Living with the “Brain Fog” of Food Addiction

People who struggle with Food Addiction use food in similar ways as others do drugs, cigarettes or alcohol. It is used to numb unwanted emotions and it actually does! If you have an overload of sugar, fat, and salt in your system, you actually experience a “high”. It’s a state of mind where you just live for the moment, food is all that matters and for a few moments at least, it can make you forget about your sorrows.

Of course, you always regret it afterward. However, it’s not necessarily a deep regret that brings you to repentance, but rather something similar to the alcoholic who cries when he is in a drunken state. It’s usual feelings of self-pity and self-loathing, but unfortunately mostly not the deep sorrow that makes you want to turn away from the addictive foods for good.

If you struggle with food addiction, you might recognize this pattern where you overeat at night, feel sick to your stomach, cry tears of despair, and promise yourself to never do this again, just to repeat the same cycle again the next day. It breaks my heart to see friends and family go through this cycle many times before they hit “rock-bottom”. I know the horrible feeling of utter failure.

There is another side to addiction that causes people to stay in the same rut, year after year:

The “Brain Fog”. Food Addiction, like other addictions, covers your brain with a numbness, causing you to make wrong decisions, lack sound judgment, and not hear the voice of God. In my life, the feeling of numbness toward God and my loved ones became one of the big warning signs that I am slipping back into food addiction. Huge amounts of sugar, fat and salt can literally sap all your energy, make you depressed and pull a thick cloud of fog over your brain and your emotions. It is a horrible, empty life to lead: You pretend that all is well on the outside, but your heart has been stripped of all life.

Many books have been written about food addiction, but people still tend to make light of it. So even if you are skeptical about whether people can truly be addicted to food, I want to urge you to take a hard look at your own life. The enemy uses food to keep people in a lifetime of bondage. However, it is important to know that not everyone with an eating disorder suffers from food addiction, but those with food addiction usually have some form of distorted eating such as bulimia, binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating.

Also, hereditary factors tend to play a major role in food addiction. If there is a pattern of addiction in your family or you have been addicted to other substances at different times in your life, you have a bigger chance to also get addicted to food.

How then can this be treated?
From my own experience and the testimonies of other ladies, I believe that some people sunk so deep into food addiction that their spirit (deep inner being that connects with God) can not respond to God before they don’t first clear the “brain fog”. Now before you get upset with me, I do believe and have seen God heal people from addiction in a moment. However, to forge a deeper, lasting relationship with God these people too had to become “clean” from high amounts of sugar, fat and salt and stay that way. It is sometimes necessary to first become abstinent from certain food before our past wounds can be healed, simply because the food that we are addicted to keeps us in a state of numbness.

That said, you should never just stop eating. You are setting yourself up to sink deeper into food addiction if you starve your body. You need your body to “help” you with the physical healing from this addiction. So you first have to get it strong. In my Program, I help women go through the necessary steps to first get their bodies to work for them, not against them. I always recommend going through a period of “restoring” your body first. I’m simply talking about getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water, exercising, and eating enough protein, whole grains, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables for a few weeks before abstaining from anything. However, there is good news, it only takes 21 days to rid your body of certain cravings, and after the first 7 days, it actually gets a little easier. I am always so amazed at how the cravings TOTALLY disappear after 21 days!

But far bigger than the lack of cravings for everything deep fried and smothered in chocolate is the joy of being able to FEEL again. Your senses come alive, and you can cry and laugh and feel the gentle touch of God as He heals your broken heart.

My 12 Week Online Program for Women struggling with Food might be an option for you if you need help to break free from Food Addiction. Please go have a look, your life matters to God. He is waiting to heal you and help you clear up the “brain fog” so you can enjoy life again.

Your sister in Christ


NEW: INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING online or in Beaverton Oregon
Call Heleen at (503) 914-2749 or Schedule online:

Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program: Women Struggling with Food

Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook: God will I ever be free?

Appetite for Freedom WORKBOOK and DVD.
A great resource for small groups or individual use.
Click on the image below to find out more:

Happy 1st Birthday!

I bet you are wondering which child of mine is turning one that you didn’t even know existed. Well, sorry to disappoint you but this Birthday girl is not so much the flesh and blood kind as she is a pretty mess of code and color.

