Thursday night I drove to my parents house in Daniels, West Virginia and had a $5 little ceasers pizza and two liter of “Diet Dr. Thunder” from Walmart for dinner. The total cost of the meal was less than six-dollars but it was something I looked forward to since landing in Miami on Tuesday.
The truth is when someone asks me what I miss from America my answer after family and friends is “cheap junk food” and I’m planning to gain ten or fifteen pounds before sweating if off on the island 🙂 Of course America means much more to me than just pizza or soda, but things like little ceasers and Walmart where definitely on my mind while boarding the plane in St. Vincent
The weird thing is being away from things like that for months didn’t really bother me…it’s possible to gain junk food in the Saint Vincent but it isn’t really worth the cost (a two-liter of Coke is $5 US and box of Lucky Charms is $13) so in the end I just choose to do without them. The first two weeks are extremely difficult (feels like a detox period) but eventually my body gets used to living without unhealthy food.
Unfortunately choosing to do without was completely forgotten as the plane descended into Miami last Tuesday. Within a half-hour I was devouring a pepperoni pizza (not $5 but pretty good) multiple glasses of Pepsi, and a Starbucks latte. Pretty sure within an hour I consumed more calories than my daily intake on the island.
What made the difference?
It’s simple…my discipline in Saint Vincent wasn’t a physical thing (choosing not to eat it) but financial (it costs too much) or cultural (I couldn’t get it there). Once that plan landed I began stuffing every form of junk food in my face 🙂
Thursday’s experience reminded me there is a big difference between self-discipline, and being forced to do without
- Self-discipline chooses to say no in a moment that they could say yes
- Self-discipline thinks about actions before doing them
- Self-discipline focuses on the future consequences of those choices (what will this $5 pizza do to me?)
- Self-discipline willingly sets aside desires for a short time so that something better can be achieved
Living in a culture of five-dollar pizza that offers what we want (food or otherwise) for a very cheap price makes it very difficult to find people who display control of their desires for the cause of Christ. Many likes myself like to think we are self-disciplined but end up gorging ourselves when the opportunity comes.
Maybe I’m overthinking pizza and dr. Thunder a bit, but know from experience that lank of discipline physically can easily lead to lack of discipline mentally or emotionally. This doesn’t mean giving up little ceasers pizza completely (I can’t) but instead choosing to say no when my body REALLY wants pizza. It’s not always easy to reject our desires but it’s only then that true self-discipline can be experienced.