Why do you do the things you do? At least once a week, I identify with the Apostle Paul; in Romans 7:15, he says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” I don’t intend to eat after 9 pm. And yet, it happens now and then. When wants fuel our choices, we easily give in to cravings. My preference is to be mindful about what, when, and how much food I take in. My goal is to cut weight for an upcoming competition, fuel my performance in the gym, and support my cognitive function. But, like Paul, I do not always understand what I do.
Why Do We Eat?
Food cravings are not the same as hunger. Cravings and hunger begin in differing brain circuits. It’s essential to eat when we experience hunger, but eating when motivated by craving is optional. I was so proud of myself for walking past the gluten-free Oreos the other day. And then a friend gifted me a tin of homemade granola. I no longer craved the Oreos, but I had a burning desire to munch on the granola.
Overeating Healthy Food is Still Overeating
I had to remind myself that overeating healthy food is still overeating. So how do we bounce back from a binge?
- do acknowledge what happened
- do get back on track with the very next meal
- avoid overexercising to compensate
- avoid shaming yourself or wallowing in guilt
- do forgive yourself
- do speak kindly to yourself
- do seek to understand what was behind the binge
I hope you can give yourself some grace next time you struggle because giving myself grace is precisely what I’m doing right now to get myself back on track! I’m learning to be gentle with myself and remember that well-being is a marathon. And the times when I give in to my cravings are a pit stop and not my final destination.
What do you do that you don’t want to do? Give those things to God and give yourself some grace!
Gracious Lord, thank You for being there when we stumble. Help us to forgive ourselves, as You forgive us. Keep us fueled with the desires You place on our hearts. Please help us to get back up each time we fall. In Jesus’ name. Amen.