How to Say No to the Hidden, Idolatrous Source of Your Food Addiction

(Photo by Jade Wulfraat on Unsplash)

"I'm sorry." It's a two-word prayer of power that can change everything ... even your weight. Here's the deal, though: It's not your spouse, your kids or friends you need to apologize to. It's not even yourself. No, the issue goes much deeper than that.

We need to apologize to God because not following what He has shown us to do is a spiritual crisis if we are His children. If He's clearly shown us what to do and we haven't done it, it is like a slap in face of God. Sad, but oh so true. I know. I've been there.

Why We Eat

Why do we eat when we aren't hungry? Why do we eat when we already have more than enough fuel for our bodies? It's like continuing to let the gas pump run well after the gauge says full. Our shut-off valve is broken.

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Unlike a car where the gas would just spill out in the ground, when we overfill our bodies, we continue to collect the excess fat. It becomes nearly impossible to shed.

The irony of the human condition is although we know this is the reason for our weight gain, we can't seem to stop. We keep on going with self-defeating habits until we destroy ourselves.

Prosper and Be in Good Health
Like the apostle John, I wish that every person prosper, succeed and be in good health physically even as their souls prosper spiritually (see 3 John 2, AMP).

This is a humongous dream, really, especially in today's world where almost 40% of Americans are obese. That's according to the American Medical Association. More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight and beyond. That's a large majority!

We definitely have a health crisis that some have dubbed "the affluent addiction." We have money, and we spend it on more and more fast food and unhealthy, sugary and carbohydrate-filled snacks.

Wholeness Issue
Unhealthy weight, though, is more than just a physical issue. It's a wholeness issue. It affects every part of us: emotional, mental and spiritual combined with the physical. It is the whole package because we are a whole package.

We are supposed to eat to fuel our bodies physically so we can be in good health. The Bible tells us our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and we should take care of it to glorify God (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Somewhere along the line we have allowed food to become something to help bolster us up emotionally. We fail to see the health problems associated with additional weight.

Mentally we begin to believe we need this emotional high or calming experience of certain comfort foods to get us through life without going crazy or berserk.

Spiritual Issue

We become clouded to what this is doing to us spiritually. It's hard to listen to what God is saying to us when all we can think about is what, when and how much we can eat again.

Even when God answered my question of how could I lose weight with telling me to stop eating sugar, I rebelled against Him. I did that by saying, "No thanks. I don't need Your rules."

I didn't see it that way at the time, but what else do can I call it when I turned my back, walked away and ate in direct opposition to what He had told me. This didn't happen just once. Oh no. It happened at least five times throughout the years.

Slapping God in the Face

Every time I'd get to the end of my rope where my weight was concerned, having failed yet once again, I'd come to God, hat in hand, asking, "How can I move this mountain of weight from my body?"

He'd give me the same answer. "Stop eating sugar. Eat more meats, fruits and vegetables. Stop eating so much bread." I'd tell Him the same thing. "Thanks, but no thanks. I like my sugar too much." Then, it was like I'd slap Him in the face again and walk off.

Today, I can picture exactly what His response looked like. With a tear in His eye, He turned His other cheek, waiting for the next time, when I would come back and do it again.

Throughout the years, His grace was unrelenting toward me. It pursued me. It would not let me go even though I would have no part of doing what He said.

Truth Invasion

The turn-around moment came for me, though, when I had exhausted every diet, every program, every quick fix I could find, including the Christian ones. I had tried everything and was once again gaining the weight back.

That's when God led me to a meeting where I heard a 25-year sober alcoholic say, "Alcohol is one molecule away from sugar. Alcohol is liquid sugar." That was my come-to-Jesus moment.

It was a truth invasion. I finally saw how I had made foods that contained sugar and high carbohydrate-content the supreme idol in my life. I had put those above God. I would do anything to keep eating what I craved, but it was killing me.

My stomach, my belly, my appetite had become my god (Phil. 3:19). It was a sad day when I understood the complete and total reality of that.

Surrender

From that moment on, I began to walk out my journey. I surrendered my desire for those kinds of foods. I began learning how to totally release myself from the bondage I had willfully entered.

I learned the God is not really interested in the destination, such as the loss of 100 pounds, as we are. He is interested in the journey. That journey has to involve listening to and following Him instead of running after the foods we love and caving into our cravings at every turn.

Today, I've lost more than 250 pounds by fasting sugar and gluten. I give up as unto the Lord the foods that contain those substances. Every time I say no to foods I once craved, I am saying yes to God.

I'm Sorry, God

For me, weight loss has not been about a diet or a quick fix. It's been about walking with God. In the process I've addressed emotional issues, changed my habits, which affect the way I think, and allowed God to transform my life from the inside out (see Rom. 12:2, MSG).

No longer is my walk with God done out of obligation. It is a walk of pure grace. I walk with Him because He is the only one who knows me completely, cares what happens to me and will continue to tell me the truth. Even when I fall flat on my face, He gently dusts me off, picks me back up again, takes my hand and makes sure I am back on the right path.

The day I first clearly saw how God had turned the other cheek for me, fully expecting and allowing me to slap Him time and time again, I sobbed before Him.

In tears, I told Him, "I'm so sorry, God. You always saw what was the best course for me. You knew I was a sugar addict. If I had listened to You when You first told me to stop eating sugar, I would have never gained so much weight. And yet You never gave up on me. You poured Your grace on me, and I will never be the same again. I can't praise You enough for what You've done in my life."

Then, He spoke the most beautiful words I've ever heard.

"Daughter, I forgive you."

Teresa Shields Parker is the author of five books and two study guides, including her latest, Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy, and her No. 1 best-seller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. She is also a blogger, spiritual weight loss coach (check out her coaching group, Overcomers Academy) and speaker at TeresaShieldsParker.com.

This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.

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