Can you say NO to YOURSELF?

Saying NO to other people remains a pretty challenging endeavor in my life. However, there is something that I find far more difficult: Saying NO to myself! Our pastor recently encouraged us to focus again on saying NO to our own flesh as we keep reaching for the things God asks of us. This is a powerful call to action and something any warm blooded Christian would agree to in a heart beat (that is when you’re sitting in the pew and everybody around you also agrees enthusiastically) Unfortunately the church pew is not where we live out the truth of our conviction. Soon after the above mentioned “call to action” I found myself head-on with my infamous “flesh” or  “sinful nature”. In those moments, I knew exactly what I had to do but I didn’t want to! It’s started in my quiet time: I was bringing an old wound before God that had just been ripped open; bitterness and anger came oozing out. I wanted revenge, but He suggested forgiveness. I didn’t want to! Later that same morning I started thinking about a certain snack. Soon after I found myself holding the particular snack in my hand. I knew I had no business eating it. I clearly heard the Holy Spirit nudging me to simply throw it away…  I didn’t want to! It was then that the previous day’s sermon came back to me. Here I was, my flesh rising up in all its glory, and the battle was on! What about you? Can you say NO to YOURSELF? We are getting pretty good at saying NO to others these days (thanks to the Boundaries books:) and our awareness of the enemy’s schemes are growing as we educate ourselves on resisting and rebuking the enemy. But what about that little voice inside …

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Grab a Hold of your Life Line!

The Pit Saga continues…Last week we talked about CRYING OUT TO GOD if you find yourself in a deep pit. So maybe you’ve been calling out to God this past week and are wondering…now what? We would all like to  get rid of our strongholds instantaneously. However, according to the Bible God’s ways are higher than ours and sometimes His answers are different than what we anticipated. You might not be zapped out of your pit instantaneously, but rather find yourself staring at a life line dangling just above your head. When we’re  finally ready to give up our “I can fix this” attitude and lay down our pride by crying out to God, He will show us a way out of the pit. It might very well come in the form of what I like to call a “life line”.  God’s life line to hoist us out of the pit! The problem comes when we refuse to take the line.. Let me give you an example from my life these past months: I have been exercising consistently for the most part of 2009. Exercise is very difficult for me. I don’t like it. However, I’ve come to realize that it is CRUCIAL in staying out of the pit of food addiction. If I exercise I stay in touch with my body (not detach like I used to in the past). I make better food choices and I enjoy life so much more. So although I know that I need to do it, I always find myself bargaining and compromising in this area. So since October last year, I’ve been bargaining. I didn’t want to go to the gym in the mornings anymore. Too cold and too early. I started making my own “plans”. I would do it later in the day, at …

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Are you in a Deep Pit?

Are you in a deep pit of despair after this Holiday Season? Maybe you’ve read my posts through the Holidays and thought is was all great in theory, but it didn’t do you much good. Maybe you have been in a place in the past where you could make up your mind to spend time with God, exercise, and work towards your dream (as recommended in my previous post).  But maybe you just can’t do it right now. I truly understand. If you’re in the pit of food struggles, and especially if you’ve been in the pit for a while, it’s not as easy to hoist yourself out of it. The sides are slippery and every time you make an effort to get out, you find yourself falling flat on your face. You might have decided everyday for the past month to stop eating sugar, just to find yourself reaching for those cookies right after breakfast! You might have been crying lots of tears in the shower at night promising yourself that you will not eat one thing the next day, just to repeat the same cycle the next day! Or maybe you’ve had pretty good days, but every night you start digging in the cupboards and find yourself eating ice cream straight from the freezer! Listen, you’re not alone in this, it’s typical behavior for someone with an food struggle. This might not be your first time in this pit. Tasting victory and then falling back to where you were can be downright heart breaking. The worst part; it eats away at your faith. This falling-and-getting-up is in fact very common among people with food struggles such as compulsive overeating, binge eating, food addiction, or bulimia. It is simply due to the fact that the journey to healing can be slow and …

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The Good and the Bad of being Busy!

I must admit, I have a need to stay busy all the time! It’s more than a need actually, for years I have equated busyness with power, prestige and value. Fortunately, God has brought about a lot of change in my value system and way of thinking, and these days I’m ready for a slower pace. However, moving at a snail’s pace without purpose or direction can cause other problems. Let’s have a look: The Good: I’ve written in previous posts about the absolute necessity for someone who struggles with food to find again her buried dreams and desires. Those dreams are given to us by God and it makes each one of us unique and our lives worth living. If we don’t follow our purpose and dreams, we will follow something else, even something destructive. So to get busy with your dreams is a GOOD THING! If you often find yourself bored, not interested in anything, tired, depressed and without purpose, you might have lost vision and purpose for your life. This is not God’s plan for you. Living in this hopeless state can cause a person to turn to food again and again. In fact, you might pick up many other idols along the way if you don’t find meaning and purpose in your life. Even good Christians who read their Bibles and pray daily can fall prey to idolatry if they don’t find joy in fulfilling the purpose God has for them on this earth. The Bad: Unfortunately anything we devout all of our time, energy, and money to can become an idol instead of bringing fulfillment to our lives. Take for instance this ministry I have for women who struggle with food. I’ve had this yearning to help other ladies for many years, but I wasn’t sure how it …

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EMERGENCY: I have to lose weight fast!

