This week, I have been focusing my attention on Key to Conscious Eating #1 – which is to eat only when my body is hungry.
My goal is to streamline things. Simplify what I am after…to wait for true physical hunger. A couple of days ago, I described the first key to conscious eating and what physical hunger may be like for most of us.
Yesterday, I described some strategies for dealing with the lure toward food when we aren’t physically hungry.
If you have tried this for a couple of days and either “been out of practice” or are new to it…well, you may have discovered or rediscovered something…again…though it is SIMPLE it isn’t EASY! Those “lures” to food may seem constant! You may feel like food is constantly on your mind and you are drawn to it like iron-filings to a magnet.
Further, if you have really focused on waiting for “0” (true physiological hunger) before eating, even when you feel want to eat for a million other reasons, you may be experiencing some “disorder,” “chaos” or plain old FREAKING OUT emotionally! If not yet, it may happen as you continue this process. That is the primary reason I keep saying that it is simple, but not easy.
Here’s the thing…many of us have used food to numb ourselves to unpleasant emotions or circumstances for years. When we suddenly remove that coping mechanism, we are left with the raw feelings…If we don’t deal with them in a biblical, godly way, we may find ourselves angry, depressed, or in any number of other conditions that aren’t pleasant for us or others to experience! In fact, some of us might feel tempted to resort to other old habits that we thought we defeated years ago! Our minds and hearts scream out for some way to avoid coming face to face with feelings that we have.
Little things may send us through the roof, in fact. We may think we are nuts! “Why am I getting so angry about my friend canceling our lunch date!” (It could be that for years we have had a struggle with coping with feelings of abandonment and have numbed ourselves to that pain. Now we no longer are numb from misusing food, we feel this feeling fresh, new, and it sets off all the other times we would have felt that way but didn’t allow it.)
Take heart, though. This is a normal part of the process!
But DO resolve to take each and every one of these things to the Lord. This is work, but it is a part of our spiritual formation, a part of becoming the people he wants us to be. He wants us to learn to lean on him. There is a hole God has placed inside of us that causes us to want something, somehow to fill that void. God intends that we turn to Him. It is a God-shaped hole and only he can fill it, but often we settle for counterfeits. One of those counterfeits may be food!
So now, today, grab your bible, your journal and a pen and plan on processing each time you want food and you aren’t hungry. This is a great time to “truth journal.” I have described that process a bit here.
Ask yourself the question: “Will eating right now make me feel better?” “Will it do so without any ‘cost’ to me?” “Will it be worth it?” Truthfully, food may make you feel better…for a time, but then after you eat, you may end up feeling worse because you know you violated your conviction, your godly boundary of waiting for hunger. And what’s more is if we circumvent God’s intention behind allowing a trial in our lives by numbing ourselves with food, he inevitably will bring something else around in our lives to work out what he intended in the first place. I personally would rather learn it the first time than to have to do it again and again all because I have numbed myself with food or some other counterfeit thing.
He promises to walk with us through this. Let’s grab a hold of his hand and cling to Him.
It may seem so ridiculous that waiting to be hungry before eating requires so much of us. But it does! It’s ok, too. We are not nuts! 🙂 Honest!
Hang in there today and keep waiting for hunger. Tomorrow we will look at Key to Conscious Eating #2
–> What are some things that make you want to eat even when you aren’t hungry?
–> What emotions do you seem to be experiencing lately as you have applied yourself to waiting for hunger?
Some of us may have felt somewhat like a child having a temper tantrum. Bring this feeling to God and ask him what is going on…why you feel that way about food when you aren’t hungry. I believe he will be faithful to show us what is going on at a deeper level so that we can allow His healing from the inside out.
–> What are you willing to do, be, say, think, feel so that you can experience true hunger before eating…so that you can use food only as fuel for your body? Grow in the way God desires for you to grow?
Maybe God wants YOU to start a blog for recording your journey! 🙂 If so, share the link with us in the comments section! 🙂
I am praying for you today! Please pray for me, too! 🙂
In answer to your last question ” What are you willing to do, be, say, think, feel so that you can experience true hunger before eating…so that you can use food only as fuel for your body?”Here’s what I’m trying to do: (1) learning to live passionately or allowing myself to do what I love, so that I feel passionate about my life beyond eating (2) living in such a way that hunger interrupts my life, rather than looking for activities to distract me from wanting to eat or ‘waiting for hunger’; (3) choosing what I eat so that I feel unhungry for long periods, rather than looking forward to the next opportunity to eat as soon as I finish eating.I enjoy eating when I feel hungry, but I resent having to interrupt enjoyable activities to eat, unless I’m moderately hungry.
I guess I am going to have to get in on this linking arms thing. The hidden treasures of the soul. The pursuit of holiness reveals those treasures. Restoration comes through their discovery.Releasing the darkness of our sin. Rather owning it then allowing Jesus to own it. This grace we are forever grateful for. He is our SONG.
Welcome, Heartsong! I am praying for you! 🙂