Food Fights

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There’s a battle going on in our house these days, and it’s all about food.

When Chico joined our family nearly three years ago, he was known for being a chow hound. He had eaten pies, jars of peanut butter, and just about anything he could swipe off a kitchen counter. He even learned how to pop the tops off cat food cans to get the tasty contents. So we got used to keeping the counters clear of food.

But old age and bad hips have ended his food burglary days. So we were vexed when we came home two weeks ago to an empty bread bag on the living room floor. If it wasn’t Chico, and it clearly wasn’t Coco (pictured to the right), then that left our lovely Lily as the culprit.

It’s been clear from the start that Lily loves food. We don’t know her full history, but we do know she was heartworm positive and underweight when she and her pups were abandoned at a shelter. So she likely wasn’t fed regularly. That said, it’s no surprise that she gets excited about food.

Although she doesn’t beg, she will sit nearby while we’re eating. Just staring and drooling. A lot. It’s like a faucet is running out of her mouth onto the floor. But until last week, that was the beginning and end to her obsession.

So we’ve started putting the food away again. No big deal. But this week we came home to David’s antibiotic pack, which he had left on the counter, on the floor. One large white pill had been removed and left on the floor (mostly intact) with the rest of the packet. Clearly she got one taste and spit it out – thank goodness.

She hasn’t lost weight, so we know she’s getting enough food. But clearly she wants more.

And apparently she’s willing to take some risks to get it. Yesterday morning she decided she would try to steal Chico’s food from him – while he was still eating it. Chico may be old, but he’s no easy win. And he wasn’t going to give up his food without a fight. So we had a dog tussle before I’d even had time to get a cup of coffee.

Frustrated, I pulled them apart and scolded Lily while I let Chico finish his breakfast. As I was asking her why she was looking for more food when she already had her breakfast (I’m not the only one who talks to my dogs, am I?) – I was struck by the fact that I could ask myself the same question.

Dang. I hate when that happens.

Because the truth is, I am obsessed with food. I spend an incalculable amount of time thinking about food. What I have eaten. What I haven’t eaten. What I want to eat but shouldn’t. What I shouldn’t have eaten but did. And that’s my dirty little secret.

I have lost and gained the same 15 pounds over the past 15 years. And it’s all because of my food obsession.

It needs to stop.

Not because I need to lose 15 pounds. Or even because it’s not healthy. But rather because food has become an idol for me.

And that’s not how I’m supposed to live.

So although I’m not sure how this is going to play out, I’m committing to myself and God that I’m going to kick this once and for all. It’s not going to be easy, but I know that God will help me if I let Him.

In the meantime, I’m going to cut Lily some slack and trust that we’ll get through this one together.  

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