I am talking about our website “Women struggling with Food“. I don’t think I ever told you the story of her “creation” or the three difficult months of “labor” I endured, so here goes:

I was seriously just minding my own business, taking care of my then one year old baby girl, doing some counseling here and there and filling my days with juggling the activities of the four men in my life. I really missed the support groups I facilitated for about seven years though. I would be a hypocrite if I tell you that those groups were always fun and games. No actually the groups were exhausting and at times excruciating for both me and the ladies involved. We were all dealing with life changing stuff and digging up pain that we would much rather have left exactly where it was. There was a lot of crying, definitely some laughing, but also truck loads of emotions flying around. Yet, in the midst of it all, amazing friendships were forged. I missed it all, the whole nine yards!

I suspect my husband was getting fed-up with my miserable state. This is when he suggested that I put together all of the information and research I gathered to create an online program. He figured I could just make one week and see what happens. I had of course no idea what I was getting into and casually agreed to give it a shot. One thing lead to another, I started writing, then recording, more weeks sprung up and I just couldn’t stop. Looking back, I know for certain that it was a God thing, because it was three of the most difficult months of my life! Everything that could go wrong indeed went wrong. Amazingly though, I didn’t stop. Regardless of sickness, financial pressure, extended family crisis and strain on our marriage, I simply didn’t quit. Now if you know me at all, you will not believe this. I am not exactly the “never-quit” type, especially if the thing I’m doing has a negative influence on my family. So I know for sure that God pushed me through while the enemy tried every trick in the book to stop me.

I am so grateful to God! You have no idea how very aware I am of the fact that He uses any vessel He wants, and that if He could use me to bring this message, He can use you too. I want to encourage you with this post that God wants to use you, even in the midst of your struggles and in spite of your weaknesses.

So by the time I finished recording, writing and editing (still a work in progress actually) I only had a program. It was the same course I have been using to help other women through the years, but now what do I do with it? There was nobody to give it to, just the world-wide-web, pretty scary…

So I needed another push, and again the job was assigned to my poor husband. By now he was actually getting pretty good at pushing me beyond what I think I could do. I simply hated technology and especially resisted anything computer or internet related with every fiber of my being. Can you even imagine the mess? Lots of tears, tons of conflict and hours of praying “God please let me off the hook!” The end result: Victory, knowledge where there was only a big back hole in my brain, and a website where ladies all over the world can sign up and trust God for a miracle of freedom in their lives! I have no words when I talk about this, just tears. It was really impossible. It is really such a miracle!

For me personally the miracle extended beyond the course. It impacted my marriage in a way I could never imagined. My husband is such an internet dude. He is always on the computer and it left a huge void in our marriage. I never knew how to fix it. I demanded, I begged, I tried to change (tried to love the little tin brain lady called a laptop) but it was a lost case. Then God came and answered my prayers, in a rather sneaky way I might add:) These days we are the “computer twins”! I know, unbelievable!

Did my fun stop last February when we launched? I’m sure you know the answer to that. No such luck! My husband initially agreed to devote so much time to my “project” partly in order for me to contribute to our finances. We have a big family and he has been the sole bread winner for a long time. So we argued about the price. In the end we prayed and waited and let God decide, seeing that He was the executive director anyway. After this challenge came months of technical difficulties. Goodness knows, I never knew so many things can go wrong!

Finally, a few months ago things started settling down. I started selling more memberships to ladies all around the world. I still cry every time! Some of the wonderful ladies wrote the most gracious words of encouragement, and I cried some more and thanked God that it was all worth it.
Don’t think for one minute that the enemy would just back off and let me enjoy this though. No, there were a few nasty comments too, and days when the evil one came and whispered in my ear that I had no idea what I was doing and that I should just shut down the website.

Fortunately, as you know, I can hide under the wing of my Everlasting Father. It’s there where he restores my soul, gives me perspective and reminds me to just be me. Yes, I have nothing to boast about, but I also have nothing to be ashamed of either. I am just his daughter, washed and cleaned by the blood of the Lamb. So I’m sure there will be more days when I think “Wow, girl, you did a pretty darn good thing here” or days when I think “What in the world were you thinking”. However, let me assure you that God will straighten me out, there on my not-so-new living room carpet, every morning before I turn on my computer.

I wrote this post mainly to encourage you dear sister: Yes God wants to set you free from food struggles, but there is so much more to you. He has amazing things in store for you, things that will blow your mind!

Please go read some of the blessed words of encouragement and testimonies that you send me during this past year. I put it on the website, but I used fake names to protect your identity. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much ladies. I honestly don’t deserve the praise but I do love you all dearly!

“No fat chicks allowed”

I know, it’s awful! I cringe to even write this down, but I am outraged! This morning I stopped behind a truck and found myself face to face with this horrible bumper sticker.

