My Thoughts on Intuitive Eating

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by emotions or life circumstances? 

Most of us are more susceptible to eating off our food plans when we are hungry, emotional, busy or tired. And for some of us, that’s every day! 

We need a plan that helps us take our thoughts captive and battle those tempting food thoughts. We need to practice stepping outside of the overwhelm and taking our emotions to Jesus.

Today I want to share with you how I handle those crazy, stressful moments when I am face-to- face with big emotions or food temptations. This is my step-by-step way of taking thoughts captive and submitting them to God. 

We’ll use word FOCUS to guide us through.

  1. Find a quiet place

The first thing to do when you are feeling overwhelmed or agitated is to step away from the situation. Get away from the noise. Step away from the food. Change the scenery. Press pause on whatever is going on and take a few minutes to be alone.

  1. Orient yourself to the present

Often our stress comes because we let our minds run into the future or get tangled up in the past. Try orienting yourself into the present moment by using your five senses. 

Focus on what you can see around you. How many colors or shapes can you find? How many different textures can you feel? Now close your eyes. What do you hear? What can you smell? What can you taste? Try taking a drink of water or some other beverage. Focus on the temperature, taste, and smell as you drink.

Just take a minute to really be right here, right now. 

  1. Connect with your emotions

Turn your focus to your own body. Do you feel tension anywhere? Do you need to cry? Are you angry or anxious? Breathe deeply and lean into those emotions. Acknowledge them without judgement. Assess if there is anything you can do right now to make yourself more comfortable.

  1. Unburden your heart

Now that you have calmed your nervous system, take a minute to unburden your heart! Talk to God about whatever is going on for you right now. If necessary, repent. Pray for wisdom. Jesus delights in carrying our burdens. You are not an inconvenience. Getting to help you gives Him joy!

  1. Savor Christ

And finally, savor Christ. Drink in the deep love and acceptance that can only be found in Him. I encourage you to mediate on any scripture you know. Singing a worship song. Pray a prayer of gratitude and praise. Just let yourself be with Jesus.

Savoring the truth of His Word renews our hearts and our minds. If you take the time to submit your heart and thoughts to God in prayer, then scripture promises that the peace of God will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

You may need to stop and FOCUS again and again. This isn’t a one and done kind of thing!

Rather it’s a daily, hourly practice that will help all of us take our thoughts captive and walk in the freedom we have in Jesus.

Do you need more help learning to FOCUS? Simply reply to this email and let me know what challenges or questions you may have that I can address in future posts. I would love for us to grow in this practice together as we all learn to savor Christ more deeply.

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Intuitive Eating

I was chatting with a friend the other day who recently decided to try intuitive eating. 

“I feel great,” she said. “I just eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. I can eat all the foods that are most satisfying to me and really tune into myself and my body while I’m eating.”

I smiled and told her how happy I was for her newfound freedom. I truly am happy for her!

But I also felt a twinge of guilt as I thought about my own eating program. My food plan is in most ways the opposite of hers. I eat at specified meal times, whether I feel particularly hungry or not. I choose the foods that lead to a balanced meal, tasty, but definitely NOT the foods my brain finds most alluring (sugar, flour, and all things fried!).

I love my food plan most days, but when I come face-to-face with the idea of intuitive eating, I start to think that I would be better person if I could find a way to be more intuitive with my eating.

Our culture praises intuitive eating as the solution to the destructive diet culture. The merry-go- round of diet fads and hyper obsession with the body scale definitely isn’t healthy. So many of us have tried diets and failed, only to gain more weight while we look for the next great idea that’s going to solve the “food problem” once and for all.

That’s all any of us really want: for food to stop being the problem. We want to live and be free from all the constant mental chatter that says we should eat more of this and less of that. We want to spend less time worrying about how we look and more time enjoy the bodies God gave us.

We want peace.

Intuitive eating is so appealing to our human nature. We like the idea that the answer to our own problem is really just hidden deep inside ourselves. Our culture worships the self. Ask anyone on social media and the answer to whatever problem you are facing is probably more self-love, self-care, self-forgiveness, self-acceptance…are you seeing the pattern?

If we can find the answer inside ourselves, then we don’t need Jesus.

So is intuitive eating wrong? By no means! But neither is it right.

Like food boundaries, it’s just another way that works for some but not for others.

God is the one and only source of true freedom and restoration.

The Lord is the one who created our bodies. He sees and knows our frailty. He is the one who gave us every good thing to eat, and it is only through His power that those foods sustain us and give life to our bodies. Any attempt we make to find peace with food apart from Him is ultimately meaningless.

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Remember that it’s not the rules you follow that set you free.

It is the grace of God that transforms us as He renews our minds and our hearts in Christ Jesus.