Saturday, June 11, 2011

Giving it Up

Since I started to attend OA (which I do pretty much exclusively on the phone, but usually 3-4 times/week), my journey to get healthy has taken a decidedly spiritual turn. These themes play heavily in this post.

This morning, I went to go see Fork over Knives. It's basically a film advocating a vegan-based diet and advocating viewing food as medicine -- something that can not only prevent but also heal chronic diseases (they focused on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes). A little preachy, but not too bad.

While I do eat tons of produce (I calculated last week that I probably have 1.5ish lbs of produce/day), I also eat meat and dairy. While meat is something that I feel I could cut out of my diet without too much heartache, I would have a really really hard time giving up dairy. I love yogurt. I love milk. I love cottage cheese. I love kefir. I love basically all forms of dairy that I've tried.

But most of all I love cheese.

One of the big arguments in the film against dairy was that it is high in casein, a protein that some studies show can encourage the growth of cancerous cells. I thought to myself, "If I had cancer and after researching it concluded that dairy was hurting me, would I really be able to give up cheese?" I batted this idea around for 5-10 minutes while I continued watching the film and decided I could not. I'd rather die than give up cheese. And I really did mean it literally.

Only after I rendered this decision did it strike me how absolutely absurd this was, and how deeply engrained my dysfunctional food thinking is. To be willing to continually self-injure or at least not prevent something that will happen as a result of your actions is just -- I don't even know. It's sad. But in that theatre, I decided I'd rather do that than to give up a food that I loved.

This reminded me of the passage of the rich young ruler in the Bible. Basically, a rich young guy asks Jesus what he needs to do to go to heaven. Jesus tells him he needs to sell everything and follow Him, but the man is sad and ultimately can't do it. And for me, the money is food. Would I really be willing to give up food and rely on Jesus instead?

It's one of those situations where you're not really sure until faced with the situation (as opposed to a hypothetical musing), but after praying and working through this issue much of the day I can finally say that I think I could do it. I would give up dairy if it were hurting my health or if I felt led by God to do it. And that is submission in its ultimate form, and a very huge step for me. One more step in this long, difficult journey.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, I am so glad you have started posting regularly again. I missed your writing. It is so insightful and so well written. I loved the account of your hike in Yosemite. These musings indicate much progress and are helpful to me. I am traveling and not blogging or commenting much right now, but just had to say how much I'm being encouraged by your progress! Sharon


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