We might be considered a bunch of masochists for confessing to favouring the season of Lent above all others, but for many of us Lent comes at precisely the right time. Knowing that I need a selfless Lent, I would like to say that I embrace this annual spiritual detox but I’m basically just a big wimp about it actually.
Though it is indeed one of my favourite seasons, I don’t embrace it so much as resign myself to it.
Or rather, let me clarify.
The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
Now I know that Lent isn’t all about fasting and that in turn fasting doesn’t have to be primarily about fasting from foodstuffs. But for me certainly some part of my Lenten journey really SHOULD be about fasting, and yes, particularly from food.
Having had a long term abusive relationship with food, trying to reign in my compulsion to overeat is a gargantuam task because as horrid as this is for me to admit, overeating is a passtime that I have indulged in for the last 25 years of my life (even when I have been underweight) …food delights and disgusts me all at once. I can’t recall ever having a normal relationship with it. I know that this confession may repulse you. I repulse me too. That’s a part of the problem I suppose.
You’d think that someone with some semblence of brain activity could figure out how to rid herself of something that has cursed her life for so long, but as yet, I have not been able to rid myself of the burden of my disordered state.
I am aware that my compulsion to eat disguises, rather unsuccessfully as it happens, underlying problems and areas of weakness and yet still I allow it to sabotage so much that is good in my life.
As with any addiction, a part of the addict is afraid of not being able to cope without the source of it’s addiction. With most addicitons one can remove the source of temptation, but I can not remove food altogether, I have to continue to eat to live, and therefore I have to alter the way in which I think about food in order that I may continue to live.This crutch on which I lean, this legal, though immoral and reprehensible addiction, this sin that is gluttony..has been a reliable enemy and aly for a quarter of a century. It’s a relationship of sorts and I don’t do break-ups very well. So yes I’m scared about making a committment. It’s easier to go and stuff my face and forget I ever thought of facing the daunting task of ‘change’.
Perhaps I’m being too ambitious and it is just too big a lenten deal for me to wrestle with but my challenge will be to live Lent sticking to a daily calorie controlled food intake.
It may not sound like much of a big deal to a non-food addict, but I tell you, like me, this is huge. Considering I don’t do ‘normal’ in any aspect of my life, I expect that eating a normal intake of food each day is going to be quite the right weight of cross I’m in need of carrying.
To this end then, I’ve done a little research online and I’ve found various resources that would would assist me in minimising what I consume via my keeping some kind of record of food consumption and thereby reinforcing the accountablity element that I have found can work for me in the past (for an albeit too fleeting time some years back) but the problem with most sites I have come across is that they charge a lot of money to use them and that would eat further into my overdraft if I were to use them.
I’d all but given up finding a way to start this, but then I found somewhere online that can assist me in this endeavour and I don’t have to pay a penny for the service. It’s a full feature service too so I have no hesisation in recommending them.
This journey to Easter and beyond isn’t so much about weight loss for me, though at my weight that will most certainly be a bonus. This is more about my sacrificing the safety-net of my addiction and letting Jesus be my safety-net instead.
I feel hurt and vulnerable right now and I have turned away from the Lord in many ways. I feel like I’ve been wandering in the desert for the past 6 weeks and it isn’t even Ash Wednesday yet. My soul should hunger for God not for more and more food to placate my troubled soul, but instead of filling the gaping holes of my life with the source of all good, I fill the gaping hole of my mouth with food. It’s time of me to try a little self sacrifice. I’ve been avoiding it for half a century after all.
If you want to know more about how I’m doing along the way you can read my posts here – sporadic though they may be.
Thanks for reading.