Food is my friend. Except when it’s not…
I use it for things it was never intended for. The aforementioned friendship. Stress relief. Entertainment. To feel. Not to feel. Everything, but nourishment.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I wrapped up my 31-day series on food addiction. I must admit the time since I dropped that incredibly helpful food plan has been one excruciatingly long relapse.
I’ve written about this many times. This is yet another admission, another new beginning, but it’s different this time. I honestly and deeply feel change coming.
I’m exhausted from turning to food for every little life circumstance, the good, the bad, and the incredibly ugly. I’m tired of avoiding taking my kids to the pool because of the horrific thought of cramming myself into a bathing suit.
This extra 80 pounds I carry around, emotionally and physically, is being kicked to the curb as of this very moment.
So many of us struggle with weight issues, which I’ve finally learned are about much more than food. Whether we eat to squash the memories of past trauma or to escape from current daily stresses, we are the same. We are the weary, sometimes hopeless, often silent sufferers.
Food addiction brings shame, just as any other addiction washes over our delicate souls. It isn’t talked about as much because the dangers seem less.
When I left alcohol and drugs behind, food became my refuge. I can no longer deny the danger and severity in this swap. Just as I can’t have that first glass of wine, I must let go of testing myself with a small bite of dessert, which always leads to a long, guilt-inducing, nauseating binge.
My food addiction affects every part of my life. The lack of energy to care for my children. That evil 80 pounds I’ve lost many times over the past 10 years, only for it to find me again.
So, here’s the plan…
Let’s start with these 3 simple steps to try finding freedom from these chains:
Forgiveness. I’m forgiving myself for my current unhealthy body and accepting where I am today. I didn’t gain this weight overnight. (Although sometimes it feels like it!) It will take time to get rid of the extra pounds and I must embrace this body for now.
I even put on a bathing suit yesterday and had an amazing time on a downtown rooftop hotel with my precious daughter, while she studied for her cosmetology state board test. Here’s our amazing view, along with our matching tattooed feet:
Choose real, God-given foods, not man-made, highly processed franken-food. I’m still taken aback at times how much better I felt when following a plan with no sugar, flour, or wheat. I know deep in my heart that is where I need to eventually be.
However, starting there may set me up for failure, so my aim is to make as many great choices as possible while I move towards my goal of SFW abstinence. Less factory created, more farm raised.
Last, but certainly not least: Turn to God instead of food. He is the best friend we could ever ask for. He doesn’t make us sick, tired, and incapable of squeezing into our jeans. God loves us right where we are, extra fluff and all.
All we have to do is turn over that time spent in unnecessary snacking and ensuing exhaustion to Him. Turn to God in those times when food is screaming for us yet again.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Are you with me? Let’s get this healthy party started!
I’m starting a monthly update to keep me accountable. I’ll keep you posted on progress, setbacks, tips, etc. I hope you will join me to break free of whatever is keeping you in bondage. Regardless of what you are struggling with, food, alcohol, shopping…, there is a place for you here.
If you have time today, check out the rest of this series:
Come alongside me on this journey by subscribing here or joining me on Facebook.
You GO girl! I have faith in you!
Thanks, LuAnn! You are always so encouraging, my friend :).
I haven’t read your 31 day series on food addiction (yet), but I can so relate to this post. I could have written it. So many, many times I will “leave sugar behind” and feel so much better (physically, mentally, spiritually), then I’ll have “one piece of cake” or “one cookie” at a celebration because it’s a “special occasion” only to find myself sliding down a very slippery slope and trying to find my footing again months later.
I can pray for you with a heart that understands what your struggle. <3
Thank you for the prayers, Candy! It is unbelievable where a simple dessert can lead us. Others can’t always understand our addict mentality when it comes to food. I think it is one of the hardest addictions because we can’t escape it. I can keep an alcohol free home but not one without food. Let’s help each other through this :).
Oh Candace, your real and raw words will ultimately be blessing another woman who struggles so, with this addiction. I’m so honored to read your words, and be a witness to your life testimony.
Grace to you, my friend. God’s grace to you always as you take your faithful steps to renew and restore yourself.
What are the tattoos? I need to know!! That is just so cool. 🙂
Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement, Chris! I truly pray this will reach and bless others with this difficult addiction.
Our tattoos are a mother and daughter silhouette. There are daisies on the bottom (our favorite flower) and the words “I hope you dance” (one of our fave songs) on the side. We got them last year together. I love tattoos and have unfortunately passed it on to her a little too young. She is almost 21 and has about 5 already. I only have 3 :).
Thanks for sharing your struggle. I will keep you in my prayers! I, too share your struggle. Even with being told I am pre diabetic, it’s hard to make changes. Keep working towards the goal is all we can do. ( and stay in the shelter of His wings.)
