When Food is Love | Take Back Your Temple | Christian Weight Loss
Take Back Your Temple | Christian Weight Loss
Share the Love

When Food is Love

When Food is LoveWhen I was child, I associated sweets with comfort.

Back then I thought subconsciously, “Food is love.”

My mother was a single mom. She worked a lot to take care of my younger sister and me.

Before she would leave us with the sitter, she always gave me money so that I could go to our neighborhood convenience store to get candy.

I felt deep loneliness when my mother left to go to work. But did not know how to deal with that loneliness.

The only comfort I had as a child was a chocolate bar. Eating the candy made me feel better.

Unfortunately, I took that same coping pattern into adulthood.

Whenever I felt emotionally stressed or upset, I craved candy and other sweets. I never realized that I was coping emotionally the same way I did when I was five.

I still viewed candy as my best friend.

Can you relate to food being associated with love?

Many people aren’t aware of it when food is meeting an emotional need in their lives. That is why they often resist changing their eating habits.

They fear leaving an empty space where that food used occupy.

Take my example. When I was 240 pounds, I viewed Pepperidge Farm coconut cake as a close friend.

When I went grocery shopping, I brought my friend home. I would get a piece of the cake, sometimes several pieces. Then my friend and I would settle down on the couch to watch television together.

The cake would taste good. It gave me a feeling of fullness, intimacy. But afterwards when I was stuffed, I’d feel sick, ashamed, and guilty.

In a way, my relationship with food was like being in an abusive relationship – or as I’d imagine it would be.

I’d try to get out of the relationship by going on a diet. But I did not stay away for long.

After all, it meant losing that comforting relationship. Maybe I wasn’t happy, but at least that relationship was familiar.

Grief and fear seized me whenever I thought about life without my friend. So I always went back.

But then, my friend turned on me. A chest pain hit me on December 11, 2003. I thought I was going to die.

Then God said, “It is not supposed to be this way.” I had a choice to make.

Was I willing to replace that old friend with a new one, one who would truly love and care for me?

You see, in all that time I failed to realize something.

Sweets could not love me back!

But Jesus could.

Through His wisdom and much prayer, He showed me how to change my beliefs.

He gave me the strength to change the way I shopped too. At first, I could not even go down the same aisle where the cake was!

If I did, I would find myself looking over at the cake with longing, tempting myself to take it back home with me.

It felt weird and wrong to change my habits at first. That’s the way it is when your brain is adjusting to a new pattern.

However, God was with me every step of the way.

I knew that if I could make it through the adjustment period, I was on my way to a healthier life.

I wanted to live with purpose and joy. My old eating habits threatened that vision, so they had to go!

What about you? Think about the foods that you love to eat – the ones you can’t imagine living without. It’s typically not just “sweets” or “chips.” It is a specific type or brand that you run to consistently.

What emotional roles do those items fulfill in your life?

Those emotional roles represent real needs. Are you ready to deal with the real needs in your life rather than using a particular food as a bandage over it?

When the real needs in your life are met, you live in a more stable emotional and mental position.

Take comfort in Psalm 91:1-2. God has power to meet your every need:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Be blessed in health, healing, and wholeness,

Kimberly Taylor

Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program

P.S. I hope you see now that a diet cannot help you meet emotional needs.  But the Take Back Your Temple program points you to the One who can.

Jeremiah 29:11 says,

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

If you are excited about your future and know that your health habits are supplying you with energy to maximize your present and future, then you don’t need the Take Back Your Temple program.

You are already on a good road.

However, if you are sensing that your current habits are standing in the way of your better future, then that is where I can help. I can help you uncover those roadblocks that are standing in the way of reaching your best  weight.

Come join me on the journey to better health in the Take Back Your Temple program, starting today. Let’s go farther – together.

  • sunflower says:

    I can identify with this eating for love, I know God loves me but I’m always by myself.
    I’m loved starved for love, just my heart to be healed and I just wanted to be loved.

    • Hi Sunflower – I understand the need to feel loved. God promises to heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds. So take this promise to heart and allow Him to fill you up during this season. That is very important because if you feel starved for love, you are vulnerable to settling for scraps. You don’t want that. You want God’s best. I pray He will put it on your heart to look around you and courage to reach out to others so that you are able to receive love even as you give it to others. Proverbs 18:24 – “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

  • CHRISTINE DIBERARDINO says:

    Just recently I had the same thought you shared…turning to Jesus when I feel lonely. Recently, the challenge of feeling lonely is one that could send me to food to find comfort. Instead I’m allowing Jesus’ love fill that hole. I am remembering how much He loves me and I can focus on His love and redemption and I find myself responding differently. The pain of loneliness dissipates and I feel better without using food to dull the pain.

