Cooking and eating healthier foods, in smaller portions, and being conscious of what I eat, does not come naturally to me. I'm a busy person and I've always eaten a lot, mainly because I've always been so active and have metabolized really quickly. But it's gotten carried away. I've also succumbed to the American way of eating foods that taste great but are not very healthy. As a result, I gained some weight like most Americans.
Since taking a step back for a week while still being immersed in this culture, I've been tempted in many ways. All of it, though, has allowed me to see those temptatio
ns much more clearly. There's no reason for me to eat dessert every night. Or to have a pound of meat on my burger, topped with grilled mushrooms, bacon, and every condiment available. Those foods may taste incredible but they will also hurt my body and make it want more - precisely what advertisers appeal to and food-makers desire.
What I've learned is that healthy eating is like a spiritual discipline. I can see clearly how it would be easy to just plunge into something quick and easy (yet unhealthy), but that would be impulsive. Furthermore, if my body is a temple and I'm supposed to glorify God with it (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), this most certainly is not glorifying to Him. When I resist those temptations, eat healthier foods at smaller portions, I am disciplining myself to treat my body with respect, gratitude, and thoughtfulness (being transformed by the renewing of my mind, in a way - Romans 12:2).
God doesn't just want my spiritual life - how much I go to church, what I believe about Him, or how much I pray. He wants my physical life, too, since both are going to be resurrected together (read Alcorn's "Heaven" book for more on this). As I practice this discipline, I'm finding greater joy and appreciation for various tastes. I'm finding that food is an incredible gift that God has given, and that as a steward of it and of my body, I must take care of it. All of this has taught me more about re-shaping my whole life to be more like Christ. Even my mealtime practices.