I’m not here to sugar-coat your answer. Let me guess you don’t know the answer so this post IS for you. At one time I was a comfort eater. I realized that and wanted to change. So I asked God how to change. I was tired of other methods that left me literally hanging and dangling by a mere thread of hope and clinging hard to my determination of ever losing another pound. I was tired of reaching to food for comfort and it not filling my inner desires to be comforted.
You see food, cows and sugars are all seductive in ways that speak to us foodies for life. When we are stressed, emotionally spent, challenged by disappointments life brings, and/or all of the above plus any and all stresses that adult life can bring, well food is the most convenient and tasty options a girl has.
Especially in the age of texting. Let me bring this all together. Food doesn’t judge us. It doesn’t boss around our emotions. It doesn’t try to fix us, or tell us we are being silly. It just accepts us as we are…needy, hungry for whatever, and in love with the taste of it’s sweetness.
That’s why emotional eaters eat. When emotional eaters are stressed they go to a place of comfort that can comfort when all of the world seems to want to change us or complain about us. We can’t help it and that is the one way food succeeds in getting our attention.
One day at my kitchen sink, I was as frustrated as a young mom could be. My children who were mostly good 99% of the time had worked my last nerve, and something inside me snapped. I grabbed the nearest pleasure and said to this sweet delight, “Well, at least you won’t talk back to me.” I then embraced the comfort it had on my frustrated heart and ate an entire cow’s worth of calories.
I don’t feel good about telling you this bad food memory. But I share it for a purpose. When you are stressed, frustrated, or caught up in an inappropriate emotion that sends you straight to the cabinet loaded with Little Debbie cakes or the entire bag of Cheetos or potato chips you have an emotional eating problem. Is everything in you screaming “OH YES!” right now? Did I hit your eating problem on the head?
My advice comes many sweets later or shall I say many lessons later, here is your olive branch. Don’t eat the cow in an entire meal. Don’t eat out of frustration or stress or an emotional spin out. Don’t do it. The only thing that you will come away with is more guilt and shame not only for the situation that got you there in the first place but a whole lot of regret about how you personally handled your emotions.
Food may comfort you for a short time, but it doesn’t last to resolve your bigger need, which is the reason why your desire to comfort yourself with something that will only leave you hanging by a thread later. Food can’t offer you true comfort like God can.
So when you are looking for comfort, and honestly we all are in this broken world we live in, then go to God first. If God tells you to eat the whole cow in one meal then go for it. But from what I have learned about the way He comforts, I go with that idea in mind to ask Him about it and He quickly distracts my ways to looking at my real heart problems instead.
Then we work on fixing those issues together. And I forget about the cow and what caused me to think about eating it in the first place. God’s love and grace is just that big, that no matter why you are looking for comfort He can supply each “why” need we have. He supplies each and every one of our needs be it physically, emotionally, mentally, and of course spiritually.
This is how I learned not to turn to food from my emotional spin-outs. The change didn’t come overnight, but it has come, and now I know how to eat right. Food is the fuel for my body not my hurting emotions. What I have learned is that God is big enough to handle all my emotions and yours too. I can trust Him with the hurting places of my life, the disappointments, the unmet needs and self-control training that I need.
God can handle it all. And knowing that gives me the most comfort! More than eating an entire cow, that’s for sure.