For the past two Thursdays, I have shared about my struggle with disordered eating and how I found healing. If you’re reading today’s post, you might have struggled with it too, or you’re simply interested to learn, may be to apply it to your own situation. Whatever the case, welcome on board.
Now, I’m no expert in this field(disordered eating) and so I can’t give you a full answer or course to total recovery. However, I would love to share what I have learnt through my journey and help someone recover more easily.
Here’re 5 my nuggets:
1. Changing your ‘outside’ won’t help much as long as your ‘inside’ is a mess.
Face the deep issues you have on the inside. Be it self esteem, fear, rejection, insecurities,whatever it is. Deal with that first. Find the roots of these issues.
Write down the ‘old story’ about who believed you are and replace it with a ‘ new story’. Let your new story be founded in God’s truth. Read God’s word about what He says about you, like Psalms 139. You’re loved, beautiful and gifted.Let God transform your mind especially in your self image.
2.Face your emotions
Feel every part of them; the good, the bad and the ugly. Stop running away from them and numbing them with food. Whenever those bad emotions of fear, judgement or frustration come up, feel every bit of it. If you’ve got to cry,cry! Journal it all out.
I realized that facing your emotions head on is very important. Resist the urge to turn to food.
You’re not hungry, trust me.
You’re just looking for an escape mechanism. You’re used to it so that’s the first thing that comes to mind whenever you feel things you don’t want to feel. But don’t let these emotions lord over you.
Just like a person who drinks or smokes to run away from their problems or feelings, nothing changes afterwards. Actually, often times, you feel worse. The problems will still find you.
Talk about it with God. You’ll be surprised how this moments of facing your emotions reveal things about yourself and mindset.
You’ll never grow unless you learn to face your emotions.
It may be difficult at first but with time, you learn to face it all and grow.
3.Invest in your interests .
If you’ve struggled with disordered eating, most probably you’re a foodie. Or maybe you’re not. Question is, apart from food, what else are you interested in?
What captures your interest?Reading? Writing? Dancing? Drawing? Singing? Whatever it is, have you neglected it?
Maybe it’s time you started taking your interests seriously. Maybe it’s time you started using your gift not only for yourself, but also to serve others.Set your fears aside and let your gift/s shine. Once you start to invest in your interests, you’ll be less preoccupied with food. That way, you’ll not result to overeating once you feel bored( and confusing boredom with hunger)
Schedule out time to really focus on these interests and you’ll realize that even you happiness level will increase.
You’re gifted even if you may not be aware of it yet. Just do what sparks your interest now and it’s going to lead you to your passion.Most of the time, it’s something you’ve dismissed as normal. Other times, God just surprises you with something you never thought you could do. Just like He surprised me with writing☺.
Pray and ask Him to show you your gift. Let Him lead you.
4. Incorporate self love.
I thought self love was some fluffy idea one had to have in the head.I didn’t think it was practical till I seriously needed it.
I had to stop bullying myself about how my body looked and speaking self-defeating words to myself that I would never speak to someone else or allow someone to say to me.
I had to stop overfeeding or binge eating till my stomach hurt just to push way the emotions I didn’t like. I was hurting myself and that wasn’t okay.
I had to accept myself first.
Other people’s acceptance of you shall mean little if you don’t accept yourself first.
When I lost weight then started to gain it back, I had to remind myself that I was nothing short of beautiful. No matter what people said due to my weight gain( ’cause people TALK!!) ,I knew that nobody and nothing can steal that away from me. My beauty lies within, in a pristine place filled with God’s blessings and gifts.
People didn’t know what I was going through, so I had to move at my own pace.
I trained myself to speak kindly and lovingly to the person on the other side of the mirror. Even when I chose to start working out again, it was from a point of love. I wanted to take care of this vessel God gave me. This time, with patience. When my body is too tired, I take a break. No pressure.
This time, I have my own body goals. I know how I want to feel afterwards. I set my own rules and choose the workouts I love.
I took back my power.
5.Involve God in EVERYTHING you do.
I might have hinted at this earlier but I feel the need to reiterate it.
Most times, we involve God in our education, jobs, finances, social lives and other ‘ major’ areas of our lives. Then we shove away other areas like fitness and body image as ‘less important.’
It’s through my relationship with God that I healed from disordered eating. It’s through opening up to Him that I learnt that this ‘food thing’ was controlling me and that I needed freedom.
I really wanted to be free; in every area of my life.
Once I surrendered my situation to Him, God would show me little ways in which I was doing things, not out of my own volition, but because certain food rules said so. I learnt how these lies I believed in spread to other areas of my life.
God reminded me that His love is constant. That I should not conform to the standards of this world , finding my worth in superficial things like my waist size, but be rooted in who He says I am.
My confidence is rooted in God and nothing can shake that.To Him, I am worth dying for. So if He loves me eternally, why shouldn’t I love myself?
Bonus point : Enjoy every moment.
Forget the calories and feel the sweetness of that cake or yummyness of that pizza melt in your mouth.
Learn to enjoy food, but also stay in touch with yourself to know when you’re simply enjoying the moment and when you’re stuffing away your emotions.
Lastly, if you’ve had a struggle like mine, know that YOU CAN DO IT. You can throw all those rules to the trashbin and be free. You can take back your power and choose your own dos and donts.
Learn to listen to your body. It communicates .Learn how certain foods make you feel and if they’re really helpful to your body. I realised my wheat addiction was all in the mind and it made me feel tired when I over did it.
If you’ve struggled with disordered eating, I’d recommend you read ‘Finding Balance’ by Paige Schmidt ( email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a copy) You can also find other free resources on her website.
Also, know that the journey to recovery takes time and requires patience. If you find yourself binge eating , be patient with yourself. Sometimes you won’t like your body even when you know all about self love. Suck it up and keep moving forward. Don’t give up on yourself. Allow yourself to transform, with kindness.
Set your own standards.
Take back your power and be free!
Thanks friend for taking time to read through the ‘Disordered eating’ series.
What’s one thing you’ve learnt from it? Kindly share with me in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.