“Oh, come on, it’s Christmas! Don’t worry about your silly little eating plan! Live it up a little!”
“Don’t be such a killjoy. One cookie won’t hurt.”
“What? You’re not going to have another helping? But I’ve been cooking all day!”
“You’re no fun anymore—I liked you better the old way.”
Have you ever heard comments like this? Often they’re said by well-meaning people who just want you to be happy. They don’t realize that some of us are alcoholics when it comes to food and that we have to be careful.
Unfortunately, those remarks can make it hard to maintain our fragile self-control. So what do we do? How do we handle situations like these? With the truth!
Here are 7 common beliefs we hold, and the truth that will help us follow our boundaries when we’re surrounded by the social pressure to eat.
1. I need to please (my mom, my family, my friends, etc.).
Truth: I need to please my Father—and I can’t always please Him and others at the same time.
2. If I don’t eat as much as they expect me to eat, they’ll be mad at me.
Truth: If I do eat what they expect, I’ll be mad at me.
3. They’ll make fun of me if I don’t eat.
Truth: I so rarely get the chance to suffer for doing the right thing (usually I’m suffering because of my sin), that I’ll take that as an honor if they ridicule me.
4. They’ll think I’m (uppity, self-righteous, judgmental, etc.).
Truth: God knows my heart, but it’s inevitable that others will sometimes misunderstand me. This is difficult and sad, but I need to press on anyway and do what God calls me to do. I’ll have to spend some time with God before the get-together so I can love the people there with a pure heart, and not a defensive heart.
5. They think I’m dumb for wanting to change my eating habits.
Truth: It’s okay if they think I’m dumb, but that may not even be the case. It’s possible they feel threatened that I’m changing and would feel more comfortable if I didn’t.
6. I’ll end up gaining my weight back and then they’ll ridicule me.
Truth: If that happens, God will help me through it. Thankfully, He can use all things for His purposes.
7. I won’t fit in if I don’t eat as much as they do.
Truth: This might be the price I have to pay for doing my Father’s will, but I’m guessing they’ll love me even if they think I’m strange. I need to stop worrying about what they think and focus on loving them regardless of what they think.
If you want to prepare ahead of time for a situation like this, try the worry questions or the insecurity people-pleasing or living up to expectations questions in I Deserve a Donut (see below).
Note: This post is adapted from a post I wrote a few years ago on my ideserveadonut.com blog.
Other Weight Loss Resources
Taste for Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study is focused on the lies that make us eat, body image, and the weight loss process. I wrote this Bible study to go along with the questions and Bible verses in I Deserve a Donut, and although you can do the study without I Deserve a Donut, it’s best if you have both books.
I Deserve a Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat) is a renewing of the mind resource to use in the midst of temptation and also to prepare yourself for temptation. I use it all the time, just for regular life. It is filled with 36 sets of questions and over 150 Bible verses that you can use to have conversations with God about life and food. The questions and Bible verses will help you renew your mind, taking off the lies that make you eat and putting on the truth that will set you free. It’s also available as a free app.
Freedom from Emotional Eating: A Weight Loss Bible Study is more focused on emotional eating. Although there is material on boundaries and breaking free from the control of food, most of the book is devoted to learning how to let go of negative emotions. The comment I get most often with this book is that yes, it helped me with eating, but it helped me even more with letting go of my negative emotions.