I had resigned myself to a lifetime of yo-yo diets, guilt, deprivation, shame, and defeat.
“I guess this is my thorn in the flesh,” I’d sigh as I’d walk toward the dessert table at a baby shower. I envied the stick-thin women with crazy metabolisms who ate whatever they wanted and still looked like skinny teenagers.
But even more I envied those who could look at the dessert offerings, see nothing they wanted, and walk away without a second look. I, on the other hand, felt a magnetic pull toward decadent sweets whether I wanted them or not because, well, hello sugar rush!
It was as if another person inhabited my body for those 5-10 minutes it’d take me to wolf down a plate loaded with treats, a person who lacked self-control, vision, and common sense. And glancing around the room at my friends, I knew I wasn’t the only one having this out-of-body experience. They looked just as ashamed and disappointed as I felt.
Now sitting across from one of those women unfazed by a chocolate eclair, I confessed to her my struggle with food addiction. And her response shocked me.
“Asheritah,” she began, taking my hands in hers and gazing deeply into my eyes to the very bottom of my soul, right there in the middle of the coffee shop. “It doesn’t have to be this way for the rest of your life. Jesus can set you free from your struggle with food. He has for me.”
I was shocked.
The idea that my struggle with food was something that could be broken by Jesus was jarring. It had not occurred to me that this was a spiritual issue. Sure, I had prayed before that God would help me lose the baby weight or that He’d forgive me for blowing my healthy eating plan yet again, but I had never asked Him to break the chains of my addiction and set me free.
My friends’ words echoed in my mind during the days that followed. I realized that my problem wasn’t the ten pounds I’d lose and gain year after year. The real problem was that the enemy had gained a corner of my life–my eating–and was using it to taunt me and make me live in fear.
I saw that he had lured me with cookies and chips, promising immediate gratification, to keep me from running to my Father. He was using my cravings to keep me chained to the desires of my flesh so I wouldn’t let the Spirit take complete control of me.
I was mad at the enemy, broken over my ignorance, and hopeful as I clung to Jesus’ promise to set me free.
And friends, He HAS set me free. Not all at once but through a gradual awakening to His surpassing sweetness. No comfort food can match the comfort I’ve found in Jesus.
Want to learn more about my journey toward overcoming food addiction? Grab a copy of my book, Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction.
Related post: 20 verses for overcoming food addiction.