The question about constantly thinking about food and struggling with obsessing about 0 and 5 has come up on a Yahoo group I am a part of.
If you identify with anything you read here, please don’t beat yourself up over it. God doesn’t want us to beat ourselves over our own heads. He wants us to confess and repent. Observe and correct. We agree with God and choose to change. Each moment matters. Each moment offers a choice to agree with God or turn our backs on His voice. We can observe and correct and press on, period. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. 🙂
God offers us freedom. God offers us His peace. He is our authority and when we submit to his authority, we find peace…amazing peace.
I have found that, for me, obsessing about food, 0, 5, the scale…anything…often has its roots in one or two (or both) things:
1. Making hunger and satisfaction more difficult than it actually needs to be.
2. Dieting mentality that I cling to.
Let me explain…
What I have found for me is this: Most of the time, if I am honest, hunger and satisfaction are much simpler than I make it.
The difficulty comes with….I don’t *like* the answer. What do I mean by that? Well, that it simply doesn’t take that much food for me to manage in this life (and I live a VERY active life and have little extra weight left now). I *want* more food. So I tend to fudge that “Am I at a 0? Gosh, I want to be at 0. Maybe I can really convince myself I *am* at a 0…I must be at a 0 because I want food and I haven’t eaten in 2 hours…sure, I am at a 0…erm…aren’t I? Besides, I exercised today! Yep, I am at a 0!”
(Do you hear the obsession in this line of thinking?)
I hope it is obvious that this is also deception. Catering to these thoughts not only leads me to believing lies, but it also feeds the obsession (thinking about food all the time or wondering if I am at a 0 or 5 all the time).
One of the things God has shown me is if I want this leg of my journey to be different than all the other times I have “dieted” or even “done Thin Within,” if I want it to “stick for life,” I have to be willing to admit truth. So God’s truth in this area for me that He has shown me is…I seem to WANT figuring this out to be difficult because I don’t want to let loose of the food. If it is simple, then I have no “excuse” for not letting go of more food!
OUCH! (Remember, if you can identify, don’t beat yourself up, but just observe and correct!) (NO, I am NOT talking about being anorexic!! We eat WHENEVER we are hungry!!!)
It is easy to lie to myself about a 5, too… “Am I already satisfied? Gosh, that can’t be! I have only had 6 bites! Surely, I can’t be at a 5 already. No way…I can’t be…right? No, a few more bites before I stop…but surely that won’t put me past a 5! Oh, NO! Am I *past* a 5? Surely not!”
More obsession…see what I mean? 😮
Each time I engage in this kind of thinking, I muddy the clarity of understanding my body, again shutting off the hunger/satisfied mechanism that God wants to use to guide me on this journey FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. It prolongs everything! This isn’t a diet! The sooner I am honest and listen to my body as it teaches me about my personal hunger and satisfaction and the feelings associated with each physically, the sooner I can be on about living the rest of my life this way!!! There IS freedom there!!!
Further, when I deceive myself about 0 or 5, this feeds the obsessions with food and 0 and 5 and other stuff. It doesn’t take long before I hop on and off the scale obsessively. When I fudge about 0 and 5, I want to get on the scale to prove that I have gotten away with eating that way when inside I KNOW that I didn’t really wait for 0 and I know I didn’t stop when I could have. GOD WILL TELL ME the truth! All I have to do is ask ask ask ask ask and respond to his voice.
That is the first thing that leads to obsessive thoughts for me.
The second point is the dieting mentality that I might struggle with from my past or struggle with now because I keep clinging to it intentionally.
For me, when I was thinking about food all the time, it had a lot to do with my associations with dieting. I came out of years of dieting, having managed the food. I *had* to think about it all the time when I was dieting. I had to plan, count, calculate! I counted this or that, graphed it, charted it, counted percentages and proportions and tried to match them at each meal. It is hard to shake that. But, after a while, when I stopped trying to control what and how much I ate according to what makes “dieting sense” and just trusted that God would use my body and the voice of the Holy Spirit to guide me, the obsession went away! I can honestly say I do not think of food now unless I am hungry (and sometimes not even then, depending on what I am doing at the time). I used to, so this is a huge work of God in my life. Before, I couldn’t STOP thinking about it. That came with dieting. Thin Within is not a diet. The sooner we make the break from any and all things that make it feel that way, the sooner the obsession will dissipate! Honest! 🙂
God promises that we WILL walk free of all of it. We WILL. He promises that we will be FREE from captivity. It is a FACT. It isn’t a MAYBE!
Will we believe him?
Trying to control everything ourselves…in fact trying to control ANYthing ourselves is believing a lie. Romans 6: 21-22 says this: “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Why would I want to cling to the things of the past that led my heart astray? I don’t have a clue why. God doesn’t need them to set me free!
I have been SO ashamed when I have gained weight back. Can anyone else identify? What benefit did I really ever reap from dieting? I lost weight, but it always found me again! For me, after 110 pounds lost with Weight Watchers and running marathons and going to a gym constantly (and and and), my heart was SO chained to food…THESE are the things that caused my obsession! I believe strongly we have to break totally free from that former way of life that didn’t work for us. It didn’t do anything but lead us further into deception. In fact, I had a season where I could not even exercise at ALL because of the obsessive thoughts I had. God showed me that it was fine. If I don’t exercise, it won’t matter for hunger and fullness. I will still eat when I am hungry and stop when I am not. He would still use that to direct me. SUCH FREEDOM!
I have a choice before me…each of us does…THIS DAY…RIGHT NOW: Will you (will *I*) covenant with God that we will eat what our body needs when it needs it, only eat as much as it needs, and run to him for every other impulse that would draw us to food? Or will I (you) continue to insist on doing it MY way, MY food, with MY body…????
I believe that this is key to being free from obsession.
I am so concerned that we see that much of our obsessive thoughts and struggle to understand 0 or 5 is because we keep piddling around with God about this. (I know that is a harsh way of saying it. If there is truth in this statement, please just observe and correct as God leads.) Hunger is HUNGER! Yes, if I have shut off the signals with years of dieting it may take some time to figure it out, but if I have been at this any length of time at all, I probably *know* in my heart of hearts if I am being honest about this or not. Do I really want to keep lying to myself? It works against me. What benefit is there in this? 🙁
At our support group meeting last night, here is a verse one lady shared:
Isaiah 42: 16 (God speaking)
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. “
Look at the things God says HE WILL DO!!! He leads us on a path that bears NOTHING IN COMMON WITH THE WAY OF THE PAST…nothing in common with dieting. He will make light fall on our path. He will make the rough places smooth. Do I believe Him for it?
The obessions WILL leave. We just have to commit to God’s path for this. If we do, we will walk in freedom…inside and out.
I am the biggest rebel known to man…God has done it in me, so I know it can be done in ANYone.
Praying for all of us to walk in the freedom that has already been purchased.
You wrote:”It is easy to lie to myself about a 5, too… “Am I already satisfied? Gosh, that can’t be! I have only had 6 bites! Surely, I can’t be at a 5 already. No way…I can’t be…right? No, a few more bites before I stop…but surely that won’t put me past a 5! Oh, NO! Am I *past* a 5? Surely not!”Wow…I am feeling really convicted and challenged reading through your journey from the beginning until this post… Just what I was needing! Thanks for sharing, Heidi! God continues to use your journey and words to encourage others!