Emotional Eating, Spiritual Deprivation

 

I am currently doing weight watchers, a great program. I am combining excercise with healthy eating habits. However, this is not the first time I’ve done the program. It seems like everytime I get close to my goal weight, I stop coming and gain the weight back. For the longest time, I thought that it was just a matter of having poor eating habits. I am now realizing, my emotional eating stems from something much deeper and more complex than I was willing to admit.

All the years that I’ve struggled with my weight, fluctuating between healthy and overweight has truly been a reflection of my the ups and downs of life. I realized food was the thing that I used to cope with the complexities of the world. When I was depressed, food came to my aid, when I was happy, food was a reflection of my joy, when I’m bored, food is ‘something to do.’ I had known for a while that I had/have issues with emotional eating, but it wasn’t until reading “Made to Crave,” that I fully realized the extent of my emotional eating. In a way, food has been an idol for me. We know what the bible says about idols, The Ten commandments tells us that God doesn’t want anyone or anyTHING before him. When I turn to food for comfort, instead of God, in a way, its like I’m making food into an idol. I’m committing a sin.

I know in our society, its so easy to take food for granted. Don’t get it twisted, there are people starving at this very moment in the United States and all over the world. I’ve grown up in an enviorment where I’ve always had food to eat, I may not be the richest person, but I’ve never known what it was like to starve or to be truly hungry. In a way, it makes me ashamed to think that I take food for granted by over indulging myself, when other people are literally dying from hunger. It seems a lot like greed and gluttony.

 

I am now realizing that the way I behave towards food is sinful. The first step to healing to admit that I have a problem. I know a lot of people struggle with emotional eating, so I am not here to condemn people. I do not feel condemned by God for my emotional eating, I just feel that God wants the best for me, and this isn’t it. God wants us to be able to turn to him, not food, not other people, but him when we’re in distress. Abusing food forces me into a position where I’m not turning to God the way I should be.

“Made To Crave,” gave me some insight into this problem. For years, I’ve motivated myself to lose weight by thinking about how ‘cute’ I’d look in this outfit or how ‘sexy’ I’d be for the guys. But, you know what…even after I lost weight, I still wasn’t happy. Even when I could fit into that little skirt, even when the boys would be eyeing me on the street and admiring my figure, it never lasted. Sure, its nice to be cute and get appreciation, but it just didn’t cut it for me because that appreciation didn’t last. I now believe this is part of the reason why my weight loss never lasted more than 4 months. I was never able to keep the weight off for longer than half a year. I am now realizing its because superficial things like wearing cute clothes, looking sexy for the guys may be nice, but they don’t provide true fufillment. It doesn’t truly make me happy to physically appear beautiful, if I don’t have true connection with God.

Not only am I being vain when I base my self-worth on how I look or how others perceive me, but I’m denying the true beauty that God has given me. The true beauty God gives all his children when they’re born extends beyond their weight or outward beauty. It’s about a peaceful and tranquil spirit that is a reflection of God’s love and beauty. When we stay connected with God, his beauty reflects in us and this is what makes us truly beautiful.

 

God wants us to eat healthy and be active, not just so that we can look beautiful outwardly, but so that he can use our bodies and our minds to do his work. When we eat healthy, we are strong and better able to minister to others. Our body is a reflection of the life we live. One thing I’ve learned in weight watchers is that our body is a reflection of what we put into it. Ofcourse this has physical significance if we eat an abundance of junk food, then ofcourse our body will reflect that. But, this also has spiritual significance. In “Made to Crave,” Lysa Terkeurst tells us that if we put junk into our spiritual bodies, then junk will come out of our spiritual bodies. This reminds me of this scripture:

Matthew 7:18

A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

A Good Tree cannot bear bad fruit, what we put into our bodies is what we get out. My emotional eating is a reflection of the spiritual deprivation that I’m feeling.  I put junk into my body and I get junk out of my body.

I and all people who struggle with emotional eating, must learn to nourish ourselves with spiritual food, instead of junk food. This time around, I’m incorporating and requiring spiritual nourishment as part of my daily diet. I’m praying for God to give me wisdom on this journey and to guide me to make the right decision, decisions that will ultimately lead more closer to him, as well as give me the healthy body he has blessed me with and wants me to have.

” You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the holy spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:4)

I try to remember that my body is a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and God will use my temple as he sees fit.

All of us who struggle with emotional eating, must remember that we are not our own but Gods. Prayer daily, eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, using the body God gave us for movement is a way of honoring our temple. It is a way of producing good fruit, by planting good fruit.

I invite all who are struggling with emotional eating to take this journey with me. I pray that God will guide you in the direction that he wants you to go and allow you honor your temple. I pray the same prayer for myself.

Remember, if you have been binge eating or emotional eating, asking God for forgiveness is always the first step to healing, then allow God to lead your life in the direction he wants you to go.

I am still reading “Made to Crave,” I’m taking it one chapter at a time, but it is helpful. I recommend the book.

It can be purchased HERE.

 

One of the main scriptural verses that is focused on in the book is “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

My prayer for all those (including me) who struggle with this spirtually deprived emotional eating:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your love and sacrifice. I ask you to forgive me (us) for our sinful behavior. We ask you to show us how to honor our temple so that we may do your work and honor you through every walk of our lives. We ask you to help us to turn to you when we are emotionally distraught, instead of food. We ask you to remind us not to take food for granted as many are starving for the very food we abuse. We ask you Lord to bless those who are starving and to provide them the physical and spiritual nourishment that is needed to give them strength. We ask you Lord to please help us, above all, to serve you by loving you and loving others and to put aside our sinful desires and take up your wholesome and holy desires for us Lord. In Christ name we pray.

Amen.

I will be doing a follow up post where I talk a bit more about the book and also where I give some healthy eating tips, so stay tuned.

Emotional Eating, Spiritual Deprivation

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