This is an amazing journey living and, now eating, with God. I’ve been eating this way faithfully since early November 2013. I say faithfully because it’s been a complete walk of faith in God to uphold me, to forgive me and strengthen me when I falter and faith in the body God gave me, as I learn to listen to it with respect concerning hunger and fullness.
One thing is certain, with Him at the helm, it does get easier with time. I don’t strive or struggle the way I once did. Observe and correct have become a natural way of life now, so I don’t get drawn into that old binge cycle like I used to. I keep very short accounts when I over-do it with food. I’ve learned to renew my mind and cut the enemy off at the pass. I don’t want to be his prey any more. I find the less I devour food, the less the enemy devours me. The less I feed my emotions with food, the more they actually show up with more clarity. As the fogginess of over-eating continues to lift, the more keenly aware I become of my own emotional needs.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2
The other night I experienced some conflict with a close family member. For a lot of years I have practiced how to deny, minimalize and stuff my anger. Of course my tool of choice was always food, and it served well as a cover up. This was the first time any real anger surfaced since my ThinWithin journey began. So what happened next simply amazed me. I literally felt my anger…in my temples, in my jaws, in my eyes and in my neck. God let me connect the dots to realize that this physical pain was being caused by holding in the anger and not releasing it all those years. Our conflict blew over and peace returned. Later that same night as I lay in bed praying, the Lord reminded me of a verse in the Bible.
Psalm 4:4; Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
It became another one of those teaching moments, a benefit of knowing God. He wasn’t going to condemn me for being angry, but He would help me to handle it the right way, meaning without stuffing it down with food.
Recently I went in for my regular check up at the doctor’s office for weight loss, high blood pressure and knee health. The report was excellent. A total of fifty-one pounds off my frame, pressure down from 170 to 126, and knee pain minimal. Who wouldn’t rejoice over all this improvement in seven months? I went down several sizes and been able to stay consistently more active physically. I’ve basked in the plethora of compliments, had greater self-confidence and more courage to try new things I once said an automatic no to.
That’s why what happened next took me by complete surprise. My husband and I spend the day out running errands and getting things done. Afterwards we stopped at a long-time favorite Chinese restaurant of mine for dinner. We have a solid habit of sharing our meals out now, since ThinWithin and getting older. We just can’t consume what we used to. Sitting there in this familiar and favorite place, I began to feel a strong thought to order my own meal and not share. My desire for food was growing just looking at the menu. I wanted food…a lot of food, my own favored foods.
1 Peter 4:12 (ESV); Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
As we ate and talked, I began to express my concern.
What happened here tonight? Why did I feel so powerless to resist the desire and pull for so much food?
I mentally checked over the events of the day. I immediately knew it was connected to my doctor visit and the healthy, low carb diet plan she handed me as an aide in losing my last seventeen pounds. I had to agree with her that I had slipped back into some of my old ways of consuming too many carbs and not enough protein. That was why my weight release had slowed down.
The exchange of that one piece of paper opened the door for a great rebellion to take place in my mind. Believe me, it raged within me. It wasn’t that I over-ate that much, maybe to a six and a half instead of five. It was my attitude that raged uncontrollably…way past a ten! I recognized it as the same attitude that led to as much as a hundred pound gain over what would be healthy for me to weigh.
Thank God! My new eating lifestyle showed up with its many benefits. It guarded me and kept me safe from ten plus eating. My renewed mind and transformed heart remained intact. No self-loathing screamed at me, no condemnation boasted of its ugly proclamations over me. I had peace that passes all understanding in the midst of all that food and all that rebellion looming inside my head. I had a strong connection to God and it could not be broken by food. My new foundation was solid. The big bad wolf of over-eating and legalism would not master me this night.
Psalm 23; The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
How about you? Can you relate to Cathy’s experience in her favorite restaurant? Are you recognizing more of your emotional issues now that you’re no longer eating emotionally? Would you like to see the same victory in your life? What do you think God is asking you to do about this?