The Not-So-Easy Way

Moving is exhausting! Now I remember how much I really dislike that task after packing up all our earthly possessions and moving them from one state to another this past week.

Although it’s very satisfying that the move is complete, there are still so many boxes to unpack and a garage that looks like the set of the old ’70s sitcom Sandford and Son.
At the close of a very long weekend my family and I decided we would “reward” our hard work by driving around our new community and finding a place to eat.
Uh, oh…
Did you catch that? “Reward ourselves.”Even as I write that statement it gives me an uneasy feeling in my stomach. I have learned that you can not reward yourself with food. That mentality is dangerous! It’s a concept I fully embraced for far too many years. When things got tough—I rewarded myself with food. When I was sad—food was the answer. Heck, even when I was happy—let’s celebrate with food.
Overeating was the answer to all my problems and it was obviously the wrong answer. It landed me in a miserable lifestyle with the classification of “morbidly obese” stamped on my medical records.
As we drove around looking for a place to dine, my 9-year-old spotted a neon sign with the name of a restaurant that he dearly loved when he was younger but that had been closed down for several years in our previous hometown. He was elated to know that there was still one in existence. So he began pleading for us to eat there.
It was an all-you-can-eat buffet and while I reluctantly agreed I promised myself that I could still “be good” amidst the temptation. When I walked through the door my stomach literally got a knot in it. I likened the feeling to that of an alcoholic walking into a liquor store.
Now, without saying the name, I will tell you that this place is a virtual smorgasbord of greasy, buttery, fatty foods. And if I’m being honest, all of it looked delicious.
With great trepidation I immediately went to the salad bar and fixed a light salad. Having been successful at that, I then went to the other islands of foods. I saw fried chicken, country fried steak and macaroni and cheese. These were things that I hadn’t been that close to in a long time. I started to get an uneasy feeling. In my mind, I began to play a game of negotiation. “Well,” I said to myself, “if I splurge tonight, I can run an extra mile tomorrow.”
But I quickly snapped myself to my senses.
It’s not that indulging in your favorite foods—in moderation—is a terrible thing. And for some people, it’s probably easy. But not for me. I know my weaknesses and mashed potatoes slathered in gravy is one of them. I didn’t want to open that door. And I also didn’t want my family to see me fall off the wagon either. (As I’ve said before, accountability is a wonderful thing.)
Then all of a sudden, while I was having this battle going on in my mind, I remembered a quote my friend Hollie recently shared with me that made all the difference:
“There are always two choices, two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it’s easy.”
Boy, does that put things into perspective. After remembering that, I felt suddenly in control again. And I realized that along with all the sinful-looking goodies on the food bar, that there were also smart choices like grilled chicken and fresh fruits and vegetables; things that were still good but also good for you. If you look for them, you usually can find safe alternatives.
I felt like I had fought a little battle and won. And that’s really what this journey of weight loss and healthy living is all about. You don’t have to have a glorious success everyday. But it’s about remaining focused and not giving up the fight. It’s about keeping yourself and your own well-being on the top of your priority list. If you fall down, get yourself up and start all over immediately.
Also, if you find yourself facing a temptation that you think might win just remember that saying about the easy reward. Anything worth having is worth working hard for. The easy way is not the best way nor does it bring with it lasting change.

About Julie Hadden

I'm Julie Hadden and for the past few years I've been on quite journey. My experience on Season 4 of "The Biggest Loser" resulted in a total transfomation in my life. What started out being about what I could "lose" turned more into what I "gained." God revealed great truths to me about the infinite WORTH we all possess in His eyes and I'm passionate about sharing what I learned through this process. View all posts by Julie Hadden

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