Set Free from Eating Disorders

If we put our weight and the size that God made us back into the hands of the Creator and if we put our hunger and our fullness back into the hands of the Creator, all people, whether overweight or anorexic, will return to their normal, God-given size. Use this Weigh Down information to learn to let go of control and trust in God's delightful control. Trust Him with your eating, and He will restore your body and your spirit.

June 20, 2016
Patrick and Amy Stites Family - Weigh Down Testimony

Amy Stites

I praise God for Gwen Shamblin for sharing her love for Him and the truth that has set me free from a life of control and misery. There is nothing in this world that could replace the peace with God in my heart and mind that I now have every day!
July 31, 2013

Overcome Bulimia & Find Permanent Weight Loss

Meet two women who struggled with their weight and trying to control it with dieting and bulimia until they finally made a choice, set their minds, and went all the way in giving up control and obeying God’s voice and His perfect design of hunger and fullness completely.
May 15, 2013

How to Overcome Body Focus

With all of the conflicting articles, research and reports out there on what to eat, when to eat and why, how do you know which diet is right for you?
November 14, 2012

How to Stop Bingeing on Sweets

In this episode, Gwen answers questions from viewers on eating sweets. Learn how to enjoy desserts in appropriate amounts and never again go through the holiday season focused on food or bingeing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can anorexia/bulimia be a sin of disobedience when it is a disease I can't control?
First of all, understand that you do not have a disease and that you are not physiologically addicted to specific foods you binge on. You can respond correctly. For example, some diet counselors would have you believe that eating a simple carbohydrate will trigger an uncontrollable binge. That is not true. There are addictions; however, it has been assumed all these years that addictions to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or caffeine are only physiological. It is a fact that alcoholics will sometimes experience delirium tremens when deprived of alcohol (a physiological response), but reconsider for a moment. The body compensates the best it can to accommodate carbon monoxide, or extra food, or anything else that is harmful. But the body welcomes the reversal of harmful habits. In other words, your lungs do not want any more smoke. Your thighs do not want more food. The liver does not want more alcohol. I propose, rather, the majority of the addiction is a heart or spiritual addiction. Withdrawals are, equally, the product of the feeling of the separation of your heart from loving the substance. It is analogous to trying to take a 15-month-old out of the arms of its mother. Your dependent spirit is addicted to the love of the substance, and letting go of food or tobacco will really be hard and emotionally difficult unless you simultaneously replace that dependence with clinging onto God. People who have been addicted to drugs for 30 years have had the experience of finding God and then an accompanying ability to stop using the drugs. They transferred their addiction to a spiritual addiction, so to speak.

So, what is sin? Two people could be eating chocolate cake; one could be sinning, while the other is not. It all boils down to their hearts. One is being obedient to hunger and fullness and is at peace, with no addictions. The other one is not hungry and just ate anyway, giving in to greed.

The best way to explain this is through the marriage analogy. After you fall in love, the time comes when you and your beloved publicly seal your hearts together with a marriage covenant. As time passes, the wife might forget to do the husband's laundry or the husband might forget to call when he's coming home late from a golf game. Does this wrong offend either person? Of course not! They love each other from the heart, and love covers a multitude of sins. Does it mean that the wife who forgot the laundry loves her husband any less? Why, certainly not. However, as more time goes by, times may get hard. The couple's environment may become uncomfortable, with the husband losing his job or the wife miscarrying a child. In the rough times, if the wife's heart starts wandering toward her husband's best friend, and her husband picks up on it, and then there is no clean laundry the next morning, is the husband likely to be offended? Yes! And he has every right to be. No laundry from the beloved—not a problem. No laundry from the adulterous heart—big problem! What is the difference? The heart is the difference. One is spiritually healthy, with a great pulse rate, and the other has hardening of the arteries. If you have the right heart, you are not under the law. You do not have to be legalistic. You know that you have greed for only one thing: to do the will of God.

