“Then you will understand what is right, just and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.” Proverbs 2:9-11 (NLT)
When my food is messy, (meaning, I’m all over the place with my eating and I’m focusing pleasure not health) I feel a dramatic sense of unrest. As the scale goes up and my self esteem goes down this food anxiety can be. powerful. It feels like I’m in a food tornado, out of control and totally unsafe.
If we are honest with ourselves, I think we have a good idea of how we need to eat to be at peace with ourselves. We may not be at peace with food, but we know what it takes to be at peace with ourselves.
I may never fully escape the food tornado that surrounds me. But I know where the calm center of the tornado is. I can enter the eye of the tornado, safe and peaceful, and move through life there.
Every choice we make has a pro and a con. Each and every choice throughout the day is gets tangled in both emotion and logic because we we have specific feelings about the pro and the con of the outcome of that decision. It’s no different with food choices, and this can cause decision fatigue (and I find I’m particularly susceptible at the end of the day.) When it comes to food, our emotions can be particularly, oh how shall I put this… unsupportive of logic. It’s good to remember that emotions are temporary and they pass. Feelings, while important, are kind of like a smell on breeze. Sometimes they are like a wonderful whiff of jasmine on a balmy night, and sometimes they are like walking past a full, ripe dumpster on a sweltering day. Feelings move and change through life, as do we! On the flip side, a wise and logical choice in spite of our turbulent feelings keeps us safe and fills us with joy long the breeze of feelings has passed.
If you’re in the throws of crazy food cravings, or as I like to call it ” an eating tornado,” a good tool is the 15 minute pause. When you’re faced with a food choice where your logic and your emotions are battling it out… hit the pause button on eating for 15 minutes. Set a timer, wait it out and pray. Maybe have some water in the interim. You can walk the dog, do a load of laundry, read, stretch and breathe, do something you enjoy. After 15 minutes, when the timer goes off, reassess eating the food item.
Let me know how this works for you!
Time and practice teaches us through our own experience that what Proverbs says is true: wisdom can enter into our hearts resulting in joy and safety. Wouldn’t it be nice to finally feel safe around food? You can, and you will, halt the crazy food cravings so you can think clearly about beneficial food behavior.
For reflection during your prayer time with the Lord:
What eating plan works for you? Out of all the food plans out there, which one brings your heart peace at the end of the day and allows you to wake up feeling good about yourself?
Write down the pros and cons of carrying out this plan.
Examine your pros and cons. Do you still think it is a good meal plan for you? If yes, when can you start? If no, what are some next steps?
Ask God to help you pick a plan and stick with it for one day.
Sometimes we need help identifying obstacles that are entwined with eating, but are not food. Emotional eating can be very complex. Need help? Contact me to see if health coaching might be a helpful for you.
You can win at joy-filled eating!
This is Day 7 in “Eating Through the Proverbs,” a Bible study about food, by Julia Fikse, Functional Medicine Health Coach ©2019.