Fantasy: The faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable. I
In a dieter’s world, food fantasies may be a common reoccurrence. People almost can’t help but think of all the food they “can’t have”. A perfect food fantasy is eating everything you want and it having no affect on you whatsoever. It’s all the taste without the calories – and, like most fantasies, it simply doesn’t exist.
Dieters often fantasize about all the food they “can’t have”, which can be a very dangerous fantasy. But, before I really dive into this topic, I need to address a couple of major issues.
First, let’s talk about food. Food is not bad. In my opinion, chocolate isn’t bad and having a slice of pizza is not some horrible sin. Food doesn’t make us overweight and unhealthy, ABUSING food does. So, with that said, you must realize not everyone looks at food the same way. You may very well be able to think about food and it not really affect you. However, someone else may think about food and it may open up a path of complete and utter destruction.
So, that brings us to people and different personalities. Like I said, some people can have just one cookie, but there are others who can’t just have one. They can’t even have it in the house, much less take one bite without wanting ten. People react to food in different ways. Some people are not emotionally connected with food at all – and, for others, it is as emotional and destructive as the worst kind of love affair.
This means that all diet rules do not apply to all people. You have to know what type of food personality you have, know your weaknesses, know your strengths and build guidelines specifically around what you need to help prevent YOU from messing up.
I personally believe in moderation, but I also realize that some people do not have the strength to live by that policy. Some people HAVE to completely deny themselves certain foods. Some people have to diet more strictly than others or put more restrictions on their eating habits simply because of their tendency to blow it.
Some people think this type of dieting is too extreme. They say “you should be able to have pizza” but they don’t realize they are talking to a food addict of sorts. Look at it this way. You SHOULD be able to have one glass of wine. However, an alcoholic can’t just have one. It would be irresponsible to convince an addict to go to the bar with you and have just one cheat drink. Food abuse is really not much different than alcohol abuse. Both people lack the ability to control themselves, and both need strict boundaries.
Now that I’ve covered the controversial food topic, let’s talk about your Food Fantasy!
Do you fantasize about food? Do you dream about your next cheat meal or of the way life “used to be”? When I’m done with this blog, hopefully you will change the way you fantasize about food.
Steve went to a men’s conference at our church a few months back and came back telling me about this awesome pastor who talked about fantasies. He was talking about how many men mess up a great marriage because they let their “fantasy” get away from them. He said something like this, “Men, if you want to fantasize about running off with another woman, then follow it through to the end. Fantasize about telling your wife and kids. Fantasize about going to court, splitting assets and splitting custody…” and he continued to encourage the men to not stop at the beginning of the fantasy without thinking it all the way through. WOW. SUCH great advice!
I think that is a great exercise to do with all major decisions – and it applies so well with food too. The reality is there are repercussions when you take the gloves off at a restaurant or you dive into bottomless pit of “cheating”. Is it the end of the world if you mess up once? No. but just like it may only take on drink to send an alcoholic down a really bad path, one cheat meal can send a food addict on an equally dangerous path if they aren’t careful.
Is it really healthy to fantasize about foods you shouldn’t have? Is it healthy for an alcoholic to constantly fantasize about their favorite drink or hang out at the bar even if they aren’t drinking? Is it healthy for a married person to fantasize being with another man or woman, or allowing that temptation to be too close? I don’t think so. So, why should we allow our mind to run free and think about food without constraint or torture ourselves by spending too much time around the very thing we are trying to avoid?
Stay In The Reality
Don’t get me wrong, Steve always makes a list of what he would like to have once he’s reached a goal, but he sets it aside and doesn’t allow himself to dwell on it. For me, I don’t even make a list or allow myself to think about it. I just do better that way. Instead, I try to push it to the back of my mind and bring my goals to the front. If a food comes to mind, I look up the calories so I can quickly jump back out of fantasy into reality.
If you find yourself fantasizing about food, ask yourself. Is it healthy? Is it causing you to mess up? Or do you have it under control. You can have food, but you can’t let it have you.
If you want to change your body, you first need to change your mind.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Romans12:2.