TOPS Update: Last Tuesday I did go and visit one of the local TOPS groups in the Lehigh Valley. The group was made up of many sweet senior citizens. It was a little awkward because one of them kept asking me whether I really wanted to be there or not, insisting that I wouldn’t need the group, but other than that it was fine. They aren’t meeting tomorrow, so I’m going to check out another group and see which one feels like a better fit.
Every year my family gathers for vacation. The last two years my brother and his wife have surrendered their large home to us, allowing eight adults and two children to take lodgings in their home. It’s the best place we’ve had our vacation at, and I am very grateful that my brother and his wife are so hospitable.
This year my brother and I went on a canoe ride. While we paddled I talked to him about struggling with food addiction and how lost I was in the fight against it. We had a long compassionate conversation about it. Afterwards he lent me a book. A really wonderful book. One that resonated with me and that I plan to buy and read again. The book was called Love to Eat. Hate to Eat. by Elyse Fitzpatrick.
I devoured (pun intended) the book. On the first page I was impacted by the truth that God the Father is in the business of giving us deliverance from our sin, giving me deliverance. Unlike the other book I had worked partially through, The Weight of Grace, Elyse Fitzpatrick wrote about the abuse of food as sin. I know there are people who don’t view gluttony as sin, and I don’t want to cast judgement on anyone, but as someone who was convinced that my relationship with food was sinful it was very helpful to read a book that understood that and wanted to help me overcome that sin pattern.
There were two things in the book that were really helpful. The one was a series of questions to help you evaluate your eating and the other was a series of truths to help you evaluate your thoughts.
A while ago I started to journal my reflections about each question. I got part through the list and then stopped. I am planning to pick up on it again, using the blog to help keep me accountable about actually processing the questions and determining what’s helpful and what isn’t. Some of the questions had immediate impact on my eating, others don’t feel like they apply to my situation. Even though I have had trouble remembering to, or have chosen not to, utilize the tools that I found in the book it helped me believe that freedom is possible. Now I just have to decide whether I want to do the hard work of being the master over food instead of letting food control me, whether by a binge or following an unhealthy diet.
It’s been a while since I’ve seriously worked on addressing my struggle. Blogging about it has been a helpful reminder that I need fight the good fight, not to lose weight (although I’m going to be honest – that’s part of it) but to be able to enjoy the gift that God has given me through food. It is often exhausting because food is everywhere, and I can’t just cut out food from my life. It is very easy to throw in the towel. In my better moments, I appreciate that Jesus is with me, and that He is teaching me things about myself and about endurance and perseverance that I need to learn. So…here we go, fighting for a pattern of obedience one bite at a time.