3. Run: to God, Not Food, for Comfort
Even if you don’t struggle with food or body image issues during the majority of the year, the holidays can stir some up. Maybe you’re dreading hearing the annual remark of that one relative who likes to loudly comment on your physical appearance. Maybe you’re anxious about the tension between two loved ones who are rarely in the same room together. Maybe you’re concerned you will offend someone or have to answer questions about your food choices.
The holidays can stir up lots of different emotions and a special brand of stress. With so much food readily available, it can be tempting to stuff down difficult emotions or soothe our stress with food. After all, holiday dishes are at the top of my list when I think of “comfort” foods.
There is nothing wrong with finding comfort in those special, nostalgic or just plain delicious holiday dishes. I look forward to the comfort in a holiday meal for days leading up to it. But the food can’t be our only source of comfort.
During this hectic season it is especially important to have other self-care tools in our tool belt. A few of my personal favorite sources of comfort are hugs from loved ones, especially those I don’t get to see too often, singing and dancing along with my favorite holiday music, and going for a walk outside. And let’s not forget about our ultimate source of comfort for our stress and difficult emotions—Jesus!
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Let’s remember that emotional eating and stress eating don’t really solve our issues. Food is not a good coping method and it’s not meant to be. When we take our struggles to God, we find a comfort that food simply cannot give.
In Christ we have the freedom to enjoy the gift of food, but we must remember our true satisfaction and true fullness comes from God and not food. So when difficult emotions bubble up or we begin to feel that holiday stress mounting, remember we can run to God for comfort.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
This Thanksgiving I encourage you to approach food differently. Release the diet distractions that pull your focus onto food and yourself.
Let’s keep food in its proper place and God in His proper place this holiday season. Let’s come to the table with eyes to see our many gifts, including the food set before us and the bodies we have right now, and receive them with thanksgiving.
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. (1 Timothy 4:4 NIV)
Erin L. Todd is a wife, dog mom, attorney-by-day and writer-by-night living in St. Petersburg, Florida. As a redhead who battled insecurity and body image issues for over 30 years, she now claims the concept of being both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously. Her blog “Ginger In Progress” was born from a spiritual awakening where Jesus set her free from diet prison. Now she is on a mission to empower and equip women to Follow Jesus Not Diets. Find out more about Erin and grab your free Intuitive Eating Starter Kit for Christian Women HERE.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Cherrybeans