Healing Anxiety Toward Food and Weight

Food and me – It’s one of my greatest anxieties.

I’m not sure when my obsession with food began, but I do know that it is where I turn every time I’m tired, sad, happy, celebrating, bored, angry… yeah, so I pretty much turn to food 24/7.

Today, I’m beginning a journey to renew my relationship with food, so that, it is no longer an all-consuming area of life.

But let me first share a bit about my past and my all-consuming food obsession. It caused me to gain a lot of weight first of all and that weight gain added to some unhealed wounds, that I didn’t really know I had, like fear of abandonment and rejection. The weight decreased, my already low, self-worth. The decrease in my opinion of myself lead to foolish choices and searching for my worth among others.  And, if you don’t know this already, looking for worth within others opinions often leads to feelings of rejection.

well, this weight issue was many many years ago, and I did find a way to lose over 70lbs and keep it off. But that didn’t heal my brokenness or need for acceptance, and it only made my issue with food, weight and body image that much more of a stronghold on my every waking minute.

Food Idol

Food and my weight are idols in my life.  I’m ashamed to admit this, especially,  as a Christian woman.  I don’t want to be like the old testament Israelites who see God’s miracles every single day and yet still build gold statues to worship.  But I am exactly like them, and food and the number on the scale are my golden calf.

I see God’s work in my life, I see him daily.  Food and my weight are put up on a pedestal, and, I let them consume my every thought, I “worship them.”  I don’t worship them because I’m happy with them and they make me happy, but because I’m terrified of the feelings I felt when I was overweight. So, I think, to avoid ever not to track my food that way again, I need to be diligent about food, so it consumes my every thought.

what and when am I going to eat next, should I eat this, how much do I weigh now, if I’m less than normal I can have ______.

It’s such a horrible place to be.  Fearful and anxious over food and weight.  I hate that it rules me. So, I’m setting out to overcome my addiction/obsession.

How I’m working on Healing

Part of my obsessions comes from the fear of feeling like I did before I lost the 70lbs.  The embarrassment and disgust were pretty high, and my internal dialog was so horrible.  I fear going back to feeling that way.  So tracking my food and keeping a food journal was my way to avoid that so I thought.  This innocent attempt to remain healthy is when the obsessions really began.

The reason I share this is that even though tracking your food is a great way to keep things in check and lose weight if it becomes an obsession then you’re not doing yourself any good – you’re only hurting yourself.

Tracking or lack thereof is where I’m starting my change.  I’m trying not to track my food.  I use to plan out the whole next day of food to make sure I was going to stay within my calories and Macro-nutrients.  However, I’m still falling a bit victim to the tracking, but am cutting way back and not putting so much weight on what I eat and when I eat.

So, instead of tracking my food and time, I’m going to listen to my body.  This is no easy thing to do.  Listening to my body while I eat and to decide when I eat means I need to be aware, and I need to slow down. Plus, my emotions can’t fully be trusted when it comes to eating.  So, I have to pause and think – I am I  hungry or am I bored, sad, tired, frustrated…

So, I’m slowing down and pausing before I eat to see if I’m hungry or bored…This is hard.  But, so far this week has to lead me to some enlightening moments and true depth of how unhealthy my relationship with food is.  (baby steps and celebrating the blessings within the chaos)

Prayer is the only way I’ve seen success so far and the other thing I’m doing to help me overcome my obsession.  You know when you break up with someone the best way to move on is to remove everything about them from your life completely?  Well, my relationship with food needs a breakup. However, I need food to survive so I can’t completely remove it from my life and break up with it, and I realize this is not something I can do on my own.

So to heal my brokenhearted food relationship, I need to tap into the mighty and saving power of God.  I pray before I eat, I pray that the food would nourish my body, that I would have the reminder to slow down and to be aware of when I’m satisfied and not push myself to full or over full.   Just these simple pauses put my mind in the right place.  I’m aware of what I’m going to eat (is it healthy?) helps me put my fork down between bites and listen to my body (am I still hungry or not).

This is a lot of work, I admit it, however, if I didn’t do this I’d continue to obsess.  This way my obsession is off food and onto God, where it should be!

Constantly Mindful is the final way I’m working to transform my relationship with food.   I’m trying to remain within a constant murmur of “Lord, you are my portion” and “All things are lawful for me., but not all things are helpful.  All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.”

I’m on a journey to heal my relationship with food and live wholehearted and mindful. This is only the beginning of breaking this stronghold in my life.  Each day is another day to be purposeful and humbly giving my life to God’s will, not my own.

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