As my “New Year, New You” class began one morning, I placed a single Dove Dark Chocolate piece in front of each attendee. I never said anything, just watched.
Well, it didn’t take long. Some opened it and ate immediately. Another placed it in her pocketbook. One man gave it to his wife. Most kept it in front of them, awaiting instruction.
Then I asked the question, “Why did you act as you did?” Almost all of them shrugged, indicating they didn’t know. Then someone broke the ice. “Well, I thought you were going to take it away from me, so I ate it before you could!” Laughter ensued, opening up the discussion. “Well, I know my wife loves these, so I gave it to her.” I was waiting for you to tell us what to do.” “I’m saving it for after lunch.” “I thought it was a test and I didn’t want to give in.”
“Well, I suppose in a way it was a test but probably not in the way you expected.” I explained. “It wasn’t a test of willpower, it was a test of reaction. How we act around food tells us a great deal about ourselves. I was curious to observe how you would react to a seemingly “bad” food, to decision-making and how other’s actions influenced you. Until someone knows why they eat the way they do, they’ll never start getting better. We need to become aware of our habits and reactions around food. ”
So what would you do?
If you would eat the candy right away, it usually means that you are an independent thinker, sometimes rebellious, a ‘show me why that’s important’ type of personality. You’re saying, “If it makes sense I’ll follow your direction, but if it doesn’t, forget it, I’m doing my own thing!” These are the type of patients who need common sense, “dog-year” instruction. Like what does this mean to me in dog years? This personality is trained like a great race horse. As they learn, I gradually let them take control of the reins. They accept responsibility for their actions but need to understand diet truths. Tim 1:7 states, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
Those who waited for instruction, indicated that they were strict rules and regulations types. They follow instructions but won’t show initiative unless they know their actions are approved. They don’t want to take a chance on looking foolish or making mistakes. They are people pleasers but expect perfection from themselves. These tend to lean on a counselor as a crutch. If they begin to get too close to their goal, they sometimes gain weight, afraid to break the bond and go out on their own. They need confidence and to believe in themselves. 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show yourselves approved by God . . .” They didn’t need man’s approval to be successful, only God’s.
The husband who gave away his candy to his wife, probably thinks his actions are kind. In actuality, he had become a saboteur. His wife, a people pleaser, wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings, so she’d eat it, sabotaging her efforts. This couple, I would urge to be each other’s support system for good not evil. Giving in or enabling another’s bad habits is never a good thing. Strive for good and build each other up by creating a game of who can be a better student or learn a new sport together. Memorize Phil 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Be aware of how you act around food and press on toward the goal of becoming your own new creation, pleasing God in all things.