Truth and Freedom through Christ
I cannot trace what caused me to become anorexic. Nobody would have imagined that I would develop it because I was a healthy teenager and had a great relationship with food. However, when I was seventeen, I decided I wanted to eat healthier and lose a bit of weight, and so it began.
As people began to compliment me on my weight loss and slim figure, I was motivated to continue my diet. Each time I weighed myself, I had lost weight and it felt like an achievement. Although I had never previously enjoyed exercise, I got gym equipment to make sure I kept the pounds off. What started out as a healthy eating and exercise regime then turned into an obsession. I would count the calories for everything I ate and even weighed all my food to make sure I didn’t overeat. I knew the calorific and fat content of everything that went into my mouth. Meals changed from a healthy dinner to simply boiled cabbage.
I didn’t recognise that I had a problem even though everyone around me could. Even though I knew what I was doing was selfish, I couldn’t eat properly and saw food as my enemy. I did not allow myself to sit down between 5 o clock in the morning and 7 o clock at night. I had to be exercising or walking around. If I had to sit down then, I would make sure I would tap my feet so that I was still exercising.
I was always cold and my hands would often turn purple and my nails blue. My hair began to fall out, my menstruation stopped, and the doctor warned me of the risk to my body through what I was doing.
As I continued to exercise, my body hurt and I could feel the strain I was putting on it. I had to stop working because I was mentally unwell and physically weak. But still, a voice in my head was controlling me and stopping me from eating, and I was putting my life at risk. Even though I could see how I was upsetting those around me, I continued to make weight loss my project. I was so thin that when I contracted a bug, it left me very vulnerable and I almost risked my life. My mother would check me as I was sleeping to make sure that I was still alive.
I wanted to get better, but I didn’t know how to overcome the control that dieting had over my life. I was controlled by it, and I couldn’t stop the voice in my head telling me how lazy and worthless I was. That voice trapped me in a world of torment and lies.
One day, a couple who I knew as acquaintances invited me to their house. Although this was out of my routine and took a lot of mental strength, I agreed to go. It was then that my friend made me realise how my actions were affecting those who loved me. He invited me to their house again so they could pray over me. As they did, I felt an overwhelming peace that I have never felt before in my life. The Holy Spirit moved through my body like waves. I was filled with joy and made a decision that I would trust in God to help me to get better.
My recovery was not easy. I had to fight that voice. But I armed myself with the truths from the Bible, the love of Jesus, and the love of my family and friends. And that voice is gone!
Encouragement for Others
To anyone who is still struggling with an eating disorder, my advice would be to get rid of all the things that make you feel worse; for example chuck out celebrity gossip or diet magazines and avoid websites that may feed the control that the disorder has over your life. Also, grow in the knowledge of the word of God. I was used to believing all the lies that the world told me. Even those closest to you may say insensitive things (even though they don’t mean to). But understand how valuable you are to God, how beautifully He made you, and what good things He has planned for your life. If the voice comes, pray pray pray it out. Just keep believing Jesus will release you. He will.
Rebekah now has a blog to provide comfort for those with eating disorders. Check out Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.