Sunday, January 23, 2011

Treating My Unhealthy Eating Like an Addiction

Well, yesterday was my first day back on the path of  treating my unhealthy eating tendencies as an addiction.  That meant that I took my mind and heart off of trying to manage my urge to eat with outside-in techniques and started paying attention to my inside-life, again.  What's going on inside me (in my thoughts and feelings and urges) that's setting me up to pick up that first unhealthy kind of food--the kind that I know after a life-time of trying that I just CAN NOT eat in moderation? 

I'm back to getting down to the roots of why I can be so desperately willing to stop eating in unhealthy ways one hour and the next hour throw it all out the window for just one more chance to indulge in some kind of food that I find "delicious to the taste and very desirable."  Those words just give me the heebee-geebees when I say them. 

"and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted."  That's how Lehi describes the fruit of the tree of life or the "love of God." (See 1 Nephi 8:11.)

I think it is so interesting (at least for me personally) that the "love of God" and the "word of God" are compared with "sweet" and with "bread" -- which are my two personal biggest forms of addictive and compulsive eating.  And it is equally interesting to me that when I turn back to God, I find both love (assurance, comfort) and guidance (counsel, inspiration) and I feel filled, satisfied, fed, nurtured.

Last night before I went to bed, I spent about a 1/2 hour reading and journaling about the insights I gleaned from the first paragraph of "Bill's Story" in the Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book."  I was stunned and so fed by the sweet and the bread that unfolded to me as I opened myself to the personal application of his story. 

Turning back to the first book ever written for treating addiction from a spiritual (inside-out) point-of-view is, for me, humbling myself and admitting that my unhealthy eating is NOT something I can just manage (chart and goal-set) my way out of.  It is humbling myself and admitting that I have an "addictive relationship" with certain foods.  Oh, I can "white-knuckle" control them for awhile, but unless God removes the tendency (disposition, inclination, temptation) from me so that I feel nothing for them--sooner or later, when my guard is down, I'll lose "my cool," my resolve, my whatever . . . sanity? .  . . and start behaving in a crazy, out-of-control way around those substances/foods.

Thanks for letting me share . . .

©2010 Colleen C. Harrison

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