Pain can sometimes provide us with valuable insight – but how many of us willingly volunteer to sign up to be a guinea pig in a pain experiment? Not me – that’s for sure.
Last week’s mini-brownie breakdown and handful of Halloween candies provided me with enough insight into what real pain really means. I’ve banked enough insight to last into the next lifetime and then some. I learned that candy and/or chocolate and I are no longer a great combination – prompting me to initiate a relationship breakup. The reason for this sudden split is the horrific stomach ache (we’re talking epic proportions) that blindsided me last week after partaking of the forbidden sweet treats.
In the past 18 months I’ve been fairly successful at eliminating sugary foods and snacks from my diet. During this time I’ve practiced moderation of this “food group,” and unfortunately, last week I discovered (quite the hard way) that anything more than a smidge of the stuff produces a plethora of problems for my sensitive stomach. Apparently, my body can no longer tolerate candy. Who knew?
I’ll spare you the gory details, but let’s just say the discovery “episode” wasn’t pretty. It was a brand-new adventure in pain! Bowing down to the porcelain throne for a significant amount of time created a certain vantage point (hunched over, hugging my thighs, staring at the floor for long periods of time). The eventual result? The proverbial light bulb appeared over my head much like those in a Looney Tunes cartoon. It has become unequivocally clear – seriously, no doubt remains — that I don’t need sugar to survive. I’m officially turned off by the mere thought of sugary treats. Indefinitely.
This revelation came to me one day last week after several looooonnnnnggg sessions in the “throne room.” When all was said and done — I vowed NEVER to eat sugar again. It was in the midst of severe cramping and intestinal spasms, I negotiated with God like a contestant on Let’s Make a Deal, vowing lifelong servant-hood or missionary work in equatorial Africa if He’d mercifully ease my abdominal discomfort.
Several hours later when I finally made it to bed completely spent and empty to the point that I felt as though I’d prepped for a colonoscopy — I had an epiphany of sorts. Is a nanosecond of tasty pleasure on my lips worth hours of pain and suffering stuck on the toilet? Is staring at my feet bargaining with God and begging to have the stupid eradicated from my fleshly lust of sugar really worth so much physical pain?
The answer is a definitive …
The thing is – I’ve had similar experiences with chocolate (or candy) on a number of occasions in the last 18 months, so I should know better. Somehow though, because we typically eat with our eyes first, the power of sight coupled with tantalizing, wafting smells of any confectionery treat mysteriously destroys all reasoning, erasing my short-term memory banks.
The brain of someone with a significant sugar addiction—okay – ME, somehow completely misfires, blinding me to the lies of the enemy and sabotages all common-sense logic. Coming face-to-face with a chocolaty delight, causes temporary insanity or selective amnesia in my twisted brain. I somehow completely forget that eating chocolate will have disastrous consequences for me. The internal illogical exchange in my brain, my eyes, my nose, my taste buds — all possess significantly more power and control over me than my logical brain and sound judgment.
The real problem is that initial bite. As with most things in life that give rise to temptation, I blame the devil. He has an uncanny ability to convince me to “test the waters” with just a tiny taste. If no immediate stomach ache ensues, he persuades me to sample again, convincing me that maybe this time my stomach will cooperate. The real fault is in listening to the heated wrestling match in my head. Do I believe the enemy and his lies and take that first bite? OR do I listen to reason, my gut, and the Holy Spirit that are all screaming at me to STOP! STEP AWAY FROM THE CANDY!
If I could simply learn to avoid that FIRST bite, I’d be okay and eventually master the monster lying in wait for me. Succumbing to temptation is the number one reason most diets fail. Diets promise success if we are willing to trade junk food lifestyles for “healthy eating.” Diets, by their very nature are purposely restrictive; requiring us to deny our flesh of the things we crave the most. Statistics show that denial only serves to make us want what we can’t have all the more.
My most heartfelt desire is to serve God and not abuse the blessing He’s given me with my weight loss. Losing as much weight as I have is no small thing. God has done a bona fide miracle in my life. Why would I ever want to mess that up?
In order to always remain ever-thankful and mindful of God’s blessings, I’ve prayed and asked the Lord to remind me of my intestinal limitations the NEXT TIME temptation strikes BEFORE I take that FIRST BITE. Because let’s face it, temptation will never be completely eliminated from our lives until we get to Heaven.
As much as I hate the stomach aches, if a stomach ache is what it takes for God to get my attention and keep me from reverting back to my old, bad habits – then bring it on God. BUT if I am smart (and Oh, Lord I WANT TO BE SMART) – the next time a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup whispers my name, I pray I’ll listen to that little voice in my spirit that asks me … is a gut-wrenching stomach ache worth a couple of bites of chocolate? The alternative is, by giving in to temptation the enemy wins and will always get the last word – which he likely delights in delivering with a smile: You can pay me now –or you can pay me later!
QUOTE OF THE DAY: