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

Friday, April 30, 2010

Appearance and Emotional Eating

I've often wondered if it's possible to break free from emotional eating if we're still worshiping the idol of appearance. I think it's often that need to look perfect that drives us to eat like crazy when we've been doing well for quite awhile and then all of a sudden start regularly breaking our boundaries.

We fear gaining all that weight back, and the fear drives us to eat because, and here's the problem, life will be terrible if we gain all our weight back. If we think life will be terrible just because we weigh more than we want to weigh, we're giving way too much power to appearance. And if you think about it, way too much power to living up to the expectations of others.

Breaking free from worries about appearance was just as big an issue for me as breaking free from emotional eating. Here are a few of my old journal entries that dealt with this issue.

Day 68 - 5/6/06

I am finally losing a little weight. I actually wonder if God kept my weight up when I was struggling so that I wouldn't give up the struggle too soon just because I was losing weight i.e. He wanted me to keep dealing with the issues, including the issue of failure, before I experienced weight loss.

And He has helped me with failure. If my goal is to be submitted to God in my eating then I shouldn't beat myself up when I fail (because God doesn't). Of course, I'm going to fail. This is an area of struggle for me. I don't have brute self-control.

On the other hand, if my goal is to have the perfect body, I will beat myself up - because major eating will really hurt that goal.

Day 98 - 6/5/10

Food - God - Appearance. Which will I allow to control me? Food is an idol when I say I have to eat certain things to be happy. Appearance is an idol when I say I have to be at a certain weight to be acceptable. And one idol fights against the other.

They're at cross-purposes with one another, a perfect situation to cause discouragement and despair. Food controls and prevents reaching the unattainable body, and Satan is watching and laughing.

Truth: 1) I don't have to have the perfect body. I am okay where I am. There is no standard I need to measure up to. This is the world's standard, not God's. 2) I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

The answer isn't resolve, determination, and starting a diet. The answer is to cling to God. To hold His word in my heart. To meditate on Scripture. And to renew my mind until I see life (including food and my body) the way He sees it.


Anonymous said...

I like your blog and I'll add it to my favorites. We are facing similar lessons in life :)
We are living in a dangerous age where the cult of the body beautiful strangles us. Keeping close to God and healthy is a HUGE BATTLE when we are constantly being told we are to conform to society. It makes one want to run to the hills and be a recluse. I guess in a way we are learning to be a spiritual recluse from the world. To live in the world but not be one with the world.
It can be done if we keep close to God...! He tells us so!

Unknown said...

Hi Project Girl, Thanks for your comments. I agree - it can be done if we keep close to God! I really like your blog. Beautiful pictures and writing. We also homeschool although I'm down to one kid at home. My oldest is 24 so I guess we've been homeschooling for 18 years now! Hope you continue to enjoy it.