Archive for January, 2010

Confessions of a Food-aolholic -Finding Freedom

Food addiction can be a hard thing to overcome.

For many of us it is our numbing agent, that thing we go to when life has us down and we just want to escape. For others of us, it’s a reward system, bringing joy for a moment until we realize we’ve overdone it. Inevitably, we beat ourselves up and end up feeling worse, which takes us back to needing a numbing agent: food. It’s cyclical nature is hard to break for anyone struggling with this sin. But asking the question of why we overeat (In Monday’s post) can bring much light to this otherwise shameful addiction.

After I realized I had a food addiction I started to do some research. Always loving words, I decided to look up the little word: EAT. Here’s what I found out.

Eating simply means: to consume completely.  It is the assimilation of energy.  When you eat something it becomes a part of you.  It is fuel for your body. Simply and only.

After realizing I had put food above God He taught me the same definition for food should be applied to Him.  He should be the one who numbs my pain.  He should be my escape.  He is my reward.

I can “eat” of God by spending time with Him, reading His word, and allowing Him to renew my mind. It is the assimilation of His energymaking Him a part of me that fuels my body, mind and soul.

Here are some other practical tips when breaking the addiction to food:

  • Try a one, or three day water only fast. (When you fast, pray that God will break the stronghold that food has on your life.)
  • Listen to your body. Instead of eating everything on your plate, eat slowly and listen to your body. When it tells you you’re full, you’re full! Put down the fork, sista and push it away.
  • Ask a friend to keep you accountable to only eat foods that God made for an entire week. You’re eyes will be opened to just how much junk we consume without even thinking.
  • Ask yourself what needs aren’t being met in your life, or what thing are you running from that you are using the addiction to food to cover up.
  • Remember, that even though food tastes good, it’s purpose is to bring fuel and nutrition to your body. That’s it’s only purpose.

Most people will tell you it’s hard to just quit an addiction. Instead they say to find something positive to replace the negative, destructive behavior. Our replacement for overeating, has to be God. There is no rule that says becoming addicted to Him is wrong. It is in Him and Him alone that true freedom is found.

Confessions of a Food-aoholic Overcoming the Addiction

Before we get to the post, check this out: Top 55 Pastor Bloggers I’m #48 under Women Pastors. Pretty cool!  There are also lots of other awesome pastors who have great blogs. Check them out!

When overcoming any addiction the first step is always the same:

  • Admit you have a problem

Simply admitting that food addiction is a stronghold in your life is one important step in overcoming it. Feel a little reluctant to admit? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

I received so much feedback on yesterday’s post, that I wanted to share a few stories of women just like you and just like me, who are also struggling with this addiction, and share with you some of the hope they have experienced.

I’ve spent my whole life battling food addiction. I was determined 2010 would be the year I break free from the bondage of food. I started Jan. 1 doing a Daniel fast and along with it, reading Fasting by Jentezen Franklin. Through reading his book I realized how serious my addiction for food really was. I let food consume my life and it affects every aspect of my life. My spritual life, my relationship with my husband, kids, family, and friends. He refers to it as “King Stomach”. Here is what he said that really spoke to me.

“We have an entire book of promises but some of them will never be realized as long as King Stomach rules your appetite and controls your life.”

One goal I had was to complete a one day no food fast, which I completed yesterday. It really showed me that food’s not that important because we have Jesus to sustain us. I’ve learned so much through this experience and I plan to make fasting something I practice throughout the whole year.

Another woman shares this story:

I have lost 10 lbs!  You were right.  The day finally came, and I decided that I am DONE with living in bondage.  I haven’t had any sweets and nothing with flour in almost 3 weeks.  Without even working out I lost the weight.  I am growing closer to God because I can’t do this without Him even one day!  This is my one thing…to be God addicted instead of food addicted!

These are just a couple of the stories I heard yesterday, which encourages me to know I’m not alone in this battle for freedom. Continue to share your stories and together we will discover how to break the addiction of food in our lives.

(Tomorrow’s post will include practical tips and guidelines on how to break the cycle of food addiction. Stay tuned, we’re not done yet!)

Confessions of a Food-aoholic

Hi, my name is Anna, and I’m a food-aoholic.

I hope I’m not the only one sitting around this circle, as I divulge my addiction to you all. The problem with a food addiction is that it is more socially accepted than drug, alcohol and even nicotine addictions. But it is an addiction, nevertheless, and should be treated as one.

Many of the women I meet with on the subject of food and weight-loss have a hard time admitting that food is an addition. Some of these women have even come from backgrounds of drug and alcohol abuse and can’t see that they have simply transfered their addictive behavior onto a more socially accepted vice.

