Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Vision has been the theme of my life lately it seems. It seems like when God is trying to speak to me, he confirms things in threes: 1) Both my best friend and my boyfriend had trouble with their vision last week, one because of surgery and the other because of an eye infection. 2) My mentor gave me some sermons to listen to by Michelle Davenport, and one of them is about "focal infections", about what happens when we are focused on the wrong things, and about the picture above.

The 3rd source of confirmation is a bit more interesting, especially because it was the most unexpected source. In my Sports Psychology class today, we had to pair off and do an exercise. One person was blindfolded while the other lead them around campus. I contemplated skipping the class because I didn't know anyone, and being led around campus blind requires trust. I heard others joking about running their partners into poles and signs, which of course worried me! Luckily we were able to choose our partners, and I chose a girl that I normally sit next to (I figured a girl would be less likely to lead me into a busy street haha). So I was the first to be blindfolded, which was pretty scary. The first time around, she had to direct me only through non-verbal communication (through touch, for example), and the second time she could only verbally direct me. Luckily, she was very sweet and did her best not to run me into any trees lol. After the exercise was over, we talked about how neither one of us knew anyone else in the class, and how through that exercise we trusted each other more.

Just how we have to trust those who are leading us in the dark, we have to trust God when we do not know what is going on in our lives. Whether we are unsure of what God's purpose is for us is, or if we are just going through something that we are unsure of why it is happening, we have to keep our eyes on God and trust that He sees what we don't. In her sermon, Michelle Davenport says, "The longer you look at something, the stronger it becomes." She warns against making the problems in our lives bigger than the Problem Solver because of this tendency to make the problems in our lives stronger by focusing too much on them, whether it be through worry, repeatedly talking about the situation, etc. We must live our lives intentionally each day to focus on God, on what He wants for us, and to cast all of our worries and fears on Him.

For me, I have realized that many times when I give into my addictions, it is when I have lost my focus. Rather than trusting God that He will carry me through my circumstance, I begin to worry, to take my life into my own hands, and carry my own burdens. Because I don't know why God puts me through certain things, I, as hard as it is to admit, choose to take care of them in my own way (i.e., binging, restricitng, or just paying way too much attention to my weight and how much I eat). And once I take on my own burdens, I get too tired to fight and do the right thing. Every day must be intentional, no matter how tiring it can be. But luckily, God offers new strengths and new mercies every day in order to renew my resolve to stay focused. I must remember that God is bigger than any insecurity or situation I face. Verbally speaking to those "mountains" in our lives gives the power of the situation back to the solution rather than to the problem!

Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

"Rise" by Shawn McDonald

Thursday, September 1, 2011

You Are More

Hebrews 12:1-2
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

I am 22 days "abstinent" from any eating disorder behaviors, and I feel great. I feel freer, stronger, more confident, happier, and more like who God has made me to be each day I take in the right direction.
Although I haven't binged, I have had days where I have eaten more than I thought I should, based on my meal plan.
It was a Tuesday night after my long day at school, and I try to wind down. The bagels my parents bought have been screaming my name for a few days, and carbs sound awesome for relaxing after a stressful day.
I tell myself I can have half. One half turns into three halves, plus a few spoonfuls of jam. Then I turn to the chicken salad.
I see where this is leading, so I stop, assess my satisfaction level, and march myself to bed.
I wake up in the morning with dread, like I had committed a crime the night before.
I begin the mental berating: "I shouldn't have eaten that", "I'm gonna get fat", "Now I have to eat less and workout more", "What clothes can I hide in today?"
While this is going on in my mind, God tells me, "Your worth is based in me, not in what you eat"
...Wow! I thought that since I had given up weighing myself routinely, my identity was no longer in what the scale said.
While this may be true, I am still identifying myself in different ways other than who God says I am.
I rate my worth on how well I eat or how much I exercise.
I judge how good of a student I am by if I have A's or not.
I rate how good of a friend I am based on how much I talk to or spend time with them, how often I ask them how they are, etc.
I rate how good of a girlfriend I am by how happy Matt is with me at the time.
I am still basing my worth on my performance, on my works, on what I believe I can control rather than on what Christ died on the cross to give me.
HE says I am righteous, His child, His beloved, holy and blameless, forgiven, accepted, transformed in His image, all because He died, not because I did anything to deserve it.
I am worth more than a poor grade, or an upset boyfriend, or a stupid onion bagel.

