My abstinence has changed a lot over the years. What and how and when I eat now is nothing compared to what and how and when I ate 25 years ago. If I had met my current self then, I would have been so impressed with me. The kind of abstinence I have now would have been my end goal then.

But today, I find it’s not good enough.

The truth is, my abstinence is sloppy. I still eat inappropriately. I still turn to food instead of to the Lord. Yes, now I eat 2 or 3 pieces of sugar free candy instead of an entire pan of brownies and a half-gallon of ice cream. There’s been improvement. But I don’t feel I can honestly call myself abstinent—either physically or spiritually. The end result of my eating is that it dulls the spirit and leaves me isolated from the Lord.

I have had times of good abstinence. A few months ago I was doing great. It fell apart when company came and I ate out a lot instead of preparing the foods that are best for me. I got off my eating schedule, and I haven’t been able to get back on. The truth is, I haven’t really tried all that hard to get “back on the wagon,” and it’s becoming evident in every area of my life. Just like an alcoholic whose performance at work, at home, and in interpersonal relationships slips when he or she starts drinking again, all those areas are effected when I start eating compulsively again. I feel like I’m careening all over my life, totally out of control. This is my experience.

My strength and hope are that the Lord has intervened before and I have faith that He will again. He can guide me out of the slop and bother of this addiction and set me on a straight path again.

I am so grateful to be able to express these things to you. As I sit here writing, I can feel that desire to eat compulsively—which was so strong as I started typing this—ease and fade. The determination to stop eating compulsively, as well as the desire to turn the mess of my life over to the Lord, once again is becoming strong.

I think it’s safe to go eat lunch now.

~Karlene B.

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