In my years of struggling with overeating and bulimia, I found two things that played a significant role in my healing and gave me a considerable shove toward victory and freedom on this challenging journey: CONSISTENCY and SURRENDER.
I so wished and prayed that CONSISTENCY would come naturally for me. It seems to me as if some people are just rigged for consistency from birth. I can’t help to envy my husband’s consistent nature. He does not leave a project unfinished, and he will keep at something long after I have given up. It has greatly benefited him and especially our family through the years. So I know it’s a good thing to have, it’s just that I HAVE TO WORK AT IT!
I discovered, after refusing to join the “consistent club” for the longest time, that if you can do three things consistently for one year, you WILL have a whole different life:
1. Make time for God 7 days a week NO MATTER WHAT!
2. Exercise 4-5 times a week NO MATTER WHAT!
3. Start doing one thing every day towards the purpose and longings God placed in my heart (such as studying, writing, teaching, painting, etc.)
But let’s be honest about this: It’s not easy to consistently do the “positive things” in life. As soon as we try to create habits that will bring us closer to God, glorify God, or aid us in holiness, we get resistance. The “negative things” seem to get a hold of us so easily, but try and do something positive and you have a fight on your hands with both the devil and your flesh. We usually don’t “feel” like doing anything slightly positive, in fact, it can feel unnatural at first. Changing our lives around is not a little thing. The enemy loves that we’re stuck in a rut of negative patterns and the moment we decide to move out of it, the attacks begin: Negative thoughts, problems to discourage us, and difficulties in our relationships. We have to get in there and fight for our freedom.
If you are finding yourself in the death grip of an eating disorder such as bulimia, binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating you might feel unable to consistently exercise or eat healthy. Specific issues might be blocking your ability to move forward and if you try to put certain habits in place might feel impossible. In fact, trying to “pull yourself together” or relying on will-power can quickly push you deeper into a pit of despair. I recommend that you get some help from both a physician and counselor to help you deal with the root issues that are usually physical, emotional and spiritual. Once you receive healing from past pain and learn how to deal with your present relationships and circumstances, you will find that you can also become consistent in the areas where you now only experience failure.
However, even if you are unable to put any consistent habits in place this very minute, you can do one thing consistently: SURRENDER to God. This surrender that I speak of is simple: Let go of control and start asking God daily to help you get healthy.
Here’s what I found every time I’ve tried to “take control” of my own life:
– In spite of my best efforts, it takes only my haywire hormones, my hubby’s latest hobby, or insecurity to realize I cannot control the ebb and flow of my marriage.
– It takes only an illness or a remark from an insensitive peer to make me realize I can not always control my children’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being
– As someone who moved across continents, I can tell you that yes, after all the work I’ve put into friendships, career, and church involvement, it only takes a new job in a different state (or country) to make your whole world spin out of control.
– I had to give up the belief that I can control my financial security by working more, sleeping less and investing in the right stuff. As we all experienced in recent months, it only takes a bad economy.
– The notion that I can control my weight with a fad diet is usually crushed within the first three days by an intense craving for the list of forbidden food, or the inability to stomach one more rice cake!
Of course, I’m not telling you to just throw in the towel, neglect the kids, yell at your husband, abandon your friends, cancel your gym membership and head straight for KFC. God has made us stewards of many things, including our bodies and we, are accountable for doing our part. I am a huge advocate for consistently doing good things, as the Bible says, and the rewards will come. (Galatians 6:9)
I am merely telling you that if placing your hope in your ability to control people and things are just an accident waiting to happen. In the end: God is in control, not us. After you’ve done your part the best thing you can do for your sanity is to lay your kids, marriage, friendships, finances, health, and weight ever so gently in His everlasting lap..
According to Jeremiah 17: 5-8, I will turn into a dry bush if I depend on another man or woman. However, I never realized how much I depended on this woman (me). I was relying significantly on my own effort and performance. I was sure that everybody in my care (and not in my care) was my sole responsibility.
Please hear me on this one: If you want to stop overeating or binge eating, you will have to get off the “control train”. You may know by now that all your plans of taking control through will-power, diets, purging, and starvation left you like a dried-up shrub in the desert. There is living water, it only comes from God, and it can change you into a green tree that bears fruit and have shade for others to rest.
In the end, we need CONSISTENCY if we want to stop overeating, stop binge eating, and get rid of bulimia for good. But even more so we need to consistently SURRENDER our lives to God to see any lasting changes!
It all starts with ONE DAY – TODAY MATTERS!
Please read these two posts if you’re having a hard time getting started on the path of consistency:
One sober day can change things around
One day I’ll be a beautiful butterfly
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4 thoughts on “2 Things will Break the Yoke of Food Struggles”
Amen sister!! Such a great clue as to why people without natural consistency work so hard to be perfect! Those who are patterned that way find success simply from consistently showing up, while others sabatoge their own success by \\\’binging\\\’ on several different projects at once so that none of them get the consistent attention that produces success.
What an eye opener Heleen, that is the same mistake we make in our meeting with the Lord! I am always daily talking with Him so I did not want to admit that I am not consistent, but my time with God and even Bible reading is often on the run, followed by \\\’the binge\\\’ of intermittent deep times of prayer and study!
But what He wants is the consistent daily meeting early, giving time for \\\’deep calling to deep\\\’, BEFORE we greet the day, so that all our ways are stable and consistent….showing up! You are so right that perfection, binging, and consistency are tied together. Good word Heleen!!!
2. Exercise 4-5 times a week NO MATTER WHAT!
Im curious about your thoughts regarding those with restriction issues and this statement.
Good point. There are obviously physical limitation for some people when it comes to exercise. However, for the most part, if you work with your doctor you may find some kind of exercise that you can incorporate into your life. This post underlines the importance of CONSISTENCY in our lives. It is about showing up, even if it’s for a slow walk or minimal movement in a swimming pool. Once we start to show up for exercise (with the approval of our doctor as far as the intensity and duration is concerned) it becomes a way of connecting again with our bodies, and getting us out of the downward spiral of food struggles.
So thank you for reminding me to encourage everyone who read this post to please get the approval of your doctor before starting any regular exercise regime.
Consistency is quite a problem for me . Have started so many programs & consistently fail to finish them . The more determined I am to complete a course the more it falls apart .
Many thanks Heleen for your words of wisdom .