My Problem With Overeaters Anonymous

Overeaters anonymous
"By continuing to confess myself as a 'compulsive overeater,' all I was doing was reinforcing that oppressed identity in my mind." (Getty Images )

"How you see yourself determines what you do."

I don't remember where I read this quote, but it sums up a problem I have with Overeaters Anonymous (OA).

Why am I writing about OA? I've received emails from readers asking me what I think about the program.

While I am sure the program helps some people, it did not help me when I was a member.

Now I know why.

It violates a key biblical principle at its core. Let me explain.

Many years ago, I participated in Overeaters Anonymous for a while—before I became a believer in Christ.

Each meeting I had to stand up and say, "I'm Kim, and I am a compulsive overeater." It was fine at first, but then I started to become depressed. Then I also noticed something: In my group were women who had been attending the meetings for seven, nine, 12 years—and they didn't appear to have any healthier relationship with food than I did.

Instead, they were obsessed with food in the opposite direction—overly restrictive, bordering on anorexia.

I asked myself, "Where is the victory, the peace, the praise?" I could not see myself still attending meetings for 10 years, but not getting anywhere.

So I quit going.

Now I know the problem was one of identity.

You see, the Bible says our God is one who calls those things that do not exist as though they did (Rom. 4:17). He declares the end of a thing from the beginning (Is. 46:10).

So by continuing to confess myself as a "compulsive overeater," all I was doing was reinforcing that oppressed identity in my mind.

Confession means "to say the same." In confessing myself as a compulsive overeater, with whom was I agreeing, the Lord or the enemy?

Even when I wasn't bingeing on food, this identity made me fearful of a relapse.

That was bondage—not the freedom Jesus promises.

Now I know that since God declares the end of a thing from the beginning, the biblical way of confession would be to say what God says: "I'm Kim and I'm a recovered overeater."

So the Lord sees us as complete in Christ, regardless of our current behavior. As we learn to see ourselves through His eyes and through the Holy Spirit working within us, our character becomes conformed to the image of Jesus over time.

God exists in eternity, so time does not limit Him as it limits us. The Lord can see all our days before one of them comes to be (Ps. 139:16).

One of my favorite Scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

I see the Bible as full of the Lord's promises for His people. Isn't it wonderful that the Creator of the universe wants us to have a personal relationship with Him?

If we believe Him, His Word has the power to set us free.

My freedom came when I took that step of belief, anchored myself in Jesus and renewed my mind to His Word.

Today, I don't live in fear of a relapse, and I can eat any food I want.

Each person ultimately has to make the decision as to how they will live. I chose to put my trust in the Lord to deliver me from compulsive overeating back in 2003.

Today, I am overjoyed to say that my trust was rewarded!

Be blessed in health, healing and wholeness.

P.S. I receive many emails from people dealing with emotional and binge-eating issues. I once received an email from a lady who saw a video about my weight-loss success story, and she wrote, "I wish I could achieve the victory that you have."

I wrote her back and said, "You can with God's help. What are you afraid of?"

She wrote me back a long letter about her fears and one sentence she wrote is the most honest, raw description of what drives binge-eating behavior:

"I am afraid when I quit eating to numb myself, I will experience the full harshness of reality, and it will be too overpowering."

That's exactly how I felt when I practiced binge-eating behavior! But the good news is you don't have to keep using food as emotional Novocaine.

I have an online course, How to Stop Binge Eating, that provides specialized help with this issue.

The course has had over 1,100 enrollees, with a 4.9 rating out of 5.0. You owe it to yourself to check it out: Click here to review the How to Stop Binge Eating online course.

Once 240 pounds and a size 22, Kimberly Taylor can testify of God's healing power to end binge eating. She is an author and the creator of the Christian weight-loss website takebackyourtemple.com. Visit today for inspirational health and weight-loss tips.

For the original article, visit takebackyourtemple.com.

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