Over the past four days, I devoured what I estimate to be around 840,233 calories.
The crazy part is I had reached a point where hunger was no longer the driving force.
My eating had become synchronized with TV commercials.
Every ad break was a cue.
An automatic reach for anything edible.
Regardless of need or even taste.
As if that wasn’t enough, I also got stuck in the fun game I like to call “sweet or salty?”
It’s where you spend hours in an endless loop trying to decide whether you want your last bite of the night to be filled with sugar or salt.
Then there’s the ‘cookie toss’ tango.
For this particular game, you boldly throw out any remaining cookies into the trash before bed.
A heroic stand against temptation. Self-control at its finest.
But by midnight, your logic shifts.
Peering into the bin, you spot the cookies, drizzled with a bit of gravy and corn.
You tell yourself, A little extra flavor won’t hurt. I can just wipe it off.
At this point, you’re either laughing because you’ve been there
or you’re shaking your head in disbelief.
But then, somewhere in the middle of college football games and an endless Hallmark Christmas marathon (which began in June), I had an aha moment.
My eating had gone on autopilot.
Like a squirrel frantically hoarding nuts for an endless winter.
It was no longer about hunger. It was now purely habit.
The kind where you eat popcorn just because the bag’s open, not because you’re actually hungry.
Yet, this narrative extends beyond the realm of food.
It’s about those moments when ‘just a little more’ turns into ‘way too much.’
Like when you find yourself online shopping.
Buying gadgets you’ll probably never use, just because they’re on sale.
Or those nights when “just one more episode” turns into a marathon, leaving you bleary-eyed at 2 AM.
Not to mention the vortex of our digital lives.
Hours intended for productivity dissolve into mindless scrolling.
Even fitness, meant for health, can turn obsessive, leaving us physically drained rather than energized.
Breaking free from this cycle of excess doesn’t mean embracing a life of stark simplicity or denying ourselves the joys God has intended for us. It’s about learning to enjoy things without falling into the abyss of overindulgence.
In each decision, whether it’s what we eat, watch, or buy, we can pause to ask ourselves the question, “Is this hunger, or is this just habit?”
This will begin to shift our narrative from quantity to quality.
From mindless consumption to meaningful engagement.
God has given us numerous wonders and joys to savor.
These gifts are meant to enrich our lives, not to control them.
We can honor these gifts by rediscovering the beauty of balance.
It’s the key to enjoying life’s pleasures without letting them take over.
It’s about savoring a cookie without devouring the whole batch.
Or enjoying a TV show without losing a whole night’s sleep.
And in finding this balance, we find true freedom.
The freedom to enjoy life’s gifts without being ruled by them.