By: Kacie Starr Long
I created an online support group called Loving God More than Food because I have had problems with consuming too much food.
Loving God More than Food is designed to help Christians who struggle with food issues, such as compulsive overeating, emotional eating, and food addiction. I've shared in the past, my history with food, particularly with overeating, and how God revealed that my compulsive overeating and food addiction was a form of idolatry, and how these gods (food and the cravings of my flesh) must be surrendered to Him.
It's still difficult for some people to grasp that I have been a compulsive overeater and food addict; and if not for the grace of God and taking one day at a time, I would easily spiral back into harmful patterns and habits.
Perhaps you too may struggle with compulsive overeating, binge-eating and food addiction, however, you may not call it by those names but you recognize the following behaviors:
"I just can't stop eating one cookie. I reach for one cookie and then I realize I have eaten the whole tray of cookies. It's like I can't stop. I have no control until I eat all of the cookies."
"I must have sugar every day. If I don't have sugar (or my lemonade, ice cream, or cake) I start feeling crabby, or irritable."
Emotional Eating or Binge Eating
"I feel so stressed and unhappy. I know a gallon of chunky, chocolate chip ice cream will make me feel so much better. Food calms my emotions."
In this season, I feel led to share my history with food addiction along with the tools and principles God has given to gain victory over the idolatry of food. The resources, tools, and fellowship I have gained from following several programs have helped me keep God as the center of life and on the throne of my heart.
I find it amazing how God can bring to our awareness, any 'idols' or gods that can serve as a barrier to Him. In 2016, He led me to my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting, and at that meeting, I cried.
I was happy I found resources (in addition to prayer and God's word to help me) with my compulsive overeating; thrilled to find a community of people "just like me" who didn't judge me as I shared my experiences of being controlled by my appetite, yet, I was also ashamed, that I, a person in church leadership, "needed" a program like Overeaters Anonymous to help me overcome food addiction. (In fact, I would shudder at the fact of even having a "food addiction").
I didn't cry at my second meeting, however, and by my third meeting, I felt comfortable. At every meeting, there is the same schedule. You introduce yourself, read from designated readings from OA materials, go over the 12-steps, and my favorite part is sharing from your journey. Everyone at the meeting is different, yet they all have struggled with food in the past. People are of varying races, economic backgrounds, and body sizes. Some are obese, and others are thin and look "normal."
The blessings that I received from Overeaters Anonymous are accountability, fellowship, and resources to help me in my recovery. I call it recovery because I am no longer a compulsive overeater, I no longer have a food addiction to salt, sugar, or high-fat foods, and I no longer submit to the god of my appetite. I am in recovery, and I take one day at a time and focus on God leading me by the Holy Spirit when it comes to my eating and fitness. Since the pandemic, my Overeaters Anonymous have ceased meeting, which is why I have felt led to start my own support group that is biblically based.
My prayer for you is that you will have the faith, strength, and endurance to reach for whatever resources are there to help you live your best life for God. As a food addict, I wasn't at my best for God. I was always thinking, "What am I going to eat?" and always focused on my next meal, and running to food to calm my emotions. My appetite was my god. Now, I feel balanced. I'm not perfect, I have weak moments, but each day I am stronger and stronger by God's grace.
Surrendering my appetite to God has worked for me. Whatever your issue (maybe it's shopping, drugs, gossiping, jealousy) may be, ask God to show you whatever tools and resources that are available in the natural and the spiritual, so you can live your best life abundantly for Him. God loves you and is for You!
PS: If you would like more help in the area of overeating, I have written a book called, Loving God More Than Food: Overcome the Bondages of Overeating, Food Cravings and Poor Self-Control available on Amazon.com. I also lead a Facebook support group called, Loving God More Than Food. You are welcome to join us.
Hi, my name is Kacie Starr Long. I am an author, and speaker and I love to use my voice to point people to Jesus. When I'm not writing, I'm either working out at Orange Theory Fitness or sewing. God delivered me from food addiction and I have a sewing ministry, called the Sew Hope Community Sewing Room. I am the proud wife of Alfred T. Long, Sr and together we lead a non-profit that serves prisoners and their families. Connect with me at www.InspiredOverflow.com and via my YouTube page for Christian teachings and encouragement.