|CUPCAKES, CHEETOS, AND COOKIES, Oh My!|
by Marsha Jordan
June 5, 2006
Category: Christian Living
|RE YOU THE type of person who eats when you're stressed? I am. I eat when I'm stressed, when I'm sad, when I'm happy, and when I'm tired. I believe there's a food for every mood.|
I eat for any reason at any time. I eat when I'm watching television, I eat while riding in the car, and I even eat while sitting at the computer. There are enough crumbs in my keyboard to feed a troupe of boy scouts. Every once in a while, I just shake it over the table and announce to the husband, "Dinner's ready!"
I eat too much, too often. Since I was a kid, I've had a weight problem. I could never weight for the next meal. I began wearing a girdle to school in kindergarten, and I've been on diets for most of my life.
I recently began yet another new eating regimen. Forbidden food groups include appetizers and desserts, anything processed or fried, and anything with meat or dairy products in it. I must also avoid all foods seen on TV commercials or restaurant menus. I cannot eat anything prepared by my grandma, Aunt Hildegard, my third cousin twice removed, or any other member of the family. It's called the Oriental Diet. I can eat all I want from the specified food list (celery, kale, bok choi, and those tiny ears of corn), but I must use only one chopstick.
This week, I've failed miserably at sticking to my eating plan. I've had an insatiable appetite for junk food. In addition to a dumpster load of Hostess Twinkies, I've devoured roughly eleven cases of raspberry Fig Newtons and eight and a half pounds of extra crunchy Cheetos. I can't be sneaky about it either. When the husband asks if I've eaten all the Cheetos, how can I look innocent when my fingers and teeth are orange?
Wouldn't you think that after stuffing myself with junk food all week I'd be satisfied? I'm not. In fact, the more I eat, the more I crave. If I continue this way, I'll need a front end loader to lift my carcass out of the Lazy Boy.
To make matters worse, I don't get enough exercise. But I really can't do much that's physical, because I think I pulled a fat cell. I'm barely able to crawl to the kitchen for six square meals a day.
I really need to lose weight. I want to know how it feels to bend over and tie my shoes without cutting off the blood supply above my waist and feeling as if my intestines are being pushed out my ears. It would be great to zip my jeans without fainting from lack of oxygen. So I must get back on track. I'll paste on my refrigerator door that old proverb uttered by some wise sage: "If it tastes good, spit it out."
From now on, I'll plan my meals around a main dish of parsley. Only nutritional foods will pass my lips, like rutabagas, spinach, and celery -- stuff that takes half an hour to chew. By the time I swallow them, my aching jaws will be too tired to munch extra-crunchy Cheetos or anything else. Now if I could only figure out a way to make veggies taste like turtle cheesecake.
To keep my weight down and my arteries clean, I must eat health-restoring foods. Similarly, keeping my spiritual arteries open and flowing freely requires health food for my soul. Whoever coined the phrase "Garbage in, garbage out" knew what he was talking about. When I dump into my spirit things that I'm better off without, they transform my perceptions, attitude, and actions. The result can be just as shocking as that horror-filled moment when I view my cellulite-riddled body in Wal-mart's dressing room mirror.
So, I've made two resolutions. One is to strengthen my body and fuel it with life-sustaining foods. Also, I'll incorporate into my lifestyle more exercise than just aerobic eating and lifting extra large Hershey bars. I'll start slowly with the goal of working up to three sit ups a day. And instead of walking, I'll jog from my bed to the table.
I also plan to exercise my faith and feast spiritually on the word of God. This will be easier and much more palatable than a physical diet; and it will keep my sin-sick, love-starved soul in tip-top health. Bible study is the meat that gives me strength for handling stress and a clear mind to make good decisions. And, unlike Chinese food, it doesn't leave me feeling empty in an hour.
Jeremiah 15:16 says, "When your words came, I ate them; and they were my joy and my heart's delight." Jesus promised that whoever hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be satisfied, and Psalm 63:5 testifies, "My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods."
I feel better already.
Additional Thought To Ponder:
"Taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8)
Marsha Jordan is a disabled grandmother, author, and shower singer who began her writing career on the bathroom walls of St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary School. Now her writing appears in restrooms throughout the country. Jordan has two boys, ages 30 and 55. She's been married to the 55 year old for 31 years.
She's been held captive for a quarter of a century In the north woods of Wisconsin where she shares an empty nest with her rocket scientist husband and their badly behaved toy poodle, King Louie who rules the household with an iron paw.
After her grandson was badly burned, Jordan created The HUGS and HOPE Foundation, a nonprofit charity devoted to cheering critically ill and injured children.
Jordan's inspirational and humorous essays are available in her new book, "Hugs, Hope, and Peanut Butter." The book is illustrated with drawings by kids who are battling for life.
More columns by Marsha Jordan