Emotional Eating and Treasure Hunting
It's hot and I'm running errands and sticking to my budget; I should reward myself with a 69 cent ice-cream cone.
So-and-so was grumpy with me, What a jerk. Good thing I didn't say what I wanted. Cheesecake for me!
I worked so hard on that project and didn't get rewarded how I thought I should, so I'll have a few Oreo cookies. Well, I really did a great job - I'll let myself just eat as many as I want.
I have changed seventeen diapers today and mopped the kitchen three times today. Three. Times. My husband is on night shift tonight, so I can order pizza and eat it all by my self. All. By. My. Self.
My hip hurts, I'm alone, and not one person has reached out to me today. Bring on the Doritos and a Netflix marathon.
... and so goes the emotional reward eating.
I've been thinking about this today... while, maybe these haven't been my situations, I often give myself a treat when life is stressful. I've been trying to process why this is wrong. Does it have something to do with how the reward of skipping the binge will be found on the scales? Or how God is going to reward me so I don't have to do it myself?
But I think I need to step further back - and look at the first part of the equation ... not thinking about the food and reward part, but thinking through the stress part.
The hard work of life. And how I think I'm so wonderful, so tried and tested, so good and undeserving of pain? Do I believe that if God really loves me then life will always be easily lived through Mountain Top Experiences?
When I am tempted to wallow in my woe-is-me pity party, I need to go on a treasure hunt. I need to take an honest look up, look forward, and then look down.
First I need to look at my God. Am I, in the midst of this burden, straining towards the fake gods of comfort, control, self-glory, or laziness? What is really the problem? My not getting that raise or promotion - what does that really hurt? What is really wounded? Even though my disappointment is real, if my eyes are on Christ, I will find that He has given me so much more than I deserve. If I am weary of taking care of ungrateful people, but I remember God's love for His rebellious people (especially me!), I see that He is so faithful.
But, to keep my mind geared towards this, I need to be looking at who He is... I need to be reading His Word and soaking in His holiness, righteousness, generosity, power, and strength. I need to be purposeful in seeking who He is - and not just what He has done for me. I need to ask Him to enamor me with Himself. I need to ask Him to help me love Him more than I love myself. I have to ask Him to be my treasure.
Then, I can look ahead. I can look forward to the treasures of Heaven - where there will be no sorrows. I won't have to fight my sin-stained mind or my self-centered emotions. My wounds will be healed. My heart will be healed. All because of Jesus.
I deserve hell. Plain and simple. My sin cannot allow me to stand before a holy, absolutely good God. But, Jesus has paid the price of my sins and has wrapped me in His perfect purity. So, I can be with God. Now. Forever. And that forever will be so very sweet. And I will find my treasure there.
And now I'm ready to look down - like for real. As in, bow my head. Not to look at facebook, or the cakemix I could eat if I just added water. Let me pray. For wisdom and patience. For extra love for the people around me. For protection from bitterness. For a reminder that it's so close to lunch time.
I don't want my treasure to be my self-esteem, control or laziness. And I definitely don't want my treasure to be a Snicker's bar. That's a crummy place to land my heart.