One of my favorite binge foods was Pepperidge Farm coconut cake. I could eat the whole cake by myself – and often did.
The funny thing was, I never intended to eat the whole cake when I brought one home! I’d tell myself, “This is just a little treat for myself.”
I’d get one slice of cake and eat it. Hmm, that was SO good.
Although I might go on to other activities, the memory of how good the cake tasted would be in the back of my mind.
It was a persistent nagging. It seemed like the cake was talking to me: “Kim, come eat me, come eat me!”
To shut the voice up, I’d eat another slice. It was STILL good.
Although I’d try to discipline myself not to eat more cake, the battle was on.
As the day went on, the part of me that wanted to do the right thing got weaker; the desire for the cake got stronger.
Eventually, I’d give in.
I’d set the entire cake in front of me with a knife and fork. I allowed myself to blank out and became an eating machine.
I would not stop until the cake was gone.
After I ate the whole cake, I’d feel sick to my stomach. But worse than the physical ache was the emotional pain left behind.
Feelings of bewilderment, disgust, shame, and guilt washed over me. How could I do this to myself?
I went through this painful cycle for years. And it wasn’t just cake that triggered these binges. Some other foods seemed to have the same effect.
I used to ask myself, “Why don’t I have any self control?” But God showed me that I was asking the wrong question.
He revealed the right question and that was the key to conquering this situation in my life.
The question was based upon two Biblical truths:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).”
Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed (Hebrews 12:12-14).”
To even be willing to ask myself the question, I had to believe the first scripture’s truth. I have the Holy Spirit inside of me as a believer in Jesus Christ (see 2 Timothy 1:14 and Ephesians 1:12-14).
The Holy Spirit’s desire is to cultivate Spiritual fruit within me for God’s glory.
But can fruit grow without a seed? No.
Therefore I must already have the seed of self-control within me according to God’s self-control. Asking myself “Why don’t I have any self-control?” was the wrong question.
Within the question was a lying statement because it opposed God’s word: “I don’t have any self control.”
Now you might say, “Kim if you had self control, you wouldn’t eat a whole cake now would you?”
However, the first step of self control is willingness to admit that something is out of control!
See for many years, I wasn’t willing to admit the truth.
I’d tell myself that I just lacked willpower. So I kept on buying the cake, hoping that more willpower would show up.
It never did.
But once I accepted that my eating was out of control and that I had the seed of self control, that led me to the right question:
“How can I grow the self control that I already have?”
That is when God led me to Hebrews 12:12-14. I realized that I was lame and feeble in my eating habits.
Pride did not want to admit that. I gloried in the image of myself as a strong woman. I did not want to give up that golden image!
Pride said, “I should be able to handle this myself and eat all the cake I want!”
However as long as pride ruled me, then God could not heal me.
James 4:6 says, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
I needed His grace and healing so much! I was tired of that negative, self-defeating cycle.
So I humbled myself and allowed God to teach me what to do. He illuminated the phrase: “Make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”
As long as I kept buying Pepperidge Farm coconut cake, I would dislocate that which is lame. Because I made a crooked path for myself, I would keep falling down!
God told me to stop buying the cake. But not just that. I realized the cake was meeting an emotional need in my life. Taking the cake away would leave that need unmet, which scared me.
So I had to know what that need was so that I could meet it another way. I had to find out why I felt I needed a “treat.”
God revealed to me that I was using sweets to comfort loneliness at the time. He showed me how to deal with that through His presence and to introduce healing foods into my life.
In the fullness of time, I was healed.
If you have negative behaviors in your life, then willpower is not the answer. God power is! You have it – you just need to grow it.
Actually, the fruit of self-control will grow as you follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. Ask for His wisdom to show you what is lame in your life. And then, ask Him what you can do to create a straight path for your feet.
When you do that, what is lame will be healed!
Ephesians 3:20 – “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…”
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 journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 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.
Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program.
“Prayer for Weight Loss”
Making Straight Paths…
What a wonderful article, I can so relate!
I have been so full of guilt these past few weeks. I eat junk food — all kinds. especially chips — then beat myself up with guilt and self defeating messages, not to mention the bloating, gut pain, sluggish feeling. And the same questions over and over, “why did I do that?” And “why can’t I quit?”
So, I will go to God. In prayer and in the Bible, asking Him for wisdom, guidance, and knowledge.
