Something to do with gluttony, idols, surrender, honesty, or courage. I have no idea. - JJ Landis
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Something to do with gluttony, idols, surrender, honesty, or courage. I have no idea.

My stomach rumbled after the dinner of beans and tacos. Digestive juices were doing their thing. Not unpleasant, but a normal process of being full after a substantial dinner.


I had just finished reading a chapter of Ella Enchanted to the kids in my room and then shushed them off to their beds. The husband was lulled into slumber by my soothing voice so he remained unconscious while I headed downstairs to wait for our 17-year-old exchange student to come home.


As I settled into the scratchy sofa for a night of flipping through magazines and social media while watching “Man on Wire” on Netflix, I decided that life at that moment was spectacular. No one around to influence what I viewed on TV and no one around to chat my ear off while I relaxed.


But something was missing from my perfection. “If I am going to properly rest, I should also have something to eat,” I told myself.


Similar words go through my head almost nightly. Sometimes it’s tortilla chips, sometimes it’s animal crackers dipped in milk, but most times it’s ice cream.


I padded to the kitchen, filled a coffee mug with vanilla ice cream infused with chunks of cookie dough, poured in half a cup or so of milk, and stirred. Then I wrapped the cup in a paper towel and rinsed my spoon under the faucet so it would not be sticky. Like I do almost every time I indulge. Seriously, I don’t even want ice cream in a bowl. I want it exactly like I prepare it – milk, nonsticky spoon, and all. Sometimes I even get seconds.


I resumed my posture of pure perfection. If it weren’t for our uncomfortable couch keeping it real, I may have floated away on a fluffy cloud to a happy rainbow of deliciousness.    


My decadent treat lasted for a euphoric ten minutes. The guilt from eating it lasted the whole evening. Or rather, continues (with a few more layers added on from my inability to control myself in the days since then).


My churning stomach felt uneasy, now it was stuffed even fuller. I had not even been hungry! My belly had been overly satisfied when I crammed in that third taco.


I had told myself, “No nightly snacking,” like I do pretty much every night.


Though the documentary about Philippe Petit sneaking into the Twin Towers in New York City and walking on a wire between them was entrancing, I used half my brain energy to concentrate on my failure to say no to the dessert (or to myself).


Wanting to abstain from snacking has nothing to do with my weight. I’m a small person. Probably as I give voice to my issue here, those who know me will think it ridiculous that I believe I overeat.


Can skinny people be gluttonous? Yes, of course. It’s just a very easy sin to hide.


Wanting to abstain from snacking has everything to do with discipline and self-control, of which I have little in this area.

Our society is gross and unhealthy. Lazy. Overfed. Ruled by desire. And I pretty much fit right into all those categories.


Ruled by desire.


Am I idolizing my food? Perhaps.


Truthfully, I am idolizing my insatiable appetite to feel good. (Just like I used to do with beer and cocaine.). I reason: “Oh, a bite of ice cream tasted scrumptious yesterday. Therefore, two bites will taste better today. Hey, if two bites are good, why stop there? I should just eat the whole carton! Then I will really feel good.”  




When I wake up the morning after indulging, I feel sick to my stomach. I see my failings and vow I won’t repeat my behavior. (Just like I used to do with substances. Hmmmm. Is there a patternhere?)


This is a touchy confession for me to share. (I wanted to write my post about running. Ha – total change of focus!) But I know a lot of people use a lot of things to fill (try to fill) their happy tanks. Many women my age use wine instead of ice cream and tortilla chips.  


Understand, ice cream, wine, and other snacks have their place – they are not the problem. Obsessing about when I will get time alone so I can shove fake happiness in my mouth is the problem.

When my writing passion was missing this afternoon, I logged onto Facebook – because you know it’s full of motivation – and I saw a link to a pastor friend’s blog post called Saying“NO!” to yourself.


And I thought – if he can admit his inability to say no – then so can I.


I know I’m not alone.
We are rarely alone with our quirks and bad habits and guilt.


When Philippe Petit walked between the towers, he did not act alone. He was the one balancing, but he did not get there without countless hours of planning. He relied on many accomplices to do the heavy lifting.


He trusted his friends to engineer a plan. They tirelessly hashed out details so Philippe would not fail.


Can we trust each other? Can we as women, Christians, parents, friends, whoever we are, be honest with one another?


There is such a freedom in surrender. A recent sermon at our church (most of it was way above my head) was about Jeremiah being thrown into a cistern (Jeremiah 38).


We learned that he had to surrender in order to live. We typically don’t want to surrender our control – the enemy whispers in our ears: regret, loneliness, isolation, doubt.


I equate surrender with honesty. When barriers are let down, vulnerability is certain. But there is great courage in vulnerability.
Just think about how vulnerable Philippe was on that wire between the (then) tallest buildings in the world. But, oh, that man had mighty courage. (Or maybe he was just stupid. For the sake of this post, let’s call him courageous.)


So, I am being honest and surrendering a part of myself to anyone who reads this.


But with my story of my daily gluttony, I have knocked down one wall that was preventing me from being real. We all are experts at building barriers. For sure, I have countless more. But I now have one less.


If I can be this honest, can you?

Please feel free to comment or private message me on Facebook to chat.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 18:17h, 09 October Reply

    Wow, that could be me talking, but I do have more than a little extra weight on me, and also smoke. I have had a conversation with myself every night usually about how disgusted I am with myself and why I am I killing myself with cigarettes and junk food. Stress, stress and more stress is my excuse I guess. As disgusted as I am with myself, the next morning I go right back to the same behavior I scolded myself for the night before. I can’t figure it out. Beautifully written JJ 🙂

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 12:16h, 07 September Reply

    Well said! Hit the nail on the head!! And hit home with me! Thanks JJ for sharing. Donna

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 07:52h, 05 September Reply

    I think that the addiction to pleasure is one of the biggest problems with culture today…that and safety. Both cause people to sit around and not get anything accomplished.


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