A wandering heart is devastating to God. The act of betrayal to God is awful. He can overlook imperfection through the blood of Christ as long as we love Him. However, outright rebellion to His grace and love is different. The act of giving your heart to something else on this earth is in direct violation of the "marriage" covenant between you and God. It symbolizes a love for another, and adultery goes against all that you and God stand for as a couple. This covenant can be renewed upon repentance. That is all God wants from us—our hearts back into His presence, with our devotion and love for Him even stronger than before. We must place our heart in His hands and leave it there. Permanent weight control is the result.
I am really not hungry very often. How do I know when I am having true physiological hunger?
True hunger is a burning sensation or growl that is up high in the stomach. Some people may even recognize their blood sugar dropping with lightheadedness, or some may experience an audible growl. Regardless, this hunger signal is usually a very subtle feeling. Many of us have lost that natural, God-given hunger signal by continually ignoring hunger, sending the body into a starvation state, or by continually bingeing, then purging, never allowing the body to reach hunger. We now need to resurrect that hunger mechanism.

To relearn how to feed the stomach, you may find that you have simply been unaware of hunger. In that case, you first need to find this true stomach hunger. It is a little burning, empty, hollow sensation that occurs several hours after the last feeding (or perhaps many hours after the last binge!).

Finding stomach hunger is like waiting for the "E" (empty) on the automobile fuel gauge. It is the signal that the body needs fuel and has used up all of its stores. However, you are not to ignore the growl. That would be as wrong as ignoring the full signal to stop. Let go of control and obey the God-given system that He developed.

If you have been continually ignoring hunger, you will need to resurrect this God-given signal. Begin by knowing that your stomach can usually hold one small plate of food at a time. Generally, it will then call for "refueling" in 3-4 hours, depending on the content of your last meal and whether or not you are overweight. For anorexics, there are no fat stores , so the body will call for more food, more often, until it reaches its appropriate, God-determined weight. The overweight person should welcome hunger, because it is the body's perfect signal that it is time to eat without guilt. Your body is aware of its fuel reserves and will always burn some excess fat before it signals hunger. In either case, the point is to listen to the body's call for fuel, obey with eating what you are truly hungry for, and then wait for the next hunger signal.

The anorexic, however, may have not only been ignoring hunger, but confusing the hunger mechanism. After years of laxatives, vomiting, and bypassing hunger, the body's hormonal and digestive systems, which control digestion and absorption, are confused and perhaps shut down. The body is responding to a starvation state. The anorexic must increase their intake, eating three to five times per day. The body will heal and return to normal if you make a concentrated effort. Keep a chart of hunger growls and always respond to them. Pray, pray, pray for a sensitive, obedient spirit.
How can 1 eat anything I want without counting calories and fat grams and not gain weight?
We have come to believe that broccoli is righteous and ice cream is sinful. Our problem in this country is volume, not content. We have not recognized the greed in our hearts. We eat "fat free" foods just so we can eat more! We are more afraid of the content of the food than we are of the content of our own hearts!

You must know that obeying hunger has never made anyone overweight! To the contrary, it keeps them thin! The root of the problem is not the food ingredients, but the volume we are consuming. Changing the food but not changing the volume of what is being swallowed will leave us on a roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain. When you start swallowing regular foods only when your stomach growls, and then stopping at satisfied—not stuffed—you will be eating the volume your body needs for fuel. You will not have to measure the food or count fat grams. Your stomach will guide you.

The truth is that our Creator is such a genius! He has perfectly designed our body to recognize the food it is breaking down and the nutrients in each bite. We do not have to worry about all of these details. In other words, your body knows whether you have eaten celery or eaten steak. God set up your body so that you would not have to use your mind on the body. Do you ensure that your body has enough oxygen for the day? Do you ensure that your body has made enough red blood cells today? No! Just listen to your body and it will give you the exact amount of calories it needs every day. See, God is a genius. He has set it up so that if you do get too much of one food, you will be able to sense it. Eating according to hunger and fullness allows us to keep our focus on Him instead of the food. If you are obedient to hunger and fullness and listen to the body's cravings, you can eat regular foods!

