It’s the start of a new year and, like so many others, I have tried to focus on eating more healthy foods. I love food! I especially love ice cream, cookies, brownies, and cake! None of my favorite foods fit in the “healthy food” category. So, I have to maintain willpower and self-restraint as I work the sugar cravings out of my system. I have had some success over the past week until . . . two cookies were left on the kitchen counter! Gasp!
They were oatmeal raisin cookies. They were over-baked so the raisins had turned into hard little wrinkled pellets. I don’t know how long they had been sitting on the counter, but I’m sure the open air didn’t help the quality of the cookies. Their brown rough texture made them even less appealing. Except. They were cookies! That’s all my mind needed to know. The tempting voice in my head kept sending me cookie thoughts: “They are so little. They can’t have too many calories.” “Nobody will know.” “You did take a walk this morning, so a few extra calories won’t matter.” “You can eat healthy tomorrow. Today, eat those cookies!”
My self-restraint lasted . . . oh, about a minute. Each cookie was devoured in two bites. The calories burned in my 90 minute walk was suddenly consumed in about the same amount of time it took me to put on my walking shoes. No matter. The pleasure of that sugar high lingered. And then I added the cookie data into the “MyFitnessPal” app. That’s when the self-loathing began.
“What is wrong with you? Those cookies weren’t even that great-tasting! You’ve wasted all your efforts toward healthy eating!” Interesting. The self-loathing voice sounded just like the one that told me to eat those darn cookies!
As I was in the midst of my negative self-talk and cookie remorse, a chilling thought hit me.
I expect my husband to use self-restraint to stay away from porn and lustful thoughts and yet, I can’t even control myself from eating two ugly little cookies!
My face suddenly felt hot and my throat tightened, the physical reactions I have when I feel shame. I felt terrible. I needed something to feel better. Obviously, eating cookies was not the answer.
Chips! Tortilla chips with salsa! Hey. They’re not sweets. Surely, the dipping motion of my hand to secure those chunky salsa bits on the chip will eat up some calories!
Stop! Get off the shame train! Eating cookies, chips, or whatever does not involve the same pattern of behavior as a sex addict who is fighting off cravings for lust! I don’t want to accept that idea. It can’t be true. Eating cookies does not destroy families (unless my health deteriorates to the point that I can’t function as a wife, mother or grandmother). Eating cookies is not a sin (unless I let my cravings consume me and keep me from focusing on God). Eating cookies does not lead me to strip clubs and places I shouldn’t be (like fast-food restaurants?). Eating cookies does not break the commandments of God (unless you believe that your body is a temple and gift from God). Dang those parenthetical thoughts!
I am uncomfortable thinking that there might be some connections between my own weaknesses and my husband’s lustful addictions. Obviously, there are differences, but as I write this, the lines between them become more and more blurred. I don’t think my cookie experience should make me feel sinful or devalue my self worth. The lesson I need to remember from this is to have some understanding toward my husband as he works on his recovery and repentance from sex addictions and sins.
I think we’ll have grilled chicken and a green salad for dinner!