For as long as I can remember I’ve had a strange relationship with food. I can only pinpoint a few times in my life when I’ve been a healthy weight. Apart from being pregnant, I am now at my all time heaviest weight.
Due to a combination of stress, poor mental health and being uprooted from a Church that was my spiritual family for the last 10 years or so, my eating habits have been out of control.
I tried Slimming World which seemed to work for a little while then became unsustainable. I tried following a book called ‘F.I.T, Faith Inspired Transformation’. That seemed to help for a short while too. Then I just gave up completely.
I gave in to what I was sure was an addiction I just could not control any longer.
The experts say that it is a myth to be addicted to food. That your body does not build up a tolerance to it in the same way it does to drugs. If you read my previous blog ‘My Secret Love’ there’s no denying how real those feelings are.
But that’s just it. Feelings lie. Our brain sends the wrong signals and we get stuck in a negative mindset. I know how impossible it feels to get out of it! I was so clouded in my despair and frustration that I’d forgotten something fundamental to who I am.
In my faith I’d been praying and crying out to the Lord for what felt like ages. “Please God, help me fix this”. Then suddenly, in the space of one week during the May bank holiday and half term, my prayers were answered.
On the Monday night I remember praying and asking God for a dream. For His wisdom and for direction in my life. I woke up Tuesday morning with the strangest dream that I could not shake. Generally, I tend to forget most dreams within minutes/hours of waking. When I feel convicted that a dream has come from God it is usually because I cannot forget it. That coupled with the fact of not being able to attribute it to my sub conscious processing whatever my brain engaged with that day. I wrote the dream down in my journal and it went something like this:
“ I was at my parents’ house where I grew up. I had some burger buns that I threw onto the back garden grass.
I was expecting birds to come and eat them.
But instead a big bird (I couldn’t discern if it was an eagle, a hawk or a vulture) swooped down.
There were 3 seagulls in a basket.
The big bird took two of them and flew off.
It left the bread.
Then dinosaurs came. Each bigger than the last.
I hid behind a stone wall (there is a stone wall with an archway leading into my parents’ garden) because I was scared of the dinosaurs.
My face was right up in the cracks.
I felt the wall crumble around my face.
It seemed to go quiet.
Then an animal came sniffing/snuffling over.
It was a pig.
So I led it to a pool of congealed fat for it to eat.”
Ordinarily, when it comes to dream interpretation, I usually just pray, ask Holy Spirit to reveal what He is trying to say and wait. But this dream seemed heavy on symbolism. I found a really good resource of bible symbolism to unlock your dreams.
So my next step was picking the dream apart using this resource to get the literal Bible symbolism of what God was trying to say. I then prayed again for further discernment from Holy Spirit to allow God to reveal the true interpretation. Rather than me trying to logic it out!
The parts of the dream relating to my eating habits were quite a few bits pointing to my past. In particular, the dinosaurs representing a generational strong hold. The fact they started small and got bigger and bigger to the point I tried to hide from it. It suggests exactly what happened, that my eating habits had got out of control to the point where I couldn’t face the truth.
The wall symbolised a barrier, the fact it was crumbling around me was amazing! This meant the barrier to tackling my bad eating habits was starting to come down! Praise God!
The next bit of answered prayer came the next day on The Wednesday night. I was watching a programme on the BBC about crash diets, ‘The Great Crash Diet Experiment’. The gist of the programme was taking four obese people and putting them in a house for four weeks where they follow a complete meal replacement diet.
My revelation came with one of the participants. She believed she was addicted to fast food. They had takeaways nearly every night. During the experiment, after about 2 weeks of being on this crash diet, she was confronted with her trigger food. Her reaction really resonated with me. She burst into tears and said “it’s not the food I want. It’s the feelings behind it”. Remember when I said in this post feelings lie? Her reaction is a prime example!
They revisited this woman so many weeks later where they filmed her speaking to a psychiatrist. The conversation included the topic of food addiction. They touched on her reaction to her trigger foods and the psychiatrist stated that she obviously had a strong emotional connection to that type of food. She spoke about how, when her kids were little and had gone to bed, her husband and she would have a takeaway. That it was their special quality time.
It got me thinking. When I was about 8 or 9, I remember we had a takeaway for dinner every night. We’d all sit round the TV and enjoy the takeaway together. It was a set takeaway for each night. I specifically remember Tuesday nights were Chinese and Quantum Leap! (If you’ve never heard of that programme, check out this article from Den of Geek).
It made me realise that when I comfort eat junk food, it is because I am feeling worthless. Less than. That to soothe this feeling, I am seeking that sense of family. A sense of belonging. That warm fuzzy feeling of being loved and accepted. Of feeling secure. The fundamental part of me I had forgotten was my identity in Christ. That I am a child of God. I am His precious jewel, His princess. I am completely, unconditionally loved and accepted by Him.
I know not everyone reading this will have the same faith I do. But if you are struggling with your eating habits, please believe me when I say, you are loved. You matter. You have something to offer. Whatever your relationship to food, childhood habits, specific triggers etc. Just remember, don’t let your mind bully your body. Don’t listen to the lies.
So, in conclusion, I think that feeling addicted to food is an excuse. But, an unconscious one we may not be aware of. My hopes for anyone reading this that is struggling is that you will get to the root of it and overcome it. Please do message me if you need support, I’m happy to help. And please do leave your comments. I love to hear your views.
Food pictures and dinosaur photo are from www.pexels.com.
All other images are my own.
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My main sections are: creativity including crafting, poetry and interior design; well being including mental health, recipes and my faith in God; personal including parenting and my general introvert deep thoughts. You can also have a browse in my mug shop and Etsy shop.