Amen, Teresa – He will set you on straight path and give you the strength to walk on it day by day
Well, I am two days late to this teaching. For some reason I could not find day one of the detox. But it has turned out to be exactly the right day for me! I had a dream last night where an intruder had come into my house while I was out. When I commanded him to leave, and I also tried to escape, he picked up this bottle of clear liquid and said, “so you think you’re going to run away? Well I’ve got some thing your feet are just going to love.” When he opened the bottle, the smell of gasoline hit me hard. But instead of pouring it on the floor, he just kept staring at it like he was mesmerized by the contents allowing me to turn and run through a sliding glass door that I haven’t opened in several years. I typically don’t dream so I asked the Lord if he was trying to show me something. I believe his answer came in the form of Hebrews 12:12-14: “ Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”
Wow, Sue – thank you for sharing this. I love it when the Lord confirms His words!
What really stood out to me today was that fruit cannot grow without a seed. It lead me to think about seeds needing to be cultivated and nourished . In my case self control….stress and boredom have been what has sabotage me in the past ( maybe a bit of loneliness ). I now recognize and admit this. Looking forward to the exchange God has in store for me during this time of detox , repair ( healing) , and exchange.
Thank you for your work and wisdom.
I give all the glory, Michelle! The key is to attend to your real needs but in ways that are more helpful to you and not hurtful. I pray the Lord continue to give you wisdom in this matter.
I like the positivity of this approach. I’m always better at doing something than not doing something. I do think for me it comes down to pride. I need this, I want it, don’t tell me I can’t have it. There has to be association with something greater-a greater prize. I think for me it is the idea that self-control is a fruit-something that can be grown and sure “tastes” sweeter than guilt and regret. And every opportunity we have to confront temptation and win is another opportunity to say to God, “I love You and I choose You”. It strengthens relationship and confidence. I have to find “the way out” by not putting myself in situations in the first place. Some you can’t avoid but many you can, or not create in the first place, by buying trigger items like the coconut cake, which is really good. I have to take the approach of addressing character and obedience issues rather than a weight goal. But I do feel better if the weight goes down.
Hi Susan, I resonate with your words “every opportunity we have to confront temptation and win is another opportunity to say to God, ‘I love and I choose you.’ It stregthens the relationship and confidence.'” I absolutely love this perspective and call out. Though you shared it years ago, it blessed me today. Thank you.
Happy thanksgiving to you from me in New Zealand!. Yes I have just flown home from your beautiful USA yesterday with all the yummy goodies. My snacks are no different to you cake. And I am goung to make my paths straight and not have those snacks in my home with God help and my humility in depending on him.
Sadly at 60 plus I still feel guilty of over indulgence and try rid of my guilt …making this an idol..as it consumes me.
Thank you for this last msg to me and all others in Christ.
God bless you
I understand the need to grow the fruit already in me. I understand how being stiff-necked is part of it. How did you identify loneliness as the source? I always thought my reason was boredom especially with evening eating. Maybe it isn’t?
Hi Charla – Loneliness is related to how connected you feel to other people. Do you have loving, meaningful relationships in your life? Do you have people to whom you reach out often and who reach out to you?
Boredom on the other hand is related to how connected you are to your life’s purpose. Do you have a vision for your life? Are you operating in your Spiritual gifts? Do you feel like you are moving forward in your life versus staying stuck?
These are all questions you can seek the Lord in prayer about if you need guidance in any area. Both of these can be resolved also by reaching out to others and sharing the gifts God has placed in you.
I saw me in your blog, I have done the same thing with all types of junk food.
I haven’t in a while though. ..praise to our God.
Thank you for your teachings, Kimberly. Reading your blog made me realize that in many areas where I have failed whether food, or attitude I needed to ask God to reveal what was lame (broken, messed up) not tell Him. For the root of the problem may not be what I see (visible) but may lie deeper within that only God can reveal.
Blessings to you, Kimberly!
Thank you that was good. God has given us everything we need that pertain unto life and godliness (2 Pet.1:3) we just need to activate it. Help me Lord
Thus article was written for me. I also struggle with sweets and in the past with that same Pepperige Farm coconut cake! They are sooooo delicious! But….my scale shows that these sweets are not good for good for my weight. With God’s help, I will walk in the Spirit, so I won’t fulfill the lust of my flesh.
That was a very good reading for me. I just had my morning time with God and was researching weight loss as a Christian and your site came up. I searched a little more and went to your facebook page. Low and behold here this article was….
Definitely to God be the glory for your being used by Him to help and share with others!