Think about it this way—God has programmed you to desire a variety of foods. If you eat the same foods over and over, you will get sick of them. Many of you are sick of skinless chicken or salads with low calorie dressing. Try some real blue cheese dressing. It is fantastic! God is the genius chef behind lasagna and chocolate cheesecake. He did not put bagels and cream cheese on earth to torture us! If you are sick of certain foods, you are free to avoid them until you desire them again. That is a very healthy nutritional practice. Your body has a natural biological feedback mechanism that cues you to a variety. You need to trust how your body was made.
Shouldn't I worry about getting the right nutrients and eating healthy, well-balanced meals?
I have concluded, after earning a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics and a Master's degree in Nutrition Science, that you do not have to worry about what you eat if you use your God-given cues to guide you. Our bodies are wonderfully made, and most of their workings remain beyond the reach of our intellect. Your body manufactures ninety percent of the nutrients you need. You don't have to eat them. We also know that our bodies take what we eat and break it down into tiny molecules or units. A portion of these tiny food units can go through a separate circulating system and directly to the liver. The liver is amazingly designed to take these broken-down food units—proteins, carbohydrates, and fats—and tum the largest percentage of these into glucose, which is the body's fuel or energy source. Your body does not know if it ate honey, unrefined sugar from the sugar cane plant, refined table sugar, or bread, because all the units are converted to glucose.

So, you do not have to count exchanges or food groups to have a balanced meal. For the most part, all the food groups contain these six basic nutrients: water, protein, carbohydrate, fat and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. For example, when you eat a piece of bread, you think you are eating just a carbohydrate. It's largely a carbohydrate, but it also contains protein, fat, water, vitamins and minerals. Now, what about a piece of red meat? It is protein, fat and a trace of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water. And what about the chocolate cake? Well, it is primarily fat and carbohydrate, but even it also has a trace amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and water. All these foods we eat are turned into glucose to be used by the body's cells. So, you are not exactly what you eat. Cows eat grass and then produce calcium-rich milk. Cardinals are programmed to eat sunflower seeds, but they turn into cardinals. God has designed all species to make what the system needs and then to crave the remaining nutrients that the digestive system requires. Fats are not evil. God made fats to "house" the flavor of foods. Why would God put fats on earth to torture us? Why would He ask for the fat portions to be saved for Him as a pleasant aroma if it was not something inherently desirable? Look at this verse from Leviticus 3: "From what he offers he is to make this offering to the Lord by fire: The priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the Lord's." Moderation without overindulgence allows us to enjoy all food categories, including fats and sweets.

