I’ve only shared this story with my husband and a few, very close friends. I don’t really want to share this dark side of who I am. But someone challenged me recently saying that ‘ugly, disgusting thing’ in my past could be the light someone else needs to see. I know I’m not alone in this struggle and if my story, my struggle encourages even just one person, it is worth it to share.
I have struggled with my weight since I was very young. I can remember back as far as kindergarten feeling like I was bigger than the other girls in my class. I really wanted to be pretty and popular. I was ashamed of how much I weighed, and never wanted to play sports because I felt uncoordinated and didn’t want other people to know how much I weighed. But I always pretended I was totally fine with the way I looked.
In high school, I started sneaking off after meals and purging all the food I had just eaten. It was a way for me to control my weight. It started as just an occasional, “I’ve overeaten” reaction. But it grew to be something I did multiple times a day. I’m not going to share here how I was able to keep it a secret, but to this day, I don’t think any of my family knew what I was doing or how much I was struggling.
I suffered as a bulimic for about ten years, into my 20s. If I wasn’t purging all the food I was eating, I was working out to burn off every calorie I ate. My weight went up and down. When people commented that I looked like I had lost weight, I was ecstatic. But I hated the way I felt. I was ashamed of my eating disorder, and I just wanted to be healthy. Meanwhile, I tried different diets. Weight Watchers. Jenny Craig. Not eating….then totally binging when I got hungry, fighting the urge to purge afterwards because I felt so bad about myself. I sought counseling a couple of times, but honestly, that seemed like a waste of time and money.
I shared my struggles with my husband when we got married. I don’t think he can ever fully understand my struggle but he has been my best supporter and encourager. When I became pregnant, I was determined to change my habits, particularly as a mom of a daughter. I don’t want her to grow up with the same struggles. I am no longer bulimic. However, I think I will always suffer from disordered thinking when it comes to food and my body. Even at my leanest a few years ago, I still thought I looked fat. Looking back now at photos, I realize my view of myself is still distorted and this is going to be a battle I have to fight every single day. I am truly at my healthiest right now, inside and out. Instead of seeing exercise as punishment for whatever I’ve eaten, I enjoy the way it makes me feel. I finally know how to eat healthy, and allow myself to enjoy treats. I am grateful for this body God has given me and want to take care of it.
When I say that this battle to lose weight is more than physical, I truly mean it! I believe Satan has targeted this area of my life. It’s only through God’s strength and power that I am able to fight this battle. I am made for more, and so are you!
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17