Is it possible to be addicted to food? If so, is there any way to break free from this bondage? Unfortunately, food addiction is a real problem and for those who live with it, freedom sometimes seems unattainable. However, there is hope.
Like all forms of addiction it has the potential to create real havoc in person’s life. What’s more you can find yourself easily in a classic addiction cycle. Where you feel pain and you use a substance to numb that pain. Then you feel shame about using the substance. So you then use the substance again, to numb the pain from the shame. The cycle then becomes vicious. The only real solution to break the addiction, is to address the shame and to allow the original pain to be addressed.
Let’s take a closer look and see how food can become an addiction. Can we all admit that we don’t just eat food just for nourishment, but rather we eat for many reasons? Here in lies the problem. We use food to celebrate, to comfort us after a long stressful day and we use food as a way to remove boredom. An emotional eater will eat when happy, when sad, when angry, or when all seems well. In other words, there is no shortage of opportunities to use food for what it was never really intended for.
What’s wrong with all these scenarios? In all instances we are giving food way too much power. When we turn over control to something that can never meet a true internal need, it always spells disaster. What’s worse we punish ourselves when we lose control and then eat what we know we shouldn’t.
First things first, get rid of the shame. Something we always remind our FITTOSERVE community is that if they experience a hiccup and eat way too many carbohydrates in any given meal, not to beat themselves up. We quickly remind them of the Biblical scripture found in Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Next, we tell them to make sure that their very next meal after a slip-up, be a good one and not to look back. It’s the constant looking back at our mistake that will literally push you over into an area where you just want to throw up your arms and give up.
This is where most people trip up. They blow their carbohydrate allowance on a Monday, and they end up eating poorly for the rest of the week. Why does this happen? Guilt. When we learn to surrender our mistakes and move on, we find true freedom.
Just like a parent doesn’t stop loving their child the moment they make a mistake, you don’t toss all your good choices by one food mishap. It’s important to forgive yourself and move forward. In time, you good choices will out-weigh your mess-ups, until it becomes a new pattern in your life.
Next, know your trigger foods. Inevitably, most people who struggle with food issues have certain foods that once allowed in, it’s as if a button gets stuck in the brain and a downward path is bound to happen. So do your-self a favor and always plan each and every meal. Don’t find yourself staring at an open fridge or in a supermarket isle wondering what your next meal should be? This trend set’s you up to fail. For someone who deals with food addiction, meal planning is a crucial and necessary step.
Lastly, never use food to medicate whatever you may be dealing with. Understand, that food was never intended to have so much leverage in your life. Instead, hand all your life issues to God. Let Him be the one that fills your needs, not a chocolate brownie, that will always fail miserably short.
If you suffer from any form of food addiction I urge you to find a support group to assist you on your journey. If you live in the South Florida area know that FITTOSERVE is a free community group birthed out of Word of Faith Global Ministries that can assist you on your journey to being whole in spirit, mind and body.
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Feel free to reach out to us with your questions. We are here to support you.