Eating disorders, something that so many don’t like to talk about. Yet, we live in a world that is consumed by body image, the want to be thin and the ideal of living up to what the media perceives as beautiful. We see before and after pictures and we don’t see the story in-between. This is my story.
Since I was a child, my weight has always defined me. I remember in kindergarten, not being able to play on the playground with my peers, or being picked last in gym class. I was not like my peers, a theme that continued until I was 18 years old. My freshman year of college, at the age of 18 I set out to loose weight, primarily to gain the love and acceptance from someone other than myself. I was absorbed in the desire to live my life to please someone else and to fill a void that I had lived with all of my life. I used food to fill my sense of aloneness from my peers, rejection from men and to hide the reality of my childhood. In 1 year, I lost 105 pounds and ran 2 half marathons but I was still searching for more. You see, I thought loosing weight would be the cure to my problems; rather I struggled more than I imagined.
Today, I look back at the past 4 years in particular and praise God for saving me. What you may not know is that for 2.5 years I fought bulimia, an eating disorder that went unnoticed. I looked the same and I knew ways to hide my disorder. Bulimia controlled my life and what I did. I was spending countless dollars on food, to only binge and get rid of it. It was one of the things in my life that I had full control over. I was simply just living, living to be thin and to be accepted by others. I was so busy destroying myself to even think of Christ’s love letter to me.
I realized that God didn’t need to create me, but He chose to create me for His own enjoyment. Yet I was ruining the body he so beautifully created. I would work out extensively, eat large meals and only end up in the bathroom, unable to swallow for days or even sip water. Throat raw. I was killing myself. As I lay on the bathroom floor crying, praying that the Lord would free me. Free me from the pain and quickly 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 came to mind and I knew I had to fight. Fight for the life that was given to me.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple (1 Corinthians 3:16- 17)
Friends, when we surrender our bodies to Christ, knowing that they are not our own, we can enter into a light of truth in which He has called us and leave the dark and the need for control. Eating disorders are a lie of Satan. He does not want us to believe that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” that our worth is in Jesus Christ, rather he wants us to believe that our worth is in the number on the scale or the size of our waists. Emily T, Wierenga wrote it well: “I know, it’s not easy: when the world tells you that you are what you eat, or what you weigh, or that you’re only as good as your calorie count or the number of followers on social media. The world weighs with numbers; the Lord weighs with grace, and you owe him nothing, friend. Everything and nothing. He has paid it all. He wants you to rest and trust him. He’s got you covered.”
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14
The truth is, none of us deserve God’s grace and redemption and I am forever amazed by his love. I am no longer giving into Satan’s call for me to give in to his commands, for which I can only thank God for. I am redeemed because the pain that I couldn’t bear was the pain that stabbed His heart as he watched me hurt my own. All I wanted was to be thin and control my life but God saw past it all. As you read this, know that I will forever be affected by my decisions. It’s a battle I will fight for the rest of my life, but it is a battle that I continue to fight daily with the help of friends, family, community and Jesus Christ. I still can be consumed by the world’s view of thinness but I know there is something better. If you are struggling today, please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Pray and know the Lord will answer your prayers. Fight friends, it’s a fight worth fighting.
The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jeremiah 31:3
So as you see pictures on social media; especially ones of weight loss on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter ect, remember that there is a story behind every picture. A story that you may not know.