Some of you may not know this about me: I had an eating disorder.
I was a sophomore in college. Life was good. I was beginning my second year in marching band, I was reunited with my incredible friends I had made my freshman year, engagement to my childhood sweetheart looked to be in the very near future, and I had officially declared my major. I had a new dorm, I had a new roommate which would become my best friend for the remainder of my time at Liberty, and I had a new love: kickboxing.
I have never been athletic. I have never cared for competitive anything, nor did I care in the least about exercising. My first kickboxing class, I must have looked like a clumsy toddler as I struggled through every moment. But I loved it. And I became obsessed. Not with the class per se, but with doing whatever I could to get smaller.
Satan flew through that door as soon as I opened it. He filled my mind with the most foul descriptions of myself. The lies were piled around me in this house of horrors. I couldn't keep up with (the clean up of) it all. It was too much. His lies haunted every corner of my mind. I would pray. I would write. I would sit for hours in our tiny campus chapel just crying and feeling completely overwhelmed with the burden of feeling just disgusting.
I told myself, "you don't deserve to eat. Just eat enough so as to not give yourself a headache. You aren't where you need to be yet. You're gross. You're revolting."
Throwing up was not an option. Even through all of my pregnancies, I fight hard to avoid vomiting through morning sickness. I'm quite good at it, actually. So I had to eat as little as possible in order to be successful in my new endeavor.
Every morning I would eat a poptart. That poptart would last me four days as I only ate 1/4 each morning. Lunch and dinner were usually two packs of saltines and a small bowl of cottage cheese. I was starving. In every way I was starving: spiritually, mentally, and physically, of course.
On my twentieth birthday, I broke down. I told my roommates (who were my closest friends at the time) what my struggle had been. I told them I needed their help and prayers. I had struggled in secret long enough, but I didn't have the courage to tell anyone beyond that. Not my family. Not even my (almost) fiancé.
At my lowest weight, I fit into a shirt that would comfortably fit my now two year old nephew. I was too small. And guess what? Despite the fact that I had surpassed my goal size, I wasn't happy. Imagine that.
I am disclosing all of this right now because I believe that once you struggle with an eating disorder, it never really (ever) goes (completely) away. Satan has invaded my heart and mind many times since then. I'm no where near that size I was when I was at my lowest weight, but sometimes, I find myself going there again. I feel completely repulsive and overwhelmed with disgust for myself, I take the lies Satan gives me and I cling to them as if there is no alternative.
Recently, I have lost about fifteen pounds. It's not that easy. While I can be happy for the accomplishment, I have to be careful to tread lightly on the fact that when I begin to lose weight, it doesn't become an obsession. Maybe that's why I've avoided it completely since having children. Gaining weight for pregnancy never bothers me, and I actually never feel more beautiful than when I have a life growing within me. It's the aftermath that I hate. I don't push the struggle (of losing weight) too much for fear of getting lost in that downward spiral once more.
Lately, if I may be so raw, I have caught myself using our scale 5-6 times a day. Shamefully, in the middle of the night, when my baby wakes, I check and make sure that things are staying steady and not increasing. I'm ashamed. I am. That's why I'm telling you now. I don't want Satan to come and wreak havoc on my mind and body again. It seems as though I may have left the door cracked open though...
This post seems to offer little in the way of encouragement and enlightenment. For that, I apologize. I write because that's my therapy. That's my voice.
I hope, if you are struggling with body image, or if you have in the past, that you are honest about it.
Tell someone. Then, get on your knees and tell The Creator you are so sorry for not believing the promises and truths He has graciously spoken to us in His Word.
Finally, purpose to change. Change your actions, your thoughts, and your beliefs....taking every thought captive. Choose whom you will serve. Remember how much God loves you. Remember how much Satan hates you. Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Remember that The Enemy is out to destroy you. Remember, that if you follow Christ, you have the power (through His precious blood) to tell Satan to leave you alone. He must flee...
"Greater is He that is within me..."