Archive for the ‘Series’ Category

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.

You’re FAT (2)

I walked through life believing this lie for far too long. As I think back on it now, I’m shocked at how my thoughts had such a strong effect on my actions. I believed I was fat, therefore, I would overeat, not exercise, or at least cut corners if I did. 

My perception of myself became my reality, (read that again.) and I plunged down a destructive spiral that I felt powerless to stop. 

Until… 

Until I realized. I was not fat. I was merely stuck in a fat person’s body. Anna, the real Anna was not this overweight, depressed girl who didn’t see a way out. She was joyful, full of life, full of love, an encourager, energetic! But stuck. How was I going to push through? How was I going to become on the outside, what I knew I was on the inside? 

The answer: TRUTH. 

For too long, I lived in this lie: “You’re fat, therefore you’re not whole. No one likes you. No one wants to be around you.” I thought it was true, so it became true. But once I started changing my thinking, other things started to change as well. I realized I was living a lie, so to overcome that lie, I had to find truth. And where better to find truth, than the Truth itself? 

I dove into the scriptures, finding truths that directly countered the lies I believed about myself. 

I’m fat, I’m ugly—> “The King is enthralled with my beauty, honor Him for He is your Lord!”–Psalm 45:11

No one likes me, no one wants to be around me—> “I have chosen you to be my special treasure.”–Deuteronomy 7:6

Any time the lie would hit, I would have a truth ready to do battle. It was hard at first. Sometimes it felt like I would take one step forward, and two steps back. But I trudged forward, knowing I had to change my thinking. Pretty soon, believing truth became like second nature to me. I walked in the confidence of His truth, and soon the lies slowly fell away, and with them, the weight. I slowly became on the outside what I knew I was on the inside. His truth changed me from the inside out! Now, I continue to walk in truth, doing battle against the lies that come my way. 

What about you? Do you believe the truth about yourself, or are you spiraling down a deadly cycle you feel powerless to stop? Maybe you don’t even struggle with weight, like I did, but you do face an equally difficult lie, an insecurity that holds you back. Do you want to be free? The truth will set you free. 

Activities to consider:

1. Write down the top five characteristics that describe you. Ex: Joyful, encourager, energetic, etc. This is who you are! (If you have a difficult time with this, ask your husband, a trusted friend or relative.) 

2. Write down the top three lies your believe about yourself. 

3. Find three scriptures that directly counter the lies you believe. Memorize them.

Signs of Insecurity #2

Another sign of insecurity is:

#2 Offering unsolicited information…

  • When I worked at Range Resources Corp. (before Lifechurch.tv) my co-workers would often come into the kitchen to get candy. I was there sorting mail, and they would tell me why they were getting into the chocolate… As if I had asked for an explanation.
  • Another example is when some of my co-workers would pass me, leaving a little early for the day and feel the need to explain why they were skipping out… as if I had asked… or cared.

Offering unsolicited information shows insecurity because the offender seems to think every-one’s mind is on them. It also shows an underlying need for approval, as if the persons decision to do something is not enough, they need others to consent, or tell them it’s okay…

What about you? Do you often find yourself offering unsolicited information? Do you needlessly reveal the motives behind your actions when you really just need to live your life without explanation or the need for approval?

Discuss your thoughts.

Signs of Insecurity

As I’ve studied insecurity over the past couple years, I’ve discovered there are some very practical ways to spot someone who is insecure. This week I’ll reveal some of those ways… See if you find yourself in any of them, and find out how to overcome it!

 Sign #1 Taking Things Too Personally

  • No one can joke around with you because your feelings are bound to get hurt…
  • You’re too sensitive…
  • Any kind of constructive criticism feels like the end of the world…

What else do you want to add? Do you see yourself in this sign?

Final Boarding Call (5 of 5)

“The Tower of London”

The massive stone bridge stands in authority over the Thames River in London.  While there we learned a very valuable principle that has continually impacted me since.

“Don’t Peak too Soon”

What do you think this means? 

londontower1.JPG

Final Boarding Call (4 of 5)

In Rome, we toured the Colosseum, the most famous monument of Ancient Rome.  When I walked through the entrance passing thick stone walls into the amphitheatre, chill bumps rose on my skin.  There was something eerie about the place.  Like the screams of the crowds still hung in the air, caught there in a time force unbreakable by the years of neglect. 

 

If you’ve seen Gladiator, or Ben-Hur then you are familiar with the Roman Colosseum and the deadly games that took place there.  What you might not be familiar with is a man named Telemachus.