I’ve heard that an addiction always serves a need. For women, it is often an emotional need of self-worth that is not being met. Addictions also often serve as diversions. Distractions that always defer action or delay the progress we want to see in our lives. Ask yourself:

  • What need do I have that is not being met?
  • What things am I running from and using my addiction to avoid?

For me, I had a self-worth problem and ate my way into a dungeon of insecurity. Time in God’s Word, and slowly finding my self-worth in Him is the only reason I’m free today. (More on this later.)

Being addicted to food is the reason that at age 18, I looked like this:

Fat AnnaYes, that’s me, under the weight, under the many layers of insecurity that kept me at that weight. That’s also my first car as well. I’m the one in teal. :)

I’ll have you all know, showing this picture is still a little embarrassing. Even though I’ve lost over 75 pounds, there are some days when I still feel like that fat girl. Why? Because I’m still addicted to food.

I think about food. I prepare food. I eat food, and think about preparing food while I’m eating it. Except now I’m thinking of healthy food, and how many calories I’ve consumed, and what I’ll need to do at the gym to work off the fat grams, carbohydrates and sugars.

I’m sorry to say, I don’t have the answers to overcoming this addiction, but my prayer is that we can start a dialogue, and share our journeys together. Over the next couple days I’ll continue this conversation in hopes that we can find some encouragement from each other. In the mean time, please feel free to send me an e-mail, or leave a comment below and share your experiences with all who might read.

A Conversation

Jesus: Do you love me?

Peter: Yes, Lord.

Jesus: Feed my lambs.

Jesus: Peter, do you love me?

Peter: Yes, Lord. You know that I love you.

Jesus: Take care of my sheep.

Jesus: Peter, do you love me?

Peter: Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you.

Jesus: Feed my sheep.

What is meant by “feed my sheep”?

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Are You a Part of the Herd?

Herd-Of-Brown-Black-CowsAre you a cow or a bull?

The first time I remember hearing about this thought was after an event in downtown Oklahoma City. The event had just let out and my family and I and everyone else at the event was trying to get home. The problem was when 40 + thousand people are all trying to get out of the same area at once a log jam happens. One would think we’d be sitting in traffic for hours, making progress inch by inch, but it wasn’t 5 minutes until my dad pulled onto a side street. We drove down a desserted alley way and wound around the old buildings in downtown, away from the traffic. I thought my dad was just being impatient, so I asked him,

“What are you doing?”

His reply gave me much to think about. “I’m not being a part of the herd, that’s for sure!” He went on to say, “All people fall under two catagories, either they’re a cow or they’re a bull.”

After a few more moments of strategic driving we found a ramp to the highway, and were homebound long before anyone else.

This has stayed with me all those years later and I can see how true this statement is for my life.

Being a part of the herd means you don’t think for yourself. You are easily led to believe anything anyone wants you to believe. You follow the crowd, never stopping to make sure the way the crowd is going is the best way for you. Your oppinions are often easily swayed because you haven’t taken the time to search out the facts and take a stand for what you believe. You are a cow.

However, if you are a bull, you are not a part of the herd. You stand out. You are a leader. You know what you believe, spiritually, emotionally, politically and you have done the research and taken the time to know what you’re talking about. You have taken a stand and decided that you are in control of where your life goes. You don’t always buy in to what others tell you because you’re always thinking, “Maybe there’s a better way.” You always think for yourself and often find new paths to blaze before anyone else. You are a bull.

Are you a cow or a bull? Are you a part of the herd that blindly follows wherever they are led, or have you taken a stand for your life and decided where you’re going to go?

Thanks to my dad, Dirk Meadows for teaching me to be a bull and think for myself.

Two Things to Help Fight Self-Sabotage

Knowing I probably didn’t have the answers to quitting self-sabotage, I ask a very good friend and mentor who is not a self-sabotager, what his thoughts were on the subject. From our conversation, I gained two truths that are already helping me fight this battle.

More Irons in the Fire

You would think this is the exact opposite of what you’d want to do when you’re trying to accomplish something, or stay on task, but having more irons in the fire gives you more avenues to gain confidence. What does “Irons in the Fire” mean? It means having some other things to focus on in addition to just the ONE thing you’re trying to accomplish. Think of them as stepping stones toward your desired goal. Small wins that can give you the confidence and motivation to keep going and not give in to the battle of self-sabotage.

He gave me a football analogy saying that after a quarter back throws an interception (that’s when he throws the ball and the other team catches it. A big mistake!) when a quarterback throws an interception the coach will call for the next few plays to be easy, short passes, ones he knows he can make. This is done to build back the quarterbacks confidence after a failure.

What short, easy passes do you need to make in order for you to gain confidence in yourself and stop self-sabotaging?

