I used to steal candy bars from my kids. I think it’s a family tradition. My father did the same when he “inspected” our Halloween treasures. One bar always caught my eye above the rest. I saw an Instagram reel claiming that a peanut butter and chocolate stuffed date tasted just like a Snickers bar. Each item is tasty on its own, so I was intrigued! After church on Sunday seemed like the perfect time for a chocolatey treat, so we stopped at the store to pick up the ingredients. I followed her recipe with excitement, attention to detail, and high hopes.
As I waited for the chocolate to melt, my anticipation grew. Recalling memories of the real thing, I could hardly wait for the gooey caramel-like filling and the crunch of peanuts. Sadly, it did not live up to the hype I had built in my head. It was good, but it tasted like a date filled with peanut butter dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts. My husband, who doesn’t share my overactive imagination, thought it was pretty close to the real thing.
The real thing.
I tried this recipe because I’ve given up processed food as I prepare for my upcoming competition. I’m not supposed to have sugar or too much sodium, so preparing “the real thing” at home is the safest option.
When I get frustrated by my sacrifices, I must remind myself why. Being an athlete on the Belize National Team means I am responsible for being at my best in each competition. Sugar was causing inflammation in my body, and the pain was disrupting my training. So sugar had to go. Dairy and meat were causing digestive issues that made it difficult to maintain my competition weight; they had to be cut off.
Today in my quiet time, I came across this verse:
So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh. Romans 8:12 CSB
I feel like I’ve never read this verse before, or at least not in this version. I’m grateful for God’s reminder that we are not obligated to the flesh. Sugar is not a creditor. I am not obligated to eat everything and anything. Food is my fuel, not my entertainment or my crutch.
The coach/handler I’ve hired to work with me at the World Championships says, “How you treat your body impacts your performance.” My coach/trainer here in Belize says, “control the things you can control.” I cannot let my performance suffer at the mercy of my cravings. I have the power to control my food intake. So, next time I make the Snickers-like treat, I’ll remember that it’s not an imitation of the real thing; it is the real thing, the natural thing, and what could be better than that?!