Confessions of a Chocoholic

The healthy balance of making lifestyle changes that ensure a

healthier body tomorrow with a celebration of who you are today will

help you live each day to the fullest. Danna Demetre

I love to eat; I always have. Chocolate? Yum. Salsa and cheese dip? Love ’em! Italian food? Gimme some!

When I was younger, my body accepted my sometimes-poor eating habits with no adverse side effects. But as I stopped growing in height, I started growing in girth. In fact, each time my life changed in a dramatic way, I put on weight.

First, there was the freshman fifteen. Then I put on the newlywed twenty, and later, the new baby thirty. By that time—my late twenties—I realized something had to change. So I began to diet.

And believe me, I tried them all. But Slim-Fast made me gag, a low-carb diet made me crazy, and Weight Watchers made me hungry. I even tried a plan that had its followers ingesting one kind of a food all day, and then switching. For example, one day was grapes, the next pineapple—and I hate pineapple! It was supposed to burn fat, but it just burned me out.

The South Beach diet was working well for me, until I got pregnant and had to stop doing it. (Now I’m thinking about creating a “Nude Beach Diet.” You observe—fully clothed, of course, a nude beach. Then you either feel great about your body and don’t want to diet anymore, or you have the motivation to never eat again. Could be quite popular, don’t you think?)

But I finally came to the conclusion that unless I wanted to look like a Macy’s Day parade balloon by the time I was forty, I had to make a lifestyle change. That meant I was going to have to alter my habits, and let God give me some discipline (yikes!). God also challenged me to start looking to Him to meet some of the needs I was filling through unhealthy eating patterns.

So I started to exercise regularly, and began to choose smaller portions and healthy alternatives at stores and restaurants. And you know what? It worked. I’m still not model-thin, by any means. I never will be, and I’m okay with that. But I feel much better—physically and spiritually.

Throughout my struggle with weight, God has reminded me time and again that He wants to be my food. Some days I let Him fill me up with His peace and power, and other days I run (again!) to the candy machine.

I’ve learned that my spiritual life is a lot like my eating habits. It’s a daily battle to let Jesus, the Bread of Life, be my sustenance. It’s much easier to run to the television, read a gossip magazine, or call a friend than it is to take the time to tell God what’s bothering me and let Him work on my problems.

So my earnest prayer has become, “Lord Jesus, help me to hunger for you more than I hunger for earthly food. Make me as excited about spending time with you as I used to be about going out to eat.”

“And one more thing, Lord—please let there be chocolate in heaven.”

Notes from the Coach:

“Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.” Luke 12:23, NIV

“In the meantime, the disciples pressed him, ‘Rabbi, eat. Aren’t you going to eat?’
He told them, ‘I have food to eat you know nothing about.’ The disciples were puzzled. [asking] ‘Who could have brought him food?’ Jesus said, ‘The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started.'” John 1:31-34, MSG

“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4, NIV

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.'” John 6:32-35, NKJV

10 Responses to Confessions of a Chocoholic
  1. Elisa
    January 21, 2007 | 9:49 am

    Thanks, Dena, for this great, real, practical post. It is exactly what I needed to read this morning as I begin a new day and new week. I, too, run to food…usually with the mindset of “I deserve that…don’t I!”…and skip the exercise with the attitude that “There is always tomorrow.” But the Lord has opened my eyes to the fact that caring for my family, my friends, and the ministries He’s put before me has to start with caring for the Temple of God He created in me. It isn’t just about food and exercise, it is about good stewardship. So, thanks again for those verses especially reminding me of who I am in stewardship to, and what His provisions look like!


  2. Sandy
    January 21, 2007 | 10:22 am

    What a good post. I try and think what you have said, but I like your words better. They are more concise and to the point. I think I’ll try them…you mean there’s a chance there won’t be chocolate in Heaven – I thought Heaven would be made of chocolate.

  3. Dena Dyer
    January 21, 2007 | 3:10 pm

    Elisa and Sandy:

    Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

    Have a healthy, joyous day!

  4. Angel Cope
    January 21, 2007 | 8:04 pm

    WOW! Your story is mine, including the chocoholic, and where God has me in this season. He has even blessed me with a mentor, Katrina Little , who is in my church and has an awesome testimony. God helped her take off 150 pounds by facing the things she was using food to hide from.

    I also just got finished reading Flylady’s “Body Clutter” . It was such an inspiration to me! Both of these women have found the freedom from Dieting! And I am beginning to.

    I love what Flylady said about When you realize that being healthy and eating right is not just about fitting in a smaller size but about being able to do what God has called you to do, it makes it a greater purpose to fight for!

    You were just my daily dose of encouragement, thank you!

  5. Kari
    January 21, 2007 | 9:50 pm

    Excellent thoughts! Thanks so much for sharing…I think that’s why the Christian life is a walk of FAITH. Trusting in what we don’t see, can’t touch…the invisible. Praise our heavenly Father for His unending patience and love that draws us back time after time after time. Christ is life…the rest are details.
    p.s. I really really hope there is chocolate in heaven… 🙂

  6. amydeanne
    January 22, 2007 | 9:47 am

    ahhh I understand this type of talk to a T!

  7. Susanne
    January 22, 2007 | 10:45 am

    A very timely post for me Dena. Thanks.

  8. Becky
    January 22, 2007 | 9:45 pm

    Oh, wow, I so needed this! It just dawned on me that I haven’t even asked God for help with this! How crazy is that. Yes, I have started exercising and I am trying (or atleast trying to try) to drink more water. Which, hey, a 20 oz. bottle of water is way more than I used to drink. But, really, I can’t do it alone. I love food ~ it is my comfort. Being at home during the day with food at the ready is a HUGE temptation for me and I always give in. I really, really needed to read this and ask God for help. Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

  9. Freedom From Dieting -
    January 23, 2007 | 9:53 am

    […] I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. Having kids only enhanced the struggle, but I can not blame them for my extra girth. ( as Dena from Faith lifts so delicately put it!) I have always eaten my stress, my joy, my anger, my disappointment, you get the picture. […]

  10. Dena Dyer
    January 25, 2007 | 1:19 pm

    Becky, Susanne, Amy, Angel and Kari:

    I’m so glad my words were an encouragement for you. God has truly been working on me about this topic, for years. It’s nice to know that my struggle can help someone else! 🙂

    May He richly bless you today!