In the very beginning of Full, Asheritah (yes I know that we're not friends but this is what I'm going to call the author because life is like that sometimes) shares a story about eating leftover cake followed by a 30 day fast that lead to an awakening of the control that food has over her. She says that most folks who struggle with food fixation have one of those stories. I thought that I'd share mine.
My first official diet was between eighth and ninth grade. My mom took me to Weight Watchers and I remember one of the women there telling me that she wished that WW had been around when she was my age. I lost weight, I could wear smaller clothes that were in abundance in all the stores. It was life-changing. So what that I had to eat a certain number of eggs every week, take carrots and dry tuna pita pockets for lunch most every day. Worth it. But the truth was that it started a fantasy, one that I still struggle with. The fantasy that if I could just control the food, I could control the weight, I could control my emotions, I could be happy all the time. That doesn't actually happen in real life. We aren't happy all the time, who would want to be around that kind of person anyway?
Fast forward a couple of years, I'm a young adult, newly married, and WW points are the latest thing. Now here was something that added my love of controlling food and controlling numbers. I was hooked. I would calculate every point that passed my lips and would not stray from the numbers. There were no cheat days, I saw my life stretching out before me with every food I ever at owning a numerical value. Bliss! Until that one night that we had pizza. I had budgeted enough to have a slice, maybe two. I was still hungry and I wanted another one. I remember sitting on the sofa crying because I wanted more pizza but didn't have any more points! I went to bed but in the process, I woke up to the reality of the grip that food had over me.
It took me a few more years to actually find some freedom. I went through an online Bible study that someone off an internet chat group recommended. It was life-changing but in a good way. I finally got that freedom that I had wanted all along. It wasn't just happiness, it was an ability to serve God first and foremost.
Here's the thing that I've learned since then. It's not one and done for me. I found freedom but I have to continue to seek it each and every day. I fall back into old habits, I lift up ways of eating or not eating as it may be. I seek to control food as a way to control my entire life. But I keep tumbling back into this one unmoveable truth, I'm not in control of my life. I have control over my actions sometimes I even question that but I've learned that I can't stop the pain, sorrow, deep joy, heartbreak. Not with food or exercise or mind-numbing activities, none of it. And I think that's why I am so excited to read this book and I want other people to read it with me. There's freedom out there to be had and it's not necessarily going to be the freedom from the desire to control food. It is going to be the freedom to choose God in each and every moment of the day.
As we start this journey through the book Full, I want to hear your story. I want to know what moment comes to mind when you think about your relationship with food. Share in the comments, send me a message, give me a call. I want to know.