“Eating Healthy Is for Sissies”
As a youngster, I often heard my father say things that later turned out not to be on the true side of the table. So I guess that is a father's prerogative, and I probably have done the same thing many times. But I don’t want to research that aspect of my life right now.
One that he said quite often was, "Eating healthy is for sissies."
At the time, I had no idea what he was talking about, but I did know that good old mom worked very hard to make sure he had healthy food to consume. So she did her job, but he did not fare well with that. He always ate in the opposite of healthy, and that just was the way he was.
Later in life, he had diabetes, high blood pressure, clogged arteries and finally, several heart attacks. Then he died.
According to him, these things had nothing whatsoever to do with his eating. They were just things that happened and he had no control over them.
No matter how sick he was at any given time, he always found it in himself to enjoy a dessert with lots of sugar in it. His favorite dessert was the one he was eating at the time.
I had not remembered that for the longest period until several weeks ago, when I had my first heart attack. Who knew I even had a heart! And, what did my heart have against me that it wanted to attack me?
My main artery was 90% clogged, and the doctors called it the "widow maker." That was something relatively new to me.
I spent about half a week in the hospital having a stent put in to help the main artery. The nurses took more blood out of me than I knew I had. Count Dracula would have been jealous.
One nurse, I called Nurse Porcupine because she had more needles than a porcupine had quills. It took half a dozen attempts to find an artery that had blood in it. Both my arms are black and blue and have the appropriate needle marks in them.
My stay in the hospital was only three days, but felt like an eternity. Its experiences like that make you appreciate your own home and bed and lazy chair. I was so happy to get home.
Then I again thought about my father. He spent most of his time in the hospital during the last few years of his life. I am not quite sure how he made it through those experiences, but he did. Then I thought about his healthy diet remarks.
According to him, a diet consisted of what he wanted at the time. All this cautious eating was far beyond his modus operandi.
I remember once he spent two weeks in a hospital to have his arteries cleansed and purged, or whatever they call it, and when he came home, his idea was, "I'm healthy now so I can eat whatever I want to eat."
It did not take long until he was back where he was before he went into the hospital.
Thinking about this, I had a dire option before me.
I could take things as my father did in a very hap-hazardous way and not take my dietary routine seriously.
On the other hand, I could take my health and my eating habits seriously.
My first impression is to go along with my dad. After all, dads are never wrong, right?
Not to criticize my father, who has been gone for over a decade, but he did not really take his health seriously. He assumed it was just a given that he could eat whatever he wanted with no consequences involved.
As the situation is, the biggest obstacle in my decision concerning my health and eating habits is the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. For some reason, she has taken my diet quite seriously as though it was hers.
The quandary I am in is that she is the one who supervises the culinary activities in the house. I have been barred from the kitchen for years because of an incident that happened a few years back, which I am not comfortable getting into right now.
Being in a health-challenging situation right now, I do not have many choices. It's either eat what the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has produced or starve. Starving is not the particular exercise that I enjoy.
I must admit my wife is a marvelous cook and makes very delicious meals, which I am assured, are most healthy. From my point of view, if it does not have broccoli, then it is delicious.
Her healthy array of desserts is mouthwatering.
Therefore, I can do my own thing and be in a lot of trouble or allow the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage to do her thing and be in charge of the dietary activities in our home.
In pondering this quandary that I am in, I realized a wonderful verse in the Bible. "And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 3:13).
Instead of getting all caught up in some ritualistic eating habits, I believe from God's perspective he would want me to enjoy my life. But, of course, as I realize now, enjoying life means that I take care of my eating habits to the glory of God.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is www.jamessnyderministries.com.]