- Food protects me.
- Food comforts me.
- Food soothes my pain.
- Sugar gives me energy.
- Food is my best friend.
- I’m just a person who loves to eat.
- Fat people are happy people.
- I have to have dessert with every dinner.
- I’d starve if I couldn’t eat foods made with sugar and flour.
- It doesn’t matter to God if I’m overweight.
I could go on. There are many more lies we believe. And when we operate as if they are truth, they cause us to continue to gain weight.
We can suck it up, power through, go on a drastic diet and lose a lot of weight even 100 pounds, but if we are continuing to believe the lies, we WILL gain all the weight back.
This yo-yo dieting wreaks more havoc on our bodies than the weight gain. What we’re doing is killing ourselves. We put the gun to our own heads. We click the trigger each time. It’s like Russian roulette. We’ve loaded the bullet in the gun and we never know when the final blow will come.
When I was extremely overweight I tried hard to make up for it by being loving and caring. Loving and caring are good things to find enjoyment in. As an overweight person I did it to my detriment. I felt others wouldn’t care for me because I was a failure in the weight category, so I had to give more and love more so they would in turn give more to me and love me more.
It became an endless cycle that only left me empty. I was giving to get, loving to be loved. I was selfish in every aspect. I didn’t want to lose weight because I’d have to give up the foods I loved. But I still wanted others to like me so I gave until I was empty.
It doesn’t make sense and it is another one of those lies. It’s a lie born of not wanting to face the truth of the dilemma we are facing.
Food Protects Me
In my childhood, I began constructing lie. A trusted family friend molested me. It was a physical and emotional wound that cut deep.
The only thing I could do as a child to protect myself was to allow myself to be made bigger. Food did this. It bolstered my courage and put pounds on. It made me feel large and in charge. It made me feel bigger than the bad guy. It made me feel protected.
As i got older this emotional feeling of needed to be protected stayed. Cognitively I knew I needed to lose weight. Cognitively I knew how. Cognitively I knew my health was in danger and I’d be able to do more things physically if I lost weight
Still, I fell victim to the yo-yo syndrome every time. Those emotional wounds just wouldn’t be talked down no matter how hard I tried to reason with them.
Food Comforts Us
The same thing happens with the lie that food comforts us. It does for a half second and then we need more to get the same level of comfort we felt before we ate.
It sets up an endless cycle that keeps us going crazy with binging and eating everything in sight. It starts early.
As a child, sometimes home wasn’t a comfortable place so I found comfort in the only thing I had access to, food. I would sneak candy from the top of the kitchen cabinet. I know a woman whose parents were alcoholics. She ate when her parents were passed out from drinking.
I also had a loving grandmother who fed me high carbohydrate-laden foods with lots of sugar and flour. To me the food was delicious. I always wanted more and never knew when to stop. I would get this over full stuffed feeling. I began to equate this feeling with comfort, even though it really made me feel very uncomfortable.
As I grew up, any time I wanted to feel comfort, I would go and make something my loving grandmother figures made for me. I wanted those foods that were the only thing that brought me any measure of joy.
Feelings and Behaviors
Behavior specialists say thoughts govern feelings which results in behaviors. The problem is sometimes feelings yell louder than thoughts. Sometimes our thoughts and feelings war with each other with such intensity that we just go on autopilot.
Autopilot is that state we fall back to. The old neural pathways that were formed early in our lives. They may say: If there is danger, then eat candy. If you are sad, bake Grandma’s cookie recipe.
The deal is feelings don’t differentiate between lies and truths. They don’t care what is true. They only go by how they feel. In the past, food has made them feel better. So they will default to food.
This makes God really sad because by using food for protection and comfort, we are not going to Him for those two things. It started as a little white lie in childhood. But there is no such thing as a little lie or a white lie. Lies are lies no matter what color they are.
The lies become fortresses or strongholds1 in our lives. We build them bite-by-bite, pound-by-pound, until we have a mountain of flesh we don’t know what to do with. We are in sugary hazy and can’t even remember exactly how we got here, where it started or how to get out of the prison we have allowed to make us fat.
Even though it’s our physical body that needs to be fixed, the way to fix it is not with another diet. We are in a war but we don’t fight3 it with latest, greatest weight loss shake.
If we do, we not using our first and strongest line of defense. “For the weapons of our warfare and not physical weapons of flesh and blood, but they are might before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.”3
The way we fight is with truth.4 This is the mighty weapon that tears down the fortress we have built.
“You will know the truth. The truth and only the truth will set you free.”5
We will be talking more about this in later posts. We work on these and other issues that blockade us from going forward on our weight loss journey in Sweet Change Weight Loss Group. Now accepting new members.
1 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 AMP
2 2 Corinthians 10:3 AMP
3 2 Corinthians 10:4 AMP
4 2 Corinthians 10:5 AMP
5 John 8:32 AMP
Teresa Shields Parker is an author, speaker and coach. Her book Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds is the #1 Christian weight loss memoir on Amazon. She shares transparently and openly about the challenges of losing an extreme amount of weight. Sweet Grace Study Guide gives practical tips on weight loss.
Her new book, Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation, published Dec. 2014, shares the stories of 17 individuals on the weight loss journey and includes much information from Teresa. Downloadable pdfs of all books are available under the products tab.
Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching and Accountability Group provides support, encouragement, weekly videos, action steps and an online group for those wanting to be intentional about their weight loss efforts.
To request Teresa to speak at your event, please contact her here.