Friends—thank you so much for reading my blog post on body image. I really think God was using me for that post, and I am glad His Word was such an encouragement for so many of you.
After publishing it, a couple of you reached out to me to ask for more specific advice. You wondered about any helpful suggestions I might have for someone going through recovery from an eating disorder or disordered eating.
First of all, for each of you who confessed to me that you have struggled with body image or eating and no longer want to walk that path, I want to say I am so proud of you. Being honest and admitting body image struggles, exercise addiction, or an eating disorder is the hardest part and the first step to recovery. And I would encourage you if you are reading this and thinking that you might be struggling, too, would you confess that to someone? Share this burden with someone else. Invite them in and push back some of the darkness that has a hold on you.
Give up your struggle to the Lord. Cry out to Him. Talk to Him specifically about what you’re going through. Someone once told me you have to claim your struggle—meaning you have to name it aloud and ask very intentionally for healing. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we wield. Use it. Don’t let sin and Satan’s grasp keep you trapped.
I think that has been one of my biggest revelations in recovery—the knowledge that I cannot do it alone. Other people are not here to judge you; they want to help you.
Even more so, God is here for you. If you are a Christian, you have been sealed with His Spirit. He dwells within you! Take a moment to soak that in.
God hears you, and He loves you so much. He doesn't want you to spend your life hyper-focused on your body and your weight, your fitness routine, and your food intake. He has so much more in store for you. You have to believe that. If you are wrestling with the same struggle again and again, continually hitting a dead end, and you are not a Christian, would you consider how a relationship with Jesus changes your life? How He enables your healing, recovery, and redemption?
Read my story. I can’t make this stuff up—I’m alive today because of Jesus. I’m still a work in progress, and I will always be. But He has given me new life. You can have new life, too.
If you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and you proclaim that, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
My next step for you would be to start meeting with a non-diet dietitian in your area. I cannot emphasize enough how much my dietitian has helped me and continues to lead me on the road to full freedom. When seeking out a dietitian, be sure she has her credentials and really does specialize in eating disorders and intuitive eating. If you cannot find someone in your area like this, there are some great RDs who offer phone/Skype sessions. Consider Robyn (a friend and fellow church member from New York City!), Kylie (adore her), or Reba (my dietitian!).
Another thing that was super helpful for me was doing a detox for my mind. I re-evaluated all the media I take in, and I looked specifically for healthier outlets that would encourage me and build up my body confidence. I now regularly read blogs like Imma Eat That and The Real Life RD, and I listen to podcasts like Food Psych with Christy Harrison. I look for books on recovery, such as Life Without Ed (could not recommend this more), The Eating Disorder Sourcebook, and Intuitive Eating (a game-changer for everyone, not just those who struggle with an ED).
I stopped following a lot of people on Instagram who made me feel guilty about the food I eat or the way my body looks. I stopped following most celebrities. I often found myself comparing my life to theirs, and it wasn't healthy. About a year ago, I stopped all my magazine subscriptions. I read magazines here and there, but not the way I use to legit study them from cover to cover. I even stopped watching "The Bachelor/Bachelorette"—I know that sounds silly, but it's helped! I didn't realize how much I compared myself to the "real" women on those shows and held them as a standard for what I should look like and what men desire. Let me tell you: That could not be further from the truth.
I have to take solace in the real Truth—God's Word. Psalm 139 and Proverbs 31 are beautiful reminders of who we are as precious daughters of Christ. Our worth is so much more than our weight or the food we eat. Pick a verse that especially speaks to you and memorize it. Pull that out when you’re tempted to fall back into old ways.
For me, that’s 1 Samuel 16:7:
Remember who you are and whose you are. Keep fighting. Recovery is a battle, but full freedom and restoration are possible.
If you want to talk more about Jesus Christ and faith and what-the-heck-is-all-this-stuff, shoot me a message. I love meeting new people, whether virtually or in person, and gabbing about life.
And if you'd like to know more of my story, you can read my testimony here.
Truly, He makes beautiful things.