I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “You are about to enter the Twilight Zone?” Well, hold on to your hats, for we are about to enter the “Temptation Zone.” It lasts four months, at which time, you’ll wonder mysteriously why your clothes shrunk.
It begins on Halloween – my least favorite holiday, coming up soon. Candy, costumes, and witchcraft. Then comes Thanksgiving, a holiday totally dedicated to family tradition and food.
During December, we have Christmas parties, (both office and personal.) Then Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. Within another week, we celebrate New Year’s Eve with more parties. The following day, we attend a New Year’s dinner.
January begins with football playoffs every weekend until the Superbowl with an abundance of drinks and appetizers. A week later, Temptation Season finally ends with a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.
It’s a long season in which we hibernate from the cold, dreary days of winter. Who wants to walk in the cold, snowy weather? Okay, walk around the mall, or take Zumba classes. Play with your kids, build snow forts, and snow angels, or learn to cross-country ski. No excuses.
Have you ever noticed that no one is tempted by something they didn’t like? No one is tempted to go to the dentist, right? If we served liver instead of turkey at Thanksgiving, I doubt if the holiday would have ever taken off. But no, that day, all our favorite foods are laid out on the table family style. We are encouraged to dig in and even take seconds. Who could resist?
Those who are easily tempted need a plan this season. Recognize there will be speed bumps and roadblocks coming over the next months. There’s always something that might trip you up. Have a plan.
For example, let’s take Trick or Treating. You enjoy seeing those sweet children strolling around in their costumes. So, you bought some candy you enjoy, knowing it wouldn’t all be given away, right? Oh my, what can I do with the rest??? If you bought Candy Corn, no temptation there. But I bought Snickers!!! I can’t throw those away, can I? That would be a travesty. It’s amazing how easily those little bars of chocolate got wrapped around our waistlines, isn’t it?
What could we have done? First purchase candy that we don’t particularly enjoy but children do. Give away the rest or freeze, “outta sight, outta mind.” Get rid of the temptation. Why be tempted by seeing it on the counter?
“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.” (James 1:13-16)
It’s important to realize that God states anything is fine in moderation. (1 Corinthians 10:23) The problem is creating an idol and loving it more than God. It is also important to recognize that God provides a way out of temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13) and third, we are to flee temptation. (James 4:7.)
This practice can be incorporated into any tempting situation. You know what to do – as Nike used to say, “just do it!” The longer one debates right or wrong, it tends to lower our resolve. Turn your back and don’t debate temptation.
You have willpower – tap into it now. I guarantee – it feels powerful to overcome!
Welp! Temptation season will be easier for me this year! I’m waiting to get my dental implants complete, so my food choices will still be limited. That’s one positive after getting all of your teeth extracted!
Hi Lenore, thank you for your comment. I feel your pain, ouch! I can imagine it’s not much fun to go through that procedure! It’ll be important now more than ever to eat for NUTRIENTS. This will assist with the healing process.
Just a few tips: Fruit smoothies, whole grain pasta dishes, long grain rice, oatmeal with bananas, soft vegetables like spinach, sweet potatos. Vegetable, tomato, or cream soups. Add garlic to the dishes you can. Cottage cheese, good quality yogurt, chocolate milk. There’s lots to choose from so concentrate on what you can eat and smile with your brilliant new smile! ❤ Hope this helps.
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Thanks for the ideas! It’s been a long process but that new smile will be worth it.
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When it comes to food temptation I’ve learned that sometimes it just takes a mental rewiring – realizing that you are attached to a food habit because of nostalgic memories not the food itself. Trying to save my kids by wiring them to love healthy foods and making alternative treats when possible. Or just choosing the treat that has SOME benefits. And as we slowly replace holiday faves I’m learning that I like the healthy stuff better. Although some foods…God just made delicious. Like baklava. A land flowing with milk & honey was made for baklava, haha! I guess that’s true of living a godly lifestyle too. It’s not as appealing up front, but wholesome godly living is more enjoyable and fulfilling in the long run. And still full of sweetness and good.
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Exactly! Absolutely – I am so grateful you “get” it and are following my blog. ❤ I enjoy reading your intelligent comments.
If you've been on my website cover page, you noticed my site is about the total mental, physiological, and spiritual relationship to food. My book, "Life's Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese" encompasses all these aspects of healthy eating. (affordable on amazon.com for $4.99 so everyone can access it.) Sorry, couldn't help plugging it, 🙂
Here's one example: Sometimes a cookie isn't simply a cookie – it might represent a child coming home after a bad day at school to find your mom baking chocolate chip cookies. The cookies represent security, warmth, comfort – and you feel loved. Now it represents something to fall back on after a bad day at work.
You are wonderful to train your children early. A child lives what he learns. Our body wants to be healthy. God also wants to enjoy flavorable foods like dak chocolate or even a sensible amount of sugar. Keep living your abundant life!
You nailed it! So I decided to start this season by fasting to purge my body and mind of some junk that slipped between my lips after two bouts with the evil covid. I was on a roll….then we came to Arkansas where it never snows in mid-November. Only to get caught in the snow and freezing cold. So guess what? My appetite went crazy hungry. And we HAVE to eat out because we are staying in a hotel….Don’t go to Chili’s. You now get complimentary salsa and chips. They did something to them that makes them IRRESISTIBLE. Before we knew about this and went in, we decided we would not get them. Bill went straight to the restroom while I was seated and presented with an offer I could not refuse – because I was hungry. We managed a 5.25 mile walk so no resistance!!! Now on to my brother- and sister-in-law where the temptations will be a little less….we’ll see….I’ll be thinking of you!!!
Now Deb – you know anything is fine in moderation so it wasn’t the salsa and chips that were “bad.” No worries, you recognized and were determined to balance your actions. It’s IF you gave in to the temptation and cherished that idol more than God. You were right – you knew what you were doing and decided/determined to balance it out with a longer hike. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” ❤
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But we ate the WHOLE big basket!!! LOL
Our waitress was so precious and really, the food was better than we remembered it so we went back. We forgot to tell her to only bring us 1/2 basket. But God had our backs. Our food was out before we ate many chips. So we were too full before we could eat many of them. Yes, I learned to control my appetite after Bill’s life-changing test on 12/16/2016! Covid did change my control so getting it back under control….
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