Sundi Jo Graham ~ Addicted to Food {Story 29 of 30}

I was always overweight. Eating was my way to cope. I ate when I was sad. I ate to celebrate. I rummaged through the cupboard when I was bored.  Surprisingly, though, I had no idea I had a food addiction. I guess you could say the denial ran deep.

I remember the day it hit me. It was March 2009, and I had been eating healthy and losing weight in the last five months. My best friend was getting married, and I was the maid of honor. The wedding was a month away, and I had to have my dress taken in several times. I was excited!

But the excitement wouldn’t last long. My dad passed away unexpectedly in February, and the wound was still very fresh. Actually, I was in denial to the fact that he was gone.

I pulled into the drive thru of the frozen custard and burger shop with plans to order a salad. The next few moments were a blur. When I “came to” I had eaten a pork tenderloin sandwich and cheese curds and was missing my dad terribly.

In that very moment, the reality hit me…

I was addicted to food. It was my drug of choice.

I had just soothed my emotions with greasy food and a watered down soda, not even knowing what had happened.

I was devastated. Full of shame. Overwhelmed. Angry.

That day was a wake up call for me. A step into the reality that though I had lost a lot of weight, I hadn’t really dealt with the addiction. I learned not too long ago that addiction is a symptom of a deeper problem. That’s so true. My addiction to food was simply a symptom to cover up the sexual abuse. To hide the shame of abandonment from my alcoholic father. He was an addict in one way and I was an addict in another way.

I would love to say that I don’t have any struggles and that I haven’t found myself using food to cover up the deeper symptoms. But I’d be lying. There have been times since that day in 2009  I’ve found myself in a similar situation. However, I will say those days are fewer and far between.

Joyce Meyer often says, “I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.” That statement is so true.

God and I have walked a rocky road together since that day, but I’m so grateful  I don’t walk that road alone. I’m not where I need to be in my fight against food, but I’m certainly not where I used to be.

I’m slowly learning that I don’t have to have everything fixed overnight. I struggle with that sometimes.

I’m a “fixer.”

I’m always working on giving myself grace and accepting the grace that God offers, especially when I find myself emotionally eating.

But that’s the power of His grace. It’s free. It’s a gift. It’s for me and you. Regardless of how I ate yesterday, today is a new day and his grace is new and fresh too.

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Sundi Jo is a writer, speaker, and small business owner, making her home in Branson, Missouri. She is the author of Liar Liar, a manifesto that will challenge you, change your heart, and lead you in the right direction to believe the truth about your true identity. You’ll find her engulfed in the social media world, spending time with friends and family, hanging out in a pair of jeans and flip-flops, or writing. Find Sundi Jo on Facebook or Twitter (@sundijo).

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If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that my story is very similar to Sundi Jo’s.  I struggle with food addiction and emotional eating.  I, too, lost my dad.  He was a wonderful father, husband, and friend.  I am still a daddy’s girl at heart and miss him very much.

While I am still in process…still losing weight, I am thankful my husband has joined me for 21 Days to a Hunger-Free and Healthy Holiday.  We started on Monday. Both of us feel better already.  We donate $1 to the Latrobe Street Mission for every mile we run (11 miles so far); $1 for every day that we faithfully record our food in My Fitness Pal (me) or Lost It (Steve) and stay under our daily calorie goal; and $0.50 each time we feel we’ve chosen healthy over unhealthy.

I am also thankful to him and the friends/fellow bloggers who plan to join me in the Pound for Pound challenge, beginning January 1.  For each pound we lose, we will donate a pound of food to Latrobe.  Those joining us will donate their pounds of food to shelters and food banks close to them.

If you’re overweight, have a food (or any) addiction, or eat emotionally, please know God loves you…just as you are.  But, He loves you so much that He wants to help you change.  God doesn’t want us to be a slave to any addiction.  When we’re emotional or struggling or unable to overcome, He wants us to turn to Him, not food.  He wants us to steward our bodies well.

That’s where I am.  I am embarrassed that I am overweight when I meet people through the homeless shelter and on my trips to Honduras who have little or no food.  That’s a problem  When obesity and hunger are both epidemic, something is out of balance.  I want to do my part to change that.

Thankfully, when I struggle, when I want to eat whatever, when I want to give up, when I can’t say no…God can.  He can help me say no.  He can help me overcome my struggle.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Thanks for sharing, Sundi Jo.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing Sundi Jo! It rings a little too close to home and I talk about it briefly in one of my posts. I needed your thoughts and perspective today.

  2. Great post. I struggle with the same issues and have really been working on being healthier. I always appreciate encouraging stories that help me know I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing, Sundi Jo and Sarah!

  3. Thank you Sarah & Sundi Jo! I am always encouraged by fellow believers and sisters in Christ that are willing to be so gut level honest about their struggles. Emotional eating and obesity are very prevalent in my family. I felt led to pray a brave prayer a few weeks ago, welcoming God to bring people into my life to help convict me (lovingly) of my sin of gluttony and to also be accountability partners. I prayed the prayer late at night and had to add that He give me the courage to still pray that prayer when the sun came up in the morning! LOL I know that God loves me but I am grieving Him and myself by being disobedient in this area. I am limiting my relationship with God….limiting my effectiveness for His kingdom by giving into the tempation of food when I am not physically hungry. Like Sundi Jo and so many other women I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I am meeting with a woman from my church this Sunday and believe this appointment is a manifestation of the prayer I felt led to pray.

    • You’re so welcome, Mo:) I will pray for you as you begin this journey and for your meeting on Sunday. I was helped much by the book Made to Crave. I plan to pick that back up as I begin again:)

    • Mo, praying that God uses you to change the heart of the woman you are meeting with and that she feels the tangible love of Christ.

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