Many time eating becomes what seems like the Hungrier Games, a version of the movie and book where only one person can survive with their wit, skill, force, size and desire. I decide I’m going to win at this goal of healthy eating. Then a basket of chips and salsa are plunked down in front of me and I eat like there’s never going to be another meal.

After awhile, though, Romans 7:15 hits me in the face. “What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree the law is good.”

It’s a little confusing but I get it. To put it in a context I understand better, I decide I’m going to eat healthy, no more grains, sugar or dairy. I’m eating meats, fruits and vegetables only.

I go to lunch and order healthy: fajitas. I love them.  The tortillas are no temptation.

However, I find myself munching on chips and salsa before I even think about what I’m doing.  The good I want to do, I do not do.  What I hate I am doing. Where’d that impulse come from?

As the NIV version says, “Ah, wretched man (woman) that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24)

The next verse has the answer:  “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ.”  I understand that with my heart but it’s really my mind where thoughts are planted, resulting in feelings and feelings, not thoughts, result in action.

So, if for whatever reason I feel like I need to eat a chip, then I do without a second thought because in reality the first thought of I shouldn’t eat the chip got drowned out by the Mexican music at El Maguey. By the second thought, although it might be awhile before it comes, I stop.

Step One of the 12 Steps is to admit “I am powerless over chips, in my case, and that my life has become unmanageable.”  For years I would not admit this. I mean it’s just a few chips, right?  Yes, but a few chips lead to more and before you know it, I’m gaining weight and becoming more and more unhealthy, moving further away from my goal of being healthy.

When talking about thoughts bringing feelings which then result in action, there is something called the “terror barrier”.  My take on it is it’s that place where the good thoughts about what I want to do collide with the old, comfortable thoughts that produce the feelings resulting in the negative actions.

To overcome the terror barrier, I have to continually be inputting more good thoughts.  I have to have a meeting with myself.  I put in more thoughts about what I really want to happen.

Step Two of the 12 steps is that “I come to believe in a power greater than myself to restore me to sanity.”  Wow! That resonates with me.  Of course my greater power is Jesus Christ.  The interesting thing in that step is that when I believe he will “restore me to sanity.” Sanity has to do with my mind.

I Corinthians 12:2 talks about allowing God to renew our minds.  How does this happen?  I believe it happens when we allow Him in to every part of our lives. We don’t bar him from certain rooms in our mind like the “chip room”.

We don’t input the thoughts that cause us to veer from the course we have set. We “take every thought captive”. We don’t let them escape to the “chip room”. Actually without the thoughts, the chip room ceases to exist.

Step Three comes in here because it says, “I make a decision to turn my will and my life over to God.”  Many say, “Oh yeah, I did that when I was 7 or 10.”  That might have been the time I decided I didn’t want to go to hell but, I don’t think that was a time I turned my will over to Him.

I didn’t even turn my will over to Him when I was Spirit-filled. He must have filled every part of me except “the chip room”.

Unfortunately, for most of my life I have run on my own willpower.

As a friend of mine is found of saying, “And how’s that working for you?” True answer:  It’s really not working very well when I try to figure it out on my own. I’m breathing but, not really living. Because really living for me is to progress forward with what I know God has for me. To do that, I have to be healthy.

I use chips as an illustration because I did eat a few recently but, other than that I stayed on the eating plan I know has been given to me by God. I lost a pound last week. It probably would have been at least 2 pounds had I stayed on the plan.

I am finding one little time of veering off the path reaps large consequences for me. I didn’t eat a pound of chips but, it seems to be the way my body responds to any variance.

Eating the chips did serve as a wake up call.

That call told me I need to engage my mind, the one that God has already renewed.  I did have that very small voice telling me to stop. The second time I heard it, I stopped. My goal, though, is to stop the first time I hear His voice.

I understand Romans 7 a lot better now. Reading it in several different versions, especially Amplified and The Message helped.  Asking for more insight and understanding from the One who wrote the book helped even more.

Although I didn’t win at the Hungrier Games this time around, I did get pretty far in the game. I almost won. Of course to almost win is to die, just like the movie and book. Good thing I have another go at it tomorrow and I will win.

How is going for you? Are you winning at the Hungry Games?

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach, podcaster and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds and kept it off since 2013.

Her books include: "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor"; "Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds"; "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy"; "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help": "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation"; and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, more information on both is available under the weight loss tab. Don't miss her weekly podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, where she shares tips from her personal journey of losing weight and discovering healthy living. Find that under the podcast tab and anywhere you find podcasts.