How to Break Free from Binge Eating

Monday, 3 October 2016

A few years ago, I was fresh out of college living in China to teach English. Our desire was to share the love of the Father with our students and live life with purpose. In my first few months, I was excited! I couldn't believe I was FINALLY living cross-culturally. A dream of mine for the past 8+ years. But nothing could have prepared me for what I would emotionally encounter. 

Around the halfway point, I started to develop a horrible habit of responding to food based on my feelings. The "newness" of it all wore off and I found those feelings being replaced with isolation, loneliness and depression. Living on my own, away from family, I started responding to my emotions with food. 

Lonely, I would eat. 
Sad, I would eat. 
Happy, I would eat. 
Dissatisfied with my body, I would eat. 

Over the final half of the year living in China, I developed a binge eating disorder. I would swing violently from starving and eating 1 corn on the cob, to binge eating stacks of pancakes or dozens of cookies. It was unhealthy, but unfortunately, many of us struggle with it. 

When change comes into my life, I start to resort back to those feelings, those habits and that darkness. This past weekend was my first few days in Argentina without my husband. He was on the road and I was overwhelmed with how quick one can fall back into this eating disorder. 

And as I shared with a few trusted friends my embarrassment that I fell back into some bad habits this weekend, I was reminded of the nature of this disorder and how to ACTUALLY overcome it. I've had many ask me how to handle a binge eating disorder and how to heal from one. So I wanted to share with you how I'm choosing to recognize and handle this moving forward. 

First step: recognize where this comes from and what it is. 

It is a disorder. 
It will not heal overnight. 
There will still be battles to fight even through the healing. 
It is a spiritual circumstance- not just physical cravings. 
It comes from the Enemy. 

Second step: keep in mind the enemy's battle plan against you. 

The Bible says:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." (John 10:10)

"Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

"But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:3)

This means that what you're facing is not just physical urges. It's not just emotions. It's spiritual temptation. There is only one purpose the devil has; he wants to steal from you. He wants to kill from you. He wants to destroy you. He is looking to devour you. He is looking to deceive you. He is cunning and seeking to lead you astray. 

It is NOT just physical. 
So next time you feel like a failure unable to just CONQUER your stinking urges and cravings- please KNOW my sweet, sweet sister- there is SO MUCH MORE than the physical happening. He is looking to hurt you, to cause you to fall away from your devotion to Christ. 

Third step: Find a safe place. 

One of my mentor's said: "binging is a vicious dirty secret.... and the more you expose it, the less it will have control over you .... it's the devils work court... the isolation, those feelings..... when you surround yourself with community as God wants for us, satan is blinded". 

We all need a safe place. 
A place to come with your feelings, brokenness, pain and suffering. A place to be accepted, not embarrassed or ashamed. A place where you don't need to fear disappointing others. Because honestly, this is what causes someone to not reach out when they're struggling with binging. We fear sharing our pain, our suffering with others because it may disappoint or hurt our loved ones. But God helps us battle something like this by providing us with community. 

Keeping secrets of our pain and suffering breeds continued cycles of binging. Like any sin, it only breaks through the light. And community creates light in spaces we want to crawl back in and hide. 

Fourth step: Set up accountability. 

Once you know your safe space, set up accountability. 
If you're anything like me, you are independent. You believe that you can create change on your own and you don't need anyone to help you. Ugh-girrrrl that is so wrong- we need accountability and the ability to lean on others where we are weak. Daily or weekly check ins are a healthy way to set up accountability. 

Fifth step: Pray scripture over yourself. 

Reminding myself of the power I have in God is one of the safest harbors I have against the schemes of the enemy. 

Give him no chance to gain a foothold: "And give no opportunity to the devil." (Ephesians 4:27)

Claim Victory: "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Protection: "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you." (Luke 10:19)

Sixth step: Heal

Let God, let friends help you heal. 
Take it one day at a time. 
Choose to overcome it day by day fleeing from the enemy and clinging to the power in Christ. 
He will heal you from the inside out. 

Additional Resources that have changed my eating journey:
1. Shakeology- has replenished my body with nutrients it wasn't getting naturally reducing my physical cravings significantly. 
2. Following the 21 Day Fix Meal plan- the container system has been the only meal plan I've actually been able to follow and stick to long term. Mostly because it's visual and doesn't restrict- it just focuses on proper portions within the clean eating guidelines. 

Do you struggle with binging? I would love to chat with you today- email me and let's chat- I would love to help you overcome this too <3 div="" nbsp="">

Live Sown with Strength, 

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Court!!!! I need to take these steps and be set free from my binge eating habits!!! Thanks for sharing, pointing me to Jesus, and for lifting me up!!!! ❤️❤️❤️