Aren’t dieticians all about diets? The word “diet” is in their name, after all.
Not dieticians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, to the surprise and relief of the diet-weary. In their book, Intuitive Eating, they share stories of real life change that have resulted from their unconventional approach. You may recall that it recently inspired me to make my own “Declaration of Dieting Independence.”
While the book is not written from a distinctly Christian perspective, I was struck by the way its principles seemed to echo many biblical themes, like grace and freedom. I kept noticing references to the “Fruit of the Spirit,” that oft-quoted list of nine godly character qualities found in Galatians 5:22-23.*
It just never occurred to me to serve this kind of fruit at the dinner table!
Here is a sampling of quotes from the book, along with their corresponding “fruit.” Perhaps it will whet your appetite for more.
“If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. If you love it, savor it.”
(Eating should be pleasurable!)
“It’s not about going to the gym to exercise, it’s about finding a realistic way to provide regular, joyful movement in your life.”
(For someone with an aversion to exercise, this sounds so much more enJOYable.)
“Make peace with food. Call a truce; stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat.”
(Food was never meant to be a battlefield. The war is over.)
“Please be patient with yourself.”
(There are no “quick fixes.” This process may take awhile.)
“She learned to give herself nurturing messages and make nonjudgmental decisions about her eating.”
(Why is this so hard to do?)
“Scream a loud ‘No’ to thoughts in your head that declare you’re ‘good’ for eating minimal calories or ‘bad’ because you ate a piece of chocolate cake.”
(My “goodness” is not based upon my performance.)
“Progress, not perfection, is what counts.”
(Being faithful does not mean being perfect.)
“We call this approach gentle nutrition. Taste is important, but health is still honored, without guilt.”
(I like this. Gentleness, not rules and rigid standards.)
“She was thrilled that ‘without trying’ she was eating less food, feeling satisfied without deprivation, and not dieting.”
(Who wouldn’t be thrilled?!)
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives…” (Galatians 5:22a, NLT, italics mine)
It’s called “the fruit of the Spirit” because it’s HIS doing! We can’t manufacture it on our own. But as we yield to the Spirit’s control and influence, the fruit will bud, blossom and eventually grow to maturity.
I’m encouraged by the little buds I see emerging in my own life.
I may not be dieting, but I’ll gladly take another serving of that fruit!
*Qualities listed are from The New American Standard Bible.