There were several factors that played into my recovery.
#1, the only reason I recovered and was able to move on from my issues with eating and am continually leaving them behind is because of Jesus and the people and things He brought into my life to change me, challenge my perspective on health, and push me to step out in faith and go after the eating and exercise and weight fears in my head.
One of the biggest parts of my recovery was… my family.
The girl with the camera? She’s my sister, the one that comes right after me in age line-up. She’s the complete opposite of me when it comes to health and nutrition. She’s carefree, adventurous, not worried about weight, and she has told me how she simply can’t understand how some girls can be so worried about eating junk food or the amount of calories going into their mouth.
This is the girl who has also, stopped me, looked me straight in the eye, even in the past year and asked, “Is this about calories? Is this about your weight? Why does it matter?” I admit that it stung a bit, but she also said the exact words I needed to hear every time. I would avoid the issue, even tiptoe around it, not wanting to admit that I do struggle with my eating and an obsession over my body, sometimes, even still. She has been like ‘iron sharpening iron.’
Proverbs 27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” I know that every time my sister confronted me, she confronted me because she loved me. If she didn’t love me, she wouldn’t have bothered, but because she loved me, she was willing to say the hard things, in love, so that I would dig down to the depth of my struggles and root out all the ED thoughts and habits.
Wow. Want to talk about this girl with me? 🙂 She’s 18 now. She’s a beautiful girl. She’s one of the most honest people you will ever meet. Even when you hurt her, she willingly, readily, forgives and quickly forgets. And boy, do I know that I did hurt her, by my obsession over food, my idolatry of eating healthy, of skipping dessert, or of fasting for a ‘skinny body’, and yet, she still loves me. She loves me even though I spent too much time focused on my body and my eating than making memories with her. She reminds me that the Lord truly does redeem the ‘years that the locusts have eaten,’ and I am grateful to the core of my being for her friendship.
She’s the youngest…. She’s a little goofy, and she is the joy, sensitivity, and a kind spirit in my life. She reminds me to not judge others for their eating habits with her love for others. She is sensitive, even at a young age, to other girl’s struggles with eating and food. She loves to eat ice-cream, but she’s not obsessed with it. She loves playing with food… as you see and using her imagination to turn the chicken into a talking monster.
The biggest thing. She was the person who never once mentioned my struggles, but I knew that she loved me in spite of them. She mirrored the love of Jesus in the way she continued and continues to love me with her joyful spirit, her forgiving heart, and her aptness for making me laugh… really hard.
It was never a comment from peers or people that I loved that started me off down the road to eating and body idolatry. In fact, these two people below, my daddy and my brother were two of the most constant, faithful, kind, and loving men in my life that I could have asked for during my struggles.
My dad. Well, my dad was the first one to gently prod me for the real reason I wanted to lose weight. He was the one who made me think, ‘Maybe it’s okay for me to start eating like a normal person again, to enjoy food with family that I haven’t enjoyed in a long time.’ He was so gentle about it. He didn’t accuse or get angry. He came to me with such gentle concern that it broke the walls I had and brought my struggles to the light.
My brother is amazing. He loves people. He truly does. I declare that there is not a ‘cliquish’ bone in his body. Always up for a new adventure, a new friend, or a new experience, he was my constant running companion for at least 3 or 4 years. We ran our first 10 mile, 11 mile, 12 mile, and 13 mile run together. We talked about everything from relationships, to my struggles with my body, friends, our walk with the Lord, our dreams, goals, daily happenings, and just random things… God used running to build a bridge in our relationship, that by God’s grace, I pray will never disappear.
My mom. I am incredibly, awesomely blessed by our great Heavenly Father to have a mom who is not only my mother, counselor, and advisor, but my best friend, a fantastic listener, a diligent seeker of a deeper relationship with Jesus, and one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. I didn’t need a counselor outside of my house (although I know some do!), because God provided a counselor in my mom. My mom has listened to some of my frustrations over my cycle, my eating, and body, and she has always provided wise, loving advice.
What can I say to those of you, my friends and sisters, who are struggling?
Be accountable. No, you don’t have to share your eating disorder with everybody, but find trusted people, your family, pastor, or friends that you can share your struggles with, ask for prayer, advice, and counsel. Don’t walk this road alone.
Proverbs 11:14, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.”
Sisters, I love you! If you ever need a listening ear PLEASE email me! I know it’s kind of scary to email someone you’ve never met in person, but I promise that I don’t bite, and that I would love to share with you my own struggles, what God has taught me, and is teaching me.
What were some of the biggest parts of your recovery?
Just share any thoughts you have today!