Sugar as a “Shadow Comfort”

My dear friend Anne wrote,

“I’m noting times when I would, before, have eaten in order to help myself. Times of fatigue, stress, Vitaliy being gone, emotional fatiuge or frustration, boredom … and I’m finding other ways to comfort and strengthen and busy myself that don’t involve food. It’s a good thing. When I want to eat for no good reason, I remind myself that I love how my clothes fit and how my body looks, and that’s worth more to me than this temporary, often non-physical craving to eat.”

It prompted me to share a bit about the past year.

I listened to Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” via audio book  a few months ago. One of the things she talks about is “shadow comforts.” I thought that was such a good way to consider the things I turn to during stress/anxiety instead of the Lord.

This past year was a challenging one. I was feeding my body/soul the “shadow comforts” of coffee (with lots of milk and sugar!) and wine. My body and hormonal system does not like being fueled by simple sugars. My soul needed more. (And, yes, I was seeking the Lord — but me immediate impulse when stressed was the sugar/coffee)

I feel “weak” to be self-disciplined alone. Last month Hubby and I together made some eating changes and movement changes. (He’s been changing a lot since he went to the Cleveland Clinic in March.)

For me, I had to quit coffee cold turkey — it was too much of a draw. Hubby and I go out for a coffee date after church (a celebration of the Sabbath!) That was good for the first month.

This past week I was trying to see if I can moderate with my coffee consumption — just cafe au lait or a latte, no sugar. Honestly, I think I still need to abstain. (Check out  Gretchen Rubin on habits and abstaining.)  I’ve made several poor choices (with regard to stress/sugar) this week, and I think I need to just keep my mind away from that.

I’ve had more thoughts about the “shadow comforts” and the Lord. . .  During some of these ponderings we sung “Abide with Me” in church.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I wish Anne was here or I was in Ukraine have coffee (no sugar!) and chat.

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