How do you feel when you get an invitation to a friend’s wedding, or to go on vacation with family, or to come out East (or West) for Thanksgiving? Does your stomach turn and your blood pressure rise at the very thought of it? Special occasions can be absolute torture for someone with a food struggle. The worst part;  it happens all the time! I receive emails of sheer desperation from ladies about this topic more than anything else: “How can I lose weight fast without jeopardizing everything “ The truth: This kind of anxiety is very dangerous. It will most likely make you look for a quick fix and a quick fix is just an accident waiting to happen. The good news: You can use this “occasion” to start your journey, right now, seriously, by grabbing on to God and asking for help (counseling or prayer) to lay down the food (junk food and addictive foods) that always drag you down. The bad news: You have to be honest with yourself, because it will be ONLY THAT, the start of a journey! Serious weight loss, without any regard for the consequences to your health and body, can not be your main focus. There are safe meal replacement programs on the market that I have used and that helped me lose weight pretty fast. However, if you only do this for a short time, without a coach or a support group, you are very likely to put the weight that you’ve lost right back on (and some). I’ m sorry that I have to be so blunt, but I can’t lie to women who have already suffered so much. If you didn’t deal with some of the pain from your past or present relationships, you will most likely reach for the quick fix …

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My Weekend VOW OF SILENCE…

I am fascinated by people who have the strength to take a vow of silence. Maybe you are not impressed at all. You might even need a “vow to speak up”, but for me, the self proclaimed chatterbox, being silent for a while seemed almost impossible. So this past weekend, I did it. Okay, of course I didn’t stop talking all together. That would really be impossible in my life and my house! There are little children running around, asking their mother all sorts of life altering questions such as “Where’s my pants” “Can I have some candy?” and “I’m bored, what can I do?” No, my “vow of silence” more entailed not saying anything unless someone asked me a direct question. Boy, did this turn my world upside down! I found myself with all these thoughts in my head that I had no way of getting out. It’s excruciating! Weighing my thoughts and stopping them before they found their way out of my mouth turned out to be an eye opener to say the least. It was more like… an epiphany. I never realized how many of the things I say on a daily basis can be categorized as nagging, controlling, manipulating, hurtful or just plain idle. I didn’t mean for it to be this way. I certainly don’t walk around cussing and yelling (just making sure you’re not picturing me as this cave woman with wild hair and crazy eyes:) However, I allowed little things to slip through the cracks and it became part of my speech. The Bible says in James 3:5-6 that our tongue is a little flame that can cause a big wild fire (my translation) I forgot all about taking control of my tongue. Sometimes I’m too late to take a thought captive, but then I can …

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How to Get UP when you Fall…

Seriously, let me get this off my chest and let you off the hook at the same time: It’s not IF we fall, but rather WHEN we fall. All of the people around you that seem to have it so together and make huge successes of their lives have learned only ONE thing that you didn’t: HOW TO GET UP! We live in such a broken world, and yes it’s not fair that we have to carry our cross on our hips (literally) while others hide theirs under their tiny sweaters, but we all struggle with something. Everybody has bad days and EVERYBODY FALLS! If you have an eating disorder or struggle with food addiction you need to realize that RECOVERY IS A JOURNEY, and yes, the journey can be long and exhausting. In spite of great victories and years without sugar you might find yourself in front of the freezer, eating ice cream straight from the tub when life throws you a curve ball. Now don’t think for a minute that I don’t believe in miraculous healing. I believe that God can and will heal you from food addiction in an instant if He so chooses. However, if His will for you is to walk out your journey to freedom, then I would advise you to not live in denial, but rather arm yourself for the journey. To say “I will never, ever, ever fall for that again” is just setting yourself up for failure, self condemnation, guilt and shame. So now that we’ve established that you and I are not the only ones with wobbly legs, the question remains: How do you get up? What is the first thing that comes to mind after you have fallen and your eating is spiraling out of control? I’m not talking about the pre-fall-stage …

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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 …

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Weekend, why does thou torture me so?

I love 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”. Week days 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 without a head 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, they greet each other friendly, and make some obscure comments about the weather. A total stranger will enthusiastically fill you in on her weekend plans in a check-out line. Bank employees are definitely friendlier, hey they might 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 …

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