As I’ve been blogging about healthy eating habits I’ve had this nagging worry- “maybe I’ll fall off the apple cart and buy a one way ticket on the cheeseburger express….just who do I think I am anyways to write about how you should eat? I’m a campus minister for crying out loud! Why do I care about what you’re eating? Why do I feel the need to share about my eating habits?”
One of the reasons I’ve felt compelled to write about eating and food is that so much of our lives revolve around the choices we make about what to put into our bodies. One of my friends recently joked that I am obsessed with food. I will say that I think about it a lot more than I used to- and I think about it in a much healthier way. The wonderful thing has been that I feel a freedom to enjoy food rather than viewing it in any number of destructive and unhealthy ways. As a person who is trying to live out an integrated faith I believe that God cares about our whole lives- not just what we think, or how we act, but even how we treat these fleshy vessels called bodies we roam around in. He wants our bodies to be cared for by the choices we make just as much as he wants our world to be cared for by the choices we make to benefit others.
This summer I listed to a videocast from Cornell University about mindless eating & if I remember right, the lecturer shared that we make over 200 choices every day about what we’re going to eat! That is amazing considering that many of us only eat three meals a day. But even just think about breakfast-
- sugar or splenda in your coffee or tea? non-fat latte or full-fat with whip?
- multi-grain cereal or frosted flakes?
- fruit or a granola bar in the car or McDonalds drive in for a McGriddle?
The point is that these choices add up and so do our waistlines the calories. For the first few years of my life as a campus minister I continued to eat like I did in college- there is always an abundance of pizza, cake, cookies, ramen noodles, not to mention the chinese buffets my staff team would hit after our monthly meetings. I was so tired from work that I didn’t even feel like I had energy to make healthy choices- so I let my environment dictate what I would eat rather than choosing how I would eat. This past January I decided that I would NEVER let this happen to me again. It doesn’t honor who God has created me to be as a 5’4″ woman whose body frame is meant to be in a healthy range with a family history of heart disease and adult diabetes. In recent years people have been writing about having a feel great weight rather than beating yourself up about an ideal and weight that you had when you were 17 years old (or some other time in your life where you felt the most smokin’ hot you’ve ever been).
I’ve realized that I like to write about healthy habits because I’ve seen so many people including myself let it fall by the wayside. Plus, it’s easier to care about making healthy choices when you know that there is a community of others that care about the same thing.
I’ve really started to see eating as a spiritual discipline just like I see other things in my life that benefit my relationship with God and others. I’m not trying to be perfect or eat “perfectly” whatever that is? but I do want to make choices that honor and care for this one body I’ve been given so that I’ll have the health and strength to care for others now & in the future. Eating is part of it, but like I said- it’s a BIG part of our everyday lives.