Stay Ahead of Momentum

This is a great thought, because usually it’s momentum that carries us. But what happens when we reach a peak in our lives and we’ve done nothing to keep the momentum going? We fall into a pit, we quit trying, self-sabotaging our progress and then we’re back to where we started, but even more frustrated. We’ve got to find a way to stay ahead of momentum.

Here’s how I’m choosing to do this. When I’m in the middle of momentum (when things are going great, when I’m writing a lot, or we feel excited to go to the gym, or when eating healthy is easy for us, or when we’re at peace and content with our lives) that’s when it’s time to sit down and strategize on how to stay ahead of momentum.

Some questions to ask yourself as you strategize:

  • How can I stay ahead of momentum?
  • What things have happened to get me to where I’m at?
  • What things do I need to have ready now, when I feel like momentum is slowing down?
  • What things do I need to gain or acquire to help push me past the point of self-sabotage that I’m inevitably going to experience?

It’s time to wage war against our temptation to self-sabotage. Why continue to stay in the same place when there is a world of things to accomplish?

Why Do You Self-Sabotage?

Confessions of a Self-Sabotager–Continued

sabotageI’ve come to realize the number of reasons why people sabotage their progress are as vast as the people this disease inflicts. Everyone is different, therefore, everyone will have a different reason, excuse, or cause for why we struggle with this menace.

I’ve realized a few reasons and I’ll share them below. See which one stands out most.

  • We believe the lie we’re not worth it.

This is a common lie the enemy will use especially among women. Beware! Relational sabotage is wrapped up in this lie like a blanket swaddles a baby . This is the lie that tells you, “Go ahead, settle for what is less than best in your relationships. You’re damaged goods anyway.”

  • We allow our feelings or emotions to dictate our actions.

How well most of us women know this. Many of our goals, dreams and visions are sabotaged when we allow this one to reign. “I really don’t feel like going to the gym today.” “I’ve had the worst day ever! I deserve a bowl of chocolate ice cream! It will make me feel better!” A little emotional, don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong, feelings and emotions are good things. It is the way God made us, but it will sabotage us if we don’t bring our feelings and emotions under our authority.

  • Just plain laziness

Laziness is Sabotage’s middle name. Of course is easier to skip your Bible reading, not practice your sport, or sit down and write. Doing what you know you need to do is the harder thing. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be worth it. Don’t allow laziness to sabotage something God is calling you to do. Beat it with stick.

  • Fear of change

Often times it is the fear of change that keeps us taking one step forward and two steps back. We sabotage our progress because we fear what it is going to do to our lives. We fear failure, but also success. We keep ourselves in our comfort zones, even though we’re screaming to get out. We keep ourselves living a good life, when God has an unimaginable life waiting for us on the other side of change.

So, why do you self-sabotage?

Tomorrow I’ll share some insight from some trusted friends and mentors who are NOT self-sabotagers. I hope we can all learn from their wisdom.

Are You a Self-Sabotoger?

sabotageConfessions of a Self-Sabotager

First of all I have to say that the word “Sabotager” is not actually a word. I made it up for the purpose of this blog, so go ahead and add it to your vocabulary. I’m about to get pretty honest with all of you. You know, what they call transparent, so I appreciate it if you keep the snickers and gibes to yourself…

I am a self-sabotager. I sabotage myself. I don’t know why I do this, neither, do I like to think I do it intentionally, but nevertheless, I have to come to realize this is what I do.

Is it who I am? I’m still fighting against that lie because I believe the truth that we are not what we do, rather we are who God says we are. But lately the microscope has zeroed in on my thoughts and actions and I’m realizing there some habits I have that I really don’t like.

I’ll give you a couple examples to clarify any confusion. How do I sabotage myself?

  • Keeping a healthy weight and eating right. I’ll do well for about a week, feel good in my clothes, work out 4-5 days a week and be happy. The problem is when I’m happy, I like to celebrate… with food… with bad food and I began to eat unhealthy, stop going to the gym and get mad and depressed with myself for doing it. Self-Sabotage.
  • This blog. I’ll get on a streak of about a week of good posts, get lots of response through Twitter and FaceBook, and people telling me how much they enjoy reading, and then I’ll quit. Either I feel like I’ve ran out of things to say, or I just don’t want to take the time to write something, even though I know God has called me to write. Self-Sabotage.

What about you? Do you find yourself sabotaging your progress? I meet with many women about various things in their lives, the biggest being the issue of weight-loss, and they confess to me that they sabotage their progress for no apparent reason.

What is this battle we face? This phenomenon that seems to keep some of us from moving forward? I’m committed to get to the bottom of this, for my sake and the sake of others who find themselves in this same predicament. (For the sake of length of this post, I’ll talk more about the solution for self-sabotagers tomorrow.)

In the meantime, please leave your thoughts in the comments below, and Re-Tweet this post so all can join the conversation.

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