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!