I once asked my takebackyourtemple.com email readers: What is your biggest weight-loss challenge? Emotional eating received twice as many votes as the No. 2 response.
When I weighed 240 pounds, I too ate to manage negative emotions. But during my 85-pound weight loss, I discovered freedom came down to three things:
1. Courage to feel. Most people who eat emotionally do so to escape negative emotions they don't want to feel. So, healing starts with taking an honest look at your eating behavior. Keep a food journal and pay attention to those times when you are eating when you aren't hungry. What is the emotion that you are feeling? Is it anger, depression, boredom, stress, unworthiness?
Whatever the emotions are, you must have the courage to stop burying them under food and face them.
2. Willingness to trust. Once you identify the emotions, you need faith to believe that you can handle them with God's help. In Psalm 46:1, you are assured that God is your refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
When I dealt with emotional eating, I used food as a substitute for God. So one of my first steps was to be willing to let go of my dependence on food and grab hold of God during emotional storms. It was the best decision I ever made, not only in my health but also in my peace of mind.
3. Allowing God's power to work within you. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” You have power inside of you to change! If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, which is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
The enemy deceives many into believing they are helpless victims with no power:
- He wants you to believe that you will never change.
- He doesn’t want you praying.
- He doesn't want you praising God for what you have.
- He doesn't want you meditating on the excellencies of God.
- And he especially doesn’t want you studying God’s Word!
He knows that once you start doing those things, the power working within you will grow and you will no longer be open to his destructive suggestions. You will find that the comfort you were seeking is obtained best when you rely on God rather than food.
Through practicing spiritual disciplines like prayer, praise, worship and study of God’s Word regularly, food will begin to resume its proper place your life and God can assume His proper place: first in all areas.
Once 240 pounds and a size 22, Kimberly Taylor can testify of God’s healing power to end binge eating. She is the creator of the new online course "How to Stop Binge Eating." Charisma readers can get a special discount today with this coupon link.