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Cover image via Paramount Pictures.
The information in today’s article
adapts itself well for journaling, goal setting and Family Home Evening
discussion for individuals, couples, and groups.
Happy Halloween! This is the week (if you have children at home) when candy may soon lie everywhere – even in bedrooms! (Click HERE for my Meridian Article from several years ago for some good ideas on how to get it out of your house fast after the big night.)
It is also the week that we begin to
consider the blessings and goodness of Thanksgiving and to welcome Christmas.
Is this good news or bad news for each of us personally with our health? Will we “eat drink and be merry
…or “eat, drink and be scary” on January 1, 2020
when Baby New Year arrives? It all depends on our own decisions and choices
that we can make well ahead of time!
It can be very good news indeed if we “begin with the end in mind” and prepare now for how we want to feel come January 1!
Let’s start with the perfect Halloween scripture: “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear!” (D&C 38:30)
The matching, perfect movie/book to either read, watch or simply treasure in your heart right now for emotional and even spiritual preparation for Halloween and the upcoming Holiday overabundance of food and sugar is “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” (renamed “Willy Wonka for the movie versions) by Roald Dahl.
What starts with a quest for candy turns into a marvelous journey of self-discovery, wisdom and gratitude. While it’s surely not scripture, most of us reading these articles can surely liken it unto ourselves!
Willy sings of a world of “pure imagination.” For those of us who struggle with eating choices and the consequences they bring, it is pure imagination (that we have often taken advantage of) to think that we can eat more than our bodies need without there being an eventual consequence.
Of all the characters, Veruca Salt, with her little red dress and that crazed, wild, out-of-control look in her eyes is a stand-out classic character in the world of children’s literature and my favorite. In case you don’t remember, she’s the rich girl that wants everything NOW and ends every demand with threats and screams. Her exhausted, defeated and frazzled daddy hires a factory full of workers to open truck-loads of chocolate bars in a winning effort to get his little girl one of the sought-after golden tickets.
Her big solo, “I Want It NOW!’ is a show-stopper as she rushes about knocking things over, singing and screaming at the top of her lungs. (I’ve added the lyrics at the end of this article. Not surprisingly, many foods and fattening treats are included in the things she wants NOW!” All of us who turn to food when life is not going our way innately understand this, and perhaps this is why she’s my favorite: I get it.)
If you take a step back, however,
most the world’s ills, both historically and currently, seem to come from deep,
unmitigated cases of what I call “The Veruca Salt Syndrome.” Without reason,
without apology, without necessity and utter immaturity – there is simply the
demand for satisfaction NOW.
We understand this behavior as age-appropriate in babies and young children, but most of us know adults who often behave this way at some level. To our chagrin, sometimes it’s even ourselves!
Veruca demanded and got everything she wanted until stopped by Willy Wonka himself, who calmly dropped her down a chute after she seized a goose that laid golden eggs. When asked where she had gone, Willy calmly replied “Oh, to where all the bad eggs go…”
Oh, we may lament, for a Willy Wonka
to stop us from ourselves before it’s too late. Why? Because food, more and
more of it, will always be there – especially in November and December! It will
always taste good and it will always help us feel better for a few brief
In our Heavenly Father’s plan, however, there will be no Willy Wonka to stop us from eating whatever (and however much) non-nutritious food we want. As one of my dear friends with 100 pounds to lose and not in the emotional frame of mind to deal with it says with candor, “like it or not, food is my drug of choice.” There’s a little (or a lot) of Veruca Salt in each of us. We simply want … MORE.
Why? Because we are born and divinely programmed to enjoy abundance! As Willy sings, “Look around and you’ll see” …Whether it’s numberless seeds in tomatoes and watermelons, a countless variety of flowers and animals, spectacular sunrises and sunsets day after day, and the unbounding vastness of the sky and the sea, we are programmed to enjoy abundance! Indeed, the scriptures tell us that “the earth is full, there is enough and to spare…” (D&C 104:17).
Perhaps there is no harm at all in wanting more … of the right things! And isn’t November, the month of celebrating the harvest and abundance of blessings, the perfect time to embrace that thought?
With this marvelous, divinely inherited programming for abundance, the health trick that counts is to generously redefine what we want more of! More vegetables, more fruit, more water, more exercise. More focus on losing a few pounds at a time rather than being overwhelmed by many. The Lord wants us to have more … more health, more energy, more self-confidence! And when the choices seem difficult and the temptations as unnumbered as Costco cookies at ward events, it’s time to start quietly humming as we put our hearts and intentions into action:
More Holiness Give Me
More holiness give me,
More strivings within,
More patience in suff’ring,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care,
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer.
More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory,
More hope in his word,
More tears for his sorrows,
More pain at his grief,
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.
Yes, the sugary choices will be there in abundance. But so will the healthy ones, and so will our abilities to choose them as think of the Savior’s divine love for us and the pleasure of self-mastery.
This week is a great time to write down all we want MORE of:
More personal strength for healthy choices
More veggies and fruit
More walking and exercise
More positive self-talk
More turning to the Savior rather than sugar
More healthy recipes that the whole family enjoys
Now add some MORE of your own! As always, our favorite happy place for MORE recipes, inspiration and healthy living inspiration and guidelines are
www.forksoverknives.com and www.DiscoveringTheWordofWisdom.com.
So Happy Halloween, Happy November and Happy (Merry) Christmas. Here’s to more … and more and MORE of the healthy choices that bring more and more and MORE joy to today!
P.S. Here’s what Veruca Wants:
I WANT IT NOW:
I want a feast
I want a treat feast
Cream buns and doughnuts and fruitcake with no nuts so good you could go nuts.
I want a ball
I want a party
Pink macaroons and a million balloons and performing baboons and
Give it to me now.
I want the world,
I want the whole world.
I want to lock it all up in my pocket
It’s my bar of chocolate
Give it to me now!
I want today
I want tomorrow
I want to wear them like braids in my hair and I don’t want to share them
I want a party with roomfuls of laughter
Ten thousand ton of ice cream
And if I don’t get the things I am after
I’m going to scream!
I want the works,
I want the whole works!
Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises in all shapes and sizes,
Don’t care how I want it now!
Don’t care how I want it now!
Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success, One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life, and has been a Meridian Columnist since 2007.
She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She and her husband Bob are the parents of five children and grandparents of ten. They are now happy empty nesters in Jackson Tennessee, close to Memphis where they center their online business and enjoy the beautiful sunsets from their back porch. Click here to to learn more about their herbal detox, popular with Meridian Readers since 2008.