Due to the fact that Kevin had recent stomach surgery and is on a limited diet as he learns to eat all over again, the talk of our household this summer has been a lot about food.
Conversations like: “How many protein grams does this have in it?” “Do they make that product in a sugar free version?” and “It’s time to eat another small meal again!” happen on a regular basis on.
What I am realizing is how consuming what we put in our mouths is– planning for meals, talking about foods we like and don’t like, and making meetings around food is an unavoidable part of our culture.
But, even more so than this, I am even more aware now how HARD it is to live a healthy lifestyle when we get so many other messages to live differently.
Fast food signs and advertisements are everywhere. Healthy choices of food are so hard to find if you don’t pre-plan all your meals. TV commercials and spreads in magazine pages seem to all allure us toward eating things that are generally not the best choices for our body. We eat out (where we have no control over portion size, fat content, added ingredients) way too much!
And the same is true in churches. I have been told on several occasions in different church settings the following about food:
a) We needed to eat as much as possible at a church potluck so there would be no left overs.
b) I needed to fatten up (a.k.a. I needed to eat that extra piece of pie that I didn’t really want).
c) Having a plate full of food (that was generally not healthy) was the Baptist way (or insert your church of choice here)
The countercultural way that I think we as Christians are being asked to think about food is to lay aside all of these requirements for church dinners and other occasions too.
Food is meant to be fuel of our bodies.
Food is meant to nourish our well-being so that our physical frame can support the work of our hands.
Food is meant to make us feel better, not cause more health problems for us in the future.
Even though it is SO hard, our family is learning all over again to make good choices about when and what we eat. And, I am more committed than ever to do so. Not only because I want to support the lifestyle changes of Kevin, but because I’m saying enough is enough.
It is time to say no to all the comfort foods which in the end will just bring us more long term problems than the blessed feeling in the short term. It is time to be serrious again about the life and body God has given us. It is time to say no to the alluring ads everywhere for food that is no good for us, even as hard as this might be.
It is time to bring the word discipline back into our conversations about food.
It is time to say no to the American way of food, food and more food without giving thanks for the blessing of living in a country where we do not go to bed hungry (well, for many this is true). And, then making a pledge to use our blessings of food in ways that honor the life we have been given.
Does this quest interest anyone else out there?