Getting Through the Holidays

My Struggle with Food during the Holidays

The most wonderful time of the year is probably the worst time of year for someone with a food struggle!

Let’s face it, during the Holidays food is everywhere, and we are expected to buy and bake and fill our houses with the aromas of Christmas (or at least we feel that it is expected). There’s a lot of relationship issues that surface, it can be the stress related to family that’s coming over or the intense feelings of experiencing the absence of a loved one.

This time of year is also loaded with great expectations and financial stress. Throw in a bad economy, and there you have it…a perfect opportunity to turn to food for comfort.

I’m writing to you now, December 2010,  because I’ve been hit with the reality of the food struggle again this year, and I want you to know that you’re not alone.

I found myself in the midst of a downward spiral. Looking back, it all started with too much shopping for food and gifts, too little time to rest or spend with God, and zero time for exercise. Just when I made up my mind to get to the gym a storm blew in and became my next excuse. I also took up the task of baking every cookie known to mankind, seeing that I was stuck at home. I know, I should have seen the red lights flashing, none of this was a good idea. In fact, I did everything I always warn you about. I alienated myself from God and the truth, stopped following the things he’s put in my heart (no writing for 3 weeks) and stopped caring for my body.
Now, I know what you’re thinking; it’s the holidays, give yourself a break, live a little!

However, if you’ve struggled with food for as long as I did, you know it’s not about kicking back or taking it easy. It’s about giving room to the enemy to press you into a downward spiral that can last for months. For two weeks I had all the “food addict” symptoms: I was happy, way too happy, ignoring my real feelings. Eating everything I can think of, and making excuses to go to the store and stock up on all the foods that are on my list of Addictive Foods. At one point I found myself eating one hotdog after another. The sad thing is, I have found alternatives for the foods that make me binge, I don’t have to eat it. I enjoy a whole wheat pitta with mustard and smoked turkey sausage just as much as any old hotdog. However, I wasn’t thinking about that, I wasn’t thinking at all, I entered the thick cloud of denial: Pretending that I can eat without getting into trouble, pretending that everything was okay inside of me, pretending that I wasn’t thinking about the next meal all the time.

A few nights ago I finally caught up with myself. I was building a puzzle when I suddenly started bawling. Fortunately nobody was around at the time, so I went to the bathroom and just let it all out. This feeling was all too familiar to me. In the past I lived like this for months, even years on end. I never want to live like that again. I never want to pretend that I’m okay while I’m dying inside. I never want to feel that terrible loneliness, even in a crowd, knowing that I’m hiding the real me inside with only my eating disorder to keep me company.

So there I was, crying in my bathroom, and can you believe, even after all this time I had the famous thought: “Maybe I should just stop eating, or maybe I should go check on the internet for a pill that can take away my appetite!”
I know the truth, their is no pill, no diet, no starvation and no person that can fix this. There’s only one thing to do: Get back to basics. Go to Week 1 of my program and follow the steps like everyone else. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew it’s the only way and I knew that God is waiting for me to surrender this thing I am clutching yet again.

So I found a quite spot, early in the morning, and I surrendered it again, through many tears of anger, pain, frustration and disappointments. And as always he helped me up. Not in one day or even two, but gradually, as I opened my fingers one by one until he took all of it. So what does that mean in plain English. It means I logged into my Weight Watchers online for the first time in 3 weeks. I made time to just sit and talk to God in the midst of all that was going on. I dug up my note cards and read the Word of God aloud a few times a day so that I can hear it again, and I started following my heart’s desires: I left the last minute shopping up to my husband and started writing this…
And the best part, I felt the ice of denial melting off my heart, making it soft so I could hear God’s voice…

Don’t wait. I know it might be hard on you right now.You might be surrendering for the first time, and it’s will take some time. But it’s the only way and you can start with one simple thing: Ask God to help you. Just go to Him, just as you are, in your fallen and broken state. He’s always available… Never stop surrendering, and never lose hope. You might have asked Him so many times, please ask again, please give it another shot, your victory might be much closer that you even imagine. After all “Nothing is impossible with God!”


Author: Heleen Woest
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You can get help for yourself or a loved one through my 12 Week Online Study Course. I’ve compiled this course from my own experience with food struggles, insight and understanding I’ve gained through counseling ladies in my support groups, Biblical principals, as well as material I’ve gathered by well-known Christian authors, counselors, and doctors. This study is jam-packed with information, practical guide lines and honest testimonies.


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