Finding me standing before the pantry with the trash can, my husband asked, “Are we throwing away all the bad stuff, AGAIN?” I knew what he was talking about….all those hopeful times I purged our kitchen of chocolate and potato chips, swore off Crisco and white sugar, optimistically refilling the cabinets with the latest fad powder, shake or miracle smoothie just to go back to my old ways in a week or two.

This time I wasn’t throwing out all the “bad” stuff. I was getting rid of foods that I could not control. I kept the white flour. I certainly wouldn’t eat it by the spoonful. I kept that 99 cent loaf of bread my husband eats. My sophisticated palate wouldn’t dare allow me to put anything but fancy artisan bread in my mouth. I kept the little pouches of instant hot chocolate that had been in the back of the pantry bought years ago during the last big snow in Tennessee.

I did, however, get rid of those crunchy saltine crackers, blocks of cheddar cheese and 2 liters of diet coke. Maybe this combo is weird to some but to me, it was more like the holy trinity of snacking heaven. Give me a sleeve or two of crackers, a big chunk of Wisconsin cheddar, a tall glass of Diet Coke, especially with Sonic ice, a new episode of the Real Housewives of Wherever and my day is made.

I got rid of the bag of chocolate chips, the ones hid in the back of the pantry that I bought on sale to stock up for Christmas baking. Only problem, it was summer and I’d probably end up buying at least 20 more bags before Jesus’ big day, grabbing a handful of the little morsels any time I needed a pick me up. My little secret.

I got rid of the container of cookies and cream ice cream, the one with holes dug throughout the thick frozen custard searching out the biggest hunk of Oreo. The one behind the frozen peas in the back of the freezer awaiting my whirlwind midnight rendezvous. I got rid of all the things that trigger me to over eat and over indulge.

No food is bad. I cannot stand to hear a girlfriend say “let’s be bad” when the waiter asks if we’d like dessert. Heck, if I was going to be bad, we’d have a couple of shots of whiskey, smoke Malboro Reds until our lungs bled and flirt shamelessly with college age boys.

Just because I don’t consider any food off limits doesn’t mean I have Twinkies and Little Debbie cakes lying on my kitchen countertops. Why set myself up for failure? I now keep a fridge stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. I am learning to balance the occasional splurge with an overall healthy diet full of foods that are not only good for me but pretty darn tasty. I write all this after having eaten a plate of French toast stuffed with cheesecake cream topped with a Jack Daniel’s caramel sauce on the veranda of the Hermitage Hotel at a bridal shower honoring my dear friend Lacy, the future Mrs. March. She’s no playboy bunny, that’s her soon to be new last name. For heaven’s sake, who do y’all think I run with? If you are one of those that consider some food bad, my friend, this luncheon would qualify as a cardinal sin!

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak.