Hello Everyone! My name is Janice and I struggle with food addiction. This is one of the things I say when I introduce myself each week at Celebrate Recovery. This is also one of my biggest struggles in which I don’t seem to be making much headway.
Let me also clarify that it is not food per se that I am addicted to. I am not eating 5000 calories per day like you see on some of those reality TV shows. My primary issue is with sugar. Not to say that I don’t binge on other things as well, but sugar is the main thing I will binge on.
Most people, including my husband, do not realize how much sugar I actually eat. He thinks he knows, but his guess would be no where to close to reality. I have made improvements lately but I still have my moments. To give you an idea of what I would eat, on a bad day, my lunch will consist of a drumstick (a packaged ice cream cone). That would be eaten first so it wouldn’t melt. Then my main course would be a bag of chips and a can of Coke. Then I will finish it with dessert consisting of a chocolate bar. That is a lot of sugar to be eating at one go.
All of this is to say, I am over weight (my current BMI is about 35) and I don’t like it. I am a few pounds short of a number I swore I would never reach. I am not happy with how I look either. I have a closet full of clothes that do not fit me right now but I refuse to get rid of them or buy more. First, I do not want to spend the money. I feel that will only encourage my lack of motivation to make any changes. Second, I HATE shopping for clothes. There is nothing worse that trying on bras and looking at yourself in the mirror, hating what you see.
One of the challenges with food addiction is that I can’t not eat. That would lead to other issues. When I hit a low, I get caught in a vicious cycle. I don’t like how I look (especially when shopping) or how I feel so I get depressed. When I get depressed, I eat (and often binge eat). Then I feel guilty and I shame myself because of the unhealthy behaviours. These unhealthy behaviours and shame only lead to more depression and so I eat some more. This cycle is very difficult to break. Celebrate Recovery has helped me to a certain extent, so has some counselling, but more work still needs to be done.
Here’s the thing: I know what I need to do, I just don’t do it. I have participated and lead a Daniel Plan small group at my church three times. The first time I lost about 5 lbs. Then I gained it all back. The second time, I dropped about 3 lbs. I picked it all up again along with a few more. The third time, my weight did not change.
From an exercise perspective, I also know what I need to do. I basically completed a personal training course. Because of how bad my back was at the time, I was unable to finish the testing.
So I know what I need to do from a diet perspective and I know what exercises to do for my body. The question then is this: What is my problem? What is stopping me from getting healthy?
I could make excuses that I did not have good role models growing up. I could say I don’t have time. I could say I have no one to work out with. Those are all very lame excuses.
The truth of the matter is I am scared and lazy. I am a big procrastinator. So much so, I received the procrastination award when I was in grade 6. This has been my go-to coping mechanism my entire life. This is also something I am starting to work on improving. Sometimes I am just not motivated enough to do what needs to be done. That is the lazy part, or the perceived laziness. As for fear, well I am very afraid of hurting myself to the point of being unable to walk (which I have done before). I am scared of failing – again. I also view a lack of results as failing. I am also very impatient. I want to see the results now! I don’t want to have to wait 6 months before I see or feel results. That kinda falls under lazy as well.
So what is a girl to do? First and foremost, I need to turn to God before I turn to food. One might think God does not care about what we eat or our physical strength or overall health, but that would be incorrect. There are many verses in the Bible that talk about food and health.
Let’s start with this one.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. I Corinthians 3:16-17
Our bodies are rented to us while we are here on earth. When you rent a car, do you drive it very carefully because you don’t want to pay for any potential damage or do you drive it like it’s a race car because you know it isn’t yours? Personally, if I have a rental car, I drive it carefully because I don’t want to damage it. So why do I treat my body like I am in a demo derby?
Multiple times in I Corinthians, Paul states that “Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial.”
Daniel, when he and his friends were enslaved by the king, did not want to defile himself by eating the food offered by the king. He suggested that he and his friends follow a different diet than the others for ten days. The results were noticeable and they were able to follow their own plan.
Proverbs, of course, has something to say about the topic as well. ” Oh listen, dear child—become wise; point your life in the right direction. Don’t drink too much wine and get drunk; don’t eat too much food and get fat. Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row, in a stupor and dressed in rags.” Proverbs 23:19-21 (MSG)
So how do I get through my recovery? Well, as Jesus Himself said when facing the devil in the desert:
Man (or woman) shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.Matthew 4:4
Going forward, I will heed the advice of Daniel (and eat more fruits and vegetables), Paul (reminding me that just because something is good does not mean it is healthy) and Jesus (get into the Word on a regular basis). The biggest thing I need to remember is I cannot do this on my own. I need God to help me get through this, along with the help of my husband and friends. And I am going to join the gym… again.
When it comes to all of this, including fitting in exercise into my schedule, I will think of this verse.
As I continue on this journey to health and recovery, I would appreciate your prayers. I would also welcome breakfast ideas that are healthy and do not include shakes, yogurt, or eggs.
This morning as I wrote in my new prayer journal from Christianplanner.com, the verse for the day is “Look to the Lord and His strength, seek His face always.” I Chronicles 16:11