Monday, August 15, 2011

Evil Chocolate Bunnies and Taking Care of Your Body

Greetings and felicitations to you, my five readers! (We are up from three last week!) 

For those of you who forgot to bring your Bible, I have conveniently copied and pasted the text for today's musings from!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

New International Version (NIV)
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Ah! Honor God with your bodies. This verse (and any verse remotely resembling it) has been used throughout my life as a teaching for why we should not drink, smoke, or hang out with loose women. (so my Dad says) And it has also been used as an excuse to try to get me to eat broccoli and tofu (but not together). 

Where is that verse from the Apostle Paul when you need it? Something about "I do the thing that I do not wish to do". Anyone? Anyway... I have always wished to obey the things written in the Bible. Maybe my motivation was legalistic in nature, but it was still my motivation. We have already spent some time in a previous post on how I did not honor God with my body when it came to men. But right now I am thinking about how I have not honored God with my body as it relates to my eating.
I think I have previously mentioned a time or two that I have an eating disorder. It is not Anorexia or Bulimia. My official diagnosis is "Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified" or Ednos for short. This is the diagnosis given to the millions of people who make up their own disordered eating patterns instead of following the classic models. My personal version is somewhat like Anorexia in that I "restrict" my eating. But unlike Anorexics, who would not touch any form of sugar with a 50-foot pole, I comfort myself with sugary foods. So that means no food, then sugary stuff to kill the hunger pains. Yes, it is crazy. And yes, I get crazy when I'm eating like that, because there is no nutrition going to my brain. No, I do NOT mean "cranky", I mean CRAZY. Homicidal, suicidal, pyromania-cal crazy. No, I have not acted on those things. I would not be here if I had. But that is where my mind goes when there is nothing feeding my brain. 

I went to treatment in 1999 for all of this. It helped - some. I learned a lot about how my disorder works and what I need to do. What I did not learn is 1) how best to translate that into my life outside of the treatment center and 2) how to cook. So there have been some good times and some bad times with my recovery since then. It has never gotten to the point where it was right before treatment - thank you, most Gracious Lord - but I still struggle.

I wish that God could just say, "I need you to do this, Carolyn" and it would be done. Unfortunately, I seem to learn everything the really hard way. (luckily for me there is a lot of company on this road so I don't get lonely) Which brings us to why we are talking about this today.

Short backstory on this: my Mother died in the Spring of this year, around Easter time. She used to buy me a chocolate bunny every year for Easter (yes, even as an adult). Since she couldn't buy me one this year, my dear, dear friend Amy and her husband Eric took care of that. Eric bought me one of the standard hollow milk-choclate bunnies that I devoured rather quickly a few days before Easter. However, when I stopped by their house on Easter Sunday, Amy came out onto the "gathering porch" carrying this beautiful, 3-dimensional, SOLID MILK-CHOCOLATE bunny wrapped in foil that was painted beautifully to look as if the bunny had on a lovely Easter outfit. And this bunny was for me! I felt so loved in that moment. We agreed that this bunny was so lovely that he should only be eaten in a time of dire need. 

Fast forward to a few nights ago. I saw something extremely disturbing and I wrote to Amy about it. Below is an excerpt from that email (edited for clarity):

