Rewind 15 years ago I was trying out every diet I read and clinging to every nutrition fact I heard like it was hand delivered to me by Jesus himself. My problem was bigger than I understood. No matter what I tried, no matter how hard I pushed it at the gym, no matter how much I weighed… I still hated on my body. It was a daily cycle of trial… failure… repeat… and my confidence dropped lower by the day. I was eating and exercising in a self destructive pattern… then eventually, it morphed into an eating disorder.
I remember feeling so disgusted with myself that when my best friend asked me to meet her for happy hour (with chips and salsa 😬)— I was paralyzed. I was so fearful of eating, that I would rather skip precious time with her than have to face chips and salsa. Instead, I would stay home alone, and eat some serious ice cream at a I-hate-my-body party.
At the time, I didn’t recognize these patterns as harmful. But they were devastating to my body, my confidence, and my health. Staying so focused on hating my body distracted me from using it and perpetuated a counterproductive cycle.
We punish and abuse our body. Forcing it to live on little food and painful exercise. We try to beat our body into something we want it to be. Hating it, demanding it to obey. And then feeling betrayed by it when it doesn’t show the right number on the scale… so to heck with it all!
Its like trying to walk up a mudslide.
Not everyone has an eating disorder, but I think more people than we recognize eat disorderedly.
NEWS FLASH: Every anorexic started out a normal weight. Most people with Binge Eating Disorder continue to grip onto the #1 binge trigger, dieting, which only perpetuates the cycle. Most bulimics use socially accepted ways of “purging” such as running more to work off that extra dessert. Most eating disorders don’t start as full blown a-person-needs-inpatient-treatment-eating-disorders… they start off as disordered eating.
Here are some signs you might eat disordered-ish:
- You bounce from one diet to the next.
- You have to explain your weight before you get on the scale (“I just ate a big lunch so…”)
- The person who is better looking, more fit, or whatever triggers your insecurity just by walking in the room.
- You have a long “I can’t eat that” list.
- You tend to overindulge in food and feel guilty about it for hours, and then swear things will be different… starting Monday.
- You punish yourself with a workout after eating “bad” food.
- You stay home from social events because that means you have to get ready and go out. (🙈PEOPLE WILL SEE ME!)
- You keep the lights off during you-know-what. 😉
- You have nothing to wear (you say as you stand in front of a closet full of clothes).
Let me unpack this for you… We have a divinely-designed purpose that was uniquely gifted to us and we are called to share it with the world. BUT, when we don’t love and nurture our body we are held captive by our thoughts and actions… and we cannot contribute that light to the world.
The mental and physical abuse has to stop. Start taking care of your body and see how it takes better care of you. When you are tempted to hate it, remember why you have it in the first place.
Cheers and body love,