Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tackling Consumerism - Food

Consumerism seems to be ingrained in me since birth. It runs through my veins as an essential part of my being. At least I act like it...

Born in a middle class family in Nicaragua, I was raised used to the luxuries and privileges that others around me seemed to lack.

These luxuries and privileges slowly transformed themselves into entitlements. This sense of entitlement only seemed to augment once I arrived in the United States.

One of these so perceived entitlements is food. I love food. Better said, I'm addicted to food.

The overabundance of food in this country can overwhelm my senses, and now I find myself trapped in between overindulgence and self denial.

The food addiction can manifest itself in many ways, besides overeating:

  • I don't feel satisfied unless I have 3 full, hearty meals. I must have dinner, for example, even If I'm not hungry, which in itself is illogical.
  • Meals can't be simple, but have to be complex enough to be considered meals. Many in my country have a tortilla with one small cup of coffee for breakfast and call it a day. If I have a sandwich for lunch then I'm not satisfied, but feel like I'm missing out on something. 
  • It is difficult to stop eating unless I'm full, and not simply satisfied. If I do, then the old, uncomfortable sense that I'm missing out on something comes back.
One common thing these 3 attitudes have is the feeling that I'm missing out on something unless I do all these things. I feel dissatisfied. I feel empty.

Can it be that my stomach has become my idol? Oh, I certainly feel convicted whenever I read Philippians 3:19.

Not surprisingly, my addiction to food has made me an over consumer of food (well duh!).

After rent, I probably spend most of my money on food.

How can overindulgence reflect the gospel and the kingdom of God, where many suffer the health hazards of going hungry while others suffer much different health hazards from over eating?

Why is it that I have to eat complex and hearty meals in order to feel satisfied? Why can't a simple meal be sufficient? How can I get rid of these illogical, culturally constructed attitudes?

I'm not sure exactly how, but I figure one way I can deal with this is by going the opposite way.

What If I eat simply and call it a day? What would happen to me and my attitudes? Will they change or remain the same after months of self denial?

I honestly don't know, but I think is worth the try!

I'll start experimenting with simpler meals and observe how my body and mind react to it. I will ask God to reveal where the attitudes and behaviors and feelings are coming from.

If I feel emptiness I will ask God to fill the void. If I feel like I'm missing out on something then I will take notice of this feeling and offer it up to God.

I honestly hope this will help me not just losing weight, or becoming healthier, but reflecting the joy of being more balanced in Christ, where He can fulfill all my desires and appetites instead of other worldly things.


  1. It is hard, I know. The trick is to start small and gradually improve on one's diet control. For example, promise yourself that you'll stop buying a certain item - chocolate or biscuits - and stick to it. Aim for smaller portions. Give the money saved on a luxury (beer, pizza etc ...) to charity.

    Praying for you to have strength and determination.

    God bless.

  2. It's definitely not easy. Thanks for your prayers.


    Jose D. Pinell.