Donuts, Diets, and That Skinny Chick Next-door

It was an ordinary Wednesday night. A thunderstorm rolled in the darkness outside the windows. The baby was sound asleep in her crib. And obviously, I was exhausted from the day and should have been going to bed.

But I felt a little tease of hunger tugging at me. I could not shake the feeling that I needed me some food. Barefoot, tousled-haired, and determined, I slipped into the kitchen and started whipping up a batch of chocolate chip pancakes.

Ten o'clock at night, and there's butter frying in a pan and mini chocolate chips dotting the floor. (My husband just laughed and told me I was cute. I believed him.)

Skinny chicks can be addicted to food, too.

I'm not talking about eating disorders - obesity, bulemia, anorexia, etc. That's a whole other thing. I'm talking about being emotionally connected to food in such a way that it kinda controls your life. This can happen to anyone. It doesn't matter what you look like on the outside - it matters what food is doing to your insides, how it's affecting your decisions and playing on your heart.

See, I don't need to be on a diet. Everyone has always been quick to joke about my stick-thin figure and high metabolism. I'm losing weight just by eating two healthy meals a day and fudging the other two meals.

I'm that skinny chick next door.

(You can hate on me at the end of this post all you want, but hear me out first.)

There's something that skinny chicks and fat chicks and every other beautiful woman in between has in common: we're not quite content with our bodies' performance. We want our bodies to be stronger, more graceful, instead of the general tired and bloated that we get.

That long-term image we want to have for ourselves crumbles in the moment, though, when a certain emotion hits. Something goes wrong and we soften the blow with a nibble of chocolate, an extra helping of cheesy pasta, a third dinner roll. Because food is awesome and eating is comforting and filling your tummy to bursting is somehow just what you're looking for in life. Food is good. 

So what's the real issue here? I like enjoying my food. Why should a skinny chick be struggling with donuts and diets? 

The answer is tied up in one little, powerful word: crave.

No matter who you are, there is something that you deeply crave. Something you are always searching to satiate. And if you're not cutting that desire off at the root and replacing it with Jesus, then you are always, always going to be empty.

Not only are you empty, but you are rejecting God and sinning against Him. You are telling Him, "You're just not enough for me right now. You're not giving me what I want/need, so I am going to go and get it myself. I don't trust You to be able to handle what I'm going through. I can do it depending on oreos and sex and Netflix and people's applause and alcohol and shopping and making myself lose weight."

If you're craving something - anything - in your life, it means that some part of you isn't getting enough. And guess what?

Eating a dozen doughnuts isn't going to fill you up.

Never eating another doughnut again won't fill you up, either.

Food isn't the problem. Food is minor non-issue, because food is just something we need to survive. Hunger should be filled, duh. But that Wednesday night, my body was not truly hungry; my heart was hungry for that good feeling I get when I eat. Having chocolate chip pancakes? Not a sin. But needing chocolate chip pancakes to be happy? That's another story.
"All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them." (1 Corinth. 6:12-13, emphasis added)
The problem doesn't lie in the boundaries we place on our diet. Our problem is looking away from Jesus. That's it. Everything in my life has the capability of making us look away from Jesus.

And in those moments, a part of me would rather eat a piece of cheesecake than accept God's peace. A part of me would rather make some cookie dough than sit and dig into His word. A part of me believes that food always makes things better...and God just gives me hard things to do that I want to do.
"And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.(Deut. 8:2-3, emphasis added)
It's time to give all of my eating to God. To accept that His word is enough for me, He is enough for me. Pray over all of my food (actually realizing that I am praying for God to bless my eating). Seek God to fill the spaces that I'd rather fill with ice cream or Taco Bell or six doughnuts in one sitting.

God promises to satisfy all of our needs and fulfill every desire of our hearts.
(Psalm 145:15-16, Isaiah 55:2, and many others)

Is He forgetting to fill me up? Or am I forgetting to let Him?

I need to replace my cravings with a need for Jesus. What does that look like? Talking to God and keeping His words in my heart. Yep, you heard me right: my plan for eating healthier is to pray more and memorize scripture.

The more you pray, the more you learn to see things from God's perspective. You learn to reject the world's lies and replace them with His truth. Your emotions bring you to your knees instead of to the refrigerator.

Be in prayer today. Soak up every ounce of spiritual food that God wants to pour on you.

simply P R A Y.

***This leads into many other topics that I plan to explore further this summer: fasting, memorizing scripture, risking comfort, asking God's blessing over what we do, and having less so God can provide more. This is the beginning of my new series: Empty Satisfaction ***

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