A few days ago I participated in a sugar-free Saturday. It was a good time to notice what I was really craving since so often I’m not sure whether I’m eating because I’m truly hungry or just craving something sweet. At one point in the day, I checked in with my stomach to see how I was feeling and realized that it was indeed full. So why did I still want more to eat–something sweet? Can you identify with this dilemma?
On my sugar-free Saturday, I got very present to the distinction between being full vs being satisfied. At one point in the day, I ‘should’ have stopped eating because I was full, but I continued to eat because I did not feel satisfied.
It’s hard to distinguish the two but here’s what I’ve come up with.
Feeling full is a physical feeling in your belly. Your stomach has expanded with the intake of food but it does not always lead to feeling satisfied.
Feeling satisfied is a feeling of contentment. The desire to eat is gone and you feel at peace.
I shudder when I think about all the things I’ve tried, tasted, experienced, experimented with to feel ‘satisfied’. They all temporarily filled me but nothing was able to satisfy that hunger that my soul craved.
What I really crave cannot be satisfied with food–even though it feels like what I need. It’s a soul-craving–a spiritual hunger that only God can satisfy.
For others, it might be drugs or sex or gambling, but I believe that my drug of choice is food that I go to to find satisfaction.
So how do you know if what you’re experiencing is physical or spiritual?
The next time you’ve eaten but don’t feel satisfied, take the ‘apple test’. Ask yourself if you would eat an apple (or some other fruit or vegetable), that you can’t really overeat? If the answer is ‘yes’ then go ahead and eat the apple and see if it satisfies you.
If your answer is ‘no’, an apple would not satisfy you, then your hunger is spiritual. A spiritual hunger is a craving or a feeling deep down inside that feels like hunger pangs. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what the feeling is but you know that you want and need something. It’s a feeling of yearning, wanting, desiring, needing to feel full; needing to feel content and satisfied. So it’s easy to see why we would want to eat to satisfy the feeling but we quickly learn that no amount of food will fill this need.
If you’re tired of trying to find ways to fill you, distract you, make you feel worthy or make you feel loveable, then trust me when I tell you that you will never feel full until you get to know the God that will satisfy your spiritual hunger.
If you’re always feeling full but still find your head in the fridge looking for more, take it as a sign that your spiritual tank is running on empty. It’s the only way this hunger can be filled and the sooner you understand the difference, the sooner you can experience the joy, peace, and the rest God is longing to give you and the sooner you can stop filling your mouth and body with food that can never satisfy you.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6 NAS)
Praying For Your Success,
P.S. if you are tired of circling the same mountain over and over and want a Christ-centered approach to lasting weight loss without feeling guilty, deprived, or overwhelmed, be sure to sign up for our video course program right away at cathymorenzie.com