How to overcome the temptation to overeat
If hunger is not the problem, eating is not the solution. ~ Unknown author
When I became a full-time caregiver for my mother, I found solace in Pepsi and Chex Mix. Every time he asked for help, which was dozens of times a day (and night), he would have a handful of Chex Mix on the way to and from his room. Chilled Pepsi in a thermal mug was always within reach.
I did not think about the result of my actions; I just needed something to make me feel better. My weight went up until I weighed over 200 pounds. I’m tall now so I can carry a lot of weight without it showing, but I knew it wasn’t healthy. I couldn’t seem to stop.
What are your triggers?
I think you will admit that you overeat or choose unhealthy snacks because you feel bad about some person or situation. Until you are aware of your stressors and responses, you can never overcome unconscious habits of overeating and poor food choices.
Anger, bitterness, resentment, frustration, pressure at work, disappointment, or depression can cause a craving in your psyche. The voltage builds up. Then you try to fill the void or heal the pain with food or some other soon-to-be addiction. Physical comfort becomes a substitute for peace of mind and spirit.
The big problem is that a poor diet leads to poor health. Also, stress on your mind and emotions (your soul) creates stress and tension in your body. All of that opens the door to a host of preventable diseases. God has a different plan.
Love never fails.
Stress, anger, frustration, bitterness, and other negative emotions are directly related to selfishness.
- “What about me?”
- “I hurt.”
- “I’m frustrated.”
- “They make me angry”.
Love, its opposite, is the response to stress and tension. Love is not irritable or resentful. Love does not hold a grudge or take into account a bad suffered. Love never fails. (I Cor. 13) However, if you move out of love, you also step out of God’s shield of protection and head straight into the devil’s territory.
The Bible is very clear that Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He wants to steal your peace, destroy your body / relationships / finances and get you off this earth. Regardless of the bad things that happen in your life (health, finances, relationships, mental torment), you can rest assured that he has your back, including weight gain.
When Jesus healed the woman with an issue of blood, he noticed that Satan had bound her, here are these eighteen years (Luke 13:16). Jesus did not advise the woman to have a chocolate bar. Said it should be “unleashed.” How do you get loose? With the word. When he was tempted by Satan in the desert, he defended himself by saying “It is written …” (see Matthew 4).
Love requires a conscious decision to put your ‘wishes’ aside and act. loved. God’s love is an act of will, a decision of choice, not an emotion.
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Faith is a key element in controlling your appetites and cravings. In your own strength, it’s hard to resist a bag of potato chips or a chocolate chip cookie. But the bible says we can be more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37) and that He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Instead of reaching for that comfort food, take a moment to focus on acknowledging that your body is the temple of God. That their love, joy and peace are your inheritance. This is where one of the revelations I spoke of [in the Preface to my book, Your Spirit-Body Connection] comes into play.
I listened to Joyce Meyer, a world-renowned Bible teacher, talk about her battle with weight and health. She related her habit of eating bread before dinner “because she was hungry.” You know, those crispy hot breads that restaurants serve up before your meal … Hmm.
Joyce convinced herself that although she really enjoyed this bread, her body does not NEED it. Instead, he needed patience to wait for his food to arrive. Obeying God’s impulse, she began to say to herself, “I don’t eat unnecessary food.” His desire to please God grew stronger than his desire for bread and butter. She used her joy in pleasing the Father as a strength to resist temptation.
Ask yourself, “What is more important to me, God or food?” Be willing to put the chocolate and chips ‘on the altar’ and really treat your body as His temple. I don’t belong to you! Use temperance, self-control, to say NO to what you don’t do need, whether want that or not.
Let peace be your arbiter.
Peace is essential to your sense of well-being. It is both preventive and restorative.
You already know that stress is a major factor in most illnesses, both physical and mental. Even the word disease [dis-ease], means lack of tranquility or peace. Stress is the main reason you overeat. Food (like alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs) becomes a comforting substitute for other less satisfying circumstances in your life.
Keeping the peace is essential for good health. Peace of mind helps eliminate depression and anxiety. Worry is the opposite of peace, caused by fears, whether real or imagined. Block your recognition of the blessings in your TODAY. Worry kills your peace and opens the door to a myriad of problems. Worry pays the price today for something that may or may not happen in the future.
Recognize that Jesus gave you His peace (John 14:27), the same peace He used throughout His earthly ministry, so that you can have peace whatever happens. When you are upset with someone, recognize that God is your source and protection. You don’t need to fight or conspire to get what you want. God will take care of you. Instead, confess out loud, “You and I, Lord. You are all I need. I receive your peace. I will not stress and I do not need food to feel better.”
… be at peace among yourselves. (I Thess 5:13) Striving to maintain peace is a worthy goal. In every situation, it should be your first check and balance: the arbiter of your soul. You must determine your thoughts, words, and actions.
Peace is within you; it is one of the fruits of the spirit, like love, joy, patience, and self-control. Like everything in the kingdom of God, it begins as a seed. You can strengthen and grow it with exercise. Begin today to become more aware of the situations in your life in which you can share peace, love, and blessing with those around you.
And this is the victory that conquers the world …
Faith, peace, love, and patience are the keys to overcoming any problem in life, not just food. To find victory over your binge eating habit, be aware of the situations that trigger your food cravings. Those temptations are carefully planned by the enemy to create overweight and poor health, to keep you distracted from the power Jesus gave you to be an overcomer.
God has promised you victory, but you still have to “walk.” Good choices hour by hour and day by day, affirming His promises and telling your body NO when it needs it, will lead you to a place of health and peace. As you trust Him and form new habits when it comes to eating (and exercising), the temptation to overeat will become a thing of the past.