It is God's idea for us not to worry about what we eat or drink. If God bothers to feed the little birds or if He bothers to clothe the flowers in the field, which live only for a couple of weeks and then are gone, will He not feed and clothe you, a human being, made in His likeness and possessing a life span of eternity? Matthew 6:25 recorded Jesus' words this way: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?" So God does not want us to worry excessively about the food we eat. Physical food should not be the .focus, but rather spiritual food for the heart, which is doing God's will.
What if I just want to exercise every day anyway? Is there anything wrong with that?
Just as dieting does not help your heart desire less food, neither does exercising. Exercise does have virtue for physical fitness. There is no substitute for exercise when it comes to muscle toning, cardiovascular conditioning, and bone strengthening. It can also help with digestion and with the healthy function of your organs. "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come" (1 Timothy 4:8). We believe that exercise is great for physical training, but it does not help your heart desire less food or lessen the desire to control the food. Our goal is getting your focus off food, but it is very tempting to feel the need to stay "in control" by walking around the block or running several miles after a meal. If exercise has become a stronghold for you and causes a deeper self-focus, if you wake up every morning planning your entire day around your exercise routine, or if exercise is the only thing that gives you "peace," then it has become a false god in your life. Do not misinterpret—we are all for exercise. However, our goal is getting you to focus all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength onto God instead of the food and your body. We are trying to get you to trust in God, not exercise. God is jealous of our misplaced dependence. The only exercise we insist on is getting down on your knees to pray and getting the muscle of your will to surrender control of your natural, God-given hunger and fullness guide to the Creator. That is a whole new exercise.
How do I know when I've let go of my stronghold and I can exercise moderately again?
There is only one way to find out if something is an idol in your life: let it be taken away. Then, if you really mourn for it, you know that your heart remains in love with that idol. For example, if God took away your exercise, how would you react? Once again, there is nothing wrong with exercise—the concern is the motive of your heart. If you worship something else, you will feel drained, lethargic, worn out, and emotionless. You will not have the energy to love your spouse, children, or friends. You will feel empty because you never get what you are after. God will not let your false god give you what you are looking for. Jeremiah 16:19b-20 tells us, "Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good. Do men make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!" However, if you throw yourself into worshipping God, then He will guide you to do things. This will not be draining, but rewarding. Look at the next verse from Jeremiah: "Therefore I will teach them—this time I will teach them my power and might. Then they will know that my name is the Lord" (16:21). The externals may look the same, but the product and the fruit produced by your activities will be very different: one you directed and one He directed. Your energy level will rise and your joy will be great!
How do I stop thinking about food all the time? Why won't God take control of my thoughts?
Bottom line—you think about what is in yow: heart and you feed your heart with what is in your mind. Matthew 6:21 says, "For where your treasure is, there yow: heart will be also." We can tell a lot about our heart's love and passion by what we spend our time focusing on. We have fallen in love with the food, or even more so, fallen in love with being in control of the food. Therefore, this is what we must constantly think about. We even wake up in the morning thinking, "When am J going to eat, what am I going to eat, how much can I eat, and what if I overeat?"

Our lack of trust in God's control over our bodies and the foods we eat has led us to an even deeper self-focus. We feel we must take care of these details because God's plan might not be good enough! Then we realize that the very thing we are trying so desperately to control is now controlling us! It consumes our thoughts, so we cry out to God, but have no intention of letting go of the control. We have to repent of this lack of trust in God and His magnificent ways and turn our lives over into the hands of our Creator! By doing this we find the freedom we are looking for. Our love transfers from food to God.

So how do we do this? We can begin with our mind. Start thinking about God when your mind wanders or starts lusting after food or worrying about yow: body, which could happen frequently. Dieting and self-focus has increased your lust for foods over the last few years. Therefore, you might have to get your focus off food and onto God 40 to 50 times a day! But perhaps that is God's purpose. God has taken something that was occupying our mind and has asked us to transfer that over to Him. When we make Him the master of our minds, we are free from the pull of food!

We need to stay focused on what the Spirit of God wants. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things" (Philippians 4:8).

A great way to put our mind on the Father is to go to the Word of God. Carry your Bible around with you. Take it in the car or on the subway. Leave a copy at your desk at work or school. You will start the transferring process from a focus on food to God's Word, and you will get to the point that you can say as Job did, "I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread" (Job 23:12b). Another great way is to talk to God. Pray that you will not be led into temptation, but that you will be delivered from the evil desire.

God wants your mind. When I gave Him my mind, He cleaned it up and made it pure, and He placed inside it more understanding than I ever had before. He wants your mind too. Give it to Him, for you will get much in return.
I feel like I am always comparing myself to everyone. How do I become content with the person God made me to be?
Once again, we must think about our extreme self-focus. We feel the need to provide for ourselves because we do not trust that God will. We are more focused on ourselves and everyone around us than we are on God and His kingdom. Greed has taken over in our hearts, and we often find we compare ourselves to everyone else. In our hearts, we have a "continual lust for more." But we must remember what a gracious and loving God we serve and how He always provides us with exactly what we need. When our focus is upward instead of inward, we see everything in our lives as a gift from God and we are content with what we have. We no longer need " things" to make us happy, but only God's love. We are very thankful for the abundance of gifts He gives us daily.

