Why does it hurt so much?

Emotional pain is no stranger to someone with a food struggle. In fact, if you struggle with food, you probably find yourself stuck in the following painful cycle day after day:

  • Uncomfortable feelings of dissatisfaction, anxiety, and depression
  • A pressing desire to get rid of these feelings
  • Use of food to numb the feelings (binge, purge or starvation)
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, self-hate, and hopelessness after the food abuse
  • Resolution to never binge, purge or starve again
  • Lack of ability to honor these personal boundaries
  • Right back to number one to keep on repeating the cycle day after day.

If you are trapped in this cycle life can be downright EXCRUCIATING.

If you’ve lost some weight through diets and programs before and you find yourself back in your old stretchy jeans and black T-shirt, then the pain can almost be unbearable. The shame and the inability to change can make you isolate yourself from people and sink into a bottomless pit of depression.

Why does this hurt so much?

There are two reasons why people experience deep emotional pain in this struggle:

1. Most people experience pain because of the symptoms and consequences of an eating disorder such as; obesity, clothes that don’t fit, shame about their physical appearance, lack of intimacy in their marriage, illness due to the disorder, relationship problems and social isolation because of the eating disorder.

2. Some people experience pain because of the spiritual problem behind their eating disorder: They feel a deep pain about the distance it creates between them and God, and sorrow for not being able to live a life of self-control. They despised being mastered by food, and they ache because they let gluttony and idolatry into their lives. They also have a deep sadness about grieving the Holy Spirit in the process.

You might experience all of the above,  but only one of the scenarios that I’ve described can bring you to a place of permanent change.

Most people just want to get rid of the intense pain caused by the symptoms and consequences, and they try to fix it with diets, drugs, surgery, purging, and excessive exercise, but they do not find lasting change. It’s like putting a band-aid on a deeply infected wound. The pain prevails.



TRUE SORROW is when we hurt because WE CAN’T STAND A LIFE WITHOUT GOD AND WITHOUT SELF CONTROL, not because we can’t stand being overweight and unattractive.

I have never seen a woman overcome this struggle permanently without a TRUE CHANGE OF HEART. I know it’s hard to hear, but if we desperately want to look good, but still want to overeat, still want to hang on to certain occasions where we binge, or still have our times where we just don’t care, then the pain that we’re feeling is only about the symptoms, and we only want a band-aid, not true healing.

This struggle between SORROW ABOUT THE SYMPTOMS and TRUE SORROW FOR THE SIN can be seen in BULIMIA. When I struggled with bulimia, I couldn’t bear being overweight and judged by others, but I couldn’t bear being without my favorite piles of comfort food either. I wanted desperately to be free from the symptoms (extra weight), but I didn’t want to give up the sin (gluttony and idolatry). I settled for a band-aid, instead of God’s healing power, but it proved to be DESTRUCTIVE AND DEADLY.

Ask God today to bring you to TRUE SORROW for your SIN and then to TRUE REPENTANCE.

You ladies know my heart, I don’t mean to be hard on you, but I have to tell you the truth about this struggle, or you will carry the pain with you forever.

Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart today: WHY ARE YOU REALLY HURTING?

**If you recognize that the pain you’re feeling is only about the symptoms and not about the sin, then please sign up for my free Week 1 where I talk more about this topic.

**If you are already a member and realize that this is still very much a HEART ISSUE for you, then join us on the forum as we encourage each other to seek TRUE CHANGE not mere band-aids for our symptoms.

Jesus is waiting to forgive you…His arms are always open wide to welcome a wayward child, bind up her broken heart, and free her from the chains that bind her.

In His never-ending Love

PS: Inspiration for this post came from “When eating becomes sin” by Jack Huges, as posted by Marie on her blog Redeemed from the Pit of Bulimia. Thanks, Marie!

Kind regards
Heleen Woest, MA, NCC

NEW: Individual Counseling ONLINE or in BEAVERTON, OR
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Love is…

Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain:



and love.


But the greatest of these is LOVE.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-13 (Today’s New International Version)

Does the above passage make you uncomfortable?
Does it strike you as something you will never be able to do?
I agree, it’s much like the passage in Proverbs 31, it sets a standard that is very hard to come by.
You might come away from this passage with a feeling of hopelessness.
Who can love like this?
We want to love like this, but honestly, even on a good day we might only get as far as being patient and kind.

Actually, the love described in this passage refers to AGAPE love.
We don’t have it, but we need it.
We can’t produce this kind of love, but God can give it to us.

Not only can He help you to love your husband, boyfriend, child, or friend in this way, but even the person who pushes your buttons, and yes, even your enemy.

It’s as simple as asking.
Maybe you will have to ask a few times and keep asking every time you find yourself head on with a certain person, behavior, or offense. But don’t let that keep you from asking.
Go ahead, next time you find yourself all out of love, ASK!
Maybe something like this:
“Lord, I have no love in my heart right now, but I realize how important love is to you. Please give me love in my heart for this person. Your love that overrules my own feelings and offenses”

How do you get a constant flow of this Agape love in your life?
Read John 15 again. According to this passage there is only one way that we can have fruit  (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) in our lives and that is to “abide in the Vine” or “have a close relationship with Jesus”
(my translation)

You have nothing to lose you know… when you love you always win!

Have a wonderful Valentines Day ladies!

There is someone who is in desperate need of your love you know…
It could be romantic love:) or it could be love of a very different kind…