Below is a video from the presentation of “Gaining a Healthy Relationship with Food.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

“Why Did Meals Become the Battle of My Soul?”
UNDERSTAND the origin, motive, and history of my disordered eating.

Ganing A Healthy Relationship With Food — Step 3 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Resource: Disordered Eating Journaling Tool

Memorize: I Corinthians 10:31 (ESV), “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “So” – Paul is adjudicating a debate over whether to eat food that had been sacrificed to idols.
  • “Whether” – Paul chooses not to settle the debate by making “food rules” but by appealing to motives.
  • “Eat or drink” – God leaves the choices that will change your relationship with food fully in your hands.
  • “Whatever you do” – Paul is going to say that there is only one motive that frees us from the tyranny of self.
  • “to the glory of God” – That one motive is to connect our actions to the larger purpose of glorifying God.

Teaching Notes

“Whether real or imagined, conscious or not, in one way or another, you’re eating disorder serves a purpose or function for you (p. 216)… On the other hand, if you have anorexia or are very restrictive with food, you are more likely to experience satisfaction, or even pride, in your ability to control your food intake in your weight (p. 39).” Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb in 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder

“When I was in the depths of my eating disorder, ‘I’m thin’ used to be my answer to all of life’s tough questions. Am I happy? Yes, I’m thin. Am I a good performer? Sure, I’m thin. Am I confident? Of course, I’m thin. As long as I was thin, I did not really have to think about anything else (p. 81).” Jenni Schaeffer in Life Without Ed

“The problem with the therapeutic model—eating and exercise to look good and feel better—is that everything is related to self: ‘I shouldn’t over eat because it will make me less healthy.’ ‘I should exercise because I don’t want to become weak and lose my breath climbing up the stairs.’ Talking about discipleship brings God back into the picture: ‘I shouldn’t over eat because God tells me not to, and it dishonors him as Lord when I disobey, and I want to be as strong as possible to serve him as best I can’ (p. 48).” Gary Thomas in Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul

“Food was my comfort. Food was my reward. Food was my joy. Food was what I turn to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness (p. 29)… Idolatry, in the case of food, means the consumption of ill-sized portions and unhealthy choices because we feel like we deserve it or needed to feel better (p. 159).” Lysa Terkeurst in Made to Crave

“We can assure you that people who learn to respond to emotional difficulties without using food to numb or escape feelings have a better and longer weight loss maintenance record than those who only deal with eating and exercise (p. 153).” Stephen Arterburn and Linda Mintle in Lose It for Life

“Idols create laws that multiplied exponentially (p. 174)… The Law of Diminishing Returns is in full force in idol worship. The behavior will grow and grow until it completely consumes you and you spend your entire life compulsively overeating, binging, purging, or starving. Your god has an insatiable hunger—and if you feed him, he’ll grow (p. 180).” Elyse Fitzpatrick in Love to Eat, Hate to Eat

“At this point, I became obsessed with self-protection, self-preservation. Funny, huh? I was basically near death, and yet I saw self-preservation as maintaining control (p. 48).” Sheryle Cruse in Thin Enough: My Spiritual Journey through the Living Death of an Eating Disorder