Do we talk ourselves into binging?

Many of you have probably seen me hashtag this. It’s somewhat of a mantra that I remind myself of often: It’s just food.
healthy food
It’s a simple sentence but it carries a lot of meaning. Many of you might read that and think, that sounds nice and all but try telling me that when I’m sitting in front of chocolate cake/chips/Reese’s! I have NO control. I’m assuming this because I hear these words come out of people’s mouths all the time…..and I used to think this way too. 🙂 I know a lot of times we say it jokingly, but if you’re anything like me then you’re only halfway joking, am I right? There are certain foods that if I get a taste of, forget about it, I’m going to eat until it’s gone or I’m sick to my stomach (most likely both). I don’t actually want to eat that much. I don’t like the way I feel afterwards. So why would I do it if I had choice? It kinda feels like I can’t control it.
But I’ve come to realize the seriousness of such words. Say something enough times and your mind will start to believe it and pretty soon your actions will follow suit. We are basically handicapping ourselves right off the bat with this one simple thought. These foods are just so good that I can’t control myself when I’m anywhere near them. Next our minds start romanticizing these foods and putting them up on a pedestal as forbidden fruit, a “cheat meal”, something you only get to have when you’ve been really good, and the intensity of the desire increases, making the truth even more clouded!
The more I believed that I couldn’t control myself, the less I tried. Since we get really good at what we do most consistently, and I consistently binged on certain foods, it became the truth to me: I cannot control myself around homemade chocolate chip cookies!
So I started to ask myself, is that really the truth? Could I honestly physically not control it? Of course not. The real truth is that you can control yourself around any food. Food has no magical mind-controlling powers. It cannot pick itself up and force itself into your mouth. If Joel was being held at gunpoint and he was going to be killed if I took a bite, I could sit in front of my absolute favorite food and not touch it for weeks! The real truth is that even my favorite foods are a fleeting pleasure at best, but I have turned to them for things they cannot provide and have allowed them to become an idol. The real truth is that the Lord promises that He always provides a way out of temptation, which means that I do have the choice to say no.
Or the short version: it’s just food. 😀
It’s the real truth and what we need to start telling ourselves. Saying it out loud and more often until we know it and believe it.
Our words have meaning. It’s not a switch that is simply flipped on and off, but it’s an important piece of the equation. It has definitely made a huge difference in the way I think about food and in the way I eat.
What are you telling yourself most often? Is it the truth? Or are there some changes you could make to your inner dialogue to encourage your heart and your mind more?