What do I really want: An Oreo or my health?

Written by Stephen W. Smith

indexI’m starting a new way to live. It’s as radical as anything I’ve ever done before. It’s requiring a huge paradigm shift in how I look at food, my body and health. I’m shocked at how much I have focused on food. Put simply, I love food. Really, I do. I love the smell, the chewing, the flavors and the soul satisfaction that I received from it.

This new paradigm shift is requiring me to re-educate my mind which is having a ripple effect on my addictions.  Yes, addictions. Cravings for sugar, bread and Oreos all seem to call out for me—call my name and say, “It won’t hurt. Eat one or eat twelve. You can start again tomorrow.”

I grew up in the South where bread, corn, red meat and grits were a staple. Now, I’m having to let go of my heritage—even question it.  I’m even having to face myself in the mirror and admit some hard and harsh realities. I lived to eat. I did not eat to live. There I said it.

As I’m beginning this new journey, I have to really come to grips with how much I’m having to learn. I never taked about carbs. I didn’t understand the whole “gluten free” thing and kind of resented people who made such a big deal about fructose and such. It’s taking a re-training of my mind. In letting go of so much wrong assimilation about food, now, I’m having to really understand some new and very basic truths.

They say the cravings will die down in a few weeks. I don’t know. I just heard this week about a famous Country singer who was admitted to an alcohol treatment program again. He had been “dry” for twenty years. And just last week was found drunk in a motel room with scattered liquor bottles all around him. He has to start over. I understand  this in a very sad way.

It’s made me think of Jesus calling men and women to a whole new paragdigm of life that he introduced people to—one which was about relationship, not religion; one that described a valuable Kingdom that we should seek until we find it like a treasure hidden in a field.  His new paradigm was not easily understood. I suppose his apprentice program was kind of like the one I’m in now. A re-orientation to life; to health; to what it means to really live.


Like Peter of old, I’m ready to jump out of the boat and simply follow. But it will be a step by step deal. And like Peter, I will probably fail. Like the country singer, you may find me sneaking a some Oreos. Heck, I may even eat the whole box.

But it begins this way. What do I really want? Do I want the Oreo or do I want health and life.  What do you want?