Thursday, June 12, 2014

Struggling with Food

"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." -Liars

False. I've tried it, millions of women have,
 and nothing taste worse than striving for a body type that isn't natural.


Did you know that 80% more women began having disordered eating or an eating disorder after media was introduced into their culture.  I confess that I was in this percentage.  My struggle with food has been a long, tiring, frustrating, defeating road that I have traveled since I was a Junior in high school.  I am now almost 25 years old and look back at how this struggle has scarred me and how oblivious I was to the scary reality that 
 food controlled my life.  

It all started with the influence of media in my life.  Before reading "Shape" (or other popular health magazines) and becoming plugged into social media (tv, Facebook, movies, etc.) I had no idea my body wasn't what my culture decided was "the standard of beauty".  This standard demanded that I should look like the models on the cover of these magazines, be as skinny as possible, eat less than I burned that day and eat nothing with fat or carbs in it…Really?  All this led to depression, loneliness, fear of being fat, losing hair, looking malnourished, losing friendships and spiritual bondage

I struggled with this for years, food was a means to control painful feelings, my body, and unhealthy relationships with guys.  

I needed control and desired perfection in my life, I used food to attempt to get there.
I was scared of eating too much because I feared feeling out of control or fat.
I feared not eating enough because I couldn't stay awake.
I feared eating enough because I wanted to be "better & more than average".

" You worship whatever you worry about…"

Do you find yourself worshiping food and/or body image?

My struggle was eating too little in the beginning; however, there is another side of this coin where food (rather than God) became a source of comfort and contentment for me.  Both overeating and under-eating can become an idol and neither will ever satisfy you.

Girls think guys want them to be skinny, but after discussing this topic with my husband, he assures me that quality "men want to see women at a healthy weight". Super skinny, taken too far, is not attractive. In their minds, healthy weight and eating habits often represent confidence and discipline, two very attractive qualities to men. If you find yourself wanting to change your body so that men will notice you, you may want to rethink your motives.  

I don't have many pictures documented in the brink of my struggle or I would show them; however, here this is the reality I was living for too many years:

"Look happy, confident &  popular on the OUTSIDE….hide the depression, anxiety, control addiction on the INSIDE." 

I had no idea I had manipulated my body with food to look as if I had 0% fat on my bones.  That's what media told me was "beautiful"…media's definition of "beauty" was killing me slowly.

If you Google “skinny definition” on Webster's what will pop up is the following:

Adjective: (of a person or part of their body) Unattractively thin.
1. resembling skin: membranous
2a. lacking sufficient flesh: very thin: emaciated
2b. lacking usual or desirable bulk, quantity, qualities or significance.

So how did our culture take this word and use it to represent a goal, or rather set “skinny” as a bar to be attained? Or more simply stated, why do millions of women and men want to be associated with the word “skinny”?

normal eating vs. disordered eating
  • normal- eat because you're hungry, accept body shape/size, eat in response to hunger/satiety
  • dieting- count calories, skip meals or types of foods (good and bad foods), follow diet plan.  Dieting is a gateway for eating disorder and is the most common behavior that will lead to an eating disorder.
  • subclinical eating disorder- occasionally taking diet pills, preoccupied with food/body, some loss of control around food (compulsive behavior) count calories strictly.
  • clinical eating disorder- anorexia nervosa, binge eating

  • *

    One of the most liberating things I realized in the midst of my eating disorder was that I was not alone in this struggle with food.  I later found out that 90% of females battle with disordered eating and 60-70% of people with eating disorders have anxiety disorders. 

    Experience freedom!

    God doesn't leave us stranded in figuring out how to find freedom in the battles we face.  He clearly states in His Word  to take up the 
    shield of FAITH 
    and the 
    sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  
    With these two pieces of armor, we are ready for the daily battle against disordered eating and unhealthy body image.

    the armor of God:
     10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.    
     (Ephesians 6:10-17)


    Applying this Truth means that you apply the "R.E.E.D" acronym that I had talked about in the previous blog titled, "Desiring Worldly Fun".

    Apply this simple acronym to your everyday life, and watch yourself find freedom in Christ through His powerful Word.  


    -Your Emotions!  Ask God to show you what emotions you are feeling and why.

    Your Emotions to God!  He already knows them.
    Example- "I am tired of drinking and messing up with my boyfriend.  I feel so defeated by this, but Lord, I want to follow You and not my sin."
    Your emotions in Light of God's Word!
    "Are my emotions in charge?  What do they reflect about my beliefs about God?"

    To replace your thinking and behavior with God's Truth.
    "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit 
    of the Lord is, there is freedom."-2 Corinthians 3:17 

    "We have to look a certain way to be beautiful and if we don’t look that way we won't be as valuable to others.  We constantly need to worry about our appearance because that is what really matters.  If I don't have a certain body type, I will be unattractive and undesirable."
    Psalm 139:14 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  We are God’s masterpieces.  We were fashioned by him and absolutely beautiful because our Creator can NOT make mistakes.
    According to 1 Samuel 16:7 God does not care much about our outward appearance, He is concerned with our heart.

    You are all together BEAUTIFUL, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Song of Solomon 4:7 


    Below is a video a few friends and I did for "Project Illuminate"  to encourage women that they are not alone in their battle with unhealthy body image and insecurities.  "Project Illuminate" is a call to value, worth and freedom. Women today live in a battle of insecurity from body image, but you're not alone and the battle is already won - walk in the Light.

    If you are looking for a tool to help you assess where you are on the spectrum with healthy vs. disordered eating, this website will help!: 

    (The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) is probably the most widely used standardized 
    self-report measure of symptoms and concerns characteristic of eating disorders.)