(Note: This is a re-post of a blog from January 7, 2009.)
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.