This post is part of a 12-week journey through the lies that keep me eating. Please click below to read the other posts in the series or subscribe by email to receive next week’s update straight in your email inbox.
I loaded up 4 kids into the van on a rainy day just to have one. Drove a mile and a half and pulled up to the drive-thru window. “Hope you have a great day, Mrs. Sorgius,” the man at the window calls as we pull away. A slight wave of guilt rushes over me as the thought of him knowing my name presses down the reality of my addiction. But I’ve grown accustomed to ignoring that voice. So I drive on. We reach home and the kids pile out. A precious babe offers to carry my drink upstairs, but falls as she climbs out of the car. Liquid heaven covers the sidewalk with chunks of ice. The entire drink is lost. Tears begin to fall. Both mine and hers.
She fears. I mourn. I needed that root beer. I had been craving it all day and simply knew that I wouldn’t get through the rest of the day without it. The loss depressed me and then guilt consumed. What on earth is my problem? To think that I can not get through the rest of the day without a root beer is complete idiocy. The fact that I longed for that root beer more than anything is absurd. Truth be told, it’s idolatry.
Before you chalk me up as an extremist, consider these definitions:
Crave: to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly.
Idol: “An idol is not simply a statue of wood, stone, or metal; it is anything we love and pursue in place of God, and can also be referred to as a ‘false god’ or a ‘functional god.’ In biblical terms, an idol is something other than God that we set our hearts on ( Luke 12:29;1 Cor. 10:6), that motivates us (1 Cor. 4:5), that masters or rules us (Ps. 119:133), or that we serve (Matt. 6:24).” ~Ken Sande
That root beer was desired. I longed for it. I wanted it greatly. I set my heart on it. It motivated me. Truth is…it ruled me. And that my friends, IS idolatry. A blatant disrespect for the #1 commandment. I bought the lie that this root beer would relieve my stress and make me happy. I longed for something other than God and it controlled me. Psalm 42:1 makes clear what I am to long for…As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.
I wasn’t longing for God, just a sugar high.
I know what you are thinking: but our bodies were made to crave food, right? Wrong, that simply isn’t true. Yes, our bodies were made to crave, but we were not made to crave food. We were made to crave God. Lysa Terkeurst explains it so very well…
Yes, we were made to crave-long for, want greatly, desire eagerly, and beg for- God. Only God. But Satan wants to do everything possible to replace our craving for God with something else. ~Lysa Terkeurst, Made to Crave
She goes on to quote 1 john 2:15-16. Do not love the world…for all that is in the world, the cravings of the sinful man…is not from the Father, but from the world. Well since Romans 3:23 promises that all are sinners, that means that MY cravings are sinful. They are not of God, but of the world. I don’t know about you, but that sure makes that root beer look awfully ugly.
I’d like to think it isn’t true, but God knew what He was doing when He wrote that….cravings are sinful b/c they easily turn into addictions. Especially sugar:
Sugar activates the brain’s pleasure center, which releases opioids that fuel a craving for more sugar. Recent studies on cravings and addiction show that heroin and morphine produce the same chemicals in the brain. ~Do you Have a Sugar Addiction
It makes me sick to think that my desire (or craving) to eat sugar is really the SAME type of addiction as those addicted to drugs. This fact makes it clear why God says that craving or longing for anything other than Him is a bad idea, huh?
So what can we do to decrease these cravings?
I know this seems obvious, but God is bigger than cravings, friends! He has the power to help us overcome our addictions. But that power isn’t always given freely. We must ask for it and BELIEVE that He will give it to us. If this is an area that you struggle with, consider buying Made to Crave. Lysa offers verses and even scripts to reprogram your thinking in this area.
2. Eat protein at every meal
This isn’t likely a surprise to you. Protein digests much slower giving you that full feeling much longer. Plus it has the added benefit of aiding in the digestion of any sugar that you do consume. Consider beans and yogurt for a lower calorie protein option.
3. Get the sugar out of your house
For me this is only the first step. As you read above, I have no problem going to FIND some sugar! But, getting it out of your house is a good start. We learned last week that it’s not good for you. It’s not good for your kids either. So why have it in your house?
4. Eat fruit
When you think you are craving something sweet, eat fruit. Natural sugars do not cause the same highs and lows in blood sugar. Plus they have the added benefit of being rich in nutrients. Consider adding a new fruit each time you visit the grocery store. One at a time, you will develop a love for fruit!
5. Take a walk
If you tried fruit and the chocolate chips are still calling your name…take a walk. It’s good for you anyway and will often make you feel less hungry.
6. Drink more water
Drinking water is just plain good for you. We all know that. I’m in love with those new insulated cups with straws. I keep one on my desk and refill it whenever it gets low. Usually I can drink two huge cups full before breakfast. Drinking water is a much better “mindless” habit to have than munching.
7. Go for quality
If you simply can not get chocolate out of your mind- eat the good stuff. The extra expense will keep you from eating too much, plus it is less likely to have unhealthy additives. You can even go a step father and put that chocolate onto a piece of fruit. Now you get nutrients, too!
8. Eat breakfast, and don’t have anything sweet
For all of you non-breakfast eaters out there…I am bursting your bubble. Study after study shows that not eating breakfast packs on the pounds. So don’t skip this crucial meal and while you’re at it…don’t have anything sweet. When you start your day with sweet, your body naturally wants more.
9. Do not use artificial sweeteners.
Research conclusively shows that artificial sweeteners cause intense sugar cravings. This leads to weight gain. Plus, studies are inconclusive about the risk factors in using these sweeteners. It hardly seems worth it.
10. Eat more frequently.
Eating at least every 4 hours keeps your blood sugar from going too low, helping you to make better choices. I typically don’t have a morning snack, but afternoons are crucial for me. I’ve been eating yogurt a lot lately. The fresh fruit gives me that hint of sweet and the yogurt gives me sustaining protein.
- Leave a comment telling us one thing that you did right this week! (Remember, no negative self-talk will be allowed…just tell us something you did well. Trust me, there is something!) For me: I finally kicked the sugar. No sugar at all, everyday this week. I feel great!
- Looking for more healthy snack ideas? Visit a pinboard that I created just for that: Healthy Snacks
- Check out this list of healthy food substitutes for those unhealthy cravings: 10 Ways to Fight Food Cravings
- I would also really encourage you to check out Lysa’s website: Made to Crave. There you will find information about her book, webcasts, devotionals, and even a practical Bible study that she wrote addressing this very issue.
Looking for other ideas? This series is part of a Get healthy & Fit Series hosted by 19 bloggers. You will find fitness tips, ideas, and various eat plans. Click below to see what everyone else is up to!
Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Lysa Terkeurst and was not compensated in any way for the mention of her book. It’s just a great book!
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