An addiction is an illegitimate means of meeting a legitimate need. We use many things to fill the needs we have in our lives: money, shopping, gambling, drugs and alcohol to name a few. The ‘drug‘ of choice takes away the pain we are experiencing, even when we don’t acknowledge that the pain is real. Sometimes the pain isn’t even in our consciousness! Pain from past wounds is buried under the mounds of whatever it is we use to avoid the pain — money, shopping, and food.
How do you know if you’re addicted to food? Ask yourself some simple questions:
- Do I eat when I am experiencing strong emotions?
- Am I unaware of the quantity of food I eat?
- Do I know what it is like to feel hunger?
- Is there a particular food I crave when stressed?
- Do I rationalize my eating habits?
These questions are not conclusive; however, they may give insight into how you use food to comfort and to feed feelings and not for nutrition.
After recognizing you have an addiction, the first step is to admit there is a need that you are filling by food. This may take some time with a counselor, or personal work with a pen and paper. Introspection and recognition of what needs to be healed is so important in the healing process. Support is needed with friends and professionals, such as a speaking to a counselor to help you discover and begin to heal the wounds you are carrying.
As you recognize the hurts you carry, bring them to God and allow Him to heal your wound and not replace Him with the food. God will supply all your needs, but if we interrupt the process with filling ourselves with food, we won’t experience the fullness He offers.