Fear Faith (Trust) & Control

Posted by Janelle Brown on

I have realized over time that there are three pretty powerful forces at work in my life.  They apply across many aspects of my world including my relationships and spirituality.  And, even more so, they play into my emotional eating patterns.

Those forces are… drum roll please…

Fear, Faith and Control

As I get older I begin to realize I have always been a FEARful creature.  I was plagued with self-doubt as a child, as perhaps, many of you were also.  It is hard to grow up as teen girl in the United States.  So many unrealistic and unattainable beauty ideals to live up to.

But before those teenage years I also had a whole laundry list of unreasonable and sometimes debilitating phobias, including dogs (after as a young child, I had to shield myself from a mean one); crossing the street (after a child at our school was hit and killed) and the beach (after I stepped on a jelly fish at the tender age of 4 and got stung badly).  I watched some of my children grow up with the same emotional composition, eventually growing out of it, just as I did.

How did I do this? I learned to act tougher than I was.  I learned to take care of myself.  I learned to TRY and CONTROL everyone and everything to ensure the outcome of, whatever the situation was, didn’t create problems for me.  

Optimal word being “TRY” in this scenario.

Often, very often, when the control thing didn’t work.  I would find myself retreating to the bowl of whatever or drowning out the doubt with too many slices of pizza (my “go to” emotional food choice).  Sometimes trying to soothe my anxiousness, and, sometimes, as illogical as it seems, with thoughts of “I’ll show you.  I am going to show you how powerful, how in control I am by eating this whole thing and no one is going to stop me.”  

I hope that many of you that struggle with emotional eating patterns as I do find this completely understandable.

 Then very slowly I began to understand FAITH.

Now, before you tune me out thinking this is a religious lecture, hang with me.  This isn’t about only that kind of faith, although for me, that does fit in here.  Maybe this kind of faith is more like TRUST.

Trusting that I could be flexible and adjust as everyone made their own choices.  And trusting that I would still be ok as these choices affected me. (In reality, I often fared better when I stopped trying to control and just let the choices of others just play out.) 

I am finding that as I fear less, attempt to control less, exercise faith and trust more, my life is becoming so much more PEACEFUL.  And guess what? The emotional eating is subsiding more and more each day.


Janelle Brown is a certified health coach.  As such she provides support, accountability and occasionally some cheer-leading for her clients.  She is passionate about helping real women with real life challenges navigate their way to increased wellness and quality of life.  Check out her website here https://strivewithjanelle.com/collections/health-coaching

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  • Thank you Janelle. I just passed my real estate license, turning 51 tomorrow, and cannot get comfortable in my own skin. I have faked it for…..too long.

    Terrie on
  • Thank you so much for this! It resonated with me as a fellow control freak who’s life is currently a little out of control. I lost my husband of 22 years to pancreatic cancer. I’m struggling to keep it together for our children and deal with some anxiety and stress. I know I’ve got to focus on me and my health for my children. I have just begun some clean eating and work outs. It is tough some days, but I love your motivation.

    Erica Talasek on
  • Wow, how profound this was. I think you are an amazing and strong woman. Thanks for opening up and sharing your journey with us. It helps to know we are not alone in our struggles.

    Michelle Nicola on
  • Thanks for sharing this. Your thoughts are certainly familiar to Finnish women as well.

    Pirjo on
  • I feel this on a deep level! I was the only child of work-a-holic parents who expected perfection. I raised a son on the spectrum who was suicidal twice. My husband of 25 years has OCD anxiety and my daughter is extremely high anxiety too. Learning that control was all an illusion was what helped me find peace in the midst of the storm. I can still eat an entire loaf of bread in under 20 minutes, but I don’t eat an entire loaf of bread anymore.😂
    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Jennifer Tollefsrud on

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