Despite the fact that I detest New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve put myself on a diet. During the holidays, I noshed on snicker doodles, gingerbread men, pecan pie, cornbread dressing, chicken and dumplings, fudge, eggnog and any other carbohydrate that happened to be sitting on my kitchen counter. Now, I can’t fit into my clothes.
I started the diet two days ago. I made it to 4 p.m. Carrots and celery sticks, all day long. Then I finished off the banana pudding and the potato casserole.
But hey, the next morning brought a new day, and I made it through without eating anything bad for me. Today was another “good” day, if you don’t count the four french fries I stole from my son’s McDonald’s supersize.
I keep reminding myself that hungry is a good thing, when you’re trying to lose weight. Especially when you’re trying to lose weight fast. I think I’ve gotten so used to feeling full, I don’t have any idea what real hunger is, and at the first sign of a growl, I reach for whatever I think will fill me back up. And usually, what I reach for first is not a celery stick.
But when I do that, I deprive my body of the good things that fresh fruit and vegetables offer. Though they may not fill me up as quickly, the nutrition I get from apples and broccoli, lean meats and whole grains will stay with me much longer than those french fries. The junk is an easy fix to my temporary hunger, but in the end it just weighs me down and makes me miserable.
If I’ll just let my body get a little bit hungry for a while, I know I’ll feel better. I’ll look better. I’ll fit into my clothes better. But that takes work. It takes discipline. Most days, I’d rather take the easy way, even when I know the results won’t be pleasant.
The same is true for my spirit. I get hungry for . . . something, and I reach for the easiest, quickest, tastiest thing I can find. I fill my mind with meaningless, nutritionless television sit-coms, wasted hours on the internet, and anything else that can fill my time and make me forget about whatever’s causing me stress.
But then I deprive myself of the peaceful, settled feeling that only God can offer. Sure, Netflix is quick and easy. But when I turn off CSI or the Gilmore Girls rerun, I still feel empty inside.
I need to let my spirit feel a little bit hungry, so God can fill me with His goodness. I need to empty myself of all the junk so He can perform a deep cleansing on my soul. But that’s hard. And we’ve already established that I’m not into hard.
Just like I’m training myself to hold off on the french fries and reach for the celery, I need to discipline myself to hold off on the quick-fixes for the empty part of my spirit. I need to say no to things I know won’t bring me lasting fulfillment, and instead, reach for my Bible, or fall to my knees in conversation with my Creator.
Though that may be a little harder in the beginning, I know the results will bring a much greater satisfaction.
Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly-perfect children, and far too many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.