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Do You Eat Your Stress?

Spurgeon smoked cigars. And drank alcohol.
Water wasn’t safe to drink.
A doctor prescribed smoking to help relax him.
C. S Lewis and Tolkien smoked pipes.

For me, it was Pepsi. 
I’d gulp it down before I dealt with a son who needed discipline.
Sorta like counting to ten with a reward.
Some of the boys figured out if I had more than one or two Pepsi's that I was having a rough day.
COVID helped me quit. It tasted like metal.
Sad day.

Instead I ate.
But because I couldn’t taste, unlike my boys who just didn’t eat when they couldn’t taste, I kept eating to find something that tasted good.
Nothing did.
This past year I’ve gained ten pounds. 
Why? 
Stress.

Yes, I could attribute it to lack of hormones, or metabolism slowing down again, or some other medical condition.
But I still ate more than I needed.

There’s a lot of pyschology about eating.
I grew up in an era where you finished everything on your plate
whether you liked it or not.
Because of that, whatever is on my plate now, I eat—hungry or not.
Because I’m lazy, I don’t want to serve a small amount and then have to get up for more later. Just heap it on now!
Then full or not, I eat it.
Also, I graze. I walk through the kitchen. I snack.
Every time.
I make dinner. I taste.
I bake. I sample.
Know how often I pass through the kitchen without sampling?
NEVER!
Then I take a cup of nuts with me to eat while I work.
Or a sandwich.
Or ...

When you are trying to diet, know what you think about?
FOOD!
You fight with yourself about each and every food you think about but shouldn’t have.
By the time you walk through the kitchen again, you feel you’ve won so many battles already not eating,
you should reward yourself with something—know what? 
FOOD!

Know what?
Food doesn’t satisfy.
Food only cries “More.”

Like any temporary relief, it’s good for just a moment.
But the stress is still there.
And so I eat again.

Know a name that Jesus called himself, “Bread of life.”
It wasn't by accident either.
He told the woman at the well, “He who eats from this bread will never hunger again.”
Know what I’m finding when I slow down
and dwell on His Word—that 
He is the Bread.
He is what satisfies.
He isn't just a temporary fix.
He is enough.
He can carry my stress—
a lot better than eating more does!

When I’m stressed and go to Him, I don’t need that cup of nuts, or to eat because I’m bored or because it’s there, or …
He consumes my thoughts.

But it's a constant battle.
Distractions and food–good food, are always there.
Even bad food. Which I like.
Did you know pop tarts are one of the worst foods?
My son loves pop tarts. 
I eat them too. Even though I don't even like them!
Then wonder why I did. 
I eat a pop tart, then get stressed because I won’t lose the weight I should.

See how easily I’m distracted from the Bread of Life?

Then there’s that “I deserve it” mentality that I have.
I was good yesterday (before I got out of bed), so therefore I deserve to treat myself with this now.
That "deserve it" mentality permeates our culture.
Had a rough day? You deserve a break today!
We’ve substituted glorying in the Bread of Life to praising our attempts at not falling today!
I’m there. 
ALL.
TOO. 
OFTEN.

In fact, as a write, I think I’m thirsty and need to get another drink.
(Water is not my vise. I have to add flavor. Or tea. Or juice.
And I deserve it.  After all, see how much I’ve written?)
Ugh.
And the ten pounds stays and more adds. 

Did you ever notice how fast you eat?
I don't even taste my food. I'm worse then our dogs who gulp down their chewy bones!
But I know as moms, we've learned, if we don't eat fast, we may not get to eat.
When I was nursing (for 16 years), almost every time dinner came, the baby was hungry too.
Didn't I just feed him? Yes.
So I either gulped my food but no, I didn't go without. 
But I learned to eat at record speed.
Those were the days I needed to eat all the time.
I don't any more, but I still do.
But eating still takes up my time.

Our focus is all wrong.
II Corinthians 10:5 says, "...we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
How do you make your thoughts obey God?

We've been talking about saturating our minds with God's Word.
When a sponge has nothing but water in it, it can't help but ooze out water.
When we fill our minds with God's truth, we can't help but spit it out.
But we must put it there.

It’s a battle.
IN OUR MIND.
That God wants us to win.
 

If we are focusing on the Bread of Life, we don’t see the need to pat ourselves on the back.
Just glory in the Bread of Life—Who is more than enough.


How do you keep your focus on the Bread of Life, instead of the toast of today?
 

This is so me! Lol
I even bought the 40 day sugar fast book. Read it all the way through, I don’t think I fasted from sugar one day! But… I found the Bread of life while reading that book and as of now I am trying hard to watch the carbs[ which means no bread, sugar, or good stuff.) And each day I find myself saying, “I’m not even hungry”. So I’ve learned to snack on celery, one of the girls in my office calls it “wet grass”. Lol. It helps to have others around that are trying. I still use that gobbling up my food fast because of feeding the kids. Steve and I laugh when we eat with another person, even family, we are both finished long before the rest of the table. So we look at each other and tap our fork, to remind each other to slow down.
I do believe the Bread of Life has calmed me some , we will know in the next few months !
I love and appreciate you Sonya

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I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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