The world will tell you to look out for "number one" and take care of yourself because no one else will. Most people I have counseled in the Weigh Down Workshop have been told their problems arose from not caring for themselves or taking time for themselves. The solution that had been suggested was: learn to love yourself, care for yourself, pamper yourself, and take time for yourself. But I say that we do "look out" for ourselves; we do naturally love ourselves. We feed, clothe, wash, and spend money on ourselves. We hide food for and worry about ourselves. In fact, we love ourselves very much; we can become depressed because we obsessively think about ourselves. We buy all the latest skin products, cosmetics, and extra toiletries to pamper ourselves. Why do you think Jesus told us to love our neighbor as ourselves if we were not programmed by God at birth to love ourselves?

The world cries out that you will not reach permanent weight control until you love yourself, or vice versa, you will not love yourself until you are the perfect weight! People of the world say what you feel about yourself dictates whether you will have a good day. But I say, getting your focus off self and onto God and obedience to Him will cause you to have a good day. If you love and trust the Lord, you will feed yourself the appropriate amount, and you will not indulge in desire eating or in controlled starvation. You will be more and more in love with God for saving you from preoccupation with overly focusing on yourself. In other words, there is a healthy, appropriate focus on care of self. We tend to think if a little bit is good, then a lot is better; but, in the case of excessive self-love, it is empty and usually empties our pocketbooks. The balanced way leads to life—the other leads to death.

Transferring our focus over to God and what He provides frees our hearts from the need to compare ourselves to others. Life is not equal, because we all have been given different positives and negatives or pros and cons so that we can all glorify God, from a castle to a mobile home. But life is totally fair in that we all have an opportunity to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. If you have a beating heart and a soul and a mind, then count yourself blessed. Blessed. Please concentrate on that thought. And equally concentrate on the fact that you do not deserve anything from God.

I recently watched a documentary about twins, and there was one story that kept me spellbound. It was about Siamese twins who were connected physically at the top of the head. They had separate brains that were connected at the top, and they shared the circulation of the brain's bloodstream. They were two totally separate people and personalities—for example, one was tall and the other very short, and one pursued voice lessons and loved to sing, while the other enjoyed the piano. They shared the hours of each day by devoting half the day to one twin, and the other half to the other. In other words, each one could only live half the day doing what she wanted to do, and the other half of the day was spent in activities the other twin enjoyed. Movement was a challenge, and although they had become very well-adapted, even the enjoyable activities seemed cumbersome to watch. Due to the nature of their disabilities, the girls had a homely appearance, and yet their eyes beamed with joy. How could this be? Well, one reason is that they both had wisdom from God. Their parents never let them feel sorry for themselves or be selfish toward one another. It was obvious that they got more joy from giving than they did from taking. These girls knew they would never have what most people have, but they were not asking God for more! They were happy and content with what they had. They stated clearly that they loved God, and they had the highest respect, love, and concern for one another. Well, I was glued to the whole documentary, and it verified my suspicions about life. We cannot feel sorry for ourselves and we cannot demand more from God—especially more pleasure than what He has provided.

Those with eyes that are completely focused on God and a heart that is passionately devoted to Him do not have the desire to focus on self or constantly compare themselves to others. Their hearts are content with the portion God has allotted them, and their number one goal is to live for the praise of the Father, not the praise of men.
Eating is a social thing in the dorm, at school, or even at home. How do I keep from eating when I am not hungry?
I would encourage you to look for God's way out so that you can remain obedient to Him by waiting for true hunger. God knows the things that only you and He would know about—private, secret, extremely special, personal things. Some of the most exciting testimonies of His presence and His love for us come in the form of ways of escape. A way of escape is based on the verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." We take this verse literally; we believe that God will provide a way out from a temptation. Therefore, when I know I am not hungry and just want to eat anyway, then one of the ingeniously creative things God does is to provide me with an escape route. My job is to be alert and take advantage of it! At first, you may not even recognize that God just helped you until after the fact. But you will become more skilled and more observant as time goes on.