  • sylvia salinas says:

    yes, I’ve sought comfort in food. I still can’t eat one Oreo, choc. covered graham cracker, nacho, etc.. I obsess on food tooooo much. I need this journey. food is to me what alcohol is to an alcoholic, but I want out/better. I want freedom to be me and be free of food compulsions.

    • You can have it, Sylvia – one day at a time, one choice at a time. The journey involves inward and outward changes. By inward, I mean examining your beliefs around food and outwardly, by adjusting your environment to support the new way you’ve chosen to live. May God bless you on this journey!

    • sumbody says:

      I want to cry when I read the hurt on these pages. I struggle to make better choices too. I know who I am in Christ and pray and depend on him for grace and wisdom. His word is my guide, my comfort and my source of life. Yet when it comes to making the better choices and using the spirit within me I give in to the carbs, sweets and comfort foods to often. I have 10-15 lbs still left to take off and I sabotage myself on a regular basis. The emails I get from Kim help me a lot but I feel like food still has a strong power over me.

  • Hattie says:

    Thank you Kimberley. I shall now do it Gods way. Blessings.

  • Saint says:

    Unfortunately as a child my relatives fed me TOO WELL.

    As a teen, young adult, between men, food, or substance addiction. This was my comfort. ‘ Bout killed me.

    When I got saved, I moved to an isolated, persecuted life. I kid you not. Loneliness is my “normal”. Food was my friend. I gained weight. I’m working on change and getting my health back in order.

    Today, I’m pulling closer to the Lord Jesus. I want to make salad my friend *not REALLY but I must* Loneliness is still a factor, but that? Is sanctification. I can’t hang with everybody and truth be told, I still MISS men. I’m growing and changing in Christ.

    • Hi Saint – God often uses the tests in our lives for a testimony to others that they can make it through as well. Praise God that He’s begun a good work in you and will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus!

  • Erika1974 says:

    Thank you for the uplifting words. I recently had Bariatic Surgery and it was only then that I realized my addiction to food. It hasn’t been easy. I thank you because you really understand how I’m feeling. Your words of wisdom and Scriptures help to get me through each day. Be Blessed!!!

  • Leah says:

    I think coffee is my love. I hadn’t realized it before as it hasn’t been detrimental to my weightloss journey, but it is a love I run to when I am stressed, lonely, angry, etc. I get overly excited over a new coffee flavor, new spices to try, new ways of brewing. I get angry when I can’t get to it in a timely manner in the morning. When I want to procrastinate at work, I go make coffee. Every trip to the grocery store makes a stop in the coffee aisle to peruse flavors and coffee gadgets to make “the perfect cup”.

    It doesn’t even matter if it’s decaf. I still love it. (I drink decaf in the afternoon/evenings) so it’s more than a caffeine craving. I love the warmth in my mouth. It’s cozy. My coffee makes me feel all happy.

    I’m so grateful it’s not a sugary food I run to (anymore!) but even though I’ve replaced food-idol with coffee-idol, I know there is still a core spiritual issue that I need to work through.

    Great post today. – Leah

  • Tamika says:

    Reading this I realize I equate food with love. And I have for years. Ever since my dad died when I was 5 (I’m 41 now). In this moment I see it. I’m looking for love. Love that only God can give. All this time I’ve been thinking food has always been there for me and never failed me. Even when people did. And also in this moment I realize food HAS FAILED ME! It hasn’t loved me back! I’m overweight, uncomfortable, dry skin, bloated, aches and pains! FOOD HAS FAILED ME! THIS ISN’T LOVE!! God is love!
    Thank you for Take Back Your Temple! It has blessed my soul tonight!

  • Holly says:

    I totally identify with this article. My problem is sometimes, I don’t even feel the guilt of indulging. It is so comforting. But I have almost killed myself letting this pattern go on in my life. So, I must change, I must give this over to God, every time, I start down the road towards this sinful thought pattern! It is so ingrained in me. I remember when my mother died, when I was in high school, my best friend came at dawn the next day – and she brought our favorite Little Debbie’s peanut butter bars. I have always remembered that with a smile. You are so right, Kimberly, we MUST replace our comfort and warmth – false comfort and warmth, that we get from food – with Jesus Christ,, our Lord and Savior who truly supplies our every need!

