Finding Joy in Eating

“Diet” is a Four Letter Word

Have we lost the joy of eating?  Too often we think of “dieting” with such a negative connotation. We are practicing self-control and not eating the foods that are not good for our bodies, and we begin to look at it in a negative light. It seems restrictive, not fun, not delicious, a burden, and so much work!  First, I actually very much dislike the word “diet”. A diet in the American culture is a short-term restrictive way of eating to produce weight loss. How many of you have said, “I can’t eat that, I am on a diet”?

What is the Main Goal?

Our main goal in changing our eating habits may be to restore a healthy relationship with food and with our body.  We want to find the joy in eating again.  Losing weight really shouldn’t be our main goal, but it is for so many people.  Rather, our goal is to change our eating habits so that we are really taking care of ourselves.  Taking care of our bodies might include losing a little weight, but that isn’t the most important outcome.

Joy in Changing your Mindset

Joy in feeding your body well comes when you consistently practice making healthy choices. Instead of feeling restricted, you feel proud and accomplished. What if we looked at it in a totally different way and started thinking of our bodies on loan to us from our dear Father in Heaven.  If someone else gave you something to take care of for a while, how would you take care of it?  Let’s imagine you are taking care of a friend’s child for a while.  Would you feed that child well, make sure he gets plenty of play time, make sure he gets plenty of sleep?  Now think of your own body in this way.  Will you take care of it like it is not your own?  Do you consider your body worthy of good care? What a joy to think that when this life on earth is over, we can give a report that we did a good job taking care of the earthly body that God had entrusted us with.

Try this:

Record instructions if you were to let someone else take care of your body for a day. What would you tell them to do? Would you tell them to give you plenty of rest, fun time, good foods to eat, some exercise. How would you expect your body to be returned? Now think about if YOU actually follow the directions you would give to someone else. If you aren’t, consider why not. What are your excuses? Now brainstorm some ways you can take care of your body better. Think about something you can do even today, not next week or even tomorrow.  What about right now!

1 Corinthians Chapter 6 verses 19-20, which says: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.  So glorify God with your body.” 

Joy in Nourishment

Next time you make a decision that will impact your health positively, take joy in that decision!  You are taking care of your body well!  You chose a spinach salad for lunch instead of a cheeseburger? Well done! You should feel amazing about that decision. Be proud you chose the road to continued health and energy.  Be proud you are really taking care of your body. The more you practice having joy in your healthy choices, the easier it will be! Let’s celebrate being healthy rather than feeling like it is a chore!

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.

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