How to Break Free From the Control of Food


Written by Guest Contributor – Barb Raveling

I was driving down I-90 throwing cookies out the window at 75 miles per hour. My husband and I had just gotten married and were heading back to Montana in our little green Datsun pickup.

It was the only way I could keep myself from eating all the leftover wedding cookies.

I’ve had a problem with overeating since I was young – back in the days when they used to call me Butterball. Eating was that one thing in life I thought I’d never be able to get control of.

I was wrong. About 12 years ago, God showed me a discipline that has changed my life in so many ways. That discipline is the renewing of the mind.

Paul talks about it in Romans 12:2 when he tells us not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind—not by self control, not by will power, and not by a new eating program.

The truth is, we can’t change in our own strength. At least not in those areas where we don’t have willpower. In those areas of our lives, we need God’s help if we want to see transformation.

So how do we get that help? Paul tells us. Renew your mind. He explains it again in Ephesians 4:22-25: Take off the old self. Put on the new self.

At its core, the renewing of the mind is a taking off and a putting on. Taking off a cultural perspective. Putting on a biblical perspective. Taking off the things we learned growing up. Putting on the things we learn in the Bible. Taking off lies. Putting on truth.

I decided to give Paul’s advice a try: I went looking for lies. Lies like I deserve a donut. Or this will make me feel better. Or I’ll never get over this.

When I found a lie, I replaced it with truth. Slowly, but surely, my desires began to change. I was learning self-control.

It didn’t happen overnight—I wish it had—but the changes were long-lasting. Food no longer controlled me.

It’s been six or seven years now since I’ve been set free from the control of food. Do I still occasionally eat too much? Yes. I still struggle now and then. But it’s a little struggle, and when it happens, I know where to go for help—God.

If you’re like me and don’t have a lot of natural willpower in the eating department, I hope you’ll give the renewing of the mind a try.

Photo Credit

1383790_521207794621685_1982029737_nAuthor Bio – Barb Raveling lives in Montana with her husband and the youngest of their four children. In her spare time she likes to read, hike, camp, and visit. She is the author of Freedom from Emotional Eating and I Deserve a Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat) which just went on sale yesterday. Barb blogs about the renewing of the mind at

4 Responses to How to Break Free From the Control of Food
  1. Kari Scare
    October 10, 2013 | 6:18 am

    It’s interesting that the renewing of the mind process you discuss is also what defeated depression in my life. I still struggle today too, but it doesn’t have a hold any longer. I wasn’t as deliberate with it as you were, sort of stumbled on it, but it’s the same process. Love how God gives us something like the renewing of the mind to transform every area of life if we let it.

  2. Melanie Wilson
    October 10, 2013 | 12:20 pm

    What a great encouragement this is to so many women like me who have battled food issues. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  3. Susie klein
    October 10, 2013 | 1:20 pm

    Great advice and encouragement Barb! I’ve been in an ongoing renewing of the mind journey in several areas of my life. As I walk towards the cupboard I will sometimes realize that it is not going to satisfy what I am really needing at that moment. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Barbie
    October 24, 2013 | 1:45 am

    You hit on something very important here. I think the majority of my issues with food stem in how I see myself, which is the opposite of how God sees me. I have to renew my mind daily!