Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Getting it Together: Mind, Body and Soul

I had fun writing that letter to my mouth that I posted previously. But it didn't seem to make a big difference, other than getting me to think about what motivates my overeating.

I overeat for a lot of reasons, but reading Potatoes, Not Prozac, helped me come to realize that my body is set up to crave carbohydrates and sugar. My doctor also has acknowledged that my genetics have combined to give me a body super sensitive to sugar and carbs. The more I observe my body's response to trying to eat a low-carb diet, the more I've become convinced that I am a sugar addict.

I am struggling to overcome this addiction. And I'm having a hard time keeping my life in balance. When I'm totally focused on what I eat, I neglect doing the things that bring me joy, that bring me fulfillment.

Alcoholics Anonymous encourages recovering addicts to call upon a higher power. I have come to the realization that I need to do that too.

When I read Elder David A. Bednar's talk "Pray Always" from October's General Conference, a light bulb went on. He talked of how the Lord created all things spiritually before they were created temporally. And Elder Bednar said that we could use those same principles in our morning and evening prayers. As I continued to read his words, I came to understand how that might work to help me overcome my overeating tendencies.

As I've knelt to pray the past few mornings, I've asked for help in spiritually creating a day where I don't overeat. Where I eat three meals in gratitude. Meals I savor and enjoy. Meals that utilize the many foods that have been created for our nourishment and pleasure. I also plead for strength to stop eating when I'm full, when I'm satisfied. In my prayers I ask for the Lord's help in creating a day spent in His service.

By implementing Elder Bednar's counsel I've learned important things about the Lord and about myself. For starters, the Lord knows me and cares about how I feel. He is all about life and living, and for Him, the quality of our lives matter.

A big part of my motivation to lose weight and experience better health hinges on my future plans of serving a full-time mission for my church with my husband. That's looking ahead to our retirement years. The Lord is helping me see that good health will not only allow me to serve Him later, but also better serve Him now. When I feel good, I'm happy. And when I'm happy, I'm outgoing and helpful. I reach out to others, including my family, and radiate joy. (When I don't feel well, I don't radiate joy. Sometimes what I radiate is more along the lines of snippy and grumpy.)

I'm hopeful that with the Lord's help I'll get myself together -- mind, body and soul -- and overcome the weakness I have for sugar and carbs. I may never be skinny, but I'll be happy and healthy.

Happy and healthy is enough.


Suko said...

Happy and healthy is enough! Remember that your body is a temple and deserves the best (whole, healthy foods).

Christie said...

Thanks, Suko. I'll try to remember. Food is fuel for our bodies. But unlike a gas tank that will only hold so much fuel, our bodies allow for over-filling. Imagine if it were not so. Those extra foods we try to add would dribble down our chins and onto our shirt fronts, making a wasteful mess. I just need to remember that the extra food I eat, food that I don't need for fuel, also makes a waist-full mess as well.

Suko said...

Just make sure you use premium fuel! : )

Flashlight Girl said...

I loved Elder Bednar's talk as well. The counsel he gives on what we should pray for is amazing. The one that really hit home for me was praying for strength to put aside the "natural man." It was like a lightning bolt! I'm hanging on to my food like it's my lifeline and source of joy instead of putting myself in the able hands of the Lord. My constant focus on physical things often sends my spiritual focus elsewhere. This is what I'm working on now. Finding the balance. Asking for the strength to make the good choices, spend my time in serving (family, church, whoever) and NOT in obsessing over food. I still need to control it; be wise, but focus on other things. It's a constant struggle for me. Thanks for sharing your struggle on this blog! It helps me think about food/body/peace and happiness in different ways. I hope it is helpful for you, too.!