Food. It’s usually an ingredient to time well spent with friends. But how do we balance the plate of brownies with good boundaries? Do you give yourself a pep talk before you go to an event, telling yourself you won’t eat the pizza and stick to the veggie tray? I certainly do! It’s not just about “looking good” but about “feeling good.” We want to leave the movie night with positive energy rather than walking away bloated and tired.
Food is ALWAYS going to be involved when we talk about community. Jesus himself spent a majority of his community-building time at the table. So, how do we encourage habits that promote good health?
Prepare Healthy Snacks
Honestly, I prefer chips and ice cream over veggies and hummus. So, battling the buffet table is tough! Let’s help each other out and bring/serve healthy snacks that boost our energy, restore our tired bodies, and leave us feeling stronger.
Choose to Move
Give me an evening with some friends, popcorn and a Pretty Little Liars marathon on the couch and I am a happy girl. Except for one thing: I often feel lethargic and yucky afterwards. Let’s make plans to go on walks, hikes, or even an exercise class. Can food still be involved? Of course! You need to refuel after that amazing workout you did. But our minds, our bodies, and our friendships feel better for getting out and moving.
P.S. I hosted a Zumba birthday party a few years ago just because I wanted to have fun with my friends but get our bodies moving and feeling good.
Talk About Food
If you are like me and are wondering how to cut back on the sweets, talk about it with your friends. Ask if you can hold each other accountable for making better food choices. Start the conversation and open up. That is a great step into understanding how food plays a part in your community.
Pray About Food
Bring God into these conversations. Ask him to guide your community toward a better balance of food and exercise. Remember that your surface issues are often pointing to an underlying issue. Need for control might look like over-obsessing about calories. Need for perfection may look like extreme exercise. What god are you serving? Bring these questions into light amongst friends and start asking God to work on the heart struggles as much as the surface-level struggles.
Your appetite for good food is not a mistake. You are not sinful for eating all those cookies last night. God created us to enjoy good things, but too many good things can become unhealthy. If you’re having trouble with making good food choices, ask God for some help. Do I believe that God can destroy our craving for Puff Cheetos and Halo Top? Maybe. But, I do believe that God can teach us to need Him as our daily bread.
Filling ourselves up with God can certainly be the best healthy step we take on our war with food.