Ok, time to get a little vulnerable. This is a long post, but it’s important. Last week I weighed for the first time in maybe a month. I stepped on the scale thinking I’d see some weight loss because I’ve been running a little bit more…but much to my dismay, they number staring back at me was higher than I’ve seen in a LONG time. In fact, it’s 2 lbs away from when I weighed my heaviest. As any girl would, I had a mini freak out and those thoughts of self hate came creeping in: “You have no self control. You’ve really let yourself go. Caleb’s not going to think you’re attractive. You’re disgusting.” I hate that these are still automatic thoughts that pop up so quickly. But one of the biggest thing I learned through all the therapy I’ve been to was actually from one of my Christian counselors – Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I know that these thoughts of self hate are not from God. To him I am fearfully and wonderfully made, designed with intention and on purpose. So I prayed that the Lord would help me see myself as He sees me – and then move on and focus on what’s really important in life.
But sometimes that voice of self hate and insecurity is so strong that I need some more support. This was the case last week, so I reach out to my sister, Lauren. I asked her to pray for me because I was really struggling with my weight and body image. I explained that I couldn’t even be mad about the weight gain because I haven’t been dieting, I’ve been eating junk food pretty much every day, and definitely over what my body needs. I was frustrated because I don’t know why I keep eating food that makes me feel like crap instead of eating food that would energize and make me feel good. She helped me come up with a plan that would create more balance around food and said she’d pray for me. I put my phone down and picked up the book I’m reading, “Uninvited.” I was about to have one of those moments where you know God is speaking to you & I wasn’t even expecting it.
The author was talking about how Satan uses three things to try to tempt us and lure us into sinning and the first one was this:
“Crave: I feel empty.
Whenever I feel lonely or less than, I think I can fill my emptiness with temporary physical pleasures. The things that I consume soon consume my thoughts. What started as a little thing has become something of which I can’t ever quite get enough of.”
This is EXACTLY how I felt about food – The things that I consume [too much food] soon consume my thoughts [and I start having negative body image as a result]. What started as a little thing [overindulging] has become something of which I can’t ever quite get enough of. As if that wasn’t a God speaking moment already, I saw I had a missed text from Lauren and this is the gist of what she said.
Why are you constantly choosing to eat crap when you know it makes you feel horrible both physically and emotionally? Most of the time, it’s because I’m feeling unsatisfied in some other area or areas of life and looking to wine or ice cream to numb that or satisfy. Be really conscious about asking The Lord to help seek true satisfaction in Him and Him alone
Um, WHAT?! Was she reading that book over my shoulder. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that what she said lined up perfectly with what I had just read. So, I read on:
When I go without the nourishment of truth, I will crave filling my spiritual hunger with temporary physical pleasures, thinking they will somehow treat the loneliness inside. These physical pleasures can’t fill me, but they can numb me. Numb souls are never growing souls.
And that’s when it really clicked with me. At this point in my life, I don’t feel less than or lonely in the same way that I used to. In the past, I felt like everyone was better than me, I wasn’t worth loving, and I didn’t have any authentic relationships. Now, I feel overall confident in who I am, I’m secure in the way that my husband loves me, and I have deep, meaningful friendships. So I don’t think I’ve been turning to food because of that. I think it’s because I have been going without the nourishment of Truth. I haven’t been spending as much time reading the Bible or in prayer. I haven’t been to church because I’ve been working or out of town. I think I was spiritually hungry but I didn’t realize that and therefore didn’t turn to the Lord for satisfaction. I was turning to candy and burgers (which are all fine in moderation, but I was overdoing it), I was filling my belly instead of filling my soul.
Today, I’m working on satisfying my soul hunger instead of looking to physical fullness to satisfy me. I’m spending time doing things that stir my affections for the Lord and bring fullness and joy in my life. So instead of just trying to go on another diet or cleanse – ask yourself the hard questions & get to the root of why you may be overeating. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or support in this process. Sometimes people can spot things in our lives better than we can because we’re so close to the situation.