Monday, May 25, 2009


by Donna L. Watkins

The portion of the Lord's Prayer which says, "Give us this day our daily bread," isn't generally a desperate plea since food has been something people will go into great debt for. Whether it's grocery store bills, eating and drinking beverages out, or bingeing on addictive foods, setting a budget for food and staying within the boundaries is not common.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Passionflower Butterfly - La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica

Not until we are forced into it .... such as a bad economy, or a loss of job, or an increase in medical expenses that necessitates cutting back on spending elsewhere. And as a side note, often those medical expenses relate to food and our eating habits.

Ten and a half years ago I knew I had to get chocolate out of my life. I had given up sugar in all other forms, but chocolate was controlling me and it was dishonoring God. I would seek chocolate for comfort, not His loving arms. Comfort foods provide little. Only brief moments of pleasure followed by guilt which floods our soul when we choose something other than God.

Proverbs 23:2
"And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite."

We generally choose to joke about food addictions, not using those words of course, but talking about having finished off the whole pan of brownies in a day, while giggling with girls about it, as each of us shares their own food addiction story with laughter.

We don't laugh about tobacco and drug addictions or alcoholism and although we might say that food doesn't cause the same problems as drugs and alcohol, if we look closer we will see the lie in that thought. How do you tell if you're addicted to some food? If you can't take a small bite of something, but consume a large portion of something that would not be considered nutritious or an appropriately sized portion of food .... you're out of control. I didn't like that feeling because after bingeing I not only felt sick physically, but my soul was sick with guilt. The waste of money and health left my soul barren, not comforted, and the mood swings that come with food addiction affect the entire family, your job performance, and your relationships with others.

It's like being an alcoholic or like the Lay's potato chips commercial .... "bet you can't eat just one." I lost the bet every time with chocolate - I had no interest in potato chips. I quit chocolate many times for weeks and months and my pride, based on the strength of willpower, would get the best of me. I would tell myself that I could just have one piece now that I had withdrawn from the addiction. They don't tell you that in AA do they?

I had gone six months in my own strength without eating chocolate, although the longing never left, so at a convention in September of 1998, when a tiered tray of chocolate goodies was placed on our table after dinner, I deceived myself again into thinking I could have just one. I did have just one that night ... but the addiction raged onward thereafter and my soul loathed being imprisoned by food.

In November 1998 I acknowledged that I could not fight this battle with my will. I believe step one in AA is to acknowledge that we are powerless. In essence that is what I did. God doesn't want our thoughts dominated by food. He is the Provider of our daily bread and Jesus told us we are not to even think about food.

Matthew 6:25
"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"

Life is more than food, but to those addicted to it, it's an all-day issue of thoughts and desires. In prayer I asked God to handle this. I had run out of my own ideas and admitted human defeat. The only way I could leave this behind was for Him to do it within me, as He's done for people addicted to tobacco, drugs and alcohol. I know people who have walked away from these things victorious, so I wanted the same blessing.

I asked God to take away the desire for the chocolate and my commitment was that I would say NO to chocolate forever more. I knew even if God healed my mind about this that instant, there would still be a physical withdrawal period. Yes, He could heal that also, but I knew that I needed to go through this period in faith and as seed for my commitment to produce His harvest of blessing in removing the desire. It would provide the mental image of victory through the process. Maybe my pride required that somehow I still be involved in the process. God knows what will work and that's what I felt led to do.

I planted a seed of faith in my commitment, knowing as farmers did before irrigation that God would have to water and provide sun for a harvest. I don't remember how long the physical process was but I remember having to say NO for a week or two, each time was like watering the seed, and the sun was provided by the joy I experienced from having said NO, knowing that God was removing the desire inch by inch as that seed took root and grew. Jesus said the mustard seed is tiny but it produces a plant large enough for birds to nest in (Matthew 13:31-32). Jesus also talked about the results of faith the size of a mustard seed, and I felt that was just about as much faith as I had in the matter.

Matthew 17:20
"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

You would think that I would've written down the exact date, but that's evidence that my faith was small. When my mustard seed blossomed into a huge plant that consumed my desire and craving for chocolate I only knew that it was early November when I'd made the commitment. It actually took my brain awhile to catchup on the fact that I didn't want chocolate.

It was an odd thing to stand looking in a bakery case or at a box of thin mints without any longing or emotional link. It was like I was numb in that area of the brain that surely held zillions of memories of the delights of chocolate. Those delights were not real. They were only a delusion of comfort and now they were totally erased and I was free.

It puzzled me and astounded me and I was fascinated with the how of it happening, but God's ways are not our ways, so I've never been able to figure it out other than the loving gifts God gives us of mercy and grace. He will meet us more than halfway when our heart longs to worship, honor, adore and depend on Him instead of our earthly idols.

Related Article: Escaping Temptation

Copyright and Reprint Information

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from
The link URL is:

1 comment:

Kevin Dixon said...

I'm glad you were able to kick your addiction to chocolate.

Good job!

Share This Post