Hello, & thank you so much for this website!!!
its great to know that I am not alone!!! I have a super sweet tooth problem, cookies, cakes, baked goods, chocolate, etc… I could eat a whole cake or batch of cookies without even blinking. I remember being this way since I was little… At Glastonbury ck parties as a young kid having a whole thing of rice krispies, or eating all of the cookies in the cookie jar. I am so thankful for God leading me to this website to teach me about myself and to let me know that I’m not alone!!! I grew up with a “not enough” spirit & its something I really need to pray for healing from. I also eat when I’m upset and need a quick fix, I need to stop running to the cookie dough and chips to fix my problems and just go run to my heavenly Father who knows me, loves me, and will satisfy me way more & for way longer than cookie dough ever could!!
thank you sooo much!
You could have been talking about me when I read this article. My temptations are not one thing but many things…mostly sweets but also just wanting to eat way to much in the evenings of about anything even foods that aren’t really bad for me. I feel like I just can’t say no to anything in the evening esp. This article made me look at this in a new way. I hope to practice what I’ve learned here. Thank you!
That was a beautiful post. I have a poster of the” fruits of the spirit” on my kitchen wall. I too love the idea of growing and building up the fruits. There is much talk of brain pathways these days for all persons regardless of age. Therefore there is always hope. <3
I also struggled with buying junk food, having it in the house, and then wondering why I was tempted! It’s one of those “so simple it’s profound” ideas.
If the cake is not in the house I can’t eat it.
I also used to say I was buying cookies for my son. But then I would eat most of them. I finally stopped doing that too.
Your wonderful and encouraging emails help keep me motivated.thanks again for your ministry to the body of Christ.
Thank you for showing me God’s perspective on self control. Also stop buying the coconut cake!
Your story is a mirror to mine! I just want to say, “Thank You!” Thank you for your obedience to share your story and wisdom. Today is day 1 for me in the Take Your Life Back Program. I have actively struggled with emotional eating since childhood. I am now 42, 5 feet tall and weight 210 pounds. Needless to say, I am killing my temple. All those feeling you have expressed have been my feelings. I eat super healthy it is just the mindless, binge foods that bring me to that place of shame and guilt. I have tried OA and the eating part worked for me. It was just the lack of the biblical foundation that made it not work for my spirit- ultimately, i gained all the weight back. I love how you have immersed scripture into the science of it (chemicals released in the brain). I am so hopeful for God’s work in me through this. I am a school teacher and very active in my community, I can’t wait to show God’s promises to all my friends and family. They know my struggle. God Bless You! In Christ’s LOVE- Jen
This is so helpful, Kimberly. Thank you!
You are welcome, Amelia – I give glory to God where it belongs!
I don’t have control I need help I weight 253 pds I am scared and I am ready for the real support I need help
Melanie, I’m with you, my control is off and on…. This post of Kimberly’s tells me what I am doing. I am trying to do it on my own. I’m ‘trying’ to get it right…. I pray for the wisdom and guidance we need. Kimberly, Thank you!
Hi Melanie – you don’t say where your relationship with God through Jesus Christ is. Wherever I offer advice to anyone, I always have to start there. Why? Because everything I say is going to be based upon God’s word. So if the person doesn’t believe in Jesus as their Savior or in the truth of God’s word, then I am not the best person to help them. If you do not know Jesus as your Savior or need to re-dedicate to that relationship, I recommend you start here: https://www.everystudent.com/features/gettingconnected.html.
God bless you. May God perfect you in His love because it will cast out your fear.
I always looked at fruit as needing more of the Spirit operating in my life. Self control is an evidence or fruit of the Spirit. So when I yield more to the Spirit of God in my life, more fruit is produced. It’s a matter of yielding, which takes humility and acknowledgement of need. But it’s also a realization of the power that is in you-“that same power that raised Christ from the dead!” Now that’s power! Thank you for your blogs! I love them!
Thanks Cyndi – I agree with everything you said. That yielding is the hard part because pride doesn’t want to yield. It wants to be stiff-necked in order to maintain an image of self-reliance. But as I revealed in the post, God showed me that my determination to maintain an image of myself as a strong woman was my “gold image.” No different than the Israelites who made a gold image (idol) for themselves to worship. Ouch! So I have to watch myself and ensure I am submitting to God in every area each day.
I DO have self-control…I just need to grow it! That is so encouraging, because like you, I don’t know how many times I have asked that incorrect question: “Why don’t I have self control?”…but IT IS THERE-right where God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit put it! I just need to cultivate it. Thanks for the reminder, Kim because my desperation in trying to answer an inapplicable question has yielded to a challenging, yet doable question I can answer 🙂 I thank God for your insights. Have a blessed day!
Thanks Stephanie – to God be all the glory for His revelation!