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 usually 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, as 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
Heleen

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The Love of a Mom…

I am so fortunate to still have my Mom in my life. Yesterday, on Mother’s day my Mom visited and as we sat down for brunch, made by the men (well part of it at least), she looked at me and started showering me with praise. She commented on my life, my website, my hair, and my looks (jeans and t-shirt:) among other things.

I pretended to be embarrassed for company’s sake, but I was really basking in the warmth of true acceptance and encouragement. We all need that. I see how my children yearn for those words of praise and blessing. Life hits us hard, and at times it robs us of all our confidence and ability to see ourselves through God’s eyes, and that is where mothers come in…

I know you’ve heard many versions of this before but, like my fellow authors, I am convinced that God created mothers to be His helpers on this earth in a special kind of way. Of course a mother is biased when she tells the world that her child is the smartest, most beautiful or most talented kid on the planet, but it’s okay! Every child deserves to be the best somewhere and sometimes. In fact every child deserves the unconditional love of a mother.

My mom reminded me of that yesterday with her loving example. She reminded me that it’s okay to brag with your kids every now and then, especially to their grandma and especially when the particular child is present. It makes them grow just a little bit taller, smile a little bit wider and put a bounce in their step when they walk away with a “Oh stop Mom!” I have been loved, hugged, encouraged and praised by my Mom throughout my life. Sure there were times when we hurt each other, fought, cried, and had to work through things, but mostly there was a lot of love, and it kept me going all these years.

I know for sure that I saddled my kids with their own issues, whether I meant to or not. However, I hope that the love I showed them will weigh more. I pray that it will also be enough to take them the distance as it did in my life.

I am so reminded today of orphans and the incredible hearts of women who open up their homes for these precious children so they too can experience the love, hugs and praise of a Mom. You are the Mighty Moms among us. May God bless you and may His face shine especially upon you!

My Little Girl ripped up my Bible!

I guess things like these are inevitable when you have little kids. I recently paged through a Beth Moore study that I’ve done about 8 years ago and found pen scribbles all over the pages. This was done by the cutest little baby boy, who is now 9 years old. But this time it was my Bible! For crying out loud, is nothing sacred anymore?

I didn’t actually catch the little lady red handed. No she is quite the sneaky one. She loves to play on my bed, and always keeps herself occupied with some of my old jewelry that I keep in reach of her little hands for her enjoyment (and mine of course, I’ve had three boys before her remember:) So she went upstairs and I was calling her to hear what she was up to. “I play on Mommy’s bed” put me at ease and I didn’t check on her again until she came down after a few minutes. There was no sign of the big boo-boo Mommy’s Bible just suffered, she was just her sweet adorable self.

It’s only last night, after I tucked her in and kissed her rosy cheeks that I discovered the evidence. I picked up a towel that was laying on my bed and out fell a bunch of crumpled up pieces of paper. At first I had no idea what it was, it was thin paper, unlike the paper the kids use. Upon closer investigation the word “Genesis” jumped out at me. I was so shocked! I reached for my Bible where it laid innocently on my nightstand, and sure enough, pages ripped out and toddler art all over the book of Genesis.

Now I know I have to count my blessing: It could have been my whole Bible, but I was still sad. Amazing though how God will use just about anything to talk to us, it still blows my mind! There I was, crying over the state of my beloved Bible, when He simply said “I am so glad that you love my Word enough to cry over it”
My heart leaped and memory washed over me of an amazing time in my life, about nine years ago, when I fell head over heals in love with the Savior of my soul. For the first time in my life I actually wanted to read the Bible. I didn’t feel that I had to or I will go straight to hell anymore. It didn’t feel like a chore anymore. I didn’t feel guilty anymore about not getting “time in the Word” ticked of my list of things to do. No, I wanted to. I yearned for the Word of God when I didn’t read it for a while and when I finally got to read it I would press it to my heart and thank Him so much for His Word.

Let me assure you that I am not the lucky one. God wants all of us to feel that way about Him and His Word. Legalism has put God in a box and made fellowship with Him feel like a duty rather than a joy! You can also fall in love with God in a way that you never dreamed of. I found that loving Him was the true reason behind my freedom and the only way I still stay free from Food Addiction.

In Week 2 of my 12 Week Online Program for women struggling with food I talk about how all of this happened in my life and how you too can have an intimate love relationship with God. Nobody ever gave up an idol because someone forced them to do so, but we freely give it up if we find a greater love that can fill all of our deepest desires. Think about it…

As for my little girl… I showed her my Bible the next morning and explained that it was not a nice thing to do and that it made me sad. She wrapped two chubby arms around my neck and said “Oh, I’m sorry Mommy!”
You know it… all is forgiven and forgotten… who can resist a little face like that…