Night Time Eating – Carrie’s Testimony and Challenge!

 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
 turn your foot away from evil. Proverbs 4:26
Night time eating is the most recent stronghold that I am seeking to overcome, with God’s help. The Lord has delivered me from the diet mentality, afternoon snacking, over-exercising and several other habits and obsessions. However, I was still holding onto eating after leaving the dinner table. Not eating several hours later when I was hungry, but almost immediately after leaving the dinner table with a satisfied belly.
The habit was created during my years on weight watchers – I would save “points” for the end of the day. While my husband put our son to bed, I could finally rest and relax – I had earned a treat and I was going to enjoy it! Fast forward many years and it was a daily habit, largely associated with emotion, that I was just not willing to surrender. I realized recently that I had to give it up, to surrender it. So, I thought I’d share some of my strategies that have helped me continue moving forward in this journey. (These strategies are in addition to the reading of Truth cards, reading scripture, prayer, praise music, etc).
Please understand that I had to draw a line in the sand to not eat after leaving the dinner table. Some of you may need a meal closer to bedtime, but I sleep better and feel better if my stomach is empty or close to empty at bedtime.  So, I choose to close the kitchen after dinner!
1)   I start every day with a commitment, a promise, to God that I will not eat after dinner.  When I am tempted, I remember my promise and then my mind and heart turns toward my Lord. I know, too, that He provides a way out for me in temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
2)   I report to my accountability partner nightly on my success or failure on this point.
3)   I track on my phone with a checkmark if I have stayed in this particular boundary. It gives me an easy way to see if I am stumbling or succeeding.
4)   I review “my reasons to stay in my boundaries even when it is tough” daily. The reason that speaks to me the strongest currently is that I don’t want to be in this same place in 6 months. I want to be experiencing more and more freedom. I know that surrendering the nighttime eating is crucial to this growth.  So, when I am tempted, I often ask myself “where do I want to be in 6 months?”.
5)   I have started planning for a little sweet at the end of dinner. I will join my family in a small bowl of ice cream. And sometimes I don’t eat the ice cream. I am free to do either one!
6)   I change the direction of my feet.  TV watching is strongly related to the urge to eat after dinner. I am now watching a lot less TV at night. Now, especially when I am strongly tempted, I will take a bath. Or I might read a book or work on my Bible studies or call a friend. Or I just wait for my husband to come back downstairs.  I just do not go near the TV and I try to stay out of the kitchen.
7)   I memorize scripture so that in a tough moment, I can immediately go to the Truth. It helps me to pray my way through the tough moments.
8)   When I do slip up, I observe and correct. I make a plan for next so that I will have a better outcome. I also may truth journal about my thoughts that I had before I broke my boundary.
I underlined the two strategies that have made the biggest difference for me. As of today, I surrendered this habit to the Lord 40 days ago. Quite biblical, isn’t it 🙂?  I have had 4 nights where I slipped up and 36 nights when I was surrendered. I consider that a huge success when I look back and know that I was eating after dinner almost every night.

What About You?

What behavior of yours may be holding you back from total freedom? Pray about what steps you might take to help you overcome.  Please share that that others may learn from you!
~ Carrie

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20 Responses to Night Time Eating – Carrie’s Testimony and Challenge!

  1. mariewhitemarsh October 17, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    This is really practical! Thanks for sharing!

    • Heidi Bylsma October 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      You are so right, Marie. Her tips are incredibly practical.

  2. Carrie October 17, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    I sometimes struggle with “good food eating”. Meaning, I’m not hungry but when I open the fridge or cupboard and see something yummy, I’m suddenly over come with “hunger” (greed perhaps lol). So now, when this happens, I start to sing a praise song. And almost every time I do this, that desire to eat goes in an instant.

    • Aprille October 17, 2013 at 7:12 am #

      This is such a great idea as well!

    • Heidi Bylsma October 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      Hi, Carrie from South Africa. One of the best truth cards I have written up and rehearse is that I can eat whatever it is any time I am hungry and I will be hungry 1000s of more times during my lifetime! I love your idea about singing a praise song. 😀

    • Christina October 21, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Wow! What a great idea!

  3. Carrie (South Africa) October 17, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    PS I’m not the same Carrie that wrote the blog heehee. Put a South Africa by my name to avoid confusion.

  4. Aprille October 17, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Carrie, these are some very helpful tips! I passed my boundary just last night doing the exact same thing, trying to cram that last treat in even when I KNEW that I wasn’t hungry at all. Thanks for your post!

    • Carrie October 18, 2013 at 7:24 am #

      How did last night go?

  5. Lisa October 17, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    This is a very helpful post. My challenge / stronghold is not so much eating at night as it is eating when I am alone. I work out of my home and for a season my sister is living with me. When she leaves for an appointment, I attack the refrigerator. It’s not pretty. This has got to stop. Your suggestions are very good; with a little thought I am sure that I will be able to apply them to my situation.

    • Heidi Bylsma October 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      Great idea, Lisa. You could, indeed, adjust these tips to be more in line with your particular area of struggle.

    • Carrie October 18, 2013 at 7:24 am #

      Lisa – I’m glad this is helpful. I have found on this journey over the past 6 months that the Lord delivers me one habit at a time. Of course, I have to put the focus and effort into it. Maybe you can consider committing to renewing your mind about the particular behavior (eating when your sister leaves.) Think about committing to God in the morning that you will not run to the fridge when she leaves. Instead, grab your truth cards, scripture cards, bible, praise music, “reasons the you want to stay in your boundaries even when it’s hard” (do you have a list?), etc. I found that once I promised Him in the morning, He provided a way out for me later in the day. Share how it goes! You may also consider journaling your emotions that occur when you are left alone (loneliness, sneak eating, etc) or truth journal about your thoughts.

      • Lisa October 18, 2013 at 8:49 am #

        Hi Carrie – I haven’t really taken the time to think about why I attack the fridge. I also don’t have a list of reasons written down. I will work on both of these directly.

      • Heidi Bylsma October 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

        Great ideas, Carrie. Thanks for sharing them with Lisa!

  6. Lisa October 18, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    Also, Thank you BOTh, Heidi and Carrie! I know how much time it takes to read the comments and respond. You both are so prompt and uplifting! Blessings on you both.

    • Heidi Bylsma October 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

      Oh, Lisa…how kind of you to say so. I appreciate it. I just love the community we have going here! 🙂

  7. Liz Akkerman October 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Those are very helpful suggestions, Thank you. I am going to have to apply boundaries at work. Little dishes with candies are appearing. A lot of food around.

  8. Lisa October 23, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    I was reading through this again and the phrase “I was just not willing to surrender” jumped out at me. If I am honest with myself, this is really the root of the situation. I started praying about this. I told God that I was willing to be willing and He gave me Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” So I took part of what Heidi wrote in her “Set the Timer” challenge and added a few words of my own. Lord, I offer my eating, my choices, my heart and my mind to you again. Thank you for conforming them to your will and your ways. Thank you also for giving me an uncompromisingly resolute and unwavering determination to be obedient to you. I read this every time my alarm goes off.

    • Heidi Bylsma October 23, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      I love that, Lisa. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. 😀

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