Doggie Bags and Broken Walls

Food is evil.

Why? Because it can be so insanely delicious that we lose our minds temporarily, throw caution to the wind and gorge. This is a fairly common issue. However, it is becoming more frequent with foods that don’t even taste good. Eating with self-control is extremely important in a world dominated by fast food restaurants and factory created food products depleted of any nutritional value.

The human body is an amazing thing. It is ridiculously complex, with so many functions going on at once that if we were consciously aware of it, our brain would leak out of our ears. There are functions, however, such as how much we eat, that we do have control over.

Proverbs 25:28 says, “A person without self-control is a like a city with broken down walls.” Self-control, in other words, is our ability to control our actions. Who wants to live in a city with weakened defenses? On the same plane of thought, who would want to maintain a body with weakened capacities due to the inability to have self-control?

Eating with moderation is not a walk in the park, especially if there is a history of eating related issues. For those without psychological attachments to overeating, moderation is a much simpler task.

Picture it – you are at your favorite restaurant and you order your favorite meal. They place it before you and the aroma is nearly intoxicating. You cannot believe how perfect they made it this time. Each forkful is a celebration in your mouth and it seems to get even better as you go. Halfway through the plate, you set your fork down. Conversations ebb and flow, drinks are refilled and waiters are pleasantly annoying as they try to fulfill your wishes for a better tip. The moment has passed and you notice that your food still looks pretty good. You pick up your fork and return to the plate, consuming the remaining food. You don’t think much of the act until you stand to go home and your stomach clenches painfully. Thus ensues a night full of regret as your stomach tortures you for overstuffing it.
The fork moment, that period of time where physical contact with an eating utensil is lost, is a crucial moment during a meal. That is the exact moment when eating should be stopped; it is our body’s way of telling us that we have satiated our hunger. The stomach is over halfway full and to continue to fill it would be ill advised. It might even be safe to assume that nine times out of ten, eating is resumed after the fork moment.

Eating should give one a feeling of energy and fulfillment. Food has become less of a means of survival and more of a type of entertainment. The lethargic, sloth-like experience after a hefty meal is unnatural. It is our body’s way of going into a subtle form of shock as it attempts to cope with the obnoxious amount of food that has just been consumed.

With that in mind, how can we expect to function at peak levels if our body cannot concentrate even on the food we ingest? Asking the waiter for a doggie bag or saving a majority of a homemade dinner for tomorrow is ideal.

There is nothing wrong with thoroughly enjoying a meal. But there is also nothing wrong with showing restraint and calling it quits. Portion size control is helpful in keeping a diet in check. Of course there are times where the recommended portion size seems ludicrous, but they should not be completely ignored. Another easy way to avoid consuming an entire pizza solo is to take a piece or two, close the box, and slide it inside the oven or microwave. The “out of sight, out of mind” concept works wonders when monitoring food intake. Another example might be that instead of sitting with the entire bag of chips, a more responsible arrangement would be placing some in a bowl to enjoy.

One more important factor that should not be disregarded is that size does not translate equally across the board. Limiting the amount of a food item is relative to that food item alone. A cup of cooked broccoli is not equivalent to a cup of mashed potatoes, nor is a brownie the size of a deck of cards the same as a single bran muffin. Ingredients should not be disregarded.

The world is full of grandiose goodies that should be savored and enjoyed. Expressing moderation and self-control only amplifies those delightful dishes and makes eating a heavenly experience.

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