Dr. Michele and I are routinely asked the question: “Why can’t I stop eating unhealthy foods?” I have searched and searched for one clear-cut answer and have realized there are are many cultural, psychological, social, physical, and emotional factors to keep in mind.
The bottom line is that food choices can be extremely difficult and stressful. People desire to choose well, and when they don’t, they beat themselves up.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
In my endeavor to come up with one foundational reason for this question, I had to go back to the beginning of time…to the Garden of Eden.
In the garden of Eden, God created life. There was man, woman, plants, and animals in the beginning.
“and the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” – Genesis 2:9
Here we find the original intention of “food” for mankind. Yes, the food provided was plants, and plenty of them at that. So the next time someone says, “I hate vegetables”, ask that person, why they think God is such an idiot. You see, if we say we hate vegetables, we are in a fact saying God did not know what he was doing.
In this passage we find a snapshot of God’s intention for mankind. The unfortunate part of this story is that Adam and Eve made a mistake and were evicted from the garden because of it. Things changed for mankind.
The flood changed the rules on food.
After the failure of Adam and Eve to follow the rules, mankind begin to populate the earth. Unfortunately, evil and misbehavior began to reign. In an effort to correct the matter, God flooded the world and destroyed the whole earth with the exception of Noah and his family. You remember the ark right?
After the earth was flooded and all mankind died with the exception of Noah and his crew, the waters began to recede and the earth once again appeared. This is where it gets interesting. God changed his instructions in regard to food.
“The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air, upon every creature that moved along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” – Genesis 9:2-3
As you can clearly see, mankind was now directed to eat plants AND animals. This was and still is God’s ideal design for his people.
Mankind has a broken heart.
Even if one does not believe in God, there is very little opposition to eating this kind of diet. So why exactly is it so difficult to stop eating poor foods? Generally, we all can define we should eat and what is harmful for our bodies.
Why can’t we say no to poor foods? Is it rebellion against truth? Though the answer is quite complex, as stated above, there appears to be one outstanding foundational truth that must be addressed.
The answer is simply this – mankind has a broken heart. It is a brokenness that only a true relationship with God can heal. You see, before mankind fell from grace, there was a perfect and unhindered relationship with God. Mankind had it all – plenty of food, no need to work, and also freedom from having to shop for clothes. Today, mankind struggles with food, overworks himself, and stresses financially to the point of affecting his health.
It all boils down to the acronym – F.R.A.U.D.S. The acronym stands for Fear, Resentment, Anger, Unforgiveness, Disappointment, and Shame.
Think about it. Are any of these things apart of your life, either routinely or periodically? These all affect us in regards to our selection of poor and unhealthy foods. Isn’t it true that we seek “comfort” from “comfort foods” to make us happy from the aforementioned FRAUDS? And usually the foods we seek are sugars, grains, breads, and processed foods.
Actually, Dr. Michele and I find that when these conditions are owned, admitted, and discussed, healing begins to occur. Peace comes into one’s life, and suddenly, better choices in food are being made because the heart is beginning to heal.
In today’s world, we look for pills, supplements, counselors, trainers, and pastors to help heal our broken souls and stop us from doing things we wish we would never do. But friends, it’s all about God’s grace and his willingness to heal our hearts. He wants to bring his ideal of health and heaven into our lives to restore a perfect relationship that lends itself to plenty of food, relief from the stress of work, and provision that is beyond comprehension.
Isn’t it time we all experience a little heaven in our lives?
For more motivation see: Delayed Consequences of Unhealthy Eating