With so much attention being focused on what foods to eat or not eat, or by ignoring nutrition needs entirely, the real bottom line is that many of us have stopped paying attention to why we are even eating in the first place.
Are we really hungry?
Do our bodies actually need fuel, or are we feeding something else entirely?
The truth is, many of us have never learned how to separate food from feelings. Instead of managing our emotions, needs, and the internal frustrations related to growth and change, we’ve fallen into harmful habits of clinging to food or depriving ourselves from it. We habitually overeat and under eat, habitually watch the numbers on our scale increase and/or decrease, and habitually start and stop one destructive diet after another. When it comes to eating, we’ve developed many unhealthy and even dangerous habits.
Intended by God to nourish our physical body, food now plays numerous roles in our life, and unfortunately not all of them are healthy. Many of us have spent a lifetime trying to control the food we eat—or don’t eat—and “dieting” isn’t something we occasionally do—it’s how we’ve learned to live. We are obsessed with and consumed by food.
Food is dependable and available when we need it. Food doesn’t leave, talk back, or have a mind of its own. Food doesn’t judge. Food is our comforter and confidant, demanding nothing of us. Food represents safety, trust, and love. Food can keep us alive or contribute to our demise. Food has become our friend, enemy, lover, and abuser—all rolled into one.
Could there be a more challenging—or dare I say it—dysfunctional relationship?
Imagine all we could do if we returned food to its rightful place in our life. If we could see with absolute clarity how clever Satan has been in his quest to divert us from the truth that our magnificent obsession was never intended to be a relationship with food—but instead with the One who provides it.
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry.” John 6:35a
Excerpt from Setting Boundaries with Food, (c) 2008, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon