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Dealing with an Eating Disorder
Brett Anderson ©2003

I really wanted God to give me something special for this week's TFTW and I believe this is it. I have had this sitting on my computer for a long time cos I asked a friend of mine Dawn, who is a Christian psychologist, to write something on this for me. I really have had the theme of 'truth setting you free' on my heart for most of today and believe this is the time for this.

I think that some people may feel that this is an inappropriate forum for this type of this which is very sensitive but I think, along with some topics we have touched on, that it is a topic no one ever speaks about and so where is the appropriate forum? It is important to get this into the light as the power of darkness and secrecy has such a strong hold in keeping the person bound and hopefully we can get some help for some people through this.

Secondly there may be a lot of you who think that this doesn't relate to you and if it doesn't (As with any thort that may or may not be relevant - would be strange perhaps if each single thort had relevance to you) then you are welcome to delete it, but before you do I would encourage you to check with God that it doesn't relate to you. You may not struggle with it personally but you may know someone who does or you may know someone that you don't know struggles with this. Pray and put the matter before God and ask Him what to do with this and then at the very least start praying for the very people you know do suffer with it or ask God to reveal to you people who may be struggling with it so you can be praying for them.

I am not a fan of statistics but a few months ago on a camp a friend of mine who attends a girl's school told me something like 70% of the girls at the school suffer from eating disorders and while I pray to God that that is way over the top in terms of exaggeration, it obviously means that a whole LOT of girls do struggle with it.

God IS the answer. God CAN bring freedom. If you are reading this and are caught up in some kind of overly strict eating control and know you have a problem, please realise that God is absolutely passionate about you and is the One who can set you free.

God bless you and thankx to Dawn Codrington for writing the article - please speak up to someone (someone who loves you, Dawn, me) if you are caught up in this thing and let's get going on the road to recovery.

Dealing with an Eating Disorder
By Dawn Codrington

Do you sometimes feel that you are seeking God but struggling to find answers? Sometimes, we don't always feel that He is really here and sometimes I've questioned whether He even loves me. These doubts come out of pain that God understands. We need to keep seeking and KNOW and believe (even if it is just in our heads for a while) that He DOES love us. When dealing with an eating disorder we need to remind ourselves that our perceptions are malfunctioning. What we think or feel is not necessarily true.

Do you understand what drives your bulimia or anorexia? Do you struggle with:
  • guilt?
  • feeling out of control?
  • an excessive need for perfection?
  • anxiety for the approval of others?
  • feeling unclean or dirty?
  • ugliness?

Restricted eating, binging and vomiting fulfil a role to relieve pain. Before you even try to overcome the eating issues, you need to understand the pain behind it. You need to face the abuse, rejection, anxiety... Seeing a Christian psychologist who can help you work out what's driving the dependence on or avoidance of food is a vital. Perhaps you could phone some local churches and ask for the number of a CHRISTIAN PSYCHOLOGIST, not just a counsellor. You don't have to give your name when you phone.

Do you sometimes say,"I don't know how to talk to God about it. Or rather I do, but part of me has accepted this way of life and that this is what I have to do to make myself a whole person." You need to keep speaking to God about it. He is the One, together with you, who has the power to change you. The devil feeds us the lie that maybe we have to settle for second best. But Jesus said, "I have come that they [you] may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

It seems to me that you, like all of us, are battling to distinguish between truth and lies. Make a list of some of the lies that are consuming your mind. Try to find statements of truth to help you fight these lies.

The devil uses our thoughts to control us - we need to fight back with true thoughts. Read Matt 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13 to see how Jesus fought the devil's lies. Note that Jesus was "full of the Holy Spirit" (Luke 4:1) when the devil attacked. Attack does not imply that you are a bad Christian. Rather, it seems that the devil attacks those that are a threat to him, those who mean business with God. Be encouraged, but read Ephesians 6. It seems that you need to put on God's armour.

God never allows us to go through more than we can handle. Why is God allowing you to go through this? What are you meant to be learning? What tools is He giving you so that you can pass them on to others?

Face the pain. Look into it and go to God for the answers. He is walking with you. I know because He walks with me. Tell Him honestly how angry and lost you feel. Declare your dependence on Him. He is the only way.

Lack of trust and the pain of rejection often keeps these problems alive. I had to learn to trust God again before I could trust others. I needed to turn to God for acceptance and love. There are two books that I recommend at this time: Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb and Rejection by Steve Hepden When you cry, God cries with you. He feels your pain with His heart. That is what it means to have compassion!

That is a very brief handling of the topic and there is so much to it for sure, but hopefully it can get some people facing up to some things in their lives - if you are one of those people, please speak to someone. If you know someone like that and you think this article might be useful to them by all means pass it on maybe as something interesting you read if you don't want to be too obvious.

I know there are a few other Christian specialists that receive TFTW that might have some helpful tips and info to pass on and I am willing to give this topic a little time because I think it is SO necessary and so please feel free to respond and if I think your stuff is useful then I may use it next time.

We talk about God being a God of power who changes lives and I really believe that goes far deeper than just getting people to sign up to Christianity. It is about changed lives and freedom from the addictions and sin and struggles that hold us captive. New life in Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit which we are reminded in Timothy is a Spirit of 'Love and Power and Self-Discipline' - fully equipped to handle this sort of thing.