So let us get our eyes off ourselves, rating our worth by what we do or how we look, and keep our eyes on Him, keeping our eyes on the prize, on knowing Him, on loving others, on being who He created us to be <3

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Walking in Obedience Opens the Door to Freedom

A few months ago, I felt in my heart that God had wanted me to give up the scale, to completely rely on Him to maintain my health and figure (which the latter is honestly what I was more worried about)
But I couldn't do it. I didn't feel strong enough.
Then of course that turned into me obsessing over the number, relapsing, and now me pulling myself out of the hole that I had dug for myself.
I haven't been able to go longer than 2 weeks without binging ever since all of this eating disorder non-sense started 4 years ago.
Now I see that was largely due to my fear of losing control of so many things, but one thing mostly being my weight and all of the complex things that an increased weight could signify, like if I were heavier the whole world would see me as incompetent, lazy, unattractive, and disgusting... pretty much everything I felt like I truly was on the inside.
I've been hiding every essence of who I am behind the scale and my eating disorder.
Not anymore.
A few weeks ago I had binged (once again), and the next day went to my boyfriend crying about it (once again) wondering why I couldn't break free after so long of trying, of going to several support groups, therapists, nutritionists, doctors, doing hours upon hours of research online on recovery tips, after leaving everything I knew and loved behind for 5 months to go into in-patient treatment...

And then I discovered this song:

"Monster" by Paramore

You were my conscience

So solid, now you're like water
And we started drowning
Not like we'd sink any further
But I let my heart go
It's somewhere down at the bottom
But I'll get a new one
And come back for the hope that you've stolen

I'll stop the whole world,

I'll stop the whole world
From turning into a monster,
Eating us alive
Don't you ever wonder how we survive?
Well now that you're gone, the world is ours

I'm only human,

I've got a skeleton in me
But I'm not the villan,
Despite what you're always preaching
And call me a traitor,
I'm just collecting your victims
They're getting stronger,
I hear them calling, they're calling

I'll stop the whole world,

I'll stop the whole world
From turning into a monster,
Eating us alive
Don't you ever wonder how we survive?
Well now that you're gone, the world is ours 

And while I am almost 100% sure this song has nothing to do with eating disorders, it has effected my recovery immensely.
I am fighting this with everything that I have, and that means taking huge leaps of faith that scare the crap out of me.
I've been repeating this song over and over on my ipod, my passion growing more with each play.
Something had hit me like someone had punched me in the face... What in the hell does my weight have to do with anything? And why did I give something so insignificant so much power over me?
I knew right then that the scale was the major contributor to keeping me in bondage.
This whole battle started with a comment on my flabby arms, and I began to diet.
I saw the number on the scale, and decided it wasn't enough. I had a number in my head though, the number that would cure everything wrong within me.
It was the number that I was when I was a freshman in high school, when I had initially lost all of my weight from middle school.
It's the first time I remember being accepted by my peers. Boys finally thought I was hot. Girls wanted to be my friend. I wasn't the fat, nerdy, Jesus freak anymore. I was cool, fun, and of course, in control.
So I became a number that symbolized everything I wanted to be and felt simaltaneously that I could never be: desireable, funny, beautiful, worthy.
My identity was tied to becoming a certain number. But of course I reached that number pretty rapidly, and I still wasn't whole. So of course, that meant I had to be less to be more.
And this has been my battle. Major events of my life, what I remember most is 1) what I weighed and 2) what I ate (or avoided eating)
Decisions of what to eat or not eat were always based on that magical number. If it was what I desired or lower, I justified binge-eating, treating it like it was a glorious reward for all of the hard work I had done.
If the number was higher, I would restrict my intake, work out harder and longer, take laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, whatever it took to meet that magical number.
And either way, I was left feeling empty, hopeless, depressed, unfulfilled because I was chasing something I could never really attain.
Not anymore.

I've given up the scale, and even though the desire is still there to know what that stupid machine says about me, I've resisted.
And that's only because I have tapped into the strength that God has given me to obey Him.
Just in the past few weeks, I have experienced so much more freedom than I ever thought I could.
The urges to binge have decreased significantly; I have made it 1 week so far and am going strong :)
And I actually like my body rather than just accepting it.
I love eating. And not in the obsessive way. I love eating foods that taste good, that nourish my body, that give me energy.
I can actually listen to my body because I am not basing what I do on a number. I can eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm satisfied, and not feel like a fatty because the scale might be higher the next day.
I can work out the way I actually want to because I'm not concerned with how many calories I'm burning or how much I'm sweating to lose water weight.
I can instead do what feels good to my body, gives me energy, and makes me stronger, faster, and healthier.
Even my boyfriend says he can see the light in me again.
I can visit him and really focus on being with him rather than obsessing over what to eat or not eat, about if he's watching me or thinking I am insane, or when I can get away to go exercise
I can go out to eat with him on the weekends and trust that I can order what I really want rather than what has the fewest calories or fat
Because I'm not a slave to the scale anymore. Without the number defining me, I'm free to be myself.
Or rather, who God created me to be.
Instead of chasing the pursuits of this world, the unattainable standard of perfection, I am chasing after Him, after enjoying the life He gave me, after blessing the people He has