God is so good to us and so attentive to our specific needs. He ingeniously uses things that get our attention and help us find Him and see His involvement in our lives. This relationship strengthens as we begin to trust Him more and more. Let me give you an example that a Weigh Down Workshop participant shared when she realized that she was relying on exercise to make her thin. She realized that, in her heart, she did not want to eat less food, and she did not want to turn her heart from food to God. She was overeating, but, to make up for that, she would run on a treadmill every day. Again, there is nothing wrong with running on the treadmill, but she was using it in an attempt to stay thin while being disobedient. She said she was coming under conviction to let go of the exercise and just trust God, but she was afraid. One day she came home from work and heard a strange noise coming from the basement. As she descended the stairs, she realized that it was the treadmill, running all by itself, full-speed, burning up the motor. Lightning had hit her house, and the resulting current had surged directly into the treadmill, causing it to turn on.

God is just waiting for the chance to indulge and bless you. If you will obey, then He will acknowledge that. How? With jewels or happies! Every time you pass a test, you will get a jewel. Some are subtle; it can be just the peace of being in His will. Some are extravagant, like large sums of money from an unexpected source or an unexpected and long-awaited pregnancy. Jewels that Weigh Down Workshop participants share range from having more energy, wearing smaller clothes, and eating regular foods, to experiencing freedom and a real spiritual awakening.
Eating makes me feel "wrong," while not eating makes me feel "right." How do I reverse this?
The bottom line is that we are not good gods. We try to be our own god. We say, "It's my body, and I'm going to control it the way 1 want to control it, and I am not going to be overweight the way my mother was, and I'm not going to let myself get that way." So you come up with your own set of rules, and you meet those rules. You justify your actions, you feel pretty good about it, and you feel self-righteous, so to speak. We read in Romans 10 that the Jewish people had a zealousness for God, but they didn't really know Him, so they made up their own rules. A lot of times we don't know what God wants us to do, so we make up our own rules of how to get there. Of course, Satan does not want us to find this door that is open to us that leads to permanent weight control. He wants us to be our own little god and for us to control it, and that's getting us nowhere but backwards!

Many people under the guise of righteous self-discipline try to run not only their own lives but others' lives as well, because they think they can. If they have planned a low-fat meal, no one can change it. Anorexics are the perfect example of "self-disciplined" controllers who have not tasted the fruit of "God-control." As time goes on, they will begin to hate their "have-to" exercise regimens and diet rules. They will feel rebellious and will begin to hate the taskmasters named "Fat Grams," "Exercise," and "Food Records." People who keep using their strength to get by are not new. The prophet Isaiah spoke God's words: "You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say, 'It is hopeless.' You found renewal of your strength and so did not faint. I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you. When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you!" (Isaiah 57:10,12,13a) People using their own strength eventually become exhausted. The work of their hands does not bear fruit that will last, and they are frustrated because they do not reach their goals.

So how do you stop using your own strength and outside forces and begin to be driven by the power of God? You do it with a cry to God for help through Jesus Christ, your Savior. There is no formula for that. It is truly in the heart. God will guide you. It is necessary for you to go to the Father yourself to work it out. Never in the entire Bible did any prophet, nor Jesus, nor the Apostle Paul present a five-step formula for giving the heart over to God. If you ask for it and desire it, God will put His laws into your mind and heart, and you will be guided from the inside conscience. No longer depend upon your own strength. You have Christ in you, and you can call upon the Lord to lead you to truth. You will decide what, when, and how much to eat, using only your stomach and heart to guide you. Tell Satan that you will trust in Jesus' words in Mark 7:19 and in God's eating plan. It is strategic for life that you know what a sin is. Eating in moderation when you are hungry is God's will for your life.
How can I attend a Weigh Down Class with mostly overweight people and not feel "labeled" as an anorexic or bulimic?
First of all, Weigh Down is an assembly of God's "called out." The word church means the "called out," and everyone in the Bible assembly has been called to be different from the world. You are all in the same boat of faith.

