When Did Your Relationship With Food Become a Stronghold?

by | May 17, 2022 | Spiritual Warfare

I was doing well on my weight loss journey until I saw the scales show that I weighed 199 pounds. I didn’t know why but my body did not want to go below 200 pounds.

It wasn’t that I was eating anything wrong, and I was still exercising. It just felt very much like a real emotional issue.

When I shared this with my accountability group, the leader waited until all members had given their advice. Then he asked me a pivotal, life-defining question: Where did you learn your relationship with food?

I didn’t have to stop and think, “Do I have a relationship with food?” I immediately knew I did have a relationship with food, and I knew I learned it from my grandma, who fed me every kind of food I wanted, including every type of dessert. At her house we could have seconds or thirds and snacks anytime.

Comfort Food

Grandma’s way of approaching food defined comfort and love to me. When I was away from her and felt overwhelmed, sad, angry, lonely, fearful, worried, stressed or just plain old frustrated, I would make something she would have made and eat as much as I wanted. It would comfort me for a while until the sugar high wore off. Then I needed more to get the same feeling.

In reality, this way of coping wasn’t comforting me at all. It was very discomforting. It had caused me to gain weight and then struggle through learning how to lose that weight. To not ever again eat or cook those foods felt like I would be dishonoring Grandma. It took me a while to process what was happening in my head and my heart.

While the adult me knew I couldn’t eat all those foods in the quantities I had consumed in the past and be healthy, the emotional part of me was still stuck baking cookies with Grandma. Those foods fed my emotions more than my body.

Revelation

All of a sudden, God revealed the truth to me: I had allowed Grandma’s way of cooking to become a stronghold. It was robed in what I thought was comfort, but it was still a stronghold. I felt the responsibility to pass on Grandma’s love through food.

My fondest childhood memories all centered around food and Grandma. They were inseparable in my mind. I thought if I gave up throwing the grand food celebrations Grandma was famous for, I would be dishonoring her legacy.

Grandma and the foods she cooked had become enmeshed in my heart. Could I separate them? Could I still hold a place in my heart for Grandma if I turned my back on what she cooked and served?

Grandma’s Love

Many people show their love for their families through the food they cook. Grandma was no exception. It was her way of showing love, but it wasn’t the only way.

I remember her reading my favorite book, Henny Penny, over and over again. I loved the rhythm of the words. Any time I spent with Grandma was time I treasured.

My favorite time, though, was when we’d go to sleep at night. She would make me a pallet down beside her bed and hold my hand until I fell asleep. I also got to hear her and Papaw pray together before going to sleep.

They always prayed for me and every member of the family. I knew they did that every night. It was a comfort better than any food could bring.

Breaking Through the Emotion

Grandma was a large woman. I don’t know what she weighed, but I know she weighed at least 200 pounds. She had soft, mushy parts perfect for grandkids to crawl up in her lap, fall into her and feel loved. My emotions were telling me if I became smaller than Grandma had been and wasn’t fixing the foods she fixed, I was rejecting her.

When I saw the truth, I realized how the enemy can use even the most loving memories to set up lies that become some of the fiercest strongholds. When they are wrapped around those we love and cherish, it makes it nearly impossible to separate the lie from the one we love. It is in separating the lies from the person that the stronghold crumbles.

Breaking this stronghold felt like watching someone saw limbs off a tree one at a time from the top down until the stump was finally gone. It took some time because there were so many things in my past that had to be redefined.

Seeing my past in an entirely new light, though, was like seeing a rainbow and sunset all at the same time. Now when I think about Grandma, I picture her as engulfing me in the kind of hug only she could give. I feel love cascading from her every pore. She was the epitome of comfort to me and our entire family. She brought us all together. Family togetherness was her gift.

Breaking the Stronghold

Breaking this stronghold freed me to continue to lose weight and love being me. It freed me to embrace becoming healthy. It freed me to be able to cook things that won’t contribute to others being unhealthy. It freed me to love my family in the right way and not by filling them full of foods that would lead them toward an early grave.

It freed me to reprioritize my memories of Grandma to include the wonderful woman she was and not just the foods she cooked. It freed me to be me. It freed me to follow God in all things.

Where did you learn your relationship with food? It’s a pivotal question I ask my coaching clients because it is likely the source of why we can’t seem to give up certain foods. I’d love to work with you in Overcomers Academy to get to the root of any strongholds that are holding you back on your healthy living journey.

Doors are open now. Go to teresashieldsparker.com/overcomers/. {eoa}

Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her number one bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group, Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don’t miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on the Charisma Podcast Network. This article first appeared on teresashieldsparker.com. For more on this topic, listen to episode 131 of the Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast, “What Is Comfort?” at teresashieldsparker.com/podcast/.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]