careful eater.

I would to sit down to my computer, pull up Pinterest or a cooking show I missed, and say to myself, "And now....what enrapturing dishes shall I cook up this week? Why not start with some Moroccan recipes!" Every week my ritual gave me such release and such peace--like going into your quiet place to paint, to read, or to write. And I had so many different ideas that it took me hours and hours to schedule and plan the meals I would create. I drifted through the grocery store just eating everything with my eyes; I spent hours in Asian and Indian markets when I got the chance, just to stir the trade winds of my imagination. My parents thought it was so odd that I enjoyed going to the grocery store as much as some people enjoy going fishing or shopping or to a movie. I didn't care about calories or carbs at that point. I just wanted to be inspired and to create something new. 

Now I've changed. I can still be creative in my cooking, but I have rules to follow to guide me down the road. I can't eat lots of carbs and stay thin. This is something with which I must finally come to terms. So, instead of viewing my diet as shackles destroying my freedom to be creative, I view it as a guide rail for my passion for food. These guide rails will help me lead myself into the center of creative thinking about good food. Whereas before I stumbled all over the place and wanted to learn everything about making every single food (which I could never do in a lifetime), I now have a "map" to follow. In the grocery store I no longer wander to the dessert counter to gaze longingly at the chocolate cake I cannot eat. I follow the guard rails to what is healthy, and I create tasty food out of those options alone. I avert my eyes from what I know is bad for my body. It's actually more of an exciting challenge this way. Anyone can bake blueberry muffins...but not just anyone can make GOOD blueberry muffins without regular flour.

I can easily relate this to my faith in Christ. Yes, God gives us commands to follow, and some may see that as stifling, but it is really freeing! The Holy Spirit is our "guard rail" who guides us through the chaos and whispers to us to turn our head when we look towards the temptations. We keep our eyes on the goal. At the end of the trials of life, we will reap a great reward for our faith and our trust.

Now I recognize my responsibility to follow the straight and narrow path in all areas of my life, especially in nourishing my family. I won't lead myself and my family into obesity (or even pleasantly-plumphood), but will strive to make us healthy, happy, and full of energy--without the suffering I experienced as a struggling, dieting ballet dancer.

I still need to keep my promise that I will never cook boring, yucky food. I will never serve un-flavorful, mushy vegetables with plain 'ole chicken and call it a meal. I want my family to feel special, to eat like kings so they can share with me my joy of cooking. And I will do my best to strive toward that goal. Yes, some days there will still be rice. I may cook a cake for special occasions. But I will never again live like my body can take whatever I "feel like" giving it. That is not honoring my family, it's not honoring God's creation, and it's not honoring the transforming work of Christ in me.


8 Pounds Lost, and Counting

**Update 2/13/15: 29 pounds lost and counting!! 

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