Running to my Creator, instead of to the Cookies

A lot of people are surprised when they first learn this about meโ€ฆ.

๐—œ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ ๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜.

Likeโ€ฆ a moment of panic or fear would hit me, and ๐’Ž๐’š ๐’Š๐’๐’”๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’„๐’• ๐’˜๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’‰๐’Š๐’…๐’† in the bathroom or somewhere while stuffing chocolate anything in abundance into my mouth and focus more on the food than the feelings I was trying to avoid feeling. Until, of course, I feel physically ill and sick to my stomach from the sweet, and even “full” physicallyโ€ฆ but still wouldn’t stop. Instead, I’d then switch to something salty like pickles or chipsโ€ฆ until that got to be too much and I’d switch back to sweet again. If I got too miserable, then binging tv would be my next plan of action for ๐Ÿ…ฝ๐Ÿ†„๐Ÿ…ผ๐Ÿ…ฑ๐Ÿ…ธ๐Ÿ…ฝ๐Ÿ…ถ ๐Ÿ…พ๐Ÿ†„๐Ÿ†ƒ the stress swirling in my brain and twisting up my gut.

Why does this surprise people?? Because, well, ya know – I’m in fitness. I’m an instructor, a coachโ€ฆ I HELP people with eating probs, right? Besides, I’m also usually smiling when they see me (and so they’d never guess I have struggled with handling stress healthfully).

But y’allโ€ฆ I’m SO HUMAN. I have a flawed past and I have flaws now. And ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’”๐’๐’ I have a passion for fitness & helping others establishing healthy lifestyle habits ๐—ก๐—ข๐—ช is ๐—•๐—˜๐—–๐—”๐—จ๐—ฆ๐—˜ ๐—ข๐—™ my previous OVERWHELMING struggles with food and using it as a coping mechanism for all of life’s stresses and undealt with trauma.

I have dysfunctional habits that ran my life for years, just like we all do. And I’m still not perfect, but wellโ€ฆ I had to FACE them to overcome them.

And the hard truth isโ€ฆ In order to face them, ๐‘ฐ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’“๐’• ๐’๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‰๐’๐’˜ ๐’•๐’ ๐’“๐’–๐’ ๐’•๐’ ๐’Ž๐’š ๐‘ช๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’๐’“ ๐’Š๐’๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‚๐’… ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’„๐’๐’๐’Œ๐’Š๐’†๐’”.

I also had to do practical, physical things. ๐‘ฉ๐‘ฌ๐‘ญ๐‘ถ๐‘น๐‘ฌ ๐’”๐’•๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’” ๐’‰๐’Š๐’• ๐’Ž๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’‚๐’Œ๐’†๐’๐’—๐’†๐’“, I had to put strategies in place that set me up for making wise nutrition decisions and making them habitsโ€ฆ so that WHEN stress did come, I had already put things in place that ๐Ÿ…ธ๐Ÿ…ฝ๐Ÿ†ƒ๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†„๐Ÿ…ฟ๐Ÿ†ƒ๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ…ณ the old patterns and the old ways of binging/stress eating.

Once I took the tools and strategies I was learning from my nutrition program and put them in place, it was no longer as convenient for me to just fall into the old cycle of stuffing sweets in secretโ€ฆ which gave me “space” of time and effort ๐Ÿ…ฑ๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ†ƒ๐Ÿ††๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ…ฝ the “feeling” of stress and the sudden “urgency to eat” and the actual stress eating itself.

For exampleโ€ฆ ๐—œ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜†๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—œ’๐—ฑ ๐—ป๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฏ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ป.

And this is what would start to happen – It was taking so much EXTRA time for me to scrounge around, trying to find SOMETHING rich and sweet to binge onโ€ฆ and my thoughts/feelings would start to come to the surface ๐’๐’๐’๐’ˆ ๐’†๐’๐’๐’–๐’ˆ๐’‰ ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’Ž๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’‰๐’†๐’‚๐’“ what they were saying, giving me opportunity ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž ๐’๐’—๐’†๐’“ to God and help me ๐’„๐’๐’๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž before just stuffing them down like I was used to.

My life. my health. my relationship with food. It all changed.

Not all at once, but one stress eating episode at a time.

And isn’t it ๐’‹๐’–๐’”๐’• ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’… to take something meant to destroy us, and turn it into something we are called to help others with?

In Sweat & Faith,

Angel

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