At 18 years old, I was at the peak of my eating disorder. I weighed 95lbs and when I looked in the mirror, I truly thought I was fat and ugly. I know, harsh.
I was working at a hair salon at the time and my boss noticed I never ate, was getting thinner and thinner, and that I cried a lot in the bathroom. He tried so hard to get me through it that he would actually bring me food and sit there with a spoon encouraging me to take a bite of food. It rarely worked.
In looking back, my eating disorder began in 7th grade. During that season of my pre-teen life, my oldest sister had gotten pregnant (she was only 16 years old), my other sister was experimenting with drugs, and we had to deal with a lot of our friends and even family passing so much judgment on us. Needless to say, my parents were overwhelmed, and my 12 year old secretly introverted self could not process and express my emotions. It was then that I started cutting and making myself throw up.
I found myself in an abusive relationship when I was 16 and by the time I was 18, my life was completely out of control. I dropped out of college, lost all my friends, and I distanced myself from family because of this relationship. I didn’t recognize the person I had become. Worst of all, I distanced myself from God. I struggled so much with shame and my worth. I thought He hated me, like He was disgusted with me. Sad, right?
What I didn’t realize, and what others didn’t understand, was that it didn’t feel like a choice for me….to eat or not eat. My mind had taken over. For me, not eating felt like I was in control of my awful life. But deep down I was just a hurting little girl who dug herself in such a deep hole and didn’t know how to get out.
During one of my routine doctor’s appointments I had a wakeup call. He told me if I didn’t get help I could die. That was the breaking point for me. I knew that I had to make a change and that I needed help. The first step was admitting that exact thing, that I needed help and couldn’t do this alone. More than anything, I needed the Lord and His truth to reign in my heart in such a way that I could find freedom.
“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
By the grace and power of God, and the professional help that I chose to receive, I overcame one of the hardest times in my life. Today I still battle with my weight but because of knowing my worth in Christ Jesus, I can rebuke the voices in my head telling me I’m not good enough and that I’m not a beautiful creation. No matter the circumstances, His word says:
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalms 139:14
and I know that He is so much greater than any stronghold this world drags you into.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, consider getting help. We’d love to connect you with some resources.