As a small child hearing about my grandmother's latest fad diets, I swore I'd never participate in those.
Eat cabbage soup (and only cabbage soup) for a month straight? No thank you.
We also heard often about the grapefruit diet, were offered Tab on a regular basis, and were able to recognize what was left of Nan's house after Katrina mainly because of the Slim Fast paraphanalia.
There was no reason for me to not know about a fad diet, or to be attracted to one. And I was NOT going to have any part of it. Ever.
That is, until I gained weight. When that happened, um, YES I want to lose weight quickly, easily and with as little effort as possible! I can sprinkle this powder on my food and drop 10 pounds? Bring it on! Drinking this shake will curb my appetite? Leave that blender out 24/7! Having a tablespoon of that type of vinegar after a meal will absorb fat? Pucker up!
Ah yes. My strong opinion of fad, yo yo diets was deeply rooted and not going anywhere...until my situation changed and I needed a solution.
A yo yo approach to anything is pretty unhealthy, really. I'd not thought of emotions and attitude in quite that light till I read a very familiar passage of scripture this week:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” – James 1:2-8
How easy is it for me to be disgusted by bad driving...when I'm not in challenging traffic?
How often do I judge those who make political choices I don't agree with...having never been challenged by circumstances other political parties work to change?
How much does divorce disgust me...me, who's never felt strongly enough about anyone long enough to marry them?
(I could go on and on, but I've probably alienated enough readers for now.)
My point is, all situations could lead to yo yo behavior. And since my volatile emotions are no more attractive than Nan's diet of the week in the 80s, I clearly can't rely on my own devices for stability.
Now that weight is a challenge for me, I can totally imagine that dieting could count as a "trial of many kinds." Yet, the only time I've "counted it pure joy" was to relish the relief that a shallow ex-boyfriend would stop harassing me with 30 extra pounds. Probably not what Paul, or God, had in mind with those words.
When I think of getting into a funk as the equivalent of committing to the cabbage soup diet, it's not such a comforting option.
Developing perseverance may not be easy, but it certainly seems healthier in the long run. Not to mention easier to be around.
So long, yo yo behavior. I think it's time to give perseverance a shot.