 

Telemachus was a monk who spent most of his life shut up in a room immersed in his disciplines.  After years of study God called him to enter back into society and minister to the people of Rome.  He arrived in Rome as the holiday festivals were going on.  Deciding to follow the crowd and observe, Telemaches found himself in the midst of the Colosseum and watched as the gladiators battled to their deaths. 

 

Enraged with a righteous anger, he finally climbed down into the arena shouting, “In the name of Christ, forbear!” Upsetting the crowd, they shouted for Telemachus to be killed. 

 

With his last breath, Telemachus proclaimed in his loudest voice, “In the name of Christ, forbear!” and then his lifeless body fell to the ground. 

 

Then, a strange thing happened—an odd silence fell across the Colosseum, the crowd became still.  One by one, the eyes of the mob opened.  Somewhere in the crowd a father walked out with his sons, then another family, then a couple individuals.  One at a time people continued to leave the theater until the Colosseum was deserted, finally grasping the horror of the sport they once celebrated. 

 

That was the last gladiatorial battle ever to be fought in the Roman Colosseum. 

 

Sometimes it’s easy to think we can’t make a difference.  We argue, “I’m one person, no one special, what can I do to make an impact?”  But the lesson stands in Telemachus, a man who held strongly to his convictions and was able to be used by God. 

 

Do you struggle with the lie you can’t be used?  Have you made excuses like the ones above?  What do you believe God might be calling you to do for HIM? 

colosseum.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004

Final Boarding Call (3 of 5)

Sorry for the delay of post… I’m without electricity and staying with a great freind of mine! 

“Leaning Tower of Pisa

On one of my adventures we visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in Pisa, Italy.

 

Many people don’t know, but the tower was never intended to lean.  When it was built (from 1173to 1350) the foundation was less than excellent, but the builders and the architect, Bonanno Pisano didn’t think it would make a huge difference.  They argued that the 8 foot thick walls at the base of the tower were more than enough to keep the tower strong.  What they didn’t realize is that strength is meaningless without a firm foundation. 

 

The Tower began to lean, a ¼ of an inch a year and little by little the integrity of the structure became obviously vulnerable. 

 

It makes me think about my own life.  Am I building on a foundation that is less than excellent?  Do I need to get back to the basics, tighten my boundaries and make sure my foundation is firm, before I continue building and risk weakening my structural integrity? 

 

The question also begs of my character, when is a ¼ of an inch too much?  A little slide here, a small slip up there and before I know it I’ve caused a breach in the vessel God is building.   

 

 Ask yourself those questions above and tell me what you think. 

tower1.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004

Final Boarding Call (2 of 5)

“Big Ben”

While touring in London we visited Big Ben–the famous clock connected to the houses of Parliament (Parliament: is legislative assembly of GREAT BRITAIN.)  Here, we learned three important principles concerning time. 

Time is impartial–It knows no man.  Each person is given 24 hours in a day, it’s up to me to make the most of those hours.

Time is relentless–Like a raging river.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot stop time.  It will keep going whether I’m ready for it or not.  It’s best to be ready. 

Time is precious–A treasure to care for.  I will not get back yesterday.  Each day is a gift.  I only have a few short years to make my life count. 

As a leader, time management is crucial.  Time management is life management. 

 Which of these three do you struggle with the most? 

bigben1.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004

Final Boarding Call (1 of 5)

As a freshman in highschool I had the opportunity to join a four-year program called Student Leadership University (SLU).  This leadership program offered me incredible opportunities to travel and see the world!  This week I will share some of the highlights of where I’ve been during those four years and what I learned…

Hope you enjoy the journey with me, so please direct your attention to the flight attendant up front.  To fasten your seat belt simply insert the silver buckle into the…

“The Eiffel Tower”

The Eiffel Tower was built for the International Exhibition of Paris in 1889 honoring the centenary of the French Revolution.  When the Tower was built, many protested its construction.  It was almost torn down in 1909, but was saved because of its antenna–used for telegraphy at the time.  However difficult its birth, it is now completely accepted and is listed as one of the symbols of Paris itself, receiving more than 200 million visitors since its construction. 

The story of the Tower parallels with a powerful leadership principle.  When you rise in leadership you will undoubtedly have people who will want to pull you down.  You will have your own set of protesting, your own opposition, whether it’s a friend who can’t see past his own insecurities, a well-meaning parent that doesn’t understand your call, or your own self-critical thoughts that tell you you’re not cut out for something like this, no matter our opposition we must remember this important truth.  “Nothing is impossible with God.”

Have you experienced opposition in some areas in your life?  How did you combat it?

eifel4.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004

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