Looking at the title of this post, you may be thinking of eating disorders. Those who are literally dying to be thin. My heart aches for those suffering with any type of eating disorder, because I am in a similar situation. I’m not dying to be thin. But I’m dying to gain weight.
For some of you, eating is just something that you do. You eat because your stomach is growling and is yelling at you to “FEED ME”. Or maybe you eat when you haven’t had the best day. Or maybe you just eat because you’re bored. Have you ever experienced a day where you are literally hungry every second? Or maybe your appetite has been up and down because you’re on different medications (or sometimes you’re not sure why you don’t have an appetite). Well, that’s how my eating habits look. Some days, I am hungry all of the time and I can’t get enough to eat. Or I eat and I’m full, but literally five minutes later, I’m starving and need yet another portion of dinner. Or maybe my family is sitting down to dinner and I’m laying in bed with absolutely no appetite.
Eating is a chore for me.
You eat and you get on the scale the next day, only to find that you’ve gained two pounds. You sigh and proceed to starve yourself the rest of the day. Me? I eat. And eat. And eat. And I eat again. I step on the scale, only to find that I have lost two pounds. Or maybe it’s been a really good day and I have actually remembered to take my enzymes and my fat soluble vitamins (those would be vitamins A, D, E, and K-for those who are not nutrition majors 🙂 ), so I have gained a whole pound! Whatever the results are after I step on that cold scale, my goal is to always keep eating.
However. It has recently come to my attention that maybe I put a little too much effort into my eating. Maybe I’m not eating the right foods. You would be amazed at how many days of the week that I am driving home from work and I say to myself, “I’ve worked really hard today and I need to eat. Hm. I deserve a hamburger, a dipped cone, and large order of fries.” What’s my justification? I deserve it and I need the calories. I mean COME ON PEOPLE. I have disease!!
As an RD in the making, I have learned the difference between empty calories, “good and bad” fats, and how to increase your calories while still eating a healthy diet. But I still tend to lean more towards the chocolate and the fatty fast foods, rather than the vegetable with hummus or ranch dressing, or the fruits with cheese (all of which I LOVE-by the way). It is now obvious to me that I sometimes (most times…) let food control my life.
My life revolves around eating! I wake up and I’m hungry. I go to work and I am wondering what’s for lunch by 9 am. I get off work and I am immediately calling or texting my mother to ask what’s for dinner (Shout out to my parents for always having a great meal waiting for me every night!). I must have snacks in between all meals. You will always find a package of peanut butter crackers in my purse and in my car. There is possibly a package in my nightstand… and in my backpack.
“Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.” -Romans 14:20a
I believe with all of my heart that God is doing a great work in my life. I mean, come on. Doctors told my parents I wouldn’t live to be eighteen. I would never live a normal life. I shouldn’t be expected to attend school or have friends. Yet, here I am. Almost twenty-one. I live a fairly normal life. I graduated high school, and I have three semesters left before I graduate with my bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics! I have TONS of friends. TONS, y’all! I am a walking testament to the work God is doing in me.
God has done so much for me. He has saved me from so many things-including depression, pity, sorrow, and death. Yet, my desire to know the One who loves me more than anything is not as strong as I would like for it to be. Now, if we switch the topic to food. Oh man. I desire food more than anything right now (Literally, I am in need of a large portion of whatever is being cooked in the kitchen right now). I could eat food all day every day.
Now switch the topic back to Jesus. Why doesn’t my heart say “Gimme, gimme, gimme more of Jesus! All day every day! NOW!” ?! I wish my heart said that. Some days it does! But to be honest, most days it doesn’t. Why is my craving for food more than my craving for God??
Food cannot meet our deepest desires. That’s right. That dipped cone with fries cannot help me when I am desiring companionship. And no, that venti Starbucks chocolate chip frapp cannot help me when I am upset with myself for not making an A. But God can. God meets me in my darkest places. God helps me through the rough nights when I am in need of someone to talk to. God gives me peace through my trials. Food doesn’t do that! All food does is fill a temporary void. Let me repeat that. A TEMPORARY void. So yes, you may fill that void with food. But in about an hour (or for me, five minutes), that void will come back. And you will want to fill that void again. And again.
Now I realize that eating a lot and consuming several thousand calories a day is a part of my treatment regimen. But I also realize that I can choose to put healthier items in my stomach. Foods that will give me nutrients, calories, and a feeling of accomplishment as I live out what I am being taught in my classes (Just as a side note, can I say that I believe eating things like that dipped cone and fries in moderation is completely fine).
Some of you may or may not know this, but I desire to work with other CF patients as a Registered Dietitian. I desire to walk this same road with others who suffer as I do, as one who has gone before them. I can help myself and my future career by doing this. This is a call to action. Please pray for me that I will continue to see this as motivation for my career and for my life. I will pray for you, my readers, that if you are struggling with craving food more than you crave God as I do at times, that you will see this post as a call to action. I pray that you do not take this post lightly.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Proverbs 27:17