Don’t let emotional eating rule your life! There is help.
How often do we find ourselves eating our tasty treats to get away from it all when we find ourselves tired and emotionally strung out with stress. Many people use the excuse “Well I can’t help how I feel”. True, it is very difficult to change a feeling of deep sorrow, raging anger or extreme worry, but we can take time to deal with them in a healthy way. As Christians we can stop the flight of those emotions before they fly out of control by taking our emotions to God in prayer. It is very important to note that our emotions are usually driven by our thoughts. Almost every emotion starts out as a thought that we allow into our minds and we choose to start “chewing” on them, instead of making a choice to refuse to dwell on them.
Take a moment to examine the thoughts you had in the past 24 hours or better yet even in the past hour. If you have experienced emotions of fear, worry, guilt, frustration, disappointment or self-pity, know that you are not alone. Wow how draining! These feelings can completely suck the life right out of me. I’m sure you know exactly what I am talking about. I have heard these negative emotions often that I referred to as little sucker demons. They can ruin our whole day.
The good news is we can change what we think about. The bible reminds us Christians of this importance. It is written, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. This is GOOD NEWS. Let me give you a typical example.
Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better—eating to have fun or to relax as a way to fill emotional needs, rather eating because you need to feed your body for nourishment. Using food from time to time as a pick me up, a reward, or to celebrate isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is when eating is your primary emotional coping mechanism. When your first impulse is to walk into the kitchen and open the refrigerator whenever you’re upset, angry, lonely, stressed, exhausted, or bored you get stuck in an unhealthy cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed.You want to binge because food taste good and you become addicted to certain foods you fall in love with. Refined food like carbohydrates are usually on the top of the list.
Emotional hunger can’t be filled with food. Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. You often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you consumed. The sugar makes us feel sluggish, bloated, and for many it causes joint pain (for me real bad) because of internal inflammation. Then we feel guilty for messing up and for not having more willpower.
Here is what I did all the time. [example] Ok, I'm having a bad week, my car breaks down, someone in my family is sick and things at work just aren't going well and so I'm feeling very depressed. I decide to turn on the TV to find a good movie I can watch, maybe a comedy and go to the kitchen to make my bucket of popcorn. As I sit back on the couch chomping down my popcorn I find the movie to be hilarious and before I know it, I'm laughing so hard I got tears running down my face.What just happened? I decided to change my mind and focus on something else other than my own problems to chase away unwanted emotion and as a result I didn't stay stuck feeling the way I did earlier. This is emotional eating and something I engaged in on a regular basis.
You see, we have the power to change our feelings and our thinking. We don't have to settle there. The best news is that when I continued to invite God in my heart and mind, His Power made all the difference. Unlike the temporary fix of overeating and using television to change my thought process, I finally learned to turn to God to change my mind. When we address the problem and commit our way to God we learn how to mindfully deal with our emotions in a healthy way.
All of us have emotions. Some suppress their emotions to the point where it boils over. Others deny the existence of their emotions and as a result become isolated and depressed. Then there are those who are for the most part ruled by their emotions. In both instances people might give into episodes of binge eating known as emotional eating. I can relate because I suffered from emotional eating for years.
Self-control is a freedom, not a bondage. As Christians we are free to ask for and use wisdom, free to obey God, and free to mindfully follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. You’re free not to be pushed around by your feelings. You don't have to do what you feel like doing. You’re free to do what you know is mindfully wise.
God wants you to use His Holy Spirit wisdom. Wisdom says wait a little while until the emotions settle down, then check to see if you really believe it's the right thing to do. The Bible says in Colossians 3:15 to be led by peace in making decisions. Don't let your emotions make your eating decisions. A good statement to remember is this: "Wisdom says wait; emotions say hurry."
It is also important to keep your body healthy. If you have an eating disorder then the disordered behavior itself can cause you to spend too much time “thinking” and not enough time “doing”. This is why you sometimes have to override emotions such as “I just can’t exercise today, I am too tired, too busy, too discouraged” These thoughts should be ignored. If you just get out there and do it, regardless of how you “feel”, the feeling will soon pass. By choosing to live a healthy Christian lifestyle you can take care of your physical body and your spirit are important steps in overcoming emotional eating.
