Commentary: Don’t trade away what you want the most

I want to tell you a true story about twin brothers. The older brother was a strong and skillful hunter who loved the outdoors — a real guy’s guy with a ruddy complexion.

The younger brother was clean-shaven and quieter by nature. He enjoyed cooking and preferred to stay home.

One day the older brother went out for one of his hunting trips. He must have been gone for a few days, and the hunting must not have been very good, because when he came back, he was starving for something good to eat.

It just so happened that when he came home, his younger brother had just made a great big pot of hot, steaming stew with a mouth-watering smell that filled the air.

“I’m starving,” the older brother said. “Give me some of that stew!”

A scheme

But his brother was a schemer, and so he said, “Sure! I’ll give you some stew … if you will give me your birthright.”

The birthright was very important. Whoever received it became the head of the household, and he would get twice as much inheritance as his siblings.

He was hungry now

But here is where the older brother made his mistake. He was hungry now. He didn’t care about tomorrow. All that birthright stuff wouldn’t happen for a long time. But the younger brother knew one day tomorrow would come.

“All right! All right!” Esau said, “You can have my birthright. What good will it be to me if I starve to death!”

Not that he would have starved to death. He was just hungry. And so Esau gave away his birthright for a bowl of soup and a few pieces of bread.

The sad thing is, this is a true story.* The really sad thing is, it happens all the time in our own lives. How many times do we do the exact same thing? Especially when it comes to our weight.

Short-term gratification

What we really want is so huge and wonderful. It’s life and health and feeling good. But it seems so far away. We can’t imagine ever really owning it.

And so, in a moment of “starvation,” we choose the short-term gratification over the long-term joy.

If you have a weight issue, you know what I’m talking about. Remember, never trade what you want the most for what you want at the moment.

*Genesis 25:19-34 (The Bible)

Kim Bensen, author of the book “Finally Thin,” was a lifetime yo-yo dieter who lost 200-plus pounds and has kept it off for more than 10 years. She owns the Kim Bensen Weight Loss Center and Kim’s Light Café at 405 Bridgeport Ave., Shelton. For information, tips and recipes, go to