It's no secret that people have a love-hate relationship with food.  They love it because it pleases their taste buds and gives them a temporary feeling of satisfaction, but then later hate that fleeting satisfaction and the way it makes their bodies look and feel.  Today I stood in my garden and contemplated this strange relationship we have with what we eat.  When I looked around,  I noticed  yellow blossoms bursting forth with squash.  Cauliflower was emerging beneath bound-up leaves.  Bean plants were falling over because they were so heavily laden.  I thought about how God made all of this grow, and suddenly felt astounded with the way He has provided such flavors, such scents, such textures and colors in this one tiny plot of land. And that's when I realized:  We are thinking about food all wrong.  We aren't supposed to be in a war with food.  God didn't intend for us to punish our bodies for not being perfectly chiseled, or for us to be constantly consumed by thoughts like  "I hate this or that about my body."  Oh no, no, no.  He gave us an incredible, infinite selection of things to eat so that we may nourish our bodies and - the best part of all..... so that we may enjoy it
There's already too much hate in our world.  The last thing it needs is for us to hate ourselves, too, and that chocolate chip cookie to boot.   How are we supposed to love others and make a change in the world when we are so consumed with our own lives and whether or not we have done enough cardio today to eat that bagel?  We are being distracted, friends, from what is truly important.  Loving others.  Loving ourselves.  Service.  Prayer.  
Of course, it's no surprise that we believe lies like, "My body isn't good enough," or "If only I could lose 10 pounds, then I would be happy."  Have you walked past a Cosmo or People at the grocery store lately? Gorgeous people with unheard of bodies laughing at their own beauty and enjoying the best sex of their lives.  That's what we're told, at least.  My heart breaks for little girls who look at those same magazines, thinking that worth comes from skimpy clothes and skinny waists.  It breaks for all of us older girls who get tricked into believing that, too. 

And believe me, I have been tricked. I have spent hours, days, months, even years of my life wishing I looked more like one of those Cosmo girls. That flawless skin! Those gorgeous thick brows! The pouty lips! Why don't mine look like that? And some days, I still do pass by those cover girls and think about how I should stop eating so much ice cream.  And it's nearly impossible to ignore the self-deprecating thoughts that come whizzing through uninvited every December when the Victoria Secret Fashion Show rolls around.  Those girls are like roadkill, only a lot prettier - you want to look away, but you can't.  

But God created us for so much more than that.  No matter what the world would like you to believe, beauty does not come from pouty lips and thigh gaps.  Our bodies are temples.  It is true and good  for us to be careful what we put into our bodies and to exercise often.  But it's also true that we mustn't let our days be so consumed with the way our temples look that we don't leave time or energy to think about truly important things, like what we can do to make a friend smile, or spending time with God. Instead of letting yourself become distracted with what not to eat, pick something from God's splendor today and enjoy it.  Savor it.  And let it remind you just how much He loves you, and how carefully you were made.  Then, go do something amazing with the body you've been given. 

Love well & eat well, 

Deidre 
 


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    Deidre is a small-town Maine girl with a hearty appetite. Read more on the About Me page.

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