Mouth-numbing and other lunacy of emotional eating

A bag of Doritos. A box of Cheez-its. A carton of ice cream. These are no match for a woman seeking emotional comfort in them. At least not this woman. I’ve been known to consume half of any one of these in moments of emotional stress.

Did you know that you can eat so much ice cream your mouth will go numb? It’s true. I know from experience. In fact, sometimes the mouth-numbing was the only thing that stopped me from consuming more.

Do you know what’s really crazy? It never satisfied. Never. Not once. Oh, maybe for a moment or two while I was actually eating the food. Just thinking about the flavors of any one of these makes my mouth happy. But as soon as I stopped savoring the taste of whatever I was consuming, the feelings of stress and need flooded back in. And worse, they brought their friend loathsome with them; because that is exactly how I felt as I surveyed the caloric damage I had done.

I know this battle. I’ve lived with it most of my life and I’ve lived with the physical ramifications as well. I’ve been two hundred pounds.

I’m nowhere near that now. I am much closer to my healthy weight than not, but it is amazing how quickly I can spiral in the wrong direction. Just in 2010 alone I gained fifteen pounds and I would have added on another five at least, had I not put a stop to it in early November. At that point, it was put the downward spiral in reverse or spend money on new clothes. I wasn’t about to waste all the money we wanted to give to the least of these on a new wardrobe for myself.

I’ve lost nine of those fifteen pounds, but the battle is not over. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me from falling into my old habits is the fact that I don’t keep these particular temptations in the house. Sunday was proof of that. Just the second day into the New Year I fell out of step with seeking rest in God. Stress mounted and instead of turning to God, I automatically turned to food. I searched the cupboard, refrigerator and pantry for something to eat. Had I found anything good, I would have devoured it.

I’ve won some battles, but I have realized that removing the temptation does not change the heart. While this is not true for everyone, for me the battle with food is a spiritual one. I have allowed food to become an idol. I turn to food when I should be turning to God. I seek comfort in food when I should be seeking comfort in God. I am seeking to be satisfied in food, instead of being satisfied in Christ alone.

I think realizing this and confessing it is half the battle. The other half will be the work that God must do in my heart. But I am excited that this may be the year I finally cast aside this idol for good. I pray that it is!

I know God is already at work providing me with a new weapon. And I am excited to be able to share it with you! Please come back Monday and I’ll tell you about it. And I’m giving one away! My very first giveaway. {Is it weird that my first giveaway is a weapon? Ha!}

So, tell me, have you overcome or are you overcoming a similar battle?

In hope,

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.