A Healthy Resolve: Part Two-A

haf1In our quest to become healthier this year, and to encourage readers to do the same, we’re publishing a three-part series about different aspects of sensible health. Last month we discussed the un-magic numbers on the bathroom scale. This month we will talk about diets, or simply “diet.”

Before we begin, let’s take a moment to direct our focus. Jesus doesn’t condemn us by the foods we eat (Matthew 15:11), so we need to be careful not to condemn ourselves, either. Let’s remember that Christ loves us no matter what size jeans we wear! We should, however, want to take care of our bodies, because as we’re told in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and we need to make sure to take care of that temple.

Just say no to diets

Now that you know that I’m against scales, you probably won’t be surprised to find that I’m also against dieting. This can also be a huge discouragement, as well as potentially very unhealthy. Many diets cut out certain food groups, which isn’t good for anyone, but especially not for young women whose bodies are still developing. In addition to the physical health risks, there are also emotional set-backs. Think about it. We start a diet, are excited for the first three days, then we see dessert. And we want it. So badly, in fact, that we eat not one, but three, slices of cake. Then what happens? We go weigh ourselves on the scale we should have thrown away, are depressed by the awful number, and go eat more cake! Then we spend the next four days gorging on junk food, just so we can start the vicious cycle over again on Monday (the “magic” diet-starting day). This is not healthy! Please keep in mind that if you do eat three slices of cake, you don’t have to gorge for the next several days (or weeks). Just recognize that you need to work on it, throw out the rest of the food to save yourself the temptation, and get back on track right away – don’t even wait until tomorrow!

Keep in mind that the first few weeks will be the most difficult when it comes to changing eating habits, so stick with it, and give your body time to adjust to healthier eating.

Too much, too little

haf2I have an idea that can be followed by anyone, no matter what your weight. Eat healthy and in moderation. Eat only when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re satisfied. Many people will eat for comfort, because they want to procrastinate on something they need to do, or because they want to keep their hands busy while watching TV. To help with self-awareness, try keeping a food journal to assist you in consciously recognizing your motives and food triggers; then learn to do something else instead of eating, such as scrap-booking or jewelry making.

On the flip side, make sure to eat enough. In a desperate attempt to reach the un-magic number on the scale, some people will stop eating enough food. They will limit the amount of food they eat each day, and learn to ignore their growling stomachs. This is also very unhealthy! A person who takes this route will lose weight to begin with, but if this regiment is continued long term, it will land him or her in the hospital or other treatment facility. Someone who starves themselves to a smaller weight will eventually have to begin eating normally again, or they will literally starve to death. When this person does begin to eat normal amounts of food, she will start gaining weight again, depressing her even more. The outcome of under-eating is never good!

To be continued

I think I’ve given you enough to think about for today, so we’ll pause here. Stay tuned, though, because tomorrow, we’ll discuss just how to be healthy without dieting!

By Davonne Parks

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