Caution . . . culinary temptations attack the senses from everywhere this time of year. You might be wondering, “Why bother? I’ll have fun and simply begin again in January.” But why go backwards? You’re already healthier, so don’t give in to stinkin’ thinkin’! Your goal during this time of celebration is to at least maintain . . . not gain!
Hebrews 10:35 – 36 says, “So do not lose the courage you had in the past, which has great reward. You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what He has promised.”
Remember these basic truths when tempted at holiday parties:
1. Health is more important than weight loss. A 180 lb person could be perfectly healthy while someone 110 lbs. might not. Simply because someone is thin doesn’t make them healthy. Consuming nutrients do. However, this truth shouldn’t give you license to trash God’s Temple.
Whatever you consume, it’s your choice. I don’t care if your mother-in-law would be offended if you don’t eat her fruit cake. It’s your choice whether you do or not! There are ways to maintain weight control without hurting someone’s feelings. Kindly announce, “You know Mom, I’ve been so proud of myself for getting healthier. With your encouragement, I’ll reach my goal. Will you be my support partner with this?” Make sure you stress ‘health’, not weight, or she’ll certainly come back with, “Honey, you’re fine the way you are!” or something similar.
2. Any food is fine in moderation. There is no such thing as a good or bad food, it is simply food, which means energy for the body. Select the best choices among those available. That way you control your circumstances, not the other way around.
3. Move to burn calories! Develop a variety of enjoyable exercises this month. Dance at home, ask a partner to jazzercise, racquetball, walk, jump rope or use a Wii program. Develop new muscle to burn those extra calories.
4. Identify your “why” before you give in to that tempting morsel. Most of the time people eat for reasons other than hunger. Are you really hungry or just tempted by your eyes? Are you provoked by a feeling, just need something to do with your hands? Are you self-conscious, eating so you won’t have to speak? Recognize and strategize a way out, like go to another room or turn your back to the food table.
5. Identify your “trigger” foods and don’t bring those into the house. If you were a recovering alcoholic you wouldn’t socialize at a bar right? So avoid the pastry aisles at the supermarket and don’t buy that Bailey’s just in case your “friends” pop over for a drink.
6.Understand how thoughts patterns affect eating habits. It’s not an “all or nothing” proposition. You’re not a failure if you over-indulge, but you won’t feel great about yourself either. Visualize how victorious you’ll feel the next day if you avoid pigging out at that party or family function.
7. Create a Victory Jar. Set up a calendar, documenting each accomplishment. Reward yourself each week with a non–food reward for reaching goals. Write down rewards on a piece of paper or place a dollar bill into a clear jar. Every time you view those successes, buy something you want more than food.
Satan wants us to self-destruct and feel like a failure. But don’t give him a foothold! You’re Victorious when you allow God to control your actions. Shouldn’t you love the LORD more than food?
“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)