I've been wanting to write about this for a while. The story of God's grace and sovereignty in my life in spite of my perpetuating sin.
I guess I've struggled with my body image, weight and overeating for ... maybe about ten years. Maybe longer. I can remember back to when I was fifteen and went on my first "diet" I had gained a bit of weight, but not too much, mom asked if I wanted to do a diet with her. I know now that she regrets this decision, but I feel like I would have done something even without her suggestion, so I don't feel as though she needs to take blame. Anyways, it was 1000 calories a day (far too little for a teenage girl who is still developing) and I lost about 20 pounds in a few months. It was extremely restrictive, so when I went off it was as though I could taste all these forbidden foods anew, and they were SO GOOD. I laugh about it now, but it wasn't really that funny. That next year I think I gained about 40 pounds, well above my previous weight. It was a big life-changing year of going to public school for the first time, changes in my body, my self-esteem plummeting and feeling like everyone was looking at my differently.
Probably the biggest thing my young heart noticed was that boys saw me differently. They treated me differently with my weight loss and then my weight gain. Partially it might have been my own self-esteem, but it made a difference. This convinced me that I would never be fit for a relationship unless I lost all that weight. I would never be acceptable until I was the "right size" I had this distorted image of myself that I was just a little bit above the level of dirt. I was fat and that equaled ugly. If I could lose weight, then I would be beautiful and acceptable. Then all my dreams would come true, then that guy in my English class would like me.
This struggle continued throughout high school and into college. Along the way God was showing me that I could control nothing apart from Him. I would try and try to have self-control, it sounds so silly now, but when I was stressed I literally could not think of anything else except where to get some food to binge on. I would binge if I was sad or bored as well. Many nights and weekends were spent in front of the TV with something, it didn't really matter what, as long as it filled me to the brink. Okay, so I'm putting this on the internet and maybe it's personal, but I write this so that others who have struggled with this won't feel as lonely as I felt. Alone in my sin. I was just this weird person who couldn't have a healthy view of food. The biggest part is that it was a secret. I might hint at it sometimes, probably my roommates had the clearest picture of what was going on, large portions of food being missing, they would sometimes come home and there I would be... but I tried the best I could to hide it. I think about that sometimes to this day and wish I could ask them, it is still humiliating in my mind.
In all of this, I still had a relationship with the Lord. This habitual sin that I would ask for freedom from, I would ask God to help me lose weight, to have self-control. I don't know where the break down happened, but somewhere in there I would lose touch, I would take the controls again, and then drive myself into a ditch. I was reading my journals recently and they are FILLED with pleas to help me to stop. I think throughout all of it I felt that He still had a deep, abiding love for me. Maybe it was the thorn in my flesh, I don't know. It definitely kept me humble. Often I would go the other way and feel as though I was worthless. I will also tell you, I know what addiction is like. If anything, I have a faint picture of what drug addicts and alcoholics experience. I don't know what kind of comparison there is there, but I know what it is to be drawn like a magnet to substance. And I will testify that it is possible to get out. By the Spirit of the Lord, the chain-breaking of Jesus and His death on the cross, it is possible to get out, to be freed. I can say this because I am freed today.
There is more to this story, but I just heard Levi wake up, so I will go now.
I will write again soon.