Have you ever driven to work – and then arrived with no memory of the drive? The following example can help if your goal is to stop overeating.
The Lord showed me that driving to work unconsciously uses the same mental process as eating unconsciously!
Think about it.
You don’t have to figure out how to drive to work every time. Wouldn’t that be awful if you had to re-learn how to drive every day?
But instead, God has given your brain the incredible ability to learn patterns.
Your brain has learned the pattern that you taught it called “Driving to Work,” and you’ve practiced it for so long that it is now a program that you run automatically.
All you have to do is decide that you will go to work, get in the car, start it up, and pull out of the driveway.
Voila’! The ‘Driving to work’ program takes over and does the rest.
So you want to stop overeating, consider that you have a mental “route” in your brain through years of repeated practice. Your brain has learned the pattern so well that it doesn’t even have to think about it anymore.
To change the habit, you need to identify your route and then take steps to travel a different one. With repeated practice, your brain will learn the new pattern.
The first step to stopping overeating is to identify your cue. The Bible advises us:
He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.”– Proverbs 18:13
That means you are willing to “listen” to your daily patterns and understand the problem before trying to provide answers that may not fit.
Stop Overeating: Identifying your Overeating Cue
When driving to work, your cue to start the program is probably pulling out of the driveway.
What is your cue to start your overeating “program”?
- Is it sitting down to watch your favorite TV program?
- Seeing leftovers on the stove?
- Being compelled to clean your plate after preparing a large serving?
- Needing to relax after coming home from work?
- Seeing someone else eating and wanting to join them?
You’ve got an automatic program running if your overeating has gotten to the point where you are not even conscious of doing it!
So how do you prevent overeating?
Stop Overeating: Identifying your Reward
Let’s return to the ‘Driving to work’ example. Don’t you have a specific destination in mind when you drive to work? You’re not going to drive aimlessly – you want to get somewhere.
Is it calmness, comfort, escape, excitement, procrastination, a way to feel special, or other reason? Since your aim is to stop overeating, then it important that you identify the need because anticipation of that reward is driving this behavior.
And the behavior is getting you what you want, even though it is likely causing other problems such as:
In the driving example, think about what would happen if you drove the same way for years, but the road has developed a deep rut that you can’t bypass.
Every time you drive over that rut, the car bounces hard, and the undercarriage scrapes the road.
The last time you drove that road, your car bounced so hard that your bumper became dislodged. You’ve learned that the city will not fix the rut due to budget cuts.
So you now have a choice:
- Do you keep driving the same route, knowing that each time you go, you are causing more and more damage to your car and will end up with an expensive repair bill?
- Or do you find another route that will get you to your destination just as well, without car damage?
Remember that destination is a real need in your life at the moment.
So you need to address the need directly. However, you can choose a better route to get to the same destination!
It will help if you remain alert as you learn the new route and understand that it will initially feel uncomfortable.
But you know that the brain will pick up the new pattern as you drive the new route one day at a time.
Eventually, it will replace the old “Drive to work” pattern. And someday, you’ll go “unconscious” with the new way too.
It’s how God designed your brain to work.
Do you see that you can stop overeating now, with the right strategy to address your real needs?
It’s how God designed your brain to work.
Do you see that you can stop overeating now?
James 1:5 says:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
That’s a promise straight from God! He is telling you that whatever wisdom (applied knowledge) you need to handle life challenges and glorify Him, ask!
It’s a tragedy that so many go through life on roads they may have started traveling even as children, but don’t stop to think about where the road is leading them!
I’ve been driving my health road for several years, but occasionally, I have to change routes if I discover that a path I used to travel is no longer the best way.
In those cases, I can always count on God to give me the knowledge I need to create a different route.
He also gives me the commitment needed to apply that knowledge. In the end, I not only gain a new route but wisdom in the process!
Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her (Proverbs 3:13-18).”
Is wisdom telling you to create a new route today to help you stop overeating? If so, declare out loud “I am taking a different route!”
Have faith that you can do it with God’s help. Start the process to stop overeating today!
Be Blessed with Health, Healing, and Wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with overeating sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my weight loss journey; I lost 85 pounds and dropped from a size 22 to an 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss.
“Prayer for Weight Loss”