By: Roshanda Pratt
I love the holidays. It is such a great time with family and friends. However, after house hopping and picking up plates or eating at every location, I realized the holidays are bad for my waistline. So I am doing something rather unconventional. I am boycotting the holiday feast all together, well sort of. I am avoiding the sweets! (Whatcha talkin bout Willis) I know really, I picked the worst time to start this or did I? I have tried several times to kick the sweet/carb life with it only to last for a short season. No, there are no health issues, but I discovered something about myself the other day. Here goes my confession: I am a thirty something woman who eats like she is a child.
I enjoy eating fruits and veggies, but of late I eat as my friend would say “dead food.” What is dead food? Food that is processed, loaded in sugar, empty calories, dyed and overall F-A-K-E. I have also been a professed “foodie.” I enjoy food. My family is from the Caribbean, so in our culture we celebrate everything around food. If you get married there is a party with a big spread, someone gets divorced there is a party with a big spread, you have a baby, there is a party with a big spread, etc, etc, etc. I think you get where I am coming from. About a month ago I decided to crucify my desires. Not so I can get into a dress, but because I want to live long and strong for my family. I am well aware there is an enemy already trying to take me out, why help him (John10:10). Besides, with all the things I am active in; my health must be up to par to maintain it, right? So I started with the one basic question: “When do I find myself turning to sweets?” The answer: During times when I am happy and when I am sad. Well, that is pretty much all the time.
Now that I know I am an emotional eater it is time to do something about it. I am a firm believer that things cannot change if they remain in the dark. I decided with this month’s blog I would expose myself in hopes of encouraging you to tackle TODAY an area you KNOW you need to CHANGE. I have found personally excuses rob you of your tomorrow, potential, and dreams. Sure, I could have waited to the New Year and do the whole resolution thing, but for me it would not have been authentic. I needed to start NOW!
As long as I can remember I have had this love-hate relationship with food. Here it is plain: I am the kind of girl who can eat a whole package of Oreo cookies in a day. I am the kind of girl who can eat an apple pie covered in cinnabon frosting in a day. I am the kind of girl who can eat a whole batch of freshly made brownies. Whew! That was difficult to confess. But if you don’t admit where you are how can you change? This is not a diet, rather a lifestyle change. Sugar breaks down your immune system, makes you sluggish and I don’t know about you, but it gives me a rush and when I “crash” I am rather cranky. For the past few weeks I have done well. Over the weekend I attended two events where there was a smorgasbord of sweets. I said no, even when I was encouraged to have just a small piece. I am serious. I have got to get this “craving” under control. Here is what I plan to do.
I must preface this by saying I am not a doctor and this is what I plan to do for ME, I am not advising you to do this.
1. DETOX: I am taking an herbal cleansing to get all that sugar out of my tank. I am realizing more and more than food is for fuel. Like my gas tank sugar is damaging.
2. LEARN TO SAY NO: This means it is okay to deny myself. I don’t always have to reward myself with food. I must have other ways to celebrate accomplishments and other ways to deal with times I am stressed. Moderation is key, but my reward for healthier eating habits is a long life!
3. ACCOUNTABILITY: I need help! I must have people in my life to hold my accountability to this, check in with me, and call me on the carpet when they see me going back to destructive habits.
4. CHANGE MY MIND: I must learn to replace the bad habits. Basically, I have to deal with the mental struggles with why I run to food. I have found a really great book that is helping. It is called Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. This book has totally changed my life. I have never read a book that speaks so plainly about food while teaching the craving I have is naturally just in the wrong direction.
Could I be taken my sweet-tooth too seriously? No! Again, I want to change my life. I want to live a long satisfying life. But I must be a good steward over this body. If you so feel inclined leave a word of encouragement or share your journey to a better you in the comment section. I promise I do read them and it may be the boost I need on days when I really want to down a whole bag of pretzel m&m’s.