It’s no coincidence that we recently moved to a city close to my childhood hometown two years ago. Since returning, I had felt the Nudge several times to seek out my childhood stomping grounds. Well, this was the week.
I asked Dad to drive out with me to our small hometown (population 802). Of course everything was smaller than I remembered, and certainly dilapidated. It wasn’t quite how I remembered it, but I guess how I expected it might look. What I wasn’t expecting was the rush of feelings that surfaced on that trip down memory lane.
I had an eating disorder at a very young age. This was THE house that went through it with me. The feelings were so mixed. That home, with it’s rotting white fence and 20-year old paint job brought warmth to my heart, and yet old wounds echoed in the distance. So, here we are left with a trip down memory lane and some unforeseen emotions. What next?
REDEMPTION! Dad and I decided to have lunch. He likes to go to a local grocery store that serves the best fried chicken in town. But wait, fried chicken?! Now come on. A gal with a history of an eating disorder eating fried chicken…GIGGLE!
But yes, it is true. Dad and I sat in the little grocery store booth slowly eating a breast of fried chicken, home cooked green beans with bacon and onion along with a buttered roll. (Yeah, in years past, the butter would have given me a mental mind attack.) It was completely 100% delightful.
Mindfully, I enjoyed every bite. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane and how it ended eating a food that my dad and I had grown up with. You see, both my granny’s would slave over a frying pan to serve their families. And their specialty…fried chicken.
I was not viewing this meal as high in fat and calories; I was viewing it as part of my heritage, wonderful flavors, time with Dad, and redemption. Freedom from the enemy’s hold of my mind was a long process, but Jesus healed. I not only have the armor of God, I have my the internal cues God gave me to help me feel safe and joyful about when and what to eat.
May I challenge you to take a trip back to your internal cues? Those amazing sensations of hunger and fullness we were gifted with at birth? Instead of trusting the food label of calories and fat grams, or the step counter, can you reconnect with your body? Connect with the food – the comfort and memories it brings. Embrace the fried chicken. Celebrate it and rejoice in the pleasure of food He gave us.
Perhaps there is some hard work ahead in order to connect with your body. I encourage you to get support and accountability whether that is a pastor, friend, brothers and sisters-in-Christ, family, therapist – anyone who can help you down that path of redemption and keep you connected to the Word. God is the Almighty Healer, as He was long ago with the Israelites, and as the psalmist proclaims in Psalm 147:3, “God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”
God has blessed us with a beautiful system of internal checks and balances and at the end of the road, there is peace with food and your body. As Philippians 4:19 states, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”
Faith-Based Nutritional Counseling
Body positive blogs are inspiring, but sometimes it might not be enough. We get that! You might want something more. An expert to walk along side you in your journey towards body respect and food peace. We've got you covered. Sign up for a free "pre-consultation" to see if working with one of our registered dietitians doing faith-based nutrition counseling is right for you.
Amy is a Graduate Faculty Scholar at Northern Illinois University and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is blessed with two boys and an amazing husband. Most of all, she is a child of God. She is humbled to be a disciple who can share in the GOoD news about body, eating and movement. In Jesus name, she asks for freedom and peace for those who struggle with body and eating issues.