Ever since I can remember, food was a big deal to me.
When I was sad, I ate to feel better.
When I was happy, I ate to celebrate.
When I was bored, I ate for something to do.
When I was stressed, I ate to distract myself.
All this eating led to excess weight and obesity, which made me feel ashamed and embarrassed, and when I felt those things… well, I ate to comfort myself.
I was in a deadly cycle and didn’t see a way out. I began to entertain thoughts of suicide, because to me, that was the easiest way to escape the person I had become. I hated myself and carried so much shame in my inability to control myself with food.
Over the course of several years, I began a journey of healing. Healing my mind, spirit, and finally my body. But it started in my mind. As Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” I knew I had to find freedom in my mind if my body ever wanted to follow. So I began to spend daily time in God’s Word renewing my mind and learning about my true identity.
During my time in God’s Word, His presence changed my spirit as I got to know Him on a deeper level. I took to heart 1 Corinthians 6:19–20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body… ”
Choosing the right foods and exercising daily started to be something I did out of love for Him instead of out of obligation. The more I got to know Him, the more I wanted to honor and obey Him by taking care of what He had given me.
I lost a considerable amount of weight over the course of a couple of years, but I still struggled with binge eating. I would diet for long stretches of time, and then in weak moments give in to my old nature and eat until I felt numb. I was living life in the extremes, a self-professed “all or nothing” person, but God showed me this was not honoring Him.
I realized the devil was in the extremes and God is in the long-suffering, inside-out transformation. He didn’t want me bouncing back and forth like a ping-pong ball but wanted me to learn slow, gradual, and life-lasting reliance on His strength to help me in this area of weakness.
This will probably be something I will always battle. The most recent Scripture He led me to was Colossians 2:9: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ, you have been brought to fullness.” I’ve learned to see food, not as something to fill the empty places inside of me. Instead, I see it as fuel, to help me fulfill the great purpose He has prepared in advance for me to do.
Looking for more? Check out this 5-day devotional on food addiction.