I received a question from one of my class members today: “Can you share with us (after you have weathered this tsunami) how you avoid eating in response to the stress. Can we really get so set free that we aren’t tempted to turn to food?!”
The answer is “Yes!” Let me share my story:
Lots of Stress Lately
My life has been very stressful recently with 3 deaths within 10 days and trips for family support, a funeral, and medical treatment. I am very sensitive and emotional; you could say I grieve well. It’s draining and intense, but I am passionate by nature and I can’t really change this about me, I have discovered. But I find it helps me to move on in life.
We lost a very, very dear friend of the family who was really like family to us. Jervis carried me in his arms when I was 7 months old all the way flying home to America from France where I was born. I slept peacefully in his arms and have enjoyed his loving presence in my life. Jervis and his wife have been my parents’ best friends for 61 years. He died on Easter Sunday at the age of 86. My husband and I were in FL at the time visiting my parents, so we were able to be support for the grieving families who live there.
My Uncle Veit died 6 days later. He was 89 and was special to my family here
in Vermont, as he carted his family of 11 children to their family camp near our home each summer and we so enjoyed their company! They lived in Philadelphia, but vacationed next to the home I grew up in from the day after school was out until Labor Day every year. We lived on 50 acres of beautiful Vermont countryside, with a gang of cousins to spend the entire summer with! Uncle Veit took us hiking, swimming, car riding, we ate meals with them and camped in his tent and told scary stories around his campfire! My life was shaped by these summer adventures with my cousins and Aunt Margie and Uncle Veit.
While all this was happening, our most favored cat, TJ, was dying.
We discovered while we were in FL that he was no longer eating or drinking and dying of kidney failure and cancer. We put TJ down the day after we returned from FL and buried him in the back yard. What an amazing cat – he never failed to purr constantly when touched, was a snuggly cat, and was laid back and happy. I really loved this cat! What a sad day when we put him down.
Six days after returning from FL, I traveled with my siblings to Philly for my uncle’s funeral. We did the 8 hour trip down and back in 2 days. It was tiring, but wonderful to see my cousins.
More Stress Yet
Tomorrow my husband and I travel 4 hours to Boston for his radiation treatment for a benign acoustic neuroma in his brain. The treatment is risky but necessary, as it is growing and may begin pushing into the brainstem. The side effect risk is potentially damage to the auditory nerve in his right ear resulting in full hearing loss in that ear. We are praying for that not to happen!
I Don’t Eat for Stress Anymore!
In my compulsive eating days, I would have been turning to food for comfort. When I walked out my healing in 1999-2000, I worked to eliminate turning to food for comfort. I put boundaries around my eating, returning to Normal Eating according to my hunger signals, and turned to the Lord to heal me of this pattern of running to food for comfort. It took months before I felt the dependency disappear and it was a gradual process of diminishing pull to food over time.
The last struggle that disappeared was wanting to eat in the evening; this is a real challenge for a lot of people. The stronghold of eating gradually diminished over time as I pressed into my healing. Jesus set this captive free.
I allow myself to truly feel. I don’t push down the emotions with food anymore. So, instead of running to food, I feel my emotions and try not to judge them. I also don’t run to food to procrastinate. I don’t judge myself for eating occasional sweets or what some may call “unhealthy food.” I exercise nearly daily to help with stress and I try to sleep well, although I do have sleep issues that interfere. And I begin my day reading the Word or a devotional. I try to stay attached to the Vine as much as possible. I find all this really helps.
Putting boundaries around my eating also helped me tremendously. I had forgotten what “normal eating” was like; so eating for hunger was refreshing and empowering when I relearned it in 1999. I liked to take care of my body when it called for food. I liked not feeling full anymore as I ate smaller portions. I liked knowing how to eat normally again!
It wasn’t easy because I had depended heavily on food for 30 years; I sought God for His strength daily. I knew that only HE could set me free. I asked for healing and pursued His ways – on a daily basis. I knew that without Him doing this in me, I was sunk. I asked Him to set me free. So now it’s as though I live a different life where food isn’t controlling me anymore.
The Lord Sets the Prisoners Free
And that’s what He did for me.
And He can do it for you, too!!
Tune the Temple is a Grace-filled weight loss program designed to lead you to the healing from food dependency that Jesus provides. If you want help finding freedom and healing, please check out the Online Video Class page under the Classes heading.