Back in July of this year, I was told by doctors that I had to drastically change my eating habits or I'd be on medication for the rest of my life. Begrudgingly, I started out on my healthy eating journey. Over the last few months, I've learned a couple things that have also taught me spiritually.
1. Appetites are developed.
On my best behavior, I lost 16 pounds. Unfortunately, because of my worst behavior, I've gained more than half of it back. Why? Because I developed an appetite for the things that weren't healthy for me. I wasn't born with an affinity for chocolate or French fries or burgers or bread--those were developed through tasting, and then consistent feeding. Our flesh is like that too. Although we're born innately sinful, what we indulge in depends on what we feed ourselves. If I have a taste of sex, and then am trying to stay away from it, "feeding" myself romance movies or sleepovers or more sex will only reinforce the appetite I've already developed.
Which leads me to my second point.
2. It's a daily process.
I won't stop liking chocolate over night (and I'm pretty sure EVER) but I can reduce my intake of it day by day. If I imagine 6 months worth of no chocolate, I'd probably quit before I started. But if I think of no chocolate for the day, pretty soon, I'll be a week without it. In terms of our flesh, appetites for sin may not go away either, but they can be reduced on the daily. Imagining celibacy or singleness or no cursing or (insert thing here), months or years out may make you rebellious! Strong appetites require daily victory. Now, it doesn't mean that you won't have the taste for it. But over time, when you've given yourself a chance to develop an appetite for the healthy stuff, (spiritually, God), the taste for unhealthy things decreases and likelihood of actually tasting 'em does too. I was a huge fan of soda. I replaced it with seltzer water and now, I don't even drink it! If I feel so inclined to taste it, I'm immediately disappointed because it's not even appetizing anymore. But that took time.
My third point.
3. Maintain, maintain, maintain.
Losing the weight was not as hard as I thought it would be. Maintaining the weight loss has been the hardest part. When I get bored with healthy eating, I binge on foolery, and then soon, it's been two weeks. Maintenance is about creating a lifestyle, not a diet. It's about doing things that are sustainable. I cut bread out cold turkey. That wasn't sustainable because some of my favorite meals included it. What IS sustainable is reducing how MUCH bread I eat on a weekly basis. In the spiritual, maintenance is equally difficult. We can go on "holiness sprees" where we refrain from engaging in a particular sin, only to be caught by it after a good streak. Sometimes that happens because we create unsustainable defenses. Being single is not a sustainable defense against lust. Neither is getting married. What IS sustainable is reading more scripture, or getting an accountability partner--things that can be maintained. But. Also realize that setbacks are normal. We're not perfect. Sometimes as much as we don't want to, we'll indulge. It's up to you to dust yourself off and start again.
I've learned a ton more but I'll make a part two so you aren't scrolling forever lol. I'll be working on getting snatched both naturally and spiritually in the meantime.