It is amazing how we can’t stop even knowing we have health concerns. I feel terrible these days. I know this extra weight is hurting me on so many levels. Thanks for the prayers. Praying for you as well, Debbie. We can do this!
Yes, yes. I love the grace here, Candace.
Thank you, Linda! It has taken a long time for me to accept grace. I used to absolutely hate myself because of my weight. It was quite sad, but I’m really working on letting go of the obsession with weight and focusing on healthy choices.
Thank you so much, Candace. I need this kind of encouragement. First of all, I need to admit that I have a food addiction. Last night I was all of a sudden tempted to eat some ice cream, but I resisted. Hooray! I felt so much better knowing I didn’t give in than the ice cream would have actually tasted. Sometimes I eat something and I think… Now why did I do that?! It wasn’t that I was hungry. Its so true that deep down it’s about squashing past trauma or escaping present stress. I really need to work on those steps you wrote, especially the forgiveness of myself and believing that God “loves us right where we are, extra fluff and all.”
Good for you on resisting the ice cream, Trudy! I truly understand how difficult that is. I’m the same way about eating and then asking myself why I did that, knowing it had nothing to do with hunger or nourishment. I’m the definition of an emotional eater! So glad to have you here. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in this struggle although I wish others didn’t have to suffer with me.
Love it, Candace! Food is used as a venue for comfort not just in this society, but in many around the world. I am Hispanic and in my family, food always enjoyed a high ranking place. Whenever someone passed away, first thought always was: “what foods are we going to offer to those coming to the wake.” Whenever we celebrated, in went the cakes. Whenever we visited our friends and relatives, out went the cookies and other refreshments. Every time we wanted to just chill with friends, food was always part of it. Worried about a test, here’s some food to take your mind off of it. No matter the situation, food is always there. It is very hard to escape. I think your plan is very doable. Especially because you begin with forgiveness. We have to extend grace to ourselves every time we are trying to make a life-altering change. God will be there with you in your journey. I know I need to eat healthier as well…I pray this is a journey we can embark on together! Keep us posted!
I love having you on this journey with me, Gisela! My family is the same way. Food is always the first thought for any gathering. Earlier in the day that I wrote this, I brought a piece of poundcake from Starbucks to pick up my daughter from her Cosmetology licensing test. It was to comfort her from the stress. And she has Type 1 diabetes! I couldn’t even believe I did it. It is just a habit, one I’m going to work hard to break. We’ve got this, my friend! I will definitely keep you posted and let me know how you are doing along the way as well.
hey girl…well you know I still struggle…ugh!! Do you have any plans to join a gym or exercise plan that maybe some days I could join you…if you want a partner in crime…haha
I miss swimming, and just walking with someone. I need the accountability. Troy and I have been dieting together and he wanted to do the Atkins plans that he had so much success with about 10 years ago. He’s doing great….he never cheats!…ME…I’m a big cheater…um…wonder what that says about me? Anyway…he has lost almost 50 in about 2 months…me…only 15. I am doing the 2-step dance….lose 2 gain one, sometimes lose one gain 2. Crazy roller coaster! Love your blog!
I would love for you to be my partner in crime, Susie! Let’s think about a gym, maybe we can look at the YMCA again. Yay for Troy! I’m a cheater too, so no judgement here, my friend. I’m just trying to make better choices right now. I don’t do well when I cut out too much at once. Let’s hang out soon and make a plan. Panera always has good choices for us :).
I love this! Forgiveness, turning to God not food. All good things we should focus on when trying to overcome any addiction!
Thanks, Jen! I have been in need of forgiving myself for an extremely long time. I’m glad to come to grips with where I am today. It really is the necessary first step. God has helped me beat many past addictions. I just know this one is next :)!
Candace – thanks for this. I am going to check out the other posts today as well too. I struggle with food addiction – especially sugar. It’s so evil because I know how much better my body feels when I leave off the SFW – but I sabotage myself and do it anyway. THanks for sharing!
You sound just like me, Stacy! I’m so glad to have you here. Sugar is my downfall. It always leads to binging. Even knowing this, like you, I sabotage myself continually. We can definitely support each other!
Kim @ 2justByou
Candace!!! Once again, I love this post, because I’m also trying to say goodbye to my extra unwanted pounds. I’ve realized recently that I use food as an emotional crutch, and I’ve never ever admitted that before. I’ve just forgiven myself for it and for getting on such an unhealthy level. I owe it to my kids and I owe it to myself to be healthy. I tried to get on a healthier path at the start of this year, but I fell off that wagon many months ago. On Monday, I started a fitness challenge, and it includes a total food plan too. My goal is to get healthy.
You can do this. I can do this. WE CAN do this!!!
