Before I begin, I want to thank you for clicking on this post. I’m glad I’m not the only person who clicks on links with titles such as these. What’s up, my fellow curious readers?!
As you have probably expected, I am not talking about the kind of cheating that involves hurting the people around you. Nope, if you expected an admission of betrayal or deceit, that is not what you will get today. However, we will be talking about the most common cheating of all… Cheating on our healthy lifestyle.
(Wow, yes, so bad, you naughty little thing, you. You chose chocolate over carrots.)
Some of you are probably rolling your eyes. “Another blog about healthy eating. I bet you’re doing one of those hipster Paleo-vegan-not-fun-at-all cleanses”. Hear me out, though. Yes, I do stay away from dairy(not at all by choice, simply because my stomach has decided it was not meant to be), and do not fill my meals with glutinous foods because let’s be real, it’s horrible for you. Paying attention to what I put in my body has radically changed my life and my health, but that is a whole other blog post itself.
What I really want to address, is the fact that there are some days when we are not the super-healthy-awesome-attractive-lady, who has it all together.
Most of the time, you can find me in my kitchen cooking some kind of protein and veggie. Then there are those times where you will spot me in the line at Walmart; arms full of feminine products, tired shoulders, and a box of peanut M&Ms. Both of these people are me, in all my glory.
It used to be that whenever I would find myself on those harder days, I’d give myself a scolding. When I’d either wake up from a nap surrounded by wrappers or end up at the bottom of a bag of chips, I’d punish myself by sitting in a gloomy self-hating funk the rest of the day. You’ve been doing so well, and now you’ve ruined all your progress. You’re going to gain back 20 pounds just from everything you’ve ate today.
But even though those days are rough (I say are because they still happen occasionally; hey, not perfect!), I know that it is what it is: just a rough day. Those happen. I’m not saying that we should stop trying to better ourselves, throw out all the work we’ve put in for a lazy attitude. What I am saying, is that sometimes you need a daggone Little Debbie because you haven’t had one in three months and it sounds like it might make your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day slightly better.
What I’ve learned since starting my journey towards health is that our one and only comfort is found in Jesus. Here’s something that might shock you, too- Jesus is with me when I cheat a little bit and eat a Reese cup. He’s there with me when I eat it, and He’s there with me the rest of my days where I’m making healthy lifestyle choices. Well, what is the difference between this and a food addiction then??
I am not controlled by food. I control the food that I put in my mouth. I control how much goes in, what goes in, and the quality of what goes in. When the day comes that the bag of chips I normally overlook without a second thought calls my name, I think about it before I decide what I will do. I think this is what makes all the difference. I used to have a major problem with food, comforting my sad, lonely, ashamed self with it whenever I could. I know what food addiction looks like. Indulging yourself every once in a while is not a food addiction.
Jesus is not ashamed of me when I eat something unhealthy. He does not cast me aside, disappointed in my splurge. He is there with me, walking beside me, comforting me and communing with me daily. Because I make it a point to walk in His presence daily, to always live in His love, I know how to love myself. When I didn’t know how to love myself, I didn’t know how deeply I was loved, and I’d turn to the pleasures of the flesh to try and numb the pain.
My cheat days do not turn into a lifestyle of counterfeit comforts. I do not depend upon sugary sweets or deep fried delicacies; I depend upon Jesus. Since I know this deep in my very heart of hearts, I do not shame myself for the every now and then treat. That’s what it is, people: a cheat treat.
If you are on a journey to better health and wellness, I congratulate you. Every one who has been on this venture knows that almost all of the battle is in the mind. I urge you to invite Jesus into your process, grab another trusted friend to help keep you accountable as well. But most of all, remember how much you are deeply loved and paid for. He said you are lovable, and if the King of all kings can love you in the place you’re at, I’d say it’s okay for you to love you, too. Now, next time you decide it’s okay for a treat, don’t spiral into a depression or backslide into a month of gluttony. You’ve got this.