Tuesday, October 18


I've been having a rough time these last few months.  Our schedules have been crazy, yes, but that's not the cause this time.  It's not the extra activities, commitments, or lack of time.  It's food.  More specifically it is trying to justify and convince myself that the way we are eating is right for our family.  It's about seeing the need in the world, the millions who live without enough food, and the homeless in my own city who go hungry more nights than they are fed.  It's about wrestling with all of these things when I look at how much money we now spend on groceries.  Don't get me wrong, for the size family we have we spend very little on groceries compared to most (and even less when you consider our dietary restrictions--currently that means gluten and milk intollerance).

It's becoming very difficult for me to reason spending so much money on our specialty diets since we don't have specific diagnoses from doctor's (we do on the milk, not gluten--though our doctor has noticed an improvement). It's hard for me to justify eating things that cost 2-3 times more than "normal" food and it has me second guessing the improvements we have seen in our families health.  I will admit that, as a family, we cheat.  My son...definitely not cheating (too much of a difference).  However, my husband and I...well, we aren't the most devout to our new dietary restrictions.  Maybe it's the frustration in having to explain it to people who think they know better what is healthy for us.  Maybe it's the huge associations we have between food and good memories (or any memories in some cases).

For me, I felt a few months ago that I could no longer tax our families meager food budget by continuing to eat gluten free (and I REALLY missed bread).  So I began buying flour tortillas and bread for myself to make sandwiches quickly during the day.  I eat off diet at least 2 meals almost every day (usually not dinner because I make it gluten free and I only cook 1 dinner).  I know that it will make me sick...I will have more headaches than usual, be more tired, and sick to my stomach most of the day.  But I can deal, or so I tell myself.  "The symptoms aren't *that* bad for me," I say.  But when I really think about it and analyze how I felt before I started cheating and how I feel now I do see a difference.  And I wish that wasn't true.

I guess I'm really just frustrated with myself...and God.  Why does my body not work like "normal"?  Why would God make us go through something that strains our budget even more and makes us increasingly suspect of our tithe?  Why am I so tired all the time if I'm doing what you want me to do, God?

Sounds silly, doesn't it?  It does to me.  I know that God doesn't bring anything upon us that He won't also help us walk through.  Not by my own strength, but by His.  He brings us through these situations not to bring glory to who we are and how strong I am, but to show how good He is.  How strong He can be for us when we have no strength left.  Having faith in this is something I struggle with every.single.day.  Most days....I "win" and give in to the struggle, frustration, and cheating.  No one is perfect, but in our imperfection God shines.  So why do we choose over and over to deprive Him of this?  Why do I choose over and over to put my own comfort/desires ahead of God's?  Do I really think I can do such a better job at running my own life? If my past is any consideration I should have been assured of that a LONG time ago.

But knowing this, knowing the physical tole gluten and sugar take on my body, and knowing how much my attitude changes with these things in my system...I am still frustrated.  I still feel "better" eating sandwiches every day and saving money for those who really *need* the diet (my oldest son and husband).  Boy, it's amazing what I can talk myself into.  I wonder sometimes, like today, how long it will take me of being sick and frustrated, to truly lay these things down.  To really allow God to help me walk through this new life and be successfully because of His power and provision.


Leah said...

It's so hard, isn't it? I do the same thing with Cecilia. She still has issues off milk and gluten and I start to wonder, is it even helping? Am I forcing her to eat things I won't eat myself because I *think* it might be helping. I imagine her choosing to not eat gfree foods as a young adult and not having problems and feeling as though I deprived her of tastey treats and forced her into hard social situations her whole life for nothing. We just have to pray and ask God what to do. For C, I think we will try going off gfree in a couple years and see what happens. It makes me mad when people assume she's gfree bc its a health fad when in actuality she has to take extra vitamins to supplement what the gfree foods leave out. And gf breads are higher in fat content than regular breads to make up for the lack for elasticity. Its so frustrating. And I haven't even touched my own food issues. I'm not gfree bc I lack the self control to be. I want to eat all the junk and I hate the corn meal consistency of gf breads. It would only help me with anxiety, depression, anger, weight loss- but I still don't. Makes me feel like a total slob and failure. So, I feel ya on this whole subject!

Bri said...

Leah, I have had that EXACT same thought with Carter. He still has diaper issues, attitude problems, and falls (all things we were hoping would be helped by going GF). I know that he is better, but I worry so much that it's not enough to warrant him missing out on some things (like decent birthday cakes, non-gf snacks at church, etc). We also get the health fad thing a LOT and people thinking we're trying to get him to lose weight! Seriously...do we look that unbalanced? He's 2! Ugh, don't get me started...lol. I'm adding you to my prayer list. It's so hard being a mom and knowing you should make your issues (especially health) important, but feeling like they should take a back seat to your family. Btw...you have been very inspirational for me in dealing with Carter's food issues :) Thanks!

Leah said...

Thank you! It helps having someone going through it that understands your irrational fears! This really helped me today- I had written about Cecilia right after getting her diagnosed when the benefits were fresh in my mind . . . maybe that will help you also. Just a thought!