The ONE thing to keep top of mind so you CAN eat what you want to on special occasions
For most of you reading this blog or watching the video below, Easter will be a time of joy. It’s a time of celebration and get-togethers, at church and with family and friends. But if you are influenced by food, and sometimes makes decisions that you are not happy with, it can also be a tricky time to navigate. Whether that’s sneaking in a few Cadburys’ Creme Eggs, polishing off the kids’ chocolate, having a few more roast potatoes than perhaps you really want, or another helping of the Pavlova that’s for pudding. Or perhaps your church is having a bring-and-share meal – our church has a bacon butty and croissant breakfast on Good Friday morning. It can be a little bit tricky to navigate the times when we have special occasions and social occasions, even more so recently, as we’re not so used to it.
But there’s one thing that can really help us in such situations – the one thing to keep top of mind is peace. You might be thinking that’s a little bit odd, but it really is key. Jesus came to give us peace; he left us peace, and peace it’s a good indicator of our walk with God, and whether we’re putting Jesus central in our life or not. And it’s amazing to feel peaceful, even in turbulent times. So, whatever circumstances are around us we can still feel peace. I’m sure that you’ve felt that in other areas of your life, but it’s really key in this area too.
Of course, eating chocolate eggs, roast potatoes and pavlova are things we can have peace about. And it’s not that these things are inherently wrong or bad; it’s what you yourself have peace with.
One way of defining peace is to be undivided – to be your true, Christ-centred self. So, the first thing is to work out what your true self really wants. This is your adult self, you’re bigger-picture self, not the in-the-moment, really-want-some-sugar, toddler self. Treat yourself to working out what your real, undivided self would like in the situations. And if that is a chocolate egg, that’s absolutely fine! But if you’re aware that you’ve already had four chocolate eggs, or you know there’s lots more coming up, or you don’t really like them anyway, then perhaps you’d feel more peaceful if you didn’t have one.
Working out what your true self wants, being undivided in that decision, and sticking to it, is where you’ll get peace. Now, that can be easier said than done when you’re in the moment, but the more you keep what you really want at the forefront of your mind when you are navigating the more challenging occasions, then the easier it will be to stick to that.
And we can also use this approach to have peace when the situation is over. For example, if you’re on holiday then you might think to when you get off the plane. If you’re out at a party, you might think to when you come in your door. If you’re out having an evening meal you might think to when you go to bed. How do you want to feel after the event is over? Do you want to feel peace as you get off the ‘plane, through the door, or into bed?
It is often the case with our healthier choices, not just healthier eating, but other aspects too, that the reward isn’t instant. You don’t always get that instant gratification when you make a decision that’s right for you, but the benefit and reward come later. So, thinking about the longer term impact and keeping at the top of your mind that you want to feel peaceful with your decision and proud that you stuck to what you really wanted to do, can also help you in the moment.
And be careful to keep your peace. When you’ve made whatever decisions you make, especially if they’ve been made in the moment and gone against your adult brain, you can still have peace afterwards, if you choose to. Be aware of guilt. Guilt brings you down, it can make you feel rubbish and can leave you thinking: ‘how can I make up for it tomorrow?’ But with conviction, you can accept a decision wasn’t quite what you wanted to do. Whatever has happened, make sure that you bat away any feelings of guilt that could bring you down, because that’s not peaceful and won’t bring you towards God. Instead, turn it around to a peaceful conviction to do things differently next time around.
So, if you’re faced with an Easter breakfast of bacon butties and croissants at your church, you can still have peace! Remember why you are there: to chat to people, to worship, to have fellowship. And you can still have peace if you end up eating something you wouldn’t necessarily choose; if there are no other options there is grace and there is peace for those situations. And this applies to any situation that you find yourself in.
If you want to find out a little bit more about dealing with special occasions or social situations, we cover these in the Healthy, Whole and Free course. It starts on 4th May and runs for 12 weeks. There’s a teaching call on Wednesday evenings at 8pm, and sessions are recorded if you can’t join live. You’ll have access to lots of other documents and tools and Bible verses. , and it’s a great opportunity to find freedom in the area of eating and to break away from a dieting mentality. We’d love to help you find freedom in this area and break away from a dieting mentality. Registration is open now and you can sign up here.