Remember that you do not have a disease and that you are not physiologically addicted to the specific foods you binge on or addicted to being in a starvation state. We propose that your addiction is in the heart, a spiritual addiction. The bottom line is that you are worshipping food and the control of food, which is a false god. Everyone has been enslaved or in Egypt. This extreme need for self-control and obsession with food is really no different than an overeater's love affair with food. Letting go of control and turning our lives back over to God are the foundational principles of Weigh Down, and this theme runs throughout the entire program. Trust Him with your eating and He will restore your body and your spirit. Attending a Weigh Down Workshop class is just the beginning of an incredible journey, teaching you to transfer your love for food over to an even deeper love for God. Everyone can learn from this message!
How do I make the right choice at the point of temptation (to binge, purge, or ignore hunger)?
Your focus on food is spiritual warfare in which you are a soldier. Bombs are dropping and bullets are flying all around you, but you are not aware of them. You may not even know t ha t you are at war. If you are in this category, no wonder you are getting more and more out of control. You cannot be winning battles if you do not know that a war has been declared. Knowing and loving God are going to require your strength. Paul described it many times as a "race," and you are straining to get to the finish line. Sometimes what is happening to you is just another pop quiz. But approaching food today without understanding the dynamics of what we are talking about is like taking a college class and spending your time daydreaming or taking naps. The next thing you know, all the students around you are turning in their exam papers, while you did not even know there was an exam! Failing the test is inevitable.

God wants us to be battle-ready. He wants us to be focused on Him at all times. Let us take a look at this battle we are in. Romans 8:5-a says, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." Paul went on to say in verses 9-11, "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." So be assured we must constantly battle to submit our will and train our minds to stay focused on what the law of Christ is. We must put to death our earthly desires. So, we can see that the battle is in the mind and heart. Satan's role is to keep our minds confused and unfocused on God's ways, and he accomplishes this feat through lies. We are especially vulnerable to these deceitful lies when we have not died to our own wills. We start blaming anything and everything around us as the source of our unhappiness, or we become very depressed and even more deeply engrossed in self and filled with self-pity.

So, here are some steps to help you out of this temptation:

#l—You must identify the lie and then remind yourself of the truth. Satan knows he has won if you do not know why you are in battle or what your defense is. Once you have determined this, you are not so emotional and out of control, but you are still confused. You wonder about how to handle this desire to control the food because your will remains in the way. Your will in the way dogs the arteries to life; you are dying and you don't even know it. It is our stubborn, adhesive, dogging will that causes the slow "death" from the lack of God's perfect, life-giving, free-flowing will into our lives.

#2—Get your will out of the way and give in to God's will. But remember, it is a choice. This step may bring many tears to your eyes as you look to God and ask why He made life so hard. This is our will spilled out through our tear ducts.

#3—Determine that you will not eat until your stomach growls, or in the case of the anorexic, you will go ahead and eat, not ignoring the hunger signal any longer.

The really neat thing about giving up your will is that it gets easier and easier if you repeat the process consistently, over and over. Once a big block of your will breaks loose, you experience life like you have never felt it. You want to submit more and more as peace and happiness rush through all your veins. God will always reward you for being obedient. Many incredible gifts will come from your victory. You will never pursue another path once you have found the right one. The confusion disappears, and you see clearly your way to God's will. As you battle, remember that there are heavenly hosts cheering you on, and that the victory over Satan and the worldly desires has been won. Do not even get out of bed without putting on your full battle armor. Run as to get the prize, which includes loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

If you feel that you need additional encouragement to help you battle temptation, we recommend that you start watching videos on Weigh Down All Access.