The kids are all gone at backpacking camps, and I’m alone in the house with a carton of Blue Bunny cookie dough ice cream and a Tupperware container filled with rhubarb cheesecake bars.
Not only that, I still have an hour and a half of writing to do for the day and a decision to make that I don’t really want to make—both of which make me feel like eating. Not to mention the fact that it’s late afternoon, that magical time of day when the things in the freezer often call out to us.
But I’m not listening. Let me take that back—I was listening, but not anymore. Why am I not listening? Because I decided to truth journal about it (before I actually ate anything, for a change), and I no longer feel like eating.
This is what I wrote:
Beliefs: 1. Some ice cream would be good right now. 2. I deserve it after such a hard day. 3. And since I still have more than an hour of writing to do.
Truths: 1. It would be good for about FIVE MINUTES!!! After that it would make me feel bloated, uncomfortable, crummy when I wake up tomorrow morning, and weigh more than I want to weigh. Is that all worth five minutes of enjoyment? (I actually capitalized the five minutes again in my journal, but I’ll spare you that.) No, the answer is no. 2. Some days will go like this. If possible I need to devote my mornings to writing, so I don’t have any left by afternoon. But when I think of the collective suffering in the world, I’m one of the lucky ones. 3. That hour of writing is an opportunity for me to share in the sufferings of Christ(ouch).
Then I truth journaled about the decision, since that was another thing that was making me want to eat. And you know what? I didn’t feel like eating anymore by the time I was through.
There’s two things I think are really important to keep from giving in to emotional eating.
1. Start working on your emotions. If you only journal about the food, you'll be in danger of turning to some other bad habit to escape your emotions. If you learn to go to God for your emotions, you'll see things from His point of view and the negative emotions themselves will go away. Journaling about both the writing and the decision today gave me peace about both of those.
2. Make a commitment to journal or pray Scripture before you eat outside your boundaries – even if you’re already planning to eat. Just say to yourself, “That’s okay – I can still have the bowl of ice cream (or whatever), I just need to renew my mind first." More often than not your desires will change, but if they don’t you have nothing to lose. You can go ahead and eat what you were planning to eat.
Why don’t you give this a try and see how it goes? I actually got interrupted while I was writing this so it’s been a couple of hours since I was tempted by the ice cream. And I still haven’t felt like eating anything. I’m not using will power to avoid eating – I just don’t feel like it anymore. Because I’m believing the truth. But I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t taken the time to find it.