When an Emotional Eater Breaks Free

Written by Sarah Knepper


For almost 20 years now I’ve been an emotional eater. This title has gotten easier to say out loud now that I have been publicly speaking about this for the past five months.


I decided to share this with my readers because I believe there are thousands of women struggling with eating issues. We keep our suffering silent so others don’t judge those secretive eating habits we love to hate.


So how did this all begin?


When I was a young child, before ten years old, I would sneak food when my family wasn’t around. I loved cookies, chips, pasta, and donuts. Basically anything carb related. We were also members of the “clean your plate” club, so it made my habit easier to conceal.


Once I became a teen driver I would go through the drive-thru on my way to or from somewhere and binge. The feeling of being in complete control of my money, my car, and my food was ecstasy for me.


I had no idea what debilitating habits I was building each time I fed my emotions with food.


No one suspected my overeating, or at least no one said anything. My body shared my secret every once in a while (I looked fat), but I was able to control myself enough to always lose the weight.


Then I began having children.


Each of my four pregnancies gave me severe all-day sickness. I gained under 20 pounds with each of them and was able to lose the weight easily, until my last baby.


I had my one and only c-section with baby Anna in September 2014. My body changed so much after this pregnancy and surgery. The first time I looked at myself in my birthday suit a few weeks after the birth I cried. I could not believe how my different everything looked.


For a few months I ate whatever I wanted because I could. I didn’t want to look at myself anymore. I wanted the pain of losing my previous body to not hurt so much.


Loving women from our church brought meals to us for almost three months. It was delicious. I ate it up with a fury and snacked quite often during the day. Baby Anna was very needy, and the transition back to babyhood after five years was very difficult for me.


When the holidays rolled around I began contemplating a change. I was in my biggest size jeans EVER. I cried in the shower and when I got dressed. I did not like my husband looking at me. I felt nauseous when I looked at myself.


Right before the New Year I decided to turn my weight loss journey into a blog series. I wrote my first post and prayed for a good response.


You know what? So many women connected to my post and gave me hope. I began a vlog series and officially started my journey. It’s been a great experience for me and I get to share my vulnerabilities to caring people who feel the same.


Over the past five months I’ve moved from weight watchers, to calorie counting, to carb counting. I see this as a marathon and not a sprint. My heart has changed during this process and I know God has been with me every step of the way.


I have been reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book Made to Crave has been instrumental in my lifestyle change. Her biblical principles are amazing, well studied, and full of truth. My favorite verses she quotes are as follows:

“You have circled this mountain long enough, now turn north.” ~ Deuteronomy 2:3

“See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” ~ Revelation 3:8

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness… For when I am weak, then I am strong.'” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-11


When we begin training our minds each and every day to God’s truth and power we can begin to let go of our inadequacies and give them to Him. My choices have to be intentional all the time. I do not make the right choice every single time, but I am much closer to my goal of obedience and freedom than I was five months ago.


If you are struggling with any type of food issue *do not lose hope*. Your God loves you, protects you, and wants you to be in line with his boundaries. He doesn’t want us struggling through addictions, he desires for you to have a relationship with only Him.

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Meet Sarah


Sarah Knepper is wife to a structural engineer, mama to four kids, a lover of words, and an overcomer. She encourages women through everyday life over at Redemption Diary.com. She has her Master’s Degree in Education, but chooses to stay home and manage the chaos of her thriving children.

Twitter Handle: @redemptiondiary
Instagram Handle: @redemptiondiary
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/redemptiondiary
Blog: http://redemptiondiary.com

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Many thanks to all of the contributors for this series!

Click HERE to Read all the Posts in the Series


8 thoughts on “When an Emotional Eater Breaks Free

Add yours

  1. I love this Sarah. I have just started blogging about my food addiction, and it’s been so humbling and healing to hear other women say, “me too.” I’m so glad you took that first step in sharing with us. You’ve begun paving a path for the rest of us to follow. 🙂

  2. Sarah,
    Eating has always been my crutch, too. I eat to celebrate, eat when stressed, eat when sad, etc. etc et. I read Lysa’s book a couple of years ago and thought it was fantastic. It truly helped me to put food where it belongs. Out of the spotlight and idol status. I do so much better these days. Only during really stressful times do I seem to feel the desire to sink my teeth into some of my carbolicious favorites! I’m so glad I stopped by from the #Reflect link-up!
    Blessings and smiles,

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. I also can relate to this and I definitely appreciate your encouragement to change my ways and let God be in control. Blessings

  4. “Your God loves you, protects you, and wants you to be in line with his boundaries. ” — Don’t we all need this beautiful reminder, especially when we feel like we fail ourselves so often? You are doing so many women a favor by sharing so intimately with us. I bet there’s part of this we all can relate to. Blessings on your journey! Thanks for your transparency. It’s a gift! Coming to you from “Espressos of Faith” via ReflectLinkUp!

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