How to Stop Overeating

Do you know why you overeat?  Neither did I, until I went to missionary training in Colorado and sat in a one-on-one counseling session.  After briefly sharing some of my recent struggles with food, my assigned counselor asked me, “Do you know what you’re feeling when you want to overeat?”  I leaned in and said, “No… Do you??”, very excited that she just might have all the answers I was looking for in this food struggle of mine (mind you, she had known me all of an hour).  She said, “Let’s go downstairs to the children’s department. I want to give you something.”  As we made our way past the kids playing (how grown up I felt as a 28-year-old, being escorted to the kiddie area for some help!),  I was somewhat embarrassed and somewhat expectant of what this lady was going to give me that might help with my eating problem.  She made a copy of the “What Are You Feeling Today?” handout and told me to keep it with me.  Whenever I felt like eating, but wasn’t physically hungry,  she told me to try and figure out what I was feeling and then go and talk to God about it.

This way of approaching eating (and waiting for hunger while I identify my emotions) has been pivotal in learning to let go of excess food.  Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary, and I will give you rest.”  I believe the same goes for our other emotions.  “Come to me, all you who are lonely, and I will give you fill in the blank“.  Or, “Come to me, all you who are angry, and I will give you _____.”  It’s when we stop going to food to comfort us and bring our true emotions to God to comfort us that we begin to put down that second, third or even fourth sandwich.

As a gift to you this week, I’m offering the Releasity Emotions Wheel that my husband Steve helped me design for our Releasity class tonight.  Just send me a message requesting the Emotions Wheel or join our email list and I’ll get it in the (e)mail to you!  Whenever you want to eat but aren’t physically hungry, ask God to help you identify what you’re feeling and then stay with Him and ask Him to comfort you and guide you for your next steps.

Steven Mast