I’m Dreaming Of A Lite Christmas
mtl Note: We love the holidays for so many reasons. One of those reasons being the food. But what we don’t love is the guilt and weight gain that comes with it. So can you have your cake (or pumpkin pie) and eat it, too? In her latest book, Fit for My King, Sheri Rose Shepherd, best-selling author of His Princess Bride, shows us how it’s done.
by Sheri Rose Shepherd, author of Fit for My King
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. – John 10:10 NLT
Most women look at me today and think I’m the lead commander of this diet war we can’t seem to win. I speak at several women’s conferences each year on a variety of topics however, every time I’d share the part of my life of how God healed me from an eating disorder, helped me conquer chronic fatigue, and gave me the strength and wisdom to lose over fifty pounds and keep it off, the women would bombard me with a desperate cry to teach them how.
So, after ten years of addressing this topic, speaking to over half a million women across this nation, I felt the Lord leading me to share His plan for His Princesses to break free from this “food issue” and “Barbie bondage” so we can win this Diet War once and for all!
I know from personal experience what it’s like to grow up in what society refers to as a dysfunctional home. (Today, there are so many dysfunctional families that much of the world has lost sight of what a healthy, functional family looks like.) My parents have been married and divorced three times each, and I’ve been a part of five blended families. My dad had an extremely violent temper, and my mom was paralyzed by emotional pain. Because they were always in one crisis situation after another, I never felt the freedom to go to either of them for comfort and direction. When I needed comfort, I found it in food. When I was in pain, I used drugs and alcohol to escape. By the time I was sixteen, I was addicted to both the food and the drugs. I made so many poor choices, burned so many bridges, and nearly destroyed my mind and body. I believed I was destined for destruction. I wanted desperately to crawl out of this deep, dark hole of despair, but the harder I tried, the deeper I fell into depression and the more I ate.
At the lowest point in my life, my stepmom Susie challenged me with a painful question. She asked me how long I was going to use my past as an excuse for the poor choices I was making. She shocked me with the truth that I could do nothing to change my past, but I could choose to make the right choices to change my future.
God’s Temple or Our Trash Can
Our God gives us a warning: Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy . . . And if we continue to make God’s temple our trash can, we are helping the devil accomplish his mission—one meal at a time.
I’ve discovered that whenever you ask a woman how she is doing, you will probably get one of four answers: “I’m so tired!” “I’m so bloated!” “I’m so sick!” or “I’m so-o-o-o fat!” Then we get together in a group while we’re munching on cakes, candy, coffee, and chips, and we talk on and on about how sick, tired, and fat we are! What is wrong with this picture?
After trashing our bodies, we drop to our knees, bow our heads, and beg God to help us not to feel sick. We know that we need healing and that God can heal us, but we make His temple our trash can! It’s like drinking a bottle of whiskey before coming to church and praying to God to help us not feel drunk.
Honestly, the reason I can talk so freely about this subject is because, well, I am a food addict. The only thing I love doing more than talking is eating. One of my greatest joys in life is food. When I’m celebrating, I eat. When I’m tired, I eat. When I’m sad, I eat. When I’m anxious, I eat. When I’m in pain, I eat. I have spent years running to the refrigerator for refuge. And when I get hungry, my personality actually changes—from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde! While others may snack off-and-on all day long, I actually prefer eating only one meal a day—it starts in the morning and ends when I fall asleep.
In the past, when at a restaurant, I used to eat until I was completely bloated and then tackle the waiter for the dessert menu. When weddings took too long, I would get irritated because I couldn’t wait to get to the reception to eat. I’ve been known to push people out of line so I could get the corner piece of cake that has the most icing. Of all the obstacles in my life, my addiction to food has been the most difficult for me to overcome. I’ve only come up with one good reason not to honor God by eating healthy:
What would I talk about if I felt good?
Being bloated, sick, and tired are very popular topics of conversation.
Does God really care how much we eat? That question is clearly answered in Proverbs: “When you sit to dine . . . note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony” (Proverbs 23:1–2).
It’s time to face the truth that overeating is gluttony. And gluttony is sin! Because of my love for food and my tendency to overeat, I make an effort not to bring foods into my home that will be tempting. Just as an alcoholic breaking an addiction doesn’t stock his cabinets with alcoholic beverages, I don’t stock my cabinets with tempting food and then try in my own strength not to overeat. At first, these changes were a little hard on my family because they loved junk food as much as I did. But I was honest with them about my addiction, and they agreed to help me by not bringing tempting foods home. Besides, they know that “if Mom isn’t happy—no one’s happy!” Let’s rejoice that we are breaking free from food ever controlling our lives again. From this day forward we will eat like a daughter of the King and be satisfied!
His Princess Prayer
I admit that many times I run to food for comfort instead of running to You, my true comfort and place of peace. Remind me when I am tempted to stuff my body with food to instead fill myself up with Your bread of life in Your Word. I am sorry, God, for every time I’ve made my menu more meaningful than Your love for me. I need Your help in this area and ask now for Your tender touch.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
His Princess in Action
Try eating all your meals this week on a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, and don’t go back for a second helping of food.
Treasure of Truth for Today
You are a treasured Princess of the Lord. His love is what will really satisfy your cravings.
Adapted from Fit for My King by Sheri Rose Shepherd, published by Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group) 2009. Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.