  • Andrea says:

    I’ve been back to my old habits. I ate 6 small candy bars today, a bowl of sugary cereal, pot roast with 2 slices of bread, a glass of diet soda, and a handful of chips. I’m humiliated beyond words. I’m crying, I don’t know what to do, and how to stop. I love nothing else in this world more than my Husband and our 2 perfect children and I can’t stop this deadly habit of eating junk. My family always embraced good food, and good times with food. This makes me so upset that they laid this upon me, and won’t help me. I hate my body. I’m tired of dieting, my husband always says he loves me and I’m not fat but I’m so tired of hearing that. It’s a lie. I am fat. I picked up this habit after being pregnant 4 years ago, and it’s only gotten worse. I feel like I will get back up again only to fall off and eat more.

  • Robyn Martin says:

    Thank you, Kim for your email article today on, “When Food is Love”. I shared in our FB group about a very specific time in my life when I turned to food for love. My parents were divorcing when I was 16 and all I could do was eat and eat and eat. Through your article the Lord tied it back to love, the love I lost when my Dad left ( I lost my Mom too through her struggles) and I have still been looking for love in all the wrong places. I have been looking for love through what I do, and from the approval of people and from chocolate. I have had a hard time recieving love, approval and acceptance from God. I haven’t stopped running from Him yet, completely. The things that I have tried have not worked and have never worked, I need turn my attention on God and His answer for me. I want to. Thank you!

  • Linda says:

    Hi Kimberly , Even as I read it’s like there’s a drawing to those foods a sense a warm comfort reading about them and thinking about them , definately a relationship that is soooo deceptive , it actually angers me to think I’ve allowed myself to become a slave to these foods , it’s like a lion is roaring inside of me for freedom and not the white knuckling freedom but true freedom thru the grace of Jesus. Christ . I started your course take back your temple , food was my first love before I was saved and it has been an adulteress affair since becoming a Christian off and on . I desire to be free to be ALL God has for me . And be rid of this bondage once and for all and have Christ be the lover of my soul and completely dedicated to Him and bring glory to Him in His temple and be a witness of His grace .my desire has always been to do what you are doing but I can’t give away what I don’t have. Thank you for you ministry in this area love in Christ Linda

  • Patti Hedge says:

    I so identify with this! I’ve been aware of the fact that food is my friend, my dysfunctional friend, for quite sometime. My mom was very mentally ill and my childhood was full of emotional abuse and neglect, loss and abandonment, and food was my constant companion. The only other thing more constant was the extreme loneliness I felt, which always led me back to food. Of course, that led me to guilt and shame. 6 yrs ago, God brought me to a faith based program and I lost 125lb! I replaced food as my first love, with God as my first love. Physically, though, the way I was eating was not nutritionally sound. It was very calorie restrictive, but it worked. I had a big life change and then experienced several big losses as soon as I came to the end of the program and I’m afraid to say, I relapsed. I gained back the whole 125lb plus 20 more and I was left with so much guilt and shame. I don’t even know how to start again. I want to break for good the vicious hold food seems to have on me, but it feels like the connection is so strong that I will never escape it. Then, I feel guilty for that lack of faith, cause I know that nothing is stronger than my God. Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief.

    • Kimberly Taylor says:

      Hi Patti – I am praying for you! You said regarding food, ”It feels like the connection is so strong that I will never escape it.” It may FEEL that way, but is it the truth? No! That’s the first thing that needs to change – is for you to change the story you are telling yourself. Ask the Lord in prayer what is the next step to take to get you back on track. You aren’t starting over because you’ve gained experience that can help you move forward. Life doesn’t stop just because we decide to lose weight. Whatever method we choose, it must work within the context of the life we live…stress, heartache, and all. May God bless you as He walks with you through this journey 🙂

  • Marie Mae D Brown says:

    I feel so blessed that you’re all in my life. I have come home finally. Thank you so much! I kept saying the only
    way I’m going to lose my weight was with my precious Lord Jesus.
    Thank you, Lord and Kimberly.
    I plan on learning a lot, you are opening doors that I need desperately to go throw, but I not by myself.
    Thank You!!

  • Judy says:

    I can identify with those Pepperidge Farm coconut cakes…Yes, they were delicious but afterward I hated how I felt & looked. The weight seemed to come on alot at one time

    • Kimberly Taylor says:

      Yeah, that seems to be the way of it. Weight is a lot easier to put on than to take off. But with God, nothing is impossible and with His help, we can make wise choices in every area.

  • Kat Schirmer says:

    Thank you for your message of hope and empowerment

  • Donna says:

    This is so good Kimberly. I can relate with this in a big way… Such truth in this article and so helpful. Thanks for all you do to encourage and help the body of Christ. Or should I say to help the bodies of the body of Christ. 🙂

  • >