I don’t know about you, but sometimes it can be tough for me to distinguish between my need for food and my desire to eat.
Without being critical of my body size, I’m fairly certain that quite a bit of what I consume isn’t related to my biological need for food.
A couple of years ago, my friend Jera made a pecan pie for me. I love pecan pie! I took that pie into my house and set it on the counter. While I wasn’t physically hungry, that pie started to look really good to me. In fact, I could hear that pie talking to me. Seriously, it was! It said, “Barb I’m over here. It’s so lonely over here. I think I’d like to be in your tummy more than I’d like to be sitting on this counter.”
Have you ever had food speak to you like that?
I tried not to listen to that pie, but it kept talking! The only way for me to quiet the pie was for me to eat it.
So I did.
I ate the ENTIRE pie in one afternoon.
Are you horrified? Trust me, I was – especially since I wasn’t event hungry. So what happened? My appetite, that’s what happened!
God created our bodies to need food. However, God gave us appetites as well. In addition to an appetite for food, we are born with an appetite for love, acceptance, satisfaction, achievement, and connection. Think about those things you long for every day, such as someone to love, acceptance by others, or a deep sense of connection. Each of those things represents a craving or an appetite.
Here’s the most important part: How you manage your desire for love, acceptance, security or connection determines whether you are controlling your appetite or your appetite is controlling you.
As women, this concept is critical because we always have unfulfilled appetites; and when our craving for love, acceptance or connection goes unfulfilled, we often turn to food in order to temporarily satisfy that unmet need. Does the term, “comfort food,” sound familiar?
How often do we toss into that void a half dozen cookies or a carton of ice cream? One of my favorite quotes is from character Lavon Hayes from the tv show, Hart of Dixie. After his girlfriend breaks up with him, Lavon shows up on his friend’s doorstep with a big of donuts and says, “Help me eat my feelings.”
In the Old Testament, Esau was a man with the ability to hunt his own food, but he struggled with an unidentified hunger. Maybe he wanted approval from his father or he was jealous of his brother – we don’t know. Something deep inside of him was hollow and empty enough to feel like hunger. Esau’s sneaky twin, Jacob took advantage his hunger and Esau ended up trading away his future.
How often do you eat when you feel lonely, angry, tired or sad? What are the foods that you pick up and have difficulty putting down when you are hurting?
If you get the chance, check out Matthew 4:1-11. It’s the story of Jesus’ temptation in the dessert, I mean desert. Why did God lead Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil anyways? It was because God wanted us to see how the power of God living within can overcome our human desires that can get out of control.
How do we deal with our hunger for love, acceptance, security, satisfaction or connection? In my Beautiful Already Bible Study, we talk about the tools that we can use to surrender our hunger to Christ and allow Him to fill us. Why? Because only Jesus satisfies!
If you struggle with emotional eating and want God to work in this area of your life, I’ve developed a HALT Food Diary. HALT stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired. These are often to triggers for binge eating. Click here to access a copy. Print it and tuck it into your purse. Keep track of what you eat for the next few days and make circle the emotions that you were feeling while eating. Once a day, talk with God about your eating habits and your unmet deep needs.
Give your unmet desires to God instead of giving in out of frustration to food. Let God fill you up!
SHARE A COMMENT WITH US: What’s your go-to comfort food? Are you more likely to eat it when you are hungry, angry, lonely, tired or all of the above?