It sounds like you are moving forward, Kim! Admitting, forgiveness, and a food and fitness plan, all the best steps. We’ve got this, my friend! Keep me posted on your progress.
I’m looking forward to reading your updates. I have been falling off the wagon a lot lately too when it comes to unhealthy food choices. I consumed too much sugar, even if it is 90% fruit. I was easily eat a whole pineapple in one day to satisfy my sweet cravings. So I need to reduce my fruit intake and focus on eating a salad everyday. When I was eating 7-9 veggie servings each day my stomach was hardly ever bloated. However when I eat sweets I get super bloated by the end of the day. Good luck to both of us of making better food choices.
It is so easy to fall off the wagon, but incredibly difficult to get back on it. I completely understand, Sonya! I was surprised when following the FAA plan how careful they are with fruit. I had never worried about them before, thinking how healthy they are. But they really can lead to sugar cravings. Veggies definitely make me feel best too, but I never eat enough of them. Keep me posted! We can do this :).
It truly is only with God that we can overcome any addiction we might have. I had tears welling up for you as well as myself when I read this post. Your honesty is shows so much grace and forgiveness. I need to be in this journey too and know that until I completely surrender control to God, I will stay stuck. Thank you for being brave-thank you for being you! So glad that we have connected and I’m praying for your journey. Hugs!!!
Hugs to you, my friend! I’ll be praying for you as well. It is a difficult journey and I’m glad we can embark on it together. With all the addictions I have beat in the past, this one is the hardest. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Mary.
Hi candace, your journey and honesty truly inspire me. I am starting the same journey as you and am loving reading your posts – it helps me so much! I have a question for you – when you say you don’t eat flour or wheat do you eat gluten free options? I know I am addicted to food, specifically sugar but I am wondering if I should try being gluten free as well. What has worked for you? Thanks!
Hi Jess! It’s so nice to meet you. The plan I refer to with no sugar, flour, or wheat is from Food Addicts Anonymous. You can learn more details on their website. It truly stopped my sugar cravings but it’s very restrictive. I’m not currently following that plan. I would like to restart it with some adjustments. They believe in absolutely no flour of any kind so even most gluten free options are not allowed. Honestly what has worked best for me is no sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, foods that turn to sugar like breads… The best grains for me are wheat free options such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats. I hope this helps! Keep in touch. We can overcome this :). Sugar addiction can be so debilitating, but I really believe it is treatable.
Hi, I’m new here. I’ve struggled with food all my life. I do so good, for a period of time, then, end up right back where I started. I have a personal relationship with my Father, and I know His Power, that works, but I can’t seem to get “off the couch” so to speak. Really struggling lately with over-eating, and all the wrong things. Feeling tired all the time, and I know it’s my wrong eating and bad food choices. Please pray for me to plug in again. Thanks!
Hi Lydia! I’m so thankful you found your way here. I apologize for the delayed response. I just became a grandmother and things have been a little crazy :). I can completely relate to everything you mentioned. I write from the battle field as I’m definitely not someone who has figured all this out and conquered it. Praying for you and looking forward to getting to know you better. Food is the hardest addiction to conquer in my opinion, but I truly believe Christ is the way out. We can do this!
How can (I) a new food addiction fighter, sustain hope, when someone like you, who has fought so long and hard, can not keep the food out and pounds off ?
Hi Hilary! That is such a valid question and I can honestly feel your pain in asking it. Unfortunately I don’t have all the answers to recovering from food addiction. I have however stayed sober from drugs and alcohol for 20 years so I know there is a way to find freedom from this addiction as well.
This blog is more about my journey to recovery than my overcoming food. I certainly hope it will one day soon morph into the latter though! One thing I’ve held onto is hope and I pray my words across this site will somehow help you hang onto that. I truly understand how hard it can be to find hope in the darkness of food struggles.
There have certainly been times over the years where I’ve had food under control. I hang onto those memories in the hardest times and know I can get there again. This may be something we always struggle with, our cross to bear, but there will be successful roads on our journey as well. I’m learning to focus more on those every day and it’s helping tremendously.
Thanks for reaching out and asking such an important question. I hope to see you around here again. We can do this!!
Hi, I’m new here but so glad I stumbled across you. I too have a food addiction. Mine comes from childhood trauma which I won’t go into detail here but I’m learning everyday that it wasn’t my fault and I don’t have to turn to food. I too find it hard to forgive myself for how far I have let myself go. But it’s not too late for any of us! Those are powerful words you wrote about turning to God instead of food, so true and I often don’t. Thanks for the reminder and sharing your journey!
Hi Carrie! It’s so nice to meet you! Food addiction is tough, especially for those of us who carry it from childhood trauma. I completely relate. You are so right that it’s not too late for us! Looking forward to walking this journey of healing with you.