Sure, it’s suppose to be a joke, but I seriously had to pray for patience and self-control from on high to not back-up my mini van and ram into this young man’s truck. I know you have to consider the source: The other bumper stickers on this guy’s truck painted an ugly picture of disregard for women in general, but I was still upset.

Actually I was more than upset, I was sad and angry. Sad for me and other ladies who struggle with food, but especially sad for our daughters, yours and mine, who have to face such cruelty. My heart was aching for young women in the death grip of an eating disorder. Seeing bumper stickers like these will make some girls vow to rather die than be overweight. Other girls might shrink back into a corner of depression and despair because they can’t get a grip on the ever increasing weight gain. I so wish I could clobber some sense into the heads of ignorant and insensitive human beings who spread the lies that your worth is all wrapped up in your appearance.

I went online and found websites, bumper stickers and clothing devoted to the “no fat chicks cause” and I shuddered. I thought of so many overweight people I know who go along with it, making fun of themselves, pretending not to care, but they cry in secret…

Let me remind you today: There are no fat or skinny chicks in God’s book. There are hearts, washed by the blood of His Son or not… Don’t give up girl, Jesus came to set the captives free. If you love Him and you know Him, that freedom is yours!

Weekend, why does thou torture me so?

I love the weekends! I look forward to them with high expectations of fun, romance, and adventure. My Fridays are filled with anticipation, like opening one of Willie Wonka’s Wonka-bars, hoping to find a “golden ticket” or in my case, a “perfect weekend”.

Weekdays have a tendency to rob me of all my joy. Slaving away to bring in the bacon (turkey bacon of course), and running around like a chicken with its head chopped off can suck the life right out of you. But oh (sigh), then there’s weekends…

People walk around on Fridays with a bounce in their step, strangers greet each other friendly, and cashiers may fill you in on their weekend plans. Bank employees may even offer you doughnuts and coffee on a Saturday morning.

Now that brings me to the problem, actually two problems:

1. I expect way too much from two fairly ordinary days

2. Fun in my dictionary is the same as FOOD

The one is connected to the other. If I try and eat right and exercise on a weekend, I’m already stifling the fun. So, I have to find a back-up plan so the fun can go on. I start looking around at my husband (who of course has his weekend expectations) or a friend (who’s plans didn’t quite include me) or a family member (who thought this weekend is a good time to dump some problems on me).

None of this is helping. Any time now I can find myself wandering through the house (or better yet, the mall), scouting for a glimpse of hope, any indication that this weekend is not going to crush my dreams. Lo and behold, what do I find? Morsels of hope, the true essence of life, the flavor of living, you know it, food.

If there’s one thing I am trying to learn, and I’m asking God to help me with, then it is to not set high expectation on days, people and things.

How many times in my life has this left me devastated and hurt? A far better idea would be to surrender (or at least try and surrender) to God’s plan for my life.

Beth Moore says that God is supposed to be our “mash potatoes” and all these other things and people are just the “gravy” (my translation).
So, it’s great if my weekend actually turns out to be all I ever imagined: A romantic getaway with hubby, laughs with my girls friends, or a great visit with family. However, I have to keep in mind that these things are only the gravy of my life, we all love gravy, but if I don’t get the gravy, I’m okay. I still have the mash, I’m satisfied.

I know, I know I’m making you hungry again! This was not my intention, but I hope you got the picture. If your struggle is food, then you know by now that weekends can be a fierce opponent. The enemy uses all those expectations of fun, laughter and good food to tempt us to throw in the towel.

We will indeed be wise to remember that Food Addiction and Eating Disorders can only be conquered through CONSISTENCY. Two innocent days every week can break that consistency time and time again. Things can actually change for good if we approach weekends prayerfully, with more caution than other days, and with rest and recreation in mind.

Recently I asked myself: Could weekends be the one thing (or one of the things) keeping me from total freedom from overeating? Maybe. I know I have nothing to lose by checking it out. No foothold should be given to the enemy, right?

Maybe a better question on a Friday afternoon would be: What expectations do you have for my weekend Lord? Sounds too holy? Well, I’m going to try anyway. God’s answers tend to surprise me. In fact, in my struggle with food, I’ve found His answers to be much more practical and hands-on that I could have ever imagined. That is of course if I get around to asking Him…

I read a great book recently on this topic: Walking with God by John Eldredge

Love  as always

NEW: INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING online or in Beaverton Oregon
Call Heleen at (503) 914-2749 or Schedule online:

Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program: Women Struggling with Food

Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook: God will I ever be free?

Appetite for Freedom WORKBOOK and DVD.
A great resource for small groups or individual use.
Click on the image below to find out more: