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 in health, healing and wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with eating too much 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 (inside the 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 success.