Having just returned from a weeklong family vacation, like many of us do this time of year, it’s time for a detox. While away with my family, we had a festive week in which we celebrated being together in a new place without the normal stresses of life pulling us this way and that.
As with any good feast we filled our plates high with breaded delicacies and fried treats to go along with the various chocolate covered whatever’s and finally chased it down with a refreshing IPA or nicely blended red wine.
I wasn’t all that worried about eating clean while I was away with my family because it wasn’t the point. The reason of our gathering to eat together was just that… to be together… wasting time. While certainly my body, especially my gut, protested the drastic change of diet, it was enjoyable making memories with our kids as we ate whatever, whenever.
Now for the detox part. During our long drive back home I found myself craving a salad, something, anything with nutrients, but instead found myself plunging my fist into the bag of Funions or poppin’ Rolos like they were Advil for my fat hangover. I started to realize as we began to see the Ft. Worth sky line that when my feet touched ground on a place I call planet earth, I would need to get back in the fight… and it wouldn’t be easy.
Mark Sisson describes in his article, “8 Reason Why You Act Against Your Own Better Judgement” how foods like the ones I indulged in for a week straight can be tough to curb. Whether you describe the road I chose to go down as opioid receptors gone wild, umami taste buds on crack, a weeklong slumber party daze, or just plain fun with the family, the cravings were there.
I was surprised at how quickly I could slip back into old nutrition habits and how my body craved all of those salty, sweet, carbohydrate rich foods so quickly. When my feet did hit the ground I had to begin becoming intentional again. As I began to make the right dietary choices it once again became easier and easier each time I was faced with an eat/don’t eat decision.
In this same way, moral habits can easily slide down the proverbial tube if we let off the gas and slip into our familiar gear of mediocrity. While this slacking has much greater consequences, it works in the same way. We like sin… like a fat kid loves cake.
Face it, we’re all broken and if we don’t surrender our lives to the One who has killed death and sin, we quickly become addicted to it just like that scrumptious pastry sitting in front of us. It’s a slow numbing of the senses filled with excuses and self-pity, but we’ve all gone there and will go there again unless we stay vigilant.
I hope that you all have memorable summer vacations and are able to make time to spend with the ones you love. Just keep in mind that all of the work that you put in so far in becoming intentional must not be wasted just to go back to your old self. Remember Pope Benedict’s clarion call to all of us:
The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness!