2019-11-04 The Insanity of Obsession.

“For sin will have no dominion over you,
since you are not under law but under grace.”
Romans 6:14

It’s time for an update. I’ve been eating healthy for a month now, which means I am not overeating. It also means that I am not eating garbage. I have been following a self-tailored, intermittent fast plan which is basically eating one meal a day. The results have been very good. I have much more energy and can feel a difference in my clothing. I plan to keep it going.

You likely have thought of several objections to this. I understand and had the same ones myself. I can assure you that one can survive just fine by consuming less calories than one burns, and one does not need to spread calorie consumption over the span of the entire day to do it. In fact, research is proving that fewer meals reduces the fluctuations of insulin needed to process spikes in blood glucose. Over time, these spikes cause resistance which requires more and more insulin to do its job. The result is weight gain, inflammation, and a whole host of long-term problems including diabetes and heart disease. It’s a huge problem, world-wide.

In practice, I have found no dizziness or fatigue from it. Yes, at first, I may have, but I have cut wood for several hours without any food and felt better than when I would have eaten. I think the sensation of light-headedness probably has more to do with my body adjusting to a schedule change, combined with my own psychological and/or spiritual resistance, because I now know that I don’t have a problem with dizziness. None at all.

Spiritually, the book of Romans has been a great inspiration to me, particularly these two verses:

Romans 5:3-4 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

As you know if you have been reading my posts, I have been dissecting and cross-referencing Romans quite a bit lately. I’ve found that these truths are not just suggestions but promises that should be claimed. Furthermore, great reward is part of these promises. I can assure you that I suffered to start this whole intermittent fast program. It was very difficult to keep from eating when my stomach was audibly rumbling. But, as the scripture tells us, my suffering produced endurance which has made it far, far easier than I would have imagined.

In fact, I would say that it is easier to do a one-meal-a-day fast than it is to diet “normally.” Let’s face it, I was hungry all day long by limiting my calories anyway. I may as well enjoy life by eating until I’m satisfied – even if it is only once day. Seriously, folks. Two-to-five hundred calorie meals or between meal snacks don’t truly satisfy me. They only wet my whistle.

Which leads me to a real underlying issue with regards to my view of food. Like alcohol, there are people who can take it or leave it. I was never one of “those.” In order for me to keep from drinking, I need to completely stay away from it. I have a zero-tolerance policy. I think that’s common sense, don’t you? Now, I can’t do that with food. Alcohol isn’t necessary to live, but food is. Even so, there are some people who aren’t tempted by food like I am. Honestly, I’m one to obsess about it, just like I did with booze.

So, I must do to myself that which I would do to a toddler and remove the object that might just make me throw a tantrum. Can I do that by carefully planning out my meals up to days in advance? Can I do that if I have three meals and three snacks precisely choreographed to land me at the exact intended calorie target? Can I do that if I determine to hit the optimal mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats? Oh, and how does exercise fit into all this?

Here’s what all that does: it sets me up for failure. And you know what someone do when he’s obsessed with food and fails? He eats. And eats. And eats.

Fasting is much, much easier. I get to eat tonight until I’m well satisfied. I get hungry in the meantime, but that will soon go away. Besides, as the days go by, it is easier and easier during the day, much easier than when I ate regular meals. Furthermore, I only need to plan one “regular” meal a day. I don’t need special cookbooks or ingredients. I don’t have to make one special meal for me and one that my daughter will eat. I can be “normal” and not have to think about food all day long.

Now, having said all that, I have to give credit where credit is due. God is the one who has led me in this direction. He’s been doing that for years, starting with my friend, Mark, who kept suggesting we have times that we fast and pray. Pray, fine. Fast, that’s another thing. Over time, I started to join him, including a fasting for an entire day from time-to-time. Then I read a book recommended by Samaritan Ministries, my health-cost sharing organization (it’s like health insurance, but far, far better), “The Complete Guide to Fasting” by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Jason Fung. It made a lot of sense. I did it for a while last winter but fell away from it.

It was the spiritual struggle that I went through since that was the problem getting back into it. I wanted to conquer this problem, but I still wanted to eat as I so desired. Yes, I wanted God to help me, but I really wasn’t willing to let him have it all. Sound familiar? Well, we all know what can be expected out of that kind of bargaining. So, I struggled in my sin until I finally came to him, exhausted, and willing to let him take control.

And you know what happened? I now rejoice in my suffering, and my suffering is producing endurance, and my endurance is producing character, and my character is producing hope. Just like Paul said it would.

Imagine that.

One more thing. I’m not weighing myself, either. That’s another form of obsession. Same with exercise. I’m getting outside and moving around, doing things I like. I can obsess about exercise, too, if I let myself. It is time for a whole new way of thinking. See Romans 12:1-2.

Father, what can I say? Your ways are always best. Always. Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

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