I have started this blog topic several times over the past year. I have a lot of "drafts" in my blog folder on this subject . It's been a hard one for me to be super open about because I don't want to take any pride in any of it and I also hate admitting that I have problems and I need Jesus. But there you go...I have problems and I need Jesus. And basically, He is the only reason that I have been able to over come any of my "issues" and He is the only reason that I can admit that I still have "issues." And even still, as I write, I don't know how I'm gonna say it or share it or talk about it, but here it goes.
About a year an a half ago, I finally admitted to the fact that I had/have an eating disorder. I have had one, in bits and pieces, since I was probably about 12 years old. I can remember the day it began. I was a little under 12 and I was being compared to another one of my family members, and the words were used, "oh, she is just husky." I went into the bathroom and I cried...no I sobbed. I never thought of myself that way. I knew that I wasn't a boney little thing but I was totally happy with my body and who I was. That day, I saw a flawed body for the first time and I cried in a bathroom...and I got it all out...I couldn't let anyone see that those WORDS hurt me so much. And I wasn't gonna let anyone know that I was hurt because I didn't want them to know they hurt me because I didn't want them to hurt, because they hurt me. (welcome to my brain...yeah...for real...I'm a mess.)
Fast forward to my high school years. I averaged about 155-165 pounds. I hated my body, didn't eat lunch (unless it was a poptart...ewwww), I was super insecure physically, and my life was consumed with sports. Like every sport you could do , because I went to a small school and you could do that and I just loved being active:) I never lost weight, gained here and there. I went through my times of eating, not eating, over exercising, not exercising, etc. You see, most people think that you have to be super skinny to be labeled with the words "eating disorder." But can I just say that this is totally wrong!!! This was really what was leading me into my years of binge eating, dieting, over exercising, and massive changes in my body(up and down). I would go to my college having lost probably 15 pounds over the summer and then gaining every inch of it back, and then some, by the time Christmas rolled around. I always had some new "thing" I was doing to lose weight.
Then, I meet Jason. I was at my highest weight (other than pregnancy) of 175. I just had some major surgery done because of freak health scare and issue that I had been born with. I fell pretty hard for Jason, but I mean, have you meet or seen the guy? Can you blame me? During the time that we started dating and got engaged and got married, I lost like 30 pounds. I didn't do anything to lose the weight other than focusing on was our relationship. I had peace about my body, because Jason loved me for who I was and it just wasn't an issue.
When we got married, I was 145. My dream weight. Some of you probably think, eck, dream weight. That's huge. But going from 175, it was perfect. Perfect for me. Shortly after, I got pregnant with Logan. And after having him, I lost another 10 pounds.
I have always been super active. I love fitness-I love the disapline of it. And for the first time in my life, I was finally losing weight. Its like, all those years of trying and being soooooo bad to my body, just stopped. And it was amazing....until it wasn't.
After I had my daughter Peyton, I had this switch click in my head. I say switched because I can't explain it to any other way. But all the sudden I wanted to be super skinny. I wanted to be small and at 135, I wasn't where I wanted to be or could be. So, I set my calorie counter and started getting up early and over exercised my body. I got to the point that I was eating maybe 1,000 calories a day...and this went on for a long time. And I justified it in my mind because I looked great. I didn't look to skinny. I was looking beautiful, I was wearing some size 2 pants....For real...size 2!!
But people, I was not happy. The skinnier I got, the more unhappy and unsatisfied I got with my body. My THIN body. I hated it. I still saw so many flaws. I couldn't see beauty. I took pics of myself, how could I "fix" those trouble areas on my body. Before and after pics. I was obsessed with the mirror, with the scale, with my calorie counter, with my exercise bike, and I was CRANKY. Beyond cranky. First, I am hypoglycemic. So if I don't eat enough protein, I feel sick. And, if I don't eat enough food, I am a big grouch. I was not a fun person to be around.
Around this time, I ended up going to a Beth Moore conference. She talked about letting go of strong holds. Letting go of these things that have such a hold over our lives. To just turn them over to Jesus. I remember thinking, I want to give this area of "control" over my body to Him but I don't know how and I am so scared that if I do, He will make me fat again. For real...reading over that sounds so silly, but seriously. That was my VAIN fear. My self centered fear...that He, my God, my savior, my fighter...would "make me or allow me'' to get fat.
This eating disorder, it had become a Strong Hold in my life. I couldn't get closer to my Savior. I wanted to, I felt Him calling me back to Him, I knew that I desperatly needed Him to knock down those "chains that so easy entangle me." But I just couldn't release it. My hand was half open and half closed.
During this time, I hurt my body, I hurt my soul, I hurt others around me because my focus was so on myself that I got bitter, and I got jealous, and I got mad. Mad at other people who may mess up "my schedule" of making myself look better or those whose who looked better than me. Yuck. All I can say is yuck. I ruined some friendships and they won't ever be the same because of it.
Sin...it takes you deeper than you ever, ever thought you could go and it just keeps taking you deeper until you release it Him. One night, I was desperate again. I knew , I had to give it to Him. I had to say, Jesus....please, take this from me. Help me. Purify my thoughts, my mind. Purify my soul. I can't do this anymore and truly live. I just can't. I felt Him saying.....Tell Amybeth and tell Jason. I needed Jesus but He wanted to use those two people. Those two people who love me more than anyone else (other than my parents....for real.) Those two people who have walked yuckiness with me and still love me and those people I have walked yuckiness with and by the grace of God...we still all love each other:):)
We cried together. Jason being a man, loved me...didn't have lots of words. He is my man of not so many word but lots of hugs. He is my man who stands by me. He makes me better and I am so grateful. And he told me...'Krista, I love you. I have always loved you and I love your body and what you look like.' He is a precious, tender, and humble man...and I still thank and praise the Lord for him.
And, my best friend....my other tower. Her words of , 'thank you for being so real with me Krista. I know you struggle with this and have struggled with this and I never knew how to talk about it with you. ' Because, people, this is who I was. Those in my life had always known that I was STRIVING to change my body, to change my looks. And those in my life, always loved me for what I looked like, but more for who I was on the inside. Sometimes people who love us, don't know how to help us, unless we admit to the problem itself.
Telling a couple of people in my life, caused me to be held accountable. And also, showed me that sharing our issues with others, can open our hearts to helping others.
Eating disorders are real. I am not saying that my "eating disorder" was sin. Because, I really think there is some mental illness that go a long with it. But that disorder was the start of sin in my life that I couldn't get rid of until I got help.
I read this article about how we view ourselves and how we talk about ourselves, that this affects the ones around us. This scared me. I didn't want my son or my daughter to hate themselves the way I did. To hate their beautiful bodies because mom keeps talking about how big her rear-end is or how her love handles are hanging over. Or how she can't stand how she looks in pictures and she always hiding behind people.
So, I got help. I had an addiction. I wasn't in so bad that I needed to get professional help. But through, prayer, God's word, some friends- the Lord has helped release me. I still feel this stuff trickle in here and there and frankly there are some things I can't do anymore because it triggers that switch in me.
1. I don't get on the scale. Not like I use to. I get on it maybe once every few months.
2. I stopped looking at shape or health magazine. Because it gave me false expectations for myself.
3. I stopped talking bad about my body. For me and for my daughter.
4. I started running- weird huh? But in order to run, you have to eat. haha. So it has really helped me.
5. I pray like crazy- and mediated on the Lord's words which cleans out my soul.
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable..if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8
"Let not your adornment be merely external, braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry and putting on dresses, but let it be the hidden person of the heart , with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.: 1 pet. 3:3-4
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Rom. 12:2
6. I have a few people that hold me accountable. I need people...no matter what anyone says, we need people in our lives. We need people that speak truth to us, that listen to us, and that encourage us. Find your people!!
7. I left facebook for a while. It was triggering some of this and it really, really helped me to leave it.
I'm sharing this because I want the Lord to use my experience to help others. Maybe one of you reading is saying...I get you, I feel you, I've been there, I am there, I don't wanna go there...I don't know where to turn. It may not be an eating disorder but something else that consumes you. Start by telling someone. I am here and I volunteer and I would love to pray with you and help you. If you have any of the below issues, you may need help. And admitting it and acknowledging it is the first step:
You may have an eating disorder if you have any of the following issues;
1. Skipping meals- in order to lose weight
2. You make yourself barf after eating or you spit out food after eating it
3. Overeating to the point of making yourself sick
4. Go to gym "to burn off that meal" on a steady basis. Going to the gym is amazing and fitness is so important but if it is a mental obession, than you may need help.
5. Dieting all day and eating all night -
6. Getting super mad at yourself if you eat something that you didn't plan on eating or isn't in your "diet"
7. obsessing over calories...like all the time. I still have calories memorized to the tea, for most foods.And it sometimes scares me. Because it shows me how obsessed I was.
8. Hating what you see in the mirror-no matter what...thin or over weight. I guess if you just plain hate your body...this could be a sign.
If you are seeking help: email: firstname.lastname@example.org- Krista
Professional help: www.nationaleatingdisorder.org http://nedawareness.org/
Start by telling someone because it can be more than a serious problem for your soul but it can be very dangerous for you body and heart.