Pink scars line my right shin where I tripped and smashed—face forward—onto my asphalt driveway. It happened a month ago while I was doing yard work. Both my wrists and my right leg had cuts and bruises. My body ached from whiplash. I’m grateful I didn’t break a bone.
Today, those scars are the visible evidence that I fell. A reminder to be more careful when I’m walking. I’m not young anymore so I don’t bounce back as quick. The same goes with my weight.
In my twenties, I could eat what I wanted without evidence showing up on my waistline. Childbirth and an aging metabolism has added to my girth. Thin Within is a Grace Based Approach to losing weight. It has showed me I need to be careful around food because I’m prone to fall and eat for no reason. And that bad habit increases my weight that doesn’t shed as easily.
This week’s lesson on God’s grace brought to mind those moments I’ve stumbled when it comes to food. Snack food…within easy reach…is always the culprit.
The lust of the eye gets me every time. “One bite won’t hurt.” And it probably wouldn’t hurt except I stumble into having a second and third helping. Soon, I’m belly aching because I tripped and fell—again—off the eating right wagon.
Oh, I may not have visible scars like the ones on my leg, but there are mental scars because I beat myself up when I fall. Frustration turns into hopelessness and smothers me like a wet napkin.
Will I ever be able to socialize without nibbling? I want to taste the snacks. When I discover they’re good—I want more.
Remember the mythological Siren that sang and lured men to their death? Their only escape was to cover their ears. Well, food—particularly appetizers—has the same effect when I’m socializing.
I need to hide my eyes from the doughnuts when I walk into church. Cover my ears from the sound of people chewing popcorn in a movie. Glue my lips together when the hostess serves coffee cake at our book club. Slap my hand when I’m playing a board game with friends, and the snack is inches away. Tell me I’m not alone!
When I fall, self-condemnation and a wailing regret are my first response. Grace—from the Lord or myself—no where on the table.
I’ve observed my eating habits for a month now so I know my weaknesses. Now, I need to correct my behavior.
When I get with my friend to play games, I’ll know to go hungry so I can have a small portion of her homemade snacks.
If I’m hosting book club, I’ll have the women fix themselves a small plate in the kitchen instead of bringing the food platter to the table.
At church, I’ll learn to strategically stay far from the doughnuts by pretending it’s the enemy.
Equally beneficial is studying Barb Raveling’s book The Renewing of the Mind Project to discover the little truths about myself.
Why do I love appetizers? Why do I associate snacks with pleasure and socializing? Is there something I can do to re-place food and still have fun with my friends?
Years ago, a friend of mine once struggled with her weight and she didn’t want to gain back the pounds she’d lost. Whenever we met in her home, she never served food with the beverages. Sometimes we’d walk while we talked instead of sitting around a table. At the time, I felt like food was a missing ingredient, but now I understand her wisdom. Even if I’m not there yet.
Hosting people in my home is synonymous with food. Drop into my home, and I’ll haul out the cheese and day-old crackers. Are you hungry? Let me microwave a frozen corn dog and smother it in mustard. Isn’t food the definition of hospitality? Even Biblical patriarchs killed and cooked the fatted calf whenever they entertained guests. But I assume they were hungry. They knew better than to pig out on fried pork rinds.
Who knows, I might be doing folks a favor and keep them from tripping if I become more creative, and less calorie-oriented, when it comes to entertaining.
Meanwhile, the Big Truth: God’s grace is new every morning. He’s not bringing up yesterdays belly flops and face plants. He wants us to “taste and see the Lord is good” so we’ll want more of Him and be truly satisfied.
Isn’t it time, we believe God and give ourselves some grace too? Knowing…
“The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord sustains all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down” (Psalm 145:8, 14).