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Why Did I Just Eat That?

Food consumes the air time on radio and television. The commercials for food includes the tantalizing, “how great food is” advertisements, as well as, the ones that promise to help you say “no” to food temptations, or at least how to avoid letting your body get fat if you give into them. Food and not getting fat are on our minds daily.

In addition to being tormented by food, we also are well educated about food. We know what kinds of food are good for us, and which ones we should avoid or sample rarely. We know that how we eat not only effects our weight, but our health, our skin, our brain functioning. Still, daily we could ask ourselves “Why did I just eat that?”

In counseling I ask individuals who are working on eating disorders to stop and ask themselves that question. They don't really like the assignment. It is a very frustrating question to be asked, but I keep on asking them to think about it nonetheless.

I'm sure it was a question on the minds of Adam and Eve for their lifetimes. Although they had every kind of food available to them, “trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (Genesis 2:9); they wanted what they were told would do them harm. God was clear in His instruction “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16,17)

Their story is not too distant from ours. “Why do you eat the foods that you know will do you harm?” At the core the reason is your stomach deceives you. Your stomach might tell you like the serpent told the woman “You will not surely die.” In fact, so many times your choice to eat that food you know is wrong to eat is because you are feeling tired and you think eating it will give you energy. You are wrong. After you eat, you might get a sugar high that lasts a few minutes, but it drags you down further than before. You eat because you are so lonely and you don't know how to make it go away, so you think if you eat you won't be feeling how lonely you are. When you are done eating you discover how wrong you are, because you feel more loneliness than ever. You eat because you are anxious about the new assignment from your boss, you are worried that you can't do what she wants. You eat to give you clarity, so you can do a better job. After you are done, you discover that you have lost thirty more minutes and you are no further ahead in accomplishing the daunting task. You eat because you feel you deserve it, since you have been eating so good lately. You tell yourself that you will just have this one cookie, which turns into two, three, four, and even some popcorn on top of that. Now you feel like you deserve shame because you are so out of control.

I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. God created food. He didn't have to create us with a need to eat, but He did. However, just like Adam and Eve, we need to trust God about what is best to eat and not to eat. We so often replace God with food. We turn to food to comfort us, to distract us, to shield us. God wants to do that. In fact, He wants to help us more than ever when we discover, we don't have power within ourselves to stop eating the things that do us harm. He wants to be your strength. He wants you to trust Him. So, start asking yourself; “Why did I eat that?” then “How can I trust God for that need instead of food?” and you'll soon find yourself closer to God and less out of control with food. When we don't let our stomach deceive us, it reveals the truth, we need God even for our daily bread, after all that is how Jesus taught us to pray (Matthew 6:11).


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