Sometimes the reasons we overeat are deeper. Satisfied with our answers “I am just an emotional eater. I know I need to reign in emotional eating” we don’t penetrate the protective shell of our hearts. If we dare to ask “But WHY?” to our earliest answers to this question, sometimes we stumble upon the root–that which is deeper, lurking beneath the dark slimy rocks of a prison from which we long to break free.
Many of us were sexually abused– molested–as girls. We may think that this doesn’t affect us today, but there are at least two ways that it may and both of them merit consideration:
1.) We learned as children to comfort ourselves with what was readily accessible–food. Another way of thinking of this is we “numbed” ourselves from what happened to us with food. In many ways this is disassociation–another “skill” we may have learned while the abusers had their way with us. Our minds would go somewhere else so we wouldn’t have to be present. This same lack of “mindfulness” may be a part of our eating today.
2.) We learned that we could hide from would be abusers behind extra weight–that they might leave us alone if our bodies weren’t so “cute.” Often, this is where many of us also learned to hide behind sweat pants and baggy t-shirts and many of us may have taken to doing whatever we could to repel the attention of men.
Here is the thing…TRUTH sets us free. Jesus said so in the gospel of John. So, being afraid of the truth is what the Enemy of our souls wants of us. If we run from the truth or insulate ourselves from it, the enemy can keep us in the shame-sin-shame cycle. If we face the truth and begin to walk through it, we can allow God to show us what his intention was in ever allowing these things to happen. We don’t want them wasted. They won’t be if we will bring the walls down and grant him access. Please prayerfully consider this.
If you can identify with what I am talking about here, please let someone know. I really believe that the populations of women who have been sexually abused (and those who may find themselves in relationships with sexual addicts), overlaps with the population of women who battle eating disorders and, specifically, compulsive overeating, binge eating or just generally eating more than we need.
It is painful to look at these things. But as we do with the power of the Holy Spirit, inviting him to open our eyes to what is yet even deeper than the abuse, I believe we can experience a great healing. No, I don’t claim it is easy. We don’t want to slap a super-dee-duper spiritual band-aid on a gangrenous wound. Deep cleansing is painful, but healing.
But for you who revere my name,
the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.
And you will go out and leap
like calves released from the stall.
~ Malachi 4:2