This entry is part 15 of 26 in the series Weird Faithful Fitness

In this previous post about how guilt fits into Weirdly Faithful Fitness, I shared the following:

All I can say is, I spent 30 years of my life beating myself up over my eating, and it didn’t do one bit of good in healing me of my eating problems. None. It wasn’t until I started lovingly treating myself with compassion that my behavior changed. We must not downplay the sin, but we cannot downplay the grace either. Christ offers full and amazing forgiveness, and I needed to fully embrace it to stop the cycle in which I was caught.

I’ve written a blog series about my 100 lb weight loss. The complexities of recovering from an eating disorder are more than I can describe in one blog post or even a series of blog posts, but I wanted to share a picture that shows a life-changing concept. This is true for eating issues and many others as well.

binge-cycle

Photo used with permission. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binge_eating_disorder

Removing any one part of this cycle breaks the chain. Now, removing it means actually removing it, not just saying you are removing it — it requires healing it, which is quite challenging if you’ve been stuck in this cycle for many years and the patterns are deeply entrenched. It can be done, though. I have done it. God did it.

I share this picture today to provoke thought. How can you start to change your thoughts immediately? Choose one specific idea, no matter how small.

The two key steps in the cycle for me were those on the very top and the very bottom. After I had binged, I put myself on a restrictive diet. I was going to lose the weight I had gained from this horrible eating, gosh darn it, and I was going to get this thing right! I believe I was trying to punish myself along the way, too. This only started the cycle all over again. And the “I’ve failed, I’m useless, I might as well eat more” is what made one cookie lead to 6 then 8 then I’d might as well finish the package over the course of an afternoon, and hide the wrapper in the bottom of the trash can.

Once I started treating myself with compassion, the cycle was broken. The changes took time as it was a process to create new patterns to replace the old ones, but it did happen.

As you look at this cycle, do you see ways you need to change your thoughts? Do ever get caught in cycles of thinking like this one, either about food or some other area?

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