Hi friends!  Welcome to my very first blog post on my new site!  I am SO thrilled to have both Life Outside the Shell and First Fruit Fitness all under one site.  Both of these things are my heart and I plan to encourage you to walk confidently in the direction of your dreams AND take care of your body along the way!

Today’s post is something God put on my heart to write a long time ago and I’m excited I finally get to share it with you.

FREEDOM FROM CRAVINGS

Cravings, oh the cravings. If you are alive you have most likely experienced cravings of some sort in varying levels of degrees of intensity in your life. Cravings look different for everyone.  For some it’s food for others it’s sex, drugs, alcohol, unhealthy attention, etc. Today I’m going to address food cravings but I believe these principles can be applied to every type of craving.

The definition of craving is simply “a powerful desire for something“.  We were all made to crave the question is what will we crave?

In case you don’t know my story, I grew up a chubby kid who craved nothing but sweets and junk. As I got older and realized that those yummy treats were responsible for me being overweight I forced myself to remove them from my diet.  Have you ever tried to beat a craving on your own?  I have many times and I am always reminded how ridiculously hard it is to do AND maintain in my own strength.

A few years ago I was talking to God about how I am so drawn to sweets and starchy foods.  I “knew” in my head they were bad for me but my taste buds and cravings were saying “shut up brain, you don’t know what you’re talking about…bring on the goodies!”  In that moment God reminded me when we follow our cravings for sweets and other unhealthy things we are bringing harm on our self in a few areas:

OUR BODY. To put it simply, our immune system HATES sugar and foreign chemicals and when we eat it all of our immune cells rush to get the sugar out of our body and leave the rest of our body open to attack. Thus we find ourselves catching colds more often than we should, having intestinal issues that lead to all kinds of other problems, yeast overgrowth, and in short…we are SICK!  I don’t know about you but when I’m sick, nice Rachael turns into “leave me alone I hate life Rachael!”.  The enemy knows this about us and will go to great lengths to attack our body so we are down for the count and thus out of the playing field. When we are out of the playing field we are no longer a threat to the enemy because we aren’t walking in all the fruit God has for us.  Now when I look at junk food it’s not a matter of “how many calories is in this?” it’s a matter of “is it really worth it to eat all that and wake up feeling sick and open myself up to a weak immune system?”  No thank you.

OUR  HEART, MIND & SPIRIT.  Much like the actual form of sugar attacks our immune system, when we chase our unhealthy cravings instead of God, it weakens our immunity to the attacks of the enemy.  The enemy knows when we check out in our mind we begin to compromise our actions and our heart grows bitter and cold in the process.  When our heart is not in alignment with God we begin to make decisions that are selfish and meet the need for our cravings.  The more we meet the need for our cravings the more attached we become to it.  Our body gets a chemical dependency on it and throws a fit when it doesn’t get what it wants.  The result?  A flesh lead person rather than a spirit lead person.  Not good.

So what’s the answer?  Here are a few simple steps God gave me to bring freedom in this area:

PRAY.  I’m not getting super spiritual on you but I am getting super practical on you.  So often we ask God to bless our food but do we ask him to curb our unhealthy cravings?  A few years ago I began to say the following simple prayer and it has brought so much fruit in my life:

Boom.  Done.  He answered it and I have never been more enthralled with His word and less interested in sweets.  I could not have done that on my own.  Only God can break a chain that big and make me crave His word!  I went from not being able to put the bag of cookies down to not being able to put God’s word down!  Thank you Jesus!

SET BOUNDARIES. The Lord also showed me to set boundaries on when I could eat some sweets.  For starters, we keep none in our house.  I like to relate this to a man who is a recovering porn addict.  Wouldn’t it be insane if he kept porn magazines lying around the house with no intention of looking at them?  It’s a recipe for disaster.  Now when I want something sweet I make the decision with a sound mind about when and where I will eat it.

BRING IT INTO THE LIGHT. First, share with someone you trust that you are struggling.  Ask them to pray for you.  I spoke at a women’s retreat recently and a woman came up to me afterwards and asked me to pray specifically over her overeating of sweets.  I love that God gave me that opportunity because we have authority in areas that we have battled with and overcome!

Next, be sure to eat whatever you crave in the light with other people around.  The enemy loves to get us to eat late at night when it’s dark and no one is around because he can fill our head with all kinds of lies.  If you are going to eat a cupcake or cookies make sure it’s a planned occasion with friends. You will be able to enjoy it without remorse and the enemy won’t have a stronghold on you.

If you want me to pray for you feel free to leave a comment here, I would be honored to do that.