As Christians, we all know that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit; but some of us are building a mega-church. And the problem with bad eating is that it often takes awhile before we experience the real ramifications. For years, my wife has told me: “Peter, you have a unique ability to resist sweets.” And that’s true. So before you secretly engorge on your kid’s Halloween candy, let me share a few of my secrets with you.
(1). Get Rid of Mediocre Goodies: Do you really need Charleston Chews and old peanut butterscotch toffees? Who eats these things anyway? And why are people still giving these away on Halloween? (I will deal with this in another blog). Heck, I will even throw away 3 Musketeers and Milky Ways. (And, if my wife isn’t looking, I also toss Dots – 80% of which don’t even make it to my stomach anyway because they’re stuck in my teeth.) For example, my wife & I host a lot of parties. People leave a lot of deserts, ice-creams, etc. The first thing we do after they leave is throw all of it away.
Some of you are condescendingly gasping: “How can he waste such good food?! What a shameful waste?” But I think of it as “saving myself” for Peanut M & M’s. Don’t get me wrong: Candy and desserts aren’t wrong… just stupid candies and desserts. A lot of our holiday calories come from stuff that we don’t even truly like or enjoy (once again, do I really need to mention pumpkin spice latte’s?) And when you realize how much time it takes to work off 200 calories on the elliptical, throwing away a bag of mediocre candy is the caloric equivalent of running a super-marathon.
(2). Portion Control: Never take the whole candy bag with you to the couch. (Besides, you devilish parent you, it’s your kid’s candy bag anyway). Instead, grab a small handful of peanut M & M’s & leave the rest of the bag in an inconvenient location… like out in your mailbox. Your mail-person will think you’re extra nice.
(3). Employ the Weird Science of Pre-contemplation: I recently read a study in Scientific American Mind that uncovered a strange phenomenon regarding candy-dishes. They took two groups of people (one was a control group). They told one group that they were about to enjoy a dish full of their favorite candy. In fact, before the dishes came in, they had them all imagine themselves eating the candy – meditating on how every piece would taste. Shockingly, the group that precontemplated ended up eating far less candy than the group that didn’t. The study seemed to indicate that food consumption is more psychological than we know. The mere anticipation of a treat tends to satisfy a portion of our desire to consume. And lastly,
(4). Ask God to help you enjoy what you’ve Got: Believe it or not, “enjoyment” comes from God. “God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them.” (Ecclesiastes 6:2). You see, I believe that the spiritual conditions of your heart affects everything. God created many things for our pleasure; but, if we have a diseased sense of priority… if God doesn’t have first place in our lives, nothing is the same. God has a clever reason for sabotaging such pleasure.
I remember after I gave my heart fully to Christ, everything seemed different. Things were more beautiful. The world was suddenly alive. And think about it: God created taste, touch, sound, sight, smell. He wants us to be fully aware – fully alive.
He wants us to take in the emotional ramifications of a sunset and worship him. But if we are ignoring the Source of all life, then all of these sensations are a distraction – even an inferior substitute for God. So why would he enable an enjoyment that numbs us to our greatest pathology?
Instead, put God first. And ask God to give you the gift of enjoyment. After all, when you thoroughly enjoy that small handful of M&M’s, you won’t need to take that second trip to the mailbox.