I never had an eating disorder.
But I came pretty close.
My family and some people from church had to come together and break the news to me in a serious way. They would see me constantly going to the gym, obsessing over what I ate, going days without eating a substantial meal, and weighing myself daily. They sensed me becoming unhealthy and obsessive, and they told me it needed to stop.
I respected their concerns but I thought I really had it under control. I was trying to monitor how I looked so that Ron could be proud that he married me and so I could be super confident in my skin. Starving myself some days was totally fine because that was the painful sacrifice I had to give if I wanted to see faster results.
This was my goal...I am 107 pounds but I had this deep longing to be 100 pounds.
That was my goal weight for so long but I could never reach it. In my mind, I had to take drastic measures so that I would be able to. I thought this goal was normal and I justified it by saying things like- Well, when I want to get pregnant one day, then I should weigh something abnormally low just because I'll gain so much through my pregnancy. So whatever I gain will be just fine, because I'll already be so skinny!
Or things like- If I don't have an awesome body then Ron will always secretly envy other men that have wives with a great figure. (Even though he has never, ever, ever, EVER, given me any reason to think this way.)
It was all fun and games until three things happened...
1. I made a meal for Ron and I for dinner one time and after the meal he said while laughing"Wow! That was so yummy but now I feel so fat. I probably gained a good amount of weight in eating that." and I absolutely lost it. We ate the same food so I must have gained that weight too. I was unconsolable for a while and demanded that he never say anything like that again. I couldn't stop crying that night.
2. Then later on in the week, I became hysterical in my car, yet again, unable to drive to my next meeting, all because I saw a girl at the gym with a better body than I had. She had strong abs, a more defined waist, and her back was so toned. Her and I went to the gym around the same time and did all the same exercises, yet I didn't look like she did.
3. Then while feeling lightheaded, I went to grab a drink of water from the fountain. I woke up to an EMT poking my finger with a needle and telling me they were going to grab a stretcher to put me on....
I knew in these moments that my problem was going to get much worse if I didn't reign it in.
Problem was... I didn't know how to.
But you know who has all the answers?
Historically, appearance has always been important in our world. In our society today though, appearance is everything. It determines whether or not you can get a job, get that guy, or are accepted into the cool crowd. Our generation has convinced us, especially women, that it is the end-all, be-all. We fall into this trap, myself included... Hook, line, and sinker.
The apostle Paul didn't seem to buy into the lies though. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, he says "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach is made for food". It definitely doesn't seem like he overthought that concept or became anxious over it at all. Why? Because Jesus was his master and he didn't obsess over anything else but pleasing Him.
As I read more scriptures, I became extremely convicted and I started to get to the root of why I was dealing with this.
I was in sin. I was in deep sin. I just needed to understand how I got there.
As I sat with my Bible on my lap, I closed my eyes and prayed that the Lord would reveal to me where this obsession started. And He did. All I'll say is a little girl needs a father who possesses integrity and speaks the truth over her in love but I didn't have that. I didn't have that at all. I actually had an earthly dad who did the opposite. Everything was about looks. If you were beautiful, you were deemed worthy to him. If you weren't, he didn't care about you. As he got older, he would always ask a consistent key question. He hasn't seen my mom in years so whenever him and I would be on the phone he'd sneak in "How much is your mom weighing now? How about your sister?" I never thought anything of that question or the many other scenarios that involved weight and my dad, but DUH. That's where my obsession came from. Check. Got it.
Now how did I get over it...
I haven't yet.
After you've thought one way for the last 20 years, it's hard to completely change your mindset. But I am trying with my whole heart to be better. I want to be able to show my future daughter that I have overcome the lies and that she can too, because I won't stop believing that it really is possible to live free in Christ. I've gotten accountability and I've even purchased resources in order to refute satan's tricks.
And through my daily surrender and clinging to the cross, I'm learning that the scale doesn't have the power to send you to heaven or hell, to beautify your soul, or to save others from damnation. I'm learning that the number on that screen isn't measuring your holiness, but just the weight of your earthly body which withers and fades away. I'm learning that there are many women that know how to work out and have great bodies, but it's very rare to find a woman with a heart on fire for God and one committed to living out His will for her life.
I'm a long way from where I should be, but at least the Lord helped me catch this thing before it caught me.
For that, I'll be forever thankful.
For that, I'll be forever willing to fight.