I recently shared in the Hunger Within class that I am co-leading, how I identify with the blog post written by my dear friend and co-leader Deanna Lewis. You can find her blog here: http://www.thinwithin.org/mindless-eating/. I have been and will probably be again the woman in this picture. I have eaten like this in periods of numbness to fill an empty spot in my soul. I have eaten like this to cover up emotions that I do not want to feel and especially do not want to deal with. Dear reader, I have eaten like this just because I am bored. Need I say that I have eaten like this because I love popcorn and if I am watching a movie, I love having a huge mound of it to stuff into my face? Late at night this kind of eating calls my name. The house is dark. No one but me and my cats are awake. No one is watching and it’s time to fill her up! Like many of you, I say I eat this way because I just love the taste of food. Whatever the reasons, I have eaten in mindless fashion, way past satisfaction and to the point where each new bite tastes more and more like cardboard. And, I always experience the next morning blues…why, oh why, did I eat like that last night? My mouth hurts from the salt (oh how I love the salt in my snacks) and I will probably never be hungry again!! Have you been here? Do you identify with me?
I am trying to visualize a good example of what this kind of eating is to me, and I think I found the perfect one. Picture a fish…yes, I said a fish. Now picture that fish getting caught with a rubber worm. Just in case you have never been fishing (I enjoy fishing. Haven’t been for years and miss it) I have a picture just for you to show you what it looks like when you have a fish caught on a rubber worm.
When I think about this fish, I am picturing myself going after the rubber worm. It promises a tasty meal or a snack and boy does it look tasty and good! Surely it is just the thing I need to fill my empty places. Do you like shiny things? Boy, sometimes these rubber worms even have shiny disks that attract my attention. I have to have it!! It’s shiny and it looks so good, like real food, and I have a craving that needs to be satisfied!! And, look…I’ve been caught…by a rubber worm. I have taken the bait, and I have latched on to something that looked like it would satisfy and give me pleasure, but it turned out to be fake. This is how I picture mindless eating or any eating for reasons outside of hunger. The craving is there. It looks good. It sounds good. My attention is grabbed and I am going to eat it. And, there is no satisfaction, and I am caught. I will probably even want more of the same thing. Isn’t more always better? Thinking more will surely satisfy and fill that empty spot that I am trying to fill has got to be good judgement, right? Wrong!
This is what excess eating has become to me. I still do it from time to time, and what I find each time is that there is little satisfaction. There is always the question of why. Sometimes I realize that I don’t even care for the food I overate anymore. I don’t beat myself up like I did in the past. God has healed those places in me where I hurt myself and sabotage myself. I am quick to take my sorrow to the Lord in repentance for my slip. Can I interject here how grateful I am that our Loving Father is forgiving and longsuffering?
It helps me to visualize the truth of how I am eating. I have a choice daily to go after the rubber worm or to feast on the Bread of Heaven, which is Christ Jesus. One is fake and will never satisfy. The other promises that when I feed on Him I will never hunger or thirst. For me, the choice is already made. I want to eat what truly satisfies my every deep hunger. I am trading my popcorn covered lap for true food.
Will you join me in trading the things that look good and promise satisfaction but fall short for the Word of God which feeds our deepest needs?