The picture I chose to use with this article is a wonderful illustration of where too many of us have landed in todays modern world. Many people have their lives crumbling down around them; they have an emptiness inside that only gets filled with unhealthy foods, alcohol and drugs, hurtful words, low self esteem, and uncertainties about their future. The result is that in the developed world, we now have more obesity and unhealthy people than ever. I find this to be truly sad that in today’s world of abundance, we have so many people who simply cannot find happiness. Life was not supposed to turn out like this.
The artificialness of this world we live in is actively destroying us more and more with each passing day. People giving in to their indulgences is steadily decreasing both mental and physical strength. Everywhere we turn, we can see evidence of people ignoring the principals of good health and wellbeing. Some are legitimately ignorant of how they are harming themselves; while others without a doubt don’t care.
While feeding this emptiness inside, people are becoming more and more obese and sick with each passing year. You could visit any doctor’s office and find people who have caused themselves to become sick through gluttony and laziness. Sadly, instead of correcting the circumstances that have led to their ill health, they demand medicines to rid themselves of pain instead.
My friends, obesity and disease result from a violation of the laws of good health.
Your doctor can restore some semblance of good health to you, but what are the odds that you will continue to follow their instruction once you begin to feel better? Look at your own life and think about all the times in which you might have reverted right back to your indulgences that has prompted visits to the doctor. How many times have you plunged right back into the deep end of your self indulgences even though they were wrecking your life.
Why do we continue to feed the emptiness inside of ourselves?
What we have found with many of our followers and know from research and personal experience is that people are prone to emotional eating. Often times our strongest food cravings hit when we’re at our weakest point emotionally. Our emotions can become so tied to our eating habits that we will automatically reach for a treat whenever we become angry or stressed. We usually do this without even thinking about what we are doing. Food serves as a temporary, yet soothing distraction when we find ourselves in an unsettling situation.
Whatever emotions drive you to overeat, the end result is often the same. The effect is temporary, the emotions return and you likely then bear the additional burden of guilt about setting back your weight-loss goal. When we feel as if we are going to eat for comfort as a result of emotions, I would suggest that you drop to your knees in prayer instead.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation, and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 2 Corinthians 1:3-6
One of God’s purposes in our suffering is that we can experience direct, personal comfort from God, and then from that experience we can minister God’s comfort to others. When we truly open ourselves up to God, he will bring us comfort when we are having a rough time. The other take away from those verses would be the importance of seeking out like minded people in whom you can find comfort from each other. People who have a good network of support, do far better in their weight loss journeys than those who try to go it alone. Let God fill that emptiness inside of you rather than trying to fill it with unhealthy food choices instead.
Habitual eating fits hand in glove with emotional eating. People who compulsively overeat, often use food as their only way of coping with negative emotions. As a result, they generally feel that their eating is out of control. They think about food all the time and feel guilty, ashamed, or depressed after eating.
When it comes to habitual eating, people will simply overeat out of mindless habit. For example the habitual eater will regularly sit down with a bag of chips, or other snack in front of the TV at night. Habitual eating can be difficult to stop on your own, particularly if there are deep-rooted emotional problems involved.
If you habitually use food as a coping tool, you may be out of touch with the cues that signal hunger or fullness. This makes it important to bring your awareness back to your body. When you feel like eating, pause for a moment and ask yourself if you are actually hungry or not. Sometimes people get so focused on what they want to eat that they don’t stop and ask themselves why they want to eat.
He who conceals his sins doesn’t prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13
Habits are difficult to break, especially when we have had them for most of our lives. You have to put some effort into breaking the habit of habitual eating. And when you stray, admit it in prayer to God, and then move on with your journey. Remember this, those who are successful have tried and failed many times more than those who have failed.
The mere act of eating turns recreational for many people, sometimes daily. What can be more fun when you are down in the dumps than to get together with a friend or two and either visit the local donut shop, or Mexican restaurant for Taco Tuesday?
Recreational eating is not necessarily a bad thing, except when it is done on a regular basis and you consume large quantities of foods of questionable quality. I have known guys who could make sport of “all you can eat” buffets, and I can assure you they were not devouring platefuls of lean meats and vegetables. The problem with regular, recreational eating is that we can often consume far more in that one meal than we actually need for an entire day.
When you get together with friends for Monday night football, exactly how many calories does it actually take to watch a football game on television? Does it take more when the game is the Super Bowl? Do these football game nights so drain the body of calories that the television viewer might starve to death unless fed constantly during the show? Take away the beer and franks and is a baseball game even interesting?
One of the worst things you can do with weight maintenance is eating for recreation.
Nothing to do on a cold dark Sunday afternoon? Go to the refrigerator or pantry and find something to munch.
Bored with commercial breaks that are longer than the television program segments? Wander off to the kitchen to find something to eat.
Dreading a three-day holiday weekend stuck in the house with young children while a spouse is off on a business trip? Go to the supermarket beforehand and stock up on cookies and ice cream.
Does any of the above scenarios sound familiar to you? We know that smoking can be pretty much the same escape as food, but unfortunately its side effects such as chronic sickness and/or death make it a much less desirable avenue of escape from work, boredom or loneliness. However, did you know that your eating habits can also cause some of the same illnesses as smoking? What’s worse is that eating unhealthy foods on a regular basis can make us susceptible to even more illnesses than smoking. Put the two together, and your need to feed your emptiness inside will eventually take care of itself.
Recreational eating for reasons other than hunger can be a result of boredom, anxiety, enjoyment of food, or for a host of other reasons. This kind of eating can quickly lead you to being overweight or obese. It is important to be aware of your hunger signals or you can continually eat for the love of eating. The consequences can eventually lead to ill health.
Before you eat anything, think about if you are hungry or not. Consider if what you are going to eat will nourish your body.
We all know that what we eat affects how we feel. For a brief moment the foods we consume actually make us feel good. It tastes great and nourishes our bodies when we make good choices. I want you to consider a few things in regards to eating:
Many people use food as a coping mechanism to deal with such feelings as stress, boredom or anxiety, or even to prolong feelings of joy. Eating feeds that emptiness inside that we can often suffer from. While this may help in the short term, eating to soothe and ease your feelings often leads to regret and guilt, and can even increase the negative feelings.
If you suffer from obesity, you know that to be the truth.
When we emotionally, habitually, and recreationally eat, we aren’t actually coping with our problems. Further, whether you want to admit it or not, your self-image may suffer as you gain weight. Or you may experience other undesired effects on your health, such as metabolic illnesses.
To lose weight, you will need to change your thinking about food, and you need to adopt a new lifestyle that revolves around healthy eating. Weight management is about making a lifestyle change. It’s not going to happen if you rely on short-term diet after diet to lose weight.
In closing, make yourself aware of the role that eating plays in your life, Follow us here at David’s Way and learn how to use positive thinking and behavioral coping strategies to manage your eating and your weight. We are free to everyone, there will never be a charge to access this website which contains over 1200 articles to help you achieve your goals.
Quit feeding that emptiness inside of yourself.
One Comment Add yours
You are so right, David. In psychology, we recognize that food is comfort, and unhappy people seek comfort in eating.