A Spiritual Solution to Food Addiction
Play • 38 min

We need food to feed our physical hunger, but at times we eat only to feel better emotionally.  

In this episode, I will help you understand addiction from the perspective of an addict and will discuss concepts from some authors in the spiritual and recovery movement. I will share some of my clients' insights on Overeaters Anonymous (O.A.) and will also talk about O.A.'s fundamentals. Like any 12 step program, the solution is a spiritual one.

I am now offering a 10-week virtual class!

The class will include pre-recorded videos, audio recordings, handouts, membership in a Facebook community.  In this class, I will teach you how to access your own innate spiritual guidance so you can learn how to correct problems with eating. This is not related to a 12 step program, but will combine spiritual concepts with science. I am so confident that it will help you that I offer a money back guarantee! 

If you would prefer more individualized help rather then the class, contact me so we can schedule a private virtual session.

To sign up for the class or get private help, you can send me an email at betsy@betsythurstonrd.com or visit my website.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
  1. Understand addiction from people with compulsive behaviors.
  2. Learn how O.A. works.
  3. Discover ways to tackle addiction from a spiritual perspective.
Resources Episode Highlights Why Use Spirituality to Save Yourself from Compulsive Behaviors

Food addiction and binge eating are not that much different from other forms of addiction. For this reason, we can also learn from those who struggle with substance abuse or alcoholism.


In the book God of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction, the author talks about addiction's mysterious power and illness. He explains that most addicts cannot even understand why they cannot leave the thing destroying their lives. In this situation, it is time to try spiritual solutions.

Understanding Addiction from an Addicts’ Perspective

The author studied addiction from a purely biological perspective. He then shares its relation to mental illness. He also observed a recovering addict who suddenly relapsed.  He concluded that addiction is not biological, nor is it mental. 

For an addict, food addiction is not the problem. Rather, it is a solution to feeling better. They continue because they have not found a better solution. People who compulsively eat do not eat out of fun but out of necessity.

Spiritual Awakening as a Solution to Addiction

From the start, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous presented a key statement which shaped the program: "and we prayed to whatever God we thought there was." Every human needs a spiritual connection. 

Although many people can live without a spiritual connection, addicts without it are miserable and can become worse. Without having a spiritual awakening, some addicts turn back to their addiction.

Clients’ Perspectives on OA

Betsy has clients who have both hated and loved their experience in O.A. This response may have depended on their personality, situation, or the feel and tone of their local group.

The OA literature consists of questions aimed at determining whether or not O.A. is for you. 

Listen to the podcast for the details of these O.A. fundamentals and the concept of spirituality as a solution. 

Tapping Into Your Inner Power

In the book, Radical Recovery, the author talks about the principles of a higher power and that we do not need a higher power to recover. Instead, we need a higher self that can tap into the power that lies within us. 

To further explain, he uses a banana as a metaphor. A banana’s outer layer is represented by different religious groups. He believes that the specific religion should not be the focal point. We should seek the inside of the banana for that sense of beingness.

Spiritual Energy as a Solution to Compulsive Behavior

The author of Radical Recovery says that there is no need to do the 12 steps in order. It may be better to engage in a daily practice of prayer and meditation.

This author sees a potential mental block with the belief that we are powerless over our addiction (this is a core belief in the 12 steps). Because you believe that you are powerless, you are bound to give in to your addiction. We are afraid to claim our  power because of the risk of failure.

To avoid this thinking, it comes down to focus. By vigilance, we can guard our thoughts and train our spiritual muscle from obsessive thoughts. In this way, you will be able to connect to the God of your understanding.

Believing that You are Good Enough

If we believe that we are worthless, the shame and fear controls us and makes us shrink from life. To provide further insight, the author tells a story about an eagle who grew up with chickens. Unfortunately, this eagle dies without realizing his true potential. Visit the podcast for the rest of this story! 

This story introduces the acronym S.O.A.R. for a guide on how to believe in yourself.

  • Step out of your comfort zone
  • Open your mind
  • Accept everything about you
  • Recover mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically
5 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

“I hate the word wrongs ... because I am a believer, strongly, that at any given minute in time we do the best that we can. … So in that moment, it's right to us when we're binging on food, it is the solution that is working. “

“If you focus on the banana, not the peel, that's when you can ask to access the ability to change fear into courage, to change resentment to forgiveness, to change anger into peace, to change self-pity into gratitude, to change lust to intimacy. “

“If you consider the amount of time that you spend on thinking about your addiction, and how to feed your addiction, and if you just decided to put that same amount of time into meditating, then you would be meditating for hours a day possibly. And therefore the phrase I don't have time is unacceptable.” 

“The greatest obstacle is our unwillingness to believe that we are powerful beings.” 

“If you are struggling, please get help. Your life on this planet is meant to be powerful. You're not meant to play small.” 

If you listened to the podcast and enjoyed it, please share and post a review!

My 10 week course can help you heal the shame that lies at the core of addiction. To enroll or to work with me privately you can email me at betsy@betsythurstonrd.com or visit my website.

To making peace with eating,


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