I know about the pain surrounding an emotional food struggle, and I am very familiar with the pit of despair that you might find yourself in. Please note to never make light of your emotions, I know they are real, but I want to show you that there is a different way of living a life mindfully free from emotional eating!
Jesus is referred to as "The Rock." You can depend on Him to be stable—the same Jesus all the time, always faithful, loyal, true to His Word. He’s not one way one time and another way the next time. My hope is that we want to learn to act, talk, and live more like Jesus.
WHAT IS MINDFUL EATING
So you're taking steps to make healthier choices with your diet and your making sure you are getting adequate exercise each day, but are you practicing mindful eating? You may be asking “What the heck is mindful eating?” How can mindful eating help me get rid of addictive food and sugar cravings? Let's look further into this topic.
In addition to the weight loss benefits, some studies show that we absorb more nutrients when our food is adequately broken down in our mouth, before digestion. In an article about mindful eating US News states, “The more you chew, the more nutrients you will absorb.
Considering we eat to nourish our bodies, this is an important point to make. If you properly chew your food, it will be digested and metabolized more effectively.” Know that God created food for this very reason and being more thankful while we eat mindfully is the best attitude of all.
Mindful eating can also help you enjoy your food more. Take the time to savor the various flavors and textures as you chew. Many times our hectic lives lead us to rush through a meal without ever taking the time to truly appreciate our food God put on this earth to supply our bodies with what it needs to be both physically and mentally strong.
When our food consumption is off balance our way of thinking is off balance. This explains why there are so many people experiencing depression. We are not planning to do better with our diets, and therefore we are not doing what we should plan.
Adding mindful eating to your healthy Christian lifestyle can be an excellent way to complement your existing habits. It can help you lose weight, aid in digestion, make your immune system stronger, reduce inflammation and help you to enjoy your food more than ever before. Give it a try and see how you feel!
So YOU can find the strength YOU are lacking by taking baby steps when we choose to PRAY as a pathway to INNER HEALING. By practicing mindful eating in a prayerful way your life become transformed in a way you never imagined possible. This is what my programs are all about, transforming lives using the the bible, mindset strategies and prayer for guidance and inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
According to Today’s Dietitian, mindful eating is the key to losing or maintaining weight. They state, “The core principles of mindful eating include:
• being aware of the nourishment available through the process of food preparation and consumption
• choosing enjoyable and nutritious foods (created by God)
• acknowledging food preferences non-judgmentally
• recognizing and honoring physical hunger and satiety cues
• seek (Holy Spirit) wisdom for guidance on eating decisions
Mindful eating is easy to put into practice. It's something we decide to do on purpose in order to gain strength and determination to eat with a "new" attitude. By eating for good health we find our emotions are more calm and peaceful.
Just Simply slowing down and enjoying whole foods can help satisfy our hunger. This includes being able to enjoy the food and company at meal times. All it takes is making sure that you are intentional with your food consumption.
Believe me, I understand just how hard it is to develop healthy eating habits.
I would go on extreme cycles of working out double classes without even eating breakfast and just drink grapefruit juice until lunch. I believed I was doing really well all week and then when I had my paycheck, I would find myself stopping in a variety store and I would sit in my car with anxiety and depression and think about my chocolate boxes of treasures just waiting to be eaten.
I came to learn that change means making the decision to put food and eating behaviors aside by first praying about them and talking to God. When self respect begins to grow, we begin to acquire self-control. When we stop binge eating we begin to live in accordance with the love of God and we can expect to respect ourselves the way God loves and respects us through His compassion. That's what you'll learn to practice in this new 7 day mindful eating weight loss challenge and you can start at home today! Follow the guidelines and share your thoughts in our facebook group.
CLICK THE IMAGE TO START YOUR MINDFUL EATING CHALLENGE TODAY! FREE!
May God bless you with abundant health.
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Hi! I am Renee Dumont - Christian life coach, singer, nutrition nut, fine artist, wife and Mom. I am passionate to inspire and motivate Christian women through my own trials and triumphs to ignite their faith and find deliverance from craving sugar and emotional food struggles.