Working It

Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.
1 Chronicles 22:16b
I have had the honor of working in settings where, after our group sessions, we would join hands, say the *Serenity Prayer, and end with “It works if you work it.” I believe that. Many of the participants proved that to be true by taking their sobriety one day at a time and doing the work: going to meetings, making new connections with others who are sober, changing their lifestyles. I celebrated with them when there was even the smallest victory. I know it is hard work to change behaviors and build a new lifestyle.

It is hard work to change eating habits. Though there is a 12-Step program for overeaters, I am not suggesting that changing a pattern of unhealthy eating to a more healthy lifestyle necessarily requires joining Overeaters Anonymous. However, again, we can begin to see how making the right food choice is not an easy thing:

At those times, I am a junkie, a spasm of need and desire, wholly focused on ingesting that bowl of pasta (or doughnuts or ice cream). Wheat and sugar. The OA [Overeaters Anonymous] program doesn’t promote any particular diet, but wheat and sugar so pervasively spark compulsive eating that many members make abstinence from them the turning point in overcoming their addiction. 
Eating differently—changing a lifetime of food choices—may seem to be entirely removed from the difficult challenges of stopping an addiction. But, if we look more carefully they have things in common. Sobriety and eating healthy require:
  • Making the right choices
  • Getting support to make the change
  • Making changes one day at a time

Eat Better = Better Health

I have already told you that avoiding sugar made me feel better. Then I ate one cookie and had pain in my neck and shoulders which confirmed I should stop sugar! I have not mentioned another “food” I gave up during this Lenten Fast. I took myself off wheat—even whole wheat which is allowed on the Fast.  I am testing my body out on all gluten-free products to see if I can tell any changes. I’ll let you know. I’m not suggesting you become a gluten-free expert because gluten is optional. Eating more fruits and vegetables is not optional.

“Eat your fruits and vegetables.” You’ve likely heard this statement since childhood. Research shows why it is good advice:

  • Healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.
  • Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

Get Support with Your Eating

It is hard for me to sit and watch other people laugh, talk, and have fun eating the foods I have given up during my Daniel Fast. It made it easier when I was in New Orleans that my sisters have each decided to give up some food item for Lent and they supported me. Also, several of the women I met were also fasting and order vegetarian options of the meals. Now, if they had served peach cobbler for dessert, I would have had to leave the table. There is only so much temptation I can take even with support. We are better able to do hard things when there are people or a person who will give encouragement to “keep going.”

Small Steps

One day at a time. Or as my girlfriend says, “Sometimes I can only take a half-day at a time.” If that is the case, then slow it down even more and just get through the morning or through breakfast; not worrying about lunch and dinner. I did plan my eating the last day in New Orleans. I wanted to return to my discipline of the Fast. That helped a whole lot. I asked myself, “Is this on the list of what you planned to eat?” If the answer was “No,” I made a different choice. Change is not easy. Making a lifestyle change is hard. Take one day at a time.

Prayer: * The Serenity Prayerimages-3Resources Talks about the benefits of vegetables and also lists the specific vegetables nutritional value  Just in case you are curious about gluten  This talks about sugar, but also has helpful info on eating healthy while enjoying your foods


About Hilda R Davis, Ph.D., LPC

Wellness Counselor, Writing Coach, and Author of "Live Healthy and Be Well: Create an Action Plan," an action book for women seeking health and wholeness in body, mind, and spirit. Live Healthy and Be Well offers a journey to a healthy lifestyle through Biblical stories, journal activities, weekly meditations, and an action plan for a lifestyle of wellness. Please visit my website:

Posted on April 11, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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