Finding Peace on a Battlefield
As human beings, we are constantly in a battle, whether we realize it or not. We go throughout our lives vulnerable to a number of visible and invisible elements that could have a major impact on our livelihood and wellbeing. And food is no exception…this is why healing your relationship with food is so important.
You hear that “you are what you eat” and that if you don’t have a tight reign of control over your eating habits, your body and mind will suffer. These voices you hear come from the Food Police, which I talk a lot more about in my recent blog post here.
We constantly worry about whether or not it’s “okay” to eat this or that. We fear the consequences that indulging in “forbidden” foods will have on our weight and our health.
The fight is both internal and external, and there seems to be no peace no matter which way you look at it.
There is so much outside of our sphere of control…so why wouldn’t we feel like we need to grapple and fight with ourselves and others for some kind of peace?
Making Peace with Food: A Principle of IE
I want to share an uncommon, unpopular message about the real truth of our existence on this planet. We can have peace in this life; supernatural, unexplainable, wonderfully simple peace that is only found in Jesus Christ.
Like I said, this is not a popular message, but it’s definitely a truthful one.
There is a reason why one of the principles of Intuitive Eating (IE) is to make peace with food (1). The authors knew that this was one of the main issues people face when it comes to achieving authentic health.
Studies have shown that IE is associated with positive body image, lower rates of psychopathologies, such as depression and anxiety, and overall better self-esteem and wellbeing (2).
The integration of faith and IE as a means of achieving authentic health just might be the exact formula you’ve been needing all along!
Healing Your Relationship with Food
God, our Creator and Heavenly Father, knew you from the very foundation of this world. He knew the depths of who you would become, what your needs would be, and what struggles you would have in life.
And so, He decided out of pure, everlasting love and amazing grace, to send the solution to all your problems: His only son Jesus Christ. Jesus not only became the solution to all your problems, but he also promised His peace, comfort, and rest throughout all of life’s trials.
So how do you get this peace? It’s simple; you just have to believe in Him and He gives it to you freely.
I know what you might be thinking: what does all this have to do with making peace with food?
Will believing in Jesus help you heal the deepest struggles you have with your body, how you eat and what you believe about yourself?
The straight answer is yes! But it is important to remember that everyone’s struggle is different, and therefore everyone’s journey toward healing will look different too.
Here are some ways that you can learn to trust in God’s process for you as you begin to heal your relationship with food:
1. Understand that dieting causes deprivation, which causes cravings, which causes bingeing, which leads to feelings of guilt, thus restarting the whole cycle.
Faith in Christ helps us to combat this cycle by reminding us that we have his Spirit in us, which cultivates peace and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
2. Believe that true peace with food and our bodies stems from knowing that there are no “good” or “bad” foods and that we ourselves are not good or bad based on what we eat.
I talk more about this in my “All Foods Fit” blog post here! God’s word instructs that how and what we eat is of no moral value, and that our relationship with God isn’t based on this either (Matthew 15:11, 1 Corinthians 8:8).
3. Make a list of any trigger/forbidden foods and circle 1 of the foods that you have been restricting.
Allow yourself to have unlimited access to this food for the next 1-2 weeks, whether it’s at home or ordering out.
This might be a scary one, so make it a point to pray and thank God for giving you the means to enjoy the pleasures of eating this food every time you desire to consume it. Notice how your preference for the food changes as you continue to eat it.
While the novelty of the food will likely begin to wear off fairly quickly, your mind will begin to shift from feeling guilty about “indulging” to feeling gratitude for the blessing that it is to taste the flavors and enjoy God’s gift of food to us.
He gives us the means to get this food as often as we want, and therefore, we don’t have to worry about scarcity. Repeat this step with other foods on your list as often as you like (this is also part of my FREE 9-Step Guide to Crushing Your Sugar Cravings!).
4. Recognize the difference between eating for physiological hunger and eating outside of this type of hunger.
God created us with intricate physiological hunger and fullness cues from birth, but he also created us with emotions that need to be fed in other ways sometimes.
Many of us confuse emotional hunger for physiological hunger. Learn what your physiological hunger cues are (i.e. stomach growling, hunger pangs) and also learn what your emotional hunger cues are (i.e. feeling sad/bored/stressed/excited/nervous).
Learn to feed your physiological hunger with food that provides both nourishment and pleasure, and learn to “feed” your emotions without using food (i.e. prayer, resolving a conflict, talking to a friend or counselor, going for a nature walk).
This isn’t saying that emotional eating is “wrong” per se, especially when you are in a healthy place mentally and you are eating mindfully. It’s simply helping you to identify when you are choosing food when you actually need something else.
5. Lastly, realize that perfection is not the goal.
There will be days that your emotional hunger drives you to eat, or you start to feel guilty about a meal or snack choice you made. Trust me, I’ve been there too!
The beauty of faith in Christ is that He fulfills perfection for us so that we don’t have to live out that IMPOSSIBLE burden. Accept God’s grace for you in Christ, one day at a time (Ephesians 2:8).
Main Takeaways: Healing Your Relationship with Food Through Faith
Which of these steps toward healing your relationship with food and your body stood out for you? Let me know in the comments below or on my IG page here!
I truly believe that the key ingredient to making peace with food starts with trusting Jesus as your Lord and Savior so that HIS peace is all you need. <3
If you enjoyed this blog post and want to learn more about my anti-dieting approach to living your best life, sign up to join my email list (and get a FREE 9-step guide) here!
When you sign up, you’ll receive an email with a link and 50% off discount code (available until May 31st at 11:59 p.m.) for my brand new 10-week program guide!
In this exclusive wellness program, you’ll receive original course content outlining the principles of Intuitive Eating, the revolutionary anti-dieting approach to healthy living, with a unique Christ-centered, faith-based focus for everyday life that I have made just for you.
With your purchase, your friendly neighborhood nutrition expert (that’s me!) will then reach out via email to learn more about your specific health-related interests, challenges, and goals!
Sign up here to stay connected!
Much love, friends!