Oh. my. goodness.
So I’m on my lunch break at work, and I pull out my Lose it for Life book to read a little. I flipped through, and my finger stopped on the first page of Chapter 7. A few words caught my eye, and I started reading [even though I’m only on Chapter 5]. And I kept reading. What is Chapter 7 about, you ask? Emotional Eating.
Towards the beginning of the chapter, they give 20 questions to help you identify if you are an emotional eater. I answered “yes” or “Sort of” to 18 of them. So guess what? I’m an emotional eater. No surprise here, I already knew this about myself. But to realize how much I do it, well, that was a slap in the face. It means that my feelings often trigger my desire to eat.
THIS is why I haven’t really started the exercising & eating right part [I have made some changes to my eating habits, but still not counting calories here]: because I KNOW that this is the key to unlocking my weight problem. If I don’t fix my emotional eating problems, then I’m never going to keep the weight off. A good analogy that the book made, that helped me understand all of this, has to do with physical pain. God made us so that we experience physical pain as a way to tell us that there is a problem with our body that we need to attend to. Emotional pain is similar; it signals there is a problem that God wants to heal. I have been numbing my emotional pain with food, when all along God wants to heal me from those hurts.
Then the book goes on to list different types of emotions that can cause us to want to eat: anger, fatigue, depression, loneliness, inadequacy, insecurity, guilt, shame, jealousy, happiness, anxiety/worry, disappointment, emptiness, procrastination, boredom, rejection. I can identify with many of those. I won’t go into too much detail, but as I was reading each paragraph about these items, there was one that I came to, and just sobbed. I did what the book told me to; I let myself feel the pain of a past hurt, and I cried for 15 minutes straight. And then I asked God to help heal me.
Oh. my. goodness. This is going to be a L O N G journey, I can tell. I’ve buried a LOT of hurts with food, and I’m going to have to do a lot of digging. I can already feel a slight weight lifted off my shoulders today. But there is still a lot there. And I already know its not going to be pretty. I’m not going to post my deepest, darkest secrets here for all the world to see, but I know I have to confide in someone. Keeping it all to myself isn’t going to work. I need to confess, as in James 5:16, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” (MSG)
I’m going to end today with a song that’s been in my head today. The song “Ice Cream” by Sarah McLachlan: “Your love is better than ice cream. Better than anything else that I’ve tried.” Okay so I don’t know who she was talking about when she said, “your love,” but when I sing it, I’m thinking God’s love. I love ice cream. And I’ll still eat it. But I’m trying my hardest not to eat it for the wrong reasons.