And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Not even one bite

When I first started writing my Bible study, I checked out all the books I could find at the library that contained information on emotional eating. In the process, I discovered a whole new section of books that I hadn’t seen before.

Did you know that in addition to the “diet book” section, there’s also a section of books on eating disorders and compulsive eating? I read some of those books, and they were very enlightening.

One of the common threads that ran through the books was the admonition to stick religiously to an eating plan. To eat even one bite off the plan, the books said, was to put yourself in dangerous territory. It could lead to a binge.

I remember thinking at the time that this was the missing ingredient in my own struggles with food. I had my eating plan already in place at the time—a simple plan of allowing myself three meals and one snack each day.

The problem was that I sometimes had a bite here and a bite there that wasn’t on "the plan." While these bites didn’t add up to many calories, they still weren’t good for me. What they did was weaken my boundaries—the boundaries I had put in place myself to protect me from emotional eating.

Unfortunately, weak boundaries often lead to broken boundaries. What begins as a crack in the dam soon becomes an all-out flood—and I had my share of “floods.”

The books made me see the necessity of following the plan exactly. In other words, not one bite outside the boundaries. Not even a lick of the fingers. Nada. Nothing.

I determined to be more faithful about following the boundaries, and you know what? It made a difference. A big difference. Sticking rigidly to the plan made it easier to actually follow the plan.

Whether your boundaries are hunger or meals, I encourage you to follow them exactly. Don’t eat even one bite outside your boundaries—because even though it's hard to stick to your boundaries, it's a lot harder to stick to them after you break them than before you break them.


Jo said...

This is sooooo true! But I never really thought about it like that before. I think that it is wrong to beat myself up for not sticking with the plan, but the more I give in, the more I give in....

Anonymous said...

The advice about following any diet plan, or a "rule" of any kind simply feeds the already obsessive compulsive behavior of the ED.

It's like adding plant food to a insect infested plant. The insects will love it, but the plant is still dying.

I'd like to see more books promoting the importance to strengthen the foundation of the body/mind connection. This is the key to resolving ED's - release the emotional impediments that have settled in the core being.

The word "Freedom" will take on a whole new meaning.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your comments, Lizette. I, too, think that healing takes place in the mind, although we might disagree with how that's accomplished. There are several passages in the Bible that talk about the importance of renewing your mind if you want to change your behavior. What set me free from emotional eating wasn't sticking exactly to the boundaries, it was looking at the lies I believed that were making me eat outside the boundaries and replacing those lies with the truth. (There are some posts on this back in November I think.) It also helped to work on the lies that were causing my negative emotions in the first place. In fact, I've found that even more powerful than dealing with the food lies. I definitely agree with Crazy4Cocolate (I couldn't just call you crazy!). You can't beat yourself up when you eat outside the boundaries, but you can learn from the experience and use it as an opportunity to change your thinking. Jesus is full of mercy, grace, and truth, and I believe those are the exact three qualities we need to break free from emotional eating.

Just Doing It said...

Barb, I totally agree with "not even one bite."

I have used this principle with quitting smoking eleven years ago ("not even one cigarette") and quitting biting my nails many, many years ago ("not even sticking a finger in my mouth once"). But, up until reading your book, I couldn't figure out how to apply this concept to eating - since we still have to eat. I've now figured it out - "not even one snack" - and it's working great!

Thank you for your wonderful book! It's like no other diet book and no other Bible study that I've read in the past. I'm benefiting greatly from it - far beyond just getting my eating under control.

Unknown said...

Just doing it, Thank you. That makes it worth writing! I'm delighted that God is using it in your life.