If I wasn’t thinking about how much I hated myself for what I ate, I was thinking about what I was going to eat next. In this blog I’ll share the moments of my life that I’m not so proud of and how I was able to be freed from the bondage of my weight, eating disorders and heal my relationship with myself and food. I’ll share with you the truth that has set me free and can also set you free!
Every minute of every day my thoughts were consumed on the negative aspects of food and myself in relation to food. My obsession with my weight started in 2006 when I realized I had gained so much weight I didn’t have a single pair of pants that fit me except my baggiest sweatpants. It started off as a healthy pursuit to take better care of my body – like many of us do, right?! But it quickly lead to an unhealthy obsession that impacted every single aspect of my life and thoughts. I was consumed by how much i weighed and about tracking every single morsel I put in my mouth.
I have successfully lost and kept off 60 pounds, but I didn’t do it in the healthiest of ways. There were day’s I’d be so mad at myself for what I ate that I’d make myself throw up, or I’d exercise till I was dizzy to try to offset the calories. Then, once I lost 60 pounds I became obsessed with never gaining the weight back. And I’d shame myself for what I ate, shame myself for being hungry, for not exercising… I had stopped throwing up, but I’d take a laxative or abuse magnesium so that I would still purge the food I ate so that I wouldn’t gain weight back.
Fast forward, it’s 2018 and I’m still struggling with my weight so much that I’m taking it out on everyone in my home. I’m weighing myself at least 3x/day and only allowing myself food if I weigh in at the right amount. When my weight would fluctuate I’d be so mad and frustrated that I’d sit and cry and want to hide from everyone because every fluctuation meant that I had failed yet again. It meant I was weak, stupid and an eternal let down to God, myself and others.
I spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars trying to heal the digestive issues that started to show up out of nowhere. I could hardly eat anything without getting sick from it. I had cut out bread, dairy, most fruits and even vegetables – saying I can’t eat that stuff, It doesn’t make me feel good. As the confusion of my weird digestive system continued to increase I became more and more obsessive about food – going further and further into the bondage of weight and further and further into sadness. Honestly I had completely forgot what joy and laughter felt like – I was so serious and so sad all the time!
In the pit of my self-hate, self-shaming and perceived failure I read 3 awakening things:
Blood is directed away from your digestive system when you’re stressed, worried, or anxious…Which means, every single time I eat something and abuse myself mentally because of it – it gets stored as fat not only that, but the more toxic my thoughts where the more my body would attack itself. This was the reason for my weird digestive issues, my constant exhaustion and inability to handle anything.
For all you food trackers out there, you’re wasting your time, because you’d have to be so accurate that you can’t even be off 20 calories a day or you’d gain 20lbs in 10 years. To realize how much time I was spending tracking my food and to know it was all a waste was a huge awakening. It’s impossible to track food perfectly unless you live in your home and never leave or eat out. And what kind of a life is that? Especially since we’re created for community.
- When we realize the miracle our body is, we are more inclined to fuel them properly. Beauty is from within, not from anything external. So what we put into our minds – what we meditate on is more important than what we put into our bodies. We truly speak health or sickness into ourselves by what we think about? Our bodies are a gift from God, when we mistreat them, it’s like slapping God in the face.
How the Gospel Healed My Eating Disorders & Fixed My Digestive Issues
What you meditate on is your god. My god had become the scale, my food tracking app, my exercise, my body, and even my self-shame. it’s crazy to think that my shame had become so much part of me that it felt odd to not feel the shame anymore. It’s heartbreaking to think about all the time I spent worshiping the scale and food and how little time I spent meditating on what is true, right, honorable, pure…
The more time I spent with God and in His Word, the freer I’d become. I’d read truths about how my body is created to heal, be be healthy, to lean on God when I’m weak (yes – weakness is good – it lets God’s glory shine), I started to glorify Him with my food choices, by the way I talked about myself, and started to see myself the way that He saw me.
We can eat all the healthy foods in the world, but if we have toxic thoughts toward ourselves, we weaken our immune system, we hurt our bodies ability to use the food we eat and the continuous high levels of stress hormones in our bodies will destroy our gut health faster than we can repair it with supplements and food.
For some reason, I ended up trapped in the lie that my body was my joy and peace – it’s not – my joy and peace is in the body of Christ and the Holy Spirit living within me.
I stared to apply the Gospel to the way I ate and my body began to respond accordingly in just a few months.
- I count all food as a blessing and I now pray for thanksgiving before I eat. I also eat with others as often as I can to enjoy the companionship of others. It has lead me to eat slower, I respond to my biological hunger and listen to feelings of satisfaction. Eating with others also helped my mind stay on thoughts of joy and the people I was with. I wouldn’t eat because of emotions so it was easier to listen to my bodies cues for when I was full. I will fueled by what my body needed and not by the macros or calories someone told me I needed to consume.
- I saw my body as a gift, something given to me as a gift. When someone gives me something to use – I take extra special care of it. Our body is just like this. We were bought with the blood of Jesus – so I choose to honor, love and respect my body and life with all my choices-food, supplement, exercise… In changing my thoughts to this way of thinking it is no longer a chore or burden to eat better or to exercise. It is a joy to eat and exercise! I stopped thinking about the fear associated with what I was eating or how much I was exercising and trusted fully that God created me perfectly – which means I trust him to be my provider and sustainer of my health… I believe the change in my thought life is what has healed my stomach issues and digestive system. I no longer have issues with fruit or bread or any other food for that matter. It was like I had set myself up with a self-fulfilling prophecy that all food was bad and going to make me fat so my body began to believe it too. (there is a lot of science that backs up the mind body connection to our digestive system) (*disclaimer – this may not be for everyone make sure you talk with your doctor first if they put you on supplements)
- I started to practice keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. I know that my joy and peace is not something I can attain on my own, or work hard at to achieve. It only comes as I keep in step with the Holy Spirit and practice being; kind, gentle, patient, loving, joyful… As I started to be that way toward food, my family, myself.. I stopped being irritable, easily frustrated and angry. I began to find joy again, laugh more and enjoy the people I was with! People became my focus – not food.
- I stopped weighing myself 3+ times a day. By putting my trust in God I was able to know that I was designed to fluctuate on a cycle and that it is more important to have Christ centered thoughts than it is to eat better or weigh a certain amount. When have you ever met someone that makes you feel like the most important person in the world and walked away knowing anything about their body shape?! Again, my focus left my belly button and turned to people. When I filled my body and mind with thoughts for others – my body balanced out and stopped jumping in fluctuations so much.
- Kingdom Focused Living became my number one goal. I because I was so consumed with my own weight and food, I didn’t have any room to encourage or inspire anyone else. I didn’t do any work for the kingdom of God – as a matter of fact I probably made it go backwards – at least in my own home. I stopped looking down and started to look up and it has transformed my health – I actually dropped an additional 10 lbs and I think all that was inflammation from years spent in fear, anxiety and shame.
I choose to apply the Gospel to my life and mediate on truth day in and day out. I choose to be an anchored female – anchored so strongly in loving the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind that my life is transformed to the point that all that I do is for the Kingdom of God.
That my focus is not on my body or the way I look, but instead focused on how much I am loved by my Heavenly Father, love myself for how He made me and encouraging others, making others feel alive, full, loved, and valued. Knowing that as I fill my life with an intimate relationship with God that there will be no room or need to fill my body with junky thoughts or junky foods.