So...I was sitting at the computer tonight with Miss Jalen [granddaughter] sitting beside me. When I am at the computer, I can turn my head to the right a little and watch the TV if I want... Jalen and I were talking and I was messing around on the computer, but I turned my head and saw the most disturbing sight. This show... I forgot what Charles' said the name of it was. The only way that I know to describe what I saw would be a cross between "JackAss" and "Mythbusters". So this guy has built a little pyramid of chocolate Easter bunnies. They looked like the hollow milk chocolate kind. And he is standing about 10-15 feet back from the pyramid and blasting it with some weird flame thrower thingy. Most disturbing sight of my recent life: the bunnies got black, but did not melt down or  change shape. Seriously. There was enough paraffin and other preservatives in those suckers to keep them in their shape. The guy finally got pissed off at the bunny for not melting immediately so he unceremoniously knocked them off the stand they were on and they did bust - but into pieces, not just a big blob of melted chocolate. I was horrified. That is the crap that I have been putting into my body. I love chocolate, but that scared me silly. I mean... the preservatives they put into my chocolate scare me. And I have a sneaking suspicion that to get milk chocolate (my favorite kind) without all that crap in it is going to cost more than a pretty penny. Augh! So then I come into my bedroom and see The Bunny. That amazing solid milk chocolate confection that you gave me for Easter. Remember? We talked about how he is so wonderful that he should only be eaten in extreme emergency? Did I also tell you that he is sitting in my window seat, which means he gets heated up by the sun on the window shades every day? And he has not even hinted at melting or changing shape. And now I am so freaked out about chocolate bunnies that this one might as well be that evil Chucky doll or something. I'm thinking we should dip him in varnish and preserve him for all time (although it seems that the chocolate makers have done that quite well already). But if we shellacked him, he couldn't bust out of that foil and come after me with a sharp carrot or something. So now I am afraid of chocolate bunnies and I am afraid that my whole digestive system is coated in layers of paraffin, which is not what it is supposed to be like on a properly functioning day. See? Nutritionists cannot get through to me about why I need to eat good food. But evil chocolate bunnies can make me worry about my health. 

Just reading that paragraph again makes me shiver. I have had digestive problems for years. I don't think it is all the fault of the chocolatiers of this world. But certainly the waxy stuff I have been shoving into my body has not helped.

Part of me wishes that it had just been a fine sermon I heard one Sunday while sitting in a pew that convinced me to eat healthy, exercise, and stay away from skinny-legged boys (so my Dad says). But that didn’t happen. Maybe if the preacher had stood at the front of the church and blow-torched a chocolate bunny, I would have been convinced. Or maybe God had to save the lesson for such a time as this.

So what happens now? Well, my outlook on junk foods has changed with that image of the non-melting bunnies seared into my brain. But I expect I will still struggle. This will just be another course-correction where I clean things up a little bit on my trip down the road of progress-not-perfection. I'm sure God will continue to use unconventional means to get my attention and illustrate what He was talking about in His Word (since it obviously didn't click the first 10,000 times). And so the journey continues…


  1. I smoked for......let's just say a long time, K? And after I had recommitted my life to Jesus or surrendered my life to Jesus, whichever version works for you, I would find myself driving around town, smokin' like I did and thinking to myself, "What are people thinking? Christian's don't smoke!" The guilt, the condemnation comes easy in this mind that was raised in legalism and external behavior modification.

    I wanted to quit for my 40th birthday (2009), but the excuse that time was my youngest daughter was getting married and too much going on. Between that time in 2009 and early 2010 something happened, and I liken it to your post here about the chocoloate bunny revelation.......I got pissed about it!!!!

    I finally was able to see how I was in bondage to the cigarettes, that I was a slave to them. And this rebel doesn't like that idea AT ALL!!! So, the prayers began, the seeking guidance and wisdom ensued. I wrote out a few Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 being one of them and I chose my birthdate (March 21st) to be it for me. And the last cigarette I ever smoked was around 11:30pm on March 20, 2010.

    The difference, I got angry, like a righteous anger! AND, I wasn't doing it alone. I've never been one for Christianese and throwing around the term "delievered", so that those who are somewhere else alltogether on their journey feel guilty, condemned or doubt God's Presence in their life because they haven't been delivered. But, I can tell you that today, I am so grateful to be free from that addiction! SO GRATEFUL!

    But I pray that the Lord continue to keep me humble in that I never forget where I come from when I come across anyone else in the throws, whatever addiction it may be. In my very humbled and so not educated opinion, that's when pious, self righteous attitudes come in, "Well, I was able to stop, why can't you?" UGH!

    I love your story and your sharing it with humor and candor!

  2. Love how God comes in the most unusual ways and gets to that place in us... So perfect this story is. I just love it!

    Love to watch God hearing your cry and setting you free!

  3. Rebekah and Julie, I'm so glad you two show up and laugh with me. Or at me. ;) The journey is safer with friends!

  4. Oh Carolyn! I never laugh AT anyone....I'm smack dab in the middle of it laughing WITH everyone.


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