For most of my life, I wouldn’t have said I had an eating disorder.
To me, “eating disorders” were things like anorexia and bulemia: big, life-altering struggles that required the intervention of doctors, therapists and pastors.
I never realized that every time I ran to the fridge for a snack when I felt sad, or cheated on my “vegetarian diet” (again), or couldn’t stop myself with just a few potato chips (cookies, cheese sticks, etc.) … I was essentially stuck in the same place as those women with “eating disorders” with more clinically acceptable eating disorders.
I was using food to cover up a craving inside that couldn’t actually be assuaged with sweets, salty, spicy or sour.
Today, many women comment to me that they wish they could eat vegan like I do now. “But I just can’t seem to give up the meat, eggs and dairy,” they quickly add. Others tell me they want to kick the sugar or the cola habit. Still others want to go gluten free, but the thought of no cookies or cinnamon rolls sends them running for cover.
If any of those describe you, I’m hear to hug you and say, “It’s okay.”
I was there, too.
The first biggest step I had to take to be free of my constant need for food, was to realize that I was in bondage in the first place.
After my powerful full-body opening in July 2017, at which time the Holy Spirit began to speak me more directly, I began to realize all the ways I was carrying trauma and hurt in body. I also began to see how that trauma was driving me to hold on to weight I no longer needed.
Because I needed to feel safe, my brain was keeping me overweight—essentially—“hiding” me under layers of fat. And the easiest way to do that was with an addiction to animal-based, processed and refined foods. Did the drive to eat every time I felt sad, or to overindulge at every opportunity, disappear overnight?
No, not in the least. Not by half.
But awareness is the beginning of freedom.
Once I knew what was going on, I could take steps to change my thinking, which changed my dominant emotional state and enabled me to finally change my behaviors around the fridge.
So if you’re reading this today, and you know that you eat according to your mood, not according to your nutritional need … first, you are not alone. And second, the fact that you have acknowledged this pattern is a HUGE step toward breaking free.
Because the truth is:
- You CAN stop equating food with emotional comfort, in the deepest level of your mind.
- You CAN come to a place where you no longer desire food except when your body is actually hungry.
- You CAN adopt a vegetarian, vegan, raw foods or other alternative diet—once you are in a mental and emotional place where the first two points are already true.
And that’s the real issue here.
Most women I know who want to change their eating are trying to do so without first shifting their dominant thought patterns and their everyday emotions.
Adopting that new diet, losing weight or taking up more exercise simply won’t be successful if you try to “power through it” or make it “one more item on your to-do list.”
Heart change and mind change must happen first. You won’t be able to shift your thoughts or emotions overnight. It WILL require that you confess your addiction to God and ask Him to heal you. It WILL take work to discipline your mind and body. But when you learn how to do that, and learn how to relax into receiving a smaller body, fewer cravings, and healthier food … it can happen.
Many of my my friends and mentees have experienced shifts in their eating as a natural byproduct of clearing their thoughts and emotions.
That’s how it happened for me, ultimately, as well.
I didn’t totally set out to change my eating. My freedom from emotional eating patterns came as a byproduct of shift my thoughts to focus on God and His love, and learn how to live at the high, even emotional state that He desires for each of us.
Eating can be a FLOW, just like love, money and creativity.
Release the struggle, and step into ease.