“Let’s Get Real” Wine Chat about Eating Disorders
Hi loves! Let’s get cozy, pour a glass of wine, and get real. I know I have shared this many times, but I am super type-a personality, also known as a major perfectionist. If I have a vision in my head, I find a way for it to happen. This would always set me up for major disappointments. I would define my worth if I succeeded in that image I had set in my head. I would actually put so much pressure on myself to succeed, I would generally just fail- crazy, huh? This was recognizable during my time playing tennis. I would spend hours practicing (3 hours a day to be exact) and rarely win a match. I knew everything that I was supposed to do, but I could not handle the pressure. In my head I envisioned myself being a college tennis player. However, when the school I wanted to go to and could play at didn’t match up, my life changed completely. I not only felt like a failure but I felt I lost a sense of control.
Because of my personality type, I needed the feeling I was in control of something and if it wasn’t tennis what would it be? Well, my idea of learning how to eat healthy led to calorie counting and that soon became an obsession. Counting calories and controlling my food consumption satisfied my need for control, which spiraled to an illness.
When I attended college my freshman year, I walked on to campus with a skewed desire to prove my worth to God, my family, and friends. I excelled exceptionally in my academics and I was continuously losing weight. I was on the Dean’s list, thinner than ever, and being at a Christian University my faith looked strong, so I felt like I was on top of the world. In the point of view of my friends and family, I was doing well. In reality, I was dying spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I covered up my obsession with food and my weight with my accomplishments in school and serving God. I was suffering from an eating disorder. I thought I was fooling all those around me, but most people could tell my body was suffering. However, I was in denial. I thought I was proving to God my self-worth by loving others more than myself. I thought I was making my parents proud by being at a Christian University and well on my way to reaching my goals to be an Elementary Teacher. I was very blessed to have roommates that were aware of the effects and signs of eating disorders, and never bought into my eating habits, yet tried making me aware that living off a rice cake a day is no way to live. All of this changed when I spent time in the hospital and no one understood what was wrong with me, and at this time I did not know either.
During this time, my body was diminishing but the Holy Spirit inside of me never left. I had a realization of my problem when I stumbled upon 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” Tears immediately rolled down my face and knew I needed to find help. I laid awake that night, like almost every night, and still tried to convince myself every reason why I do not have a problem. However, there was something more powerful than the demons in my head, telling me to trust and that it was going to be okay. Having that courage to have the conversation with my roommates and family was just the beginning.
My family and I made a decision for me to move home, transfer to the closest university, and immediately start counseling. My trouble for a while was I knew I had a problem, but I wasn’t ready to give it up. I was so deeply sick I thought I needed to have the control over my weight and food or my life would go terribly wrong. Like God always does, He spoke to me during the most intricate parts of my journey, and at a significant time, I came across this picture:
Seeing this picture was the turning point of my recovery. I knew that God has something better planned for my life, than to be consumed with my weight. Was it easy from there? I wish I could say it was, but honestly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I had many good days and very bad days. The trend of my good days would be submitting myself to God to be his servant, so I could live out His will. It took many hours of counseling, a lot of time alone, and loads of love and support from my closest family and friends. I not only gained a healthy relationship with food, but I got my life back again that is full of laughter, smiles, and the love I have for those around me.
I am sharing my story to encourage the girl that is struggling. I want you to know that you aren’t alone. Being honest with yourself and finding that one person to talk about your struggles will be the beginning of your recovery. I am not here to tell you it is easy, but it is worth it. You will not only be able to be yourself again, but a better version of YOU, and that’s what matters.
Lastly, I want you to know that if you do not think you can talk to anyone, you can talk to me. I can do my best to love you, encourage you, and assist you in finding the resources you may need. If anyone has any questions about how to help someone struggling or eating disorders, in general, please feel free to reach out to me.
Thank you so much for allowing me to be vulnerable and share my story of God’s faithfulness.