As a young child my mother used to let me watch both Twilight Zone and Night Gallery … those scary brain children from the demented mind of Rod Serling. Both programs were equally terrifying to a little girl, but one episode in particular, scared the “bejeebers” out of me. So much so, that the premise of this show haunts me decades later.
The story in question was about a man who finds a little spider in his kitchen sink and innocently washes it down the drain to dispose of it. Simple enough. But what made the episode so terrifying and so Twilight Zone-y was that the spider immediately crawled out of the drain, having grown in size. This guy did what anyone would do … he washed it down again – several times, in fact. Each time, however, the tenacious arachnid would emerge from the kitchen drain much larger and much scarier. (Obviously garbage disposals weren’t available way back then.) At some point, the spider became quite formidable. I honestly don’t remember how the episode ended because as previously mentioned, my bejeebers fled and took cover under the safety of my Cinderella twin-size comforter. I hate spiders and the very idea that something like this could happen is the stuff my nightmares are still made of.
From a purely objective viewpoint, you would think this guy would have figured out that repeating the same process with the spider was only aggravating the situation. You would think he’d stop doing the thing that was making his problem grow larger.
Realistically though, how many of us repeat stupid behaviors with the mindset that “hmm … maybe THIS time will be different?” It’s been said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior, hoping for a different outcome.
You would think that anyone who suffers with any type of addiction would figure out that at some point we need to stop doing the thing that controls us and is making us miserable.
I’ve lost count of the number of diets, diet pills, diet programs, fad diets, starvation diets, yo-yo weight losses/gains, exercise overloading and/or last-ditch effort things I have tried all in the hopes of losing weight and keeping it off. Permanently. Yet here I am decades later still doing daily battle with a serious food (mostly sugar) addiction that will continue to control me … if I let it.
Just because I am currently at my “goal weight” is no guarantee that I will never have to worry about what I eat again. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Now is the time to be more tenacious than ever! My food addiction and repeated weight gains and weight losses are at the core of my depression. Those food addictions are quite capable of climbing out and growing larger at any time if I don’t learn how to control them.
My sugar addiction was born and fostered from being raised in a single-parent home where treats were a rarity. Whenever we were lucky enough to have sugary snacks, I would hide mine and savor them, stretching out the pleasure of my indulgence when I could enjoy them by myself. In secret.
(If hiding snacks and/or secret snack bingeing were Olympic sports … I’d be a multiple gold medalist from my years of training.) My siblings, on the other hand, would invariably gobble their treats down and then beg for part of mine. (Now you know why I ate in secret.)
If God has taught me anything throughout my walk with Him, it’s that anything we hide and keep a secret will only continue to control us, cripple us or paralyze us as long as it’s hidden in the darkness of our minds. I think that’s why support groups or accountability partners are so important when battling an addiction. Any addiction.
Unlike most addictions though, FOOD is something that we all NEED to sustain our lives. We can live without drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sex, shopping … pretty much any addiction you can think of. BUT we CANNOT live without food! We don’t however, need sugary treats or the empty calories of chips, crackers and/or processed foods.
Now that I’m in the maintenance phase of weight loss, I still keep track of what I am eating and how much time I spend exercising. My Fitness Pal and Map My Ride are two phone Apps that I positively cannot live without these days. These two free Apps have changed the way I eat, exercise and shop for food.
Map My Ride allows me to track the number of calories I burn during my regular workouts. Pretty much every activity you could ever participate in, is available for tracking on this App. It is extremely easy to switch from different activities, even during one workout session. I consider myself to be maximally inept with regards to all things technology centered, yet this App is so simple, even I can use it!
My Fitness Pal allows me to track everything I put in my mouth. Once you’ve entered a bit of basic personal information, the App assigns a recommended daily calorie allotment. There is an extremely useful bar-code scanner that allows you to scan foods to be entered into the daily food diary. Exercise is a bonus and allows extra calories should you need them if you’re planning a special event. At the end of every day, if I’ve recorded all of my meals, snacks, exercise and water intake, I can hit the “Complete Diary” button and the App automatically figures out what I would weigh if I repeated the same food intake for five weeks straight. Now that … is very eye-opening!
Am I perfect yet? NO. Do I have days where I allow myself sweet or salty treats? Absolutely! But the beauty of using both of these Apps is that I have DAILY accountability. The fitness App will even remind me that I need to record my weight and keeps track of my progress. It’s amazing how having these simple technological aides can keep me on the straight and narrow and out of trouble. (For the most part, anyway!)
I’ve been very vocal about my weight loss journey, so there’s no “washing it down the drain” to hide it if I should start regaining my lost weight.
I am trusting God that this will be a lifestyle change that I maintain throughout the remainder of my life. If I don’t control my food addictions now, it’s only a matter of time until “the hairy beast” claws its way out of the darkness and destroys me for good …so my “bejeebers” better get on board!
God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even things done in secret. Ecclesiastes 12:14 (GNT)
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. ~ Newt Gingrich