By Karen Smith
The holiday season of sweets is approaching. With this season comes parties, festive holiday goodies and sugar galore. This season can send a healthy diet right out the window.
For those of us who struggle with body image issues, the guilt of indulging in the deliciousness of the season can leave us feeling overwhelmed with shame and a determination to starve ourselves later to make up for all that sugar.
At the same time we may experience guilt over eating sweets, there is also a longing to embrace and enjoy the holiday season. So the question arises: how can you eat sweets during this holiday season and not feel guilty? I have tips to share with you today.
5 Tips to Navigate the Holiday Season of Sweets
Here are five tips to help you navigate the holiday season of sweets and not condemn yourself for enjoying holiday treats.
1. Remember that no food is “bad” food.
Some diets remove carbs allowing you to believe carbs are “bad” foods. Other diet plans will tell you to avoid sugar; they say sugar is “bad.” Could we just set aside the thought that there are good foods and bad foods? Let’s take that thought of eliminating bad foods and set it on the shelf for a minute.
2. Moderation and elimination are two different approaches.
Let’s examine both moderation and elimination. Could you spend a few minutes documenting the positives and negatives of each side? I know what it is like to eliminate nearly everything from your diet.
The number one lesson I learned during elimination is this–restricting or eliminating food brings false peace because it allows us to feel “in control,” when God is the one who needs to be in control.
While many Scriptures speak to the idea of self-control, “in control” is a different concept. The two are not equals. Self-control allows us to embrace moderation, and “in control” causes us to restrict or eliminate.
Galatians 5:22-23 NLT gives us a list of the fruits of the Spirit:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Hmmm. There is no law against self-control, and self-control allows moderation. Let’s soak in that thought.
So why do I feel guilty when I eat those holiday sweets? Is it a lack of self-control or a false sense of peace that I enjoy when I can resist “bad” food?
3. Ask God to give you the fruit of self-control.
God gives graciously to those who ask. He will give you the fruit of self-control this season if you only ask for it, especially in tempting moments.
I love what Romans 8:6 tells us: “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” (NLT)
Elimination brings a false sense of peace. However, if we allow the Spirit to control our minds, we will experience peace.
4. Choose true peace over false peace.
True peace comes from the Spirit, as does the fruit of self-control.
I want to embrace holiday parties relying on the Holy Spirit to give me self-control and knowing that true peace comes from him, not my false sense of being “in control.”
5. Remember there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
The enemy will do everything he can to divert your thoughts from Christ-centered to self-centered.
When you have embraced a holiday treat with moderation, keep your thoughts Christ-centered and not self-centered.
In moments where you want to enjoy a sweet treat, meditate on this truth:
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (NLT)
Wife Step: Spend time thinking about your need to feel a sense of false peace, or do you need to allow the Spirit to give you self-control?
Karen lives in Madison, Alabama with her husband and three children. Karen has served as Preschool and Children’s Pastor and has been involved in women’s ministry for many years leading small groups, making hospital visits, organizing retreats, and encouraging the hearts of women. What started out as a way to communicate medical facts has become a place where Karen uses life experiences to encourage others in their life journey. When she’s not busy caring for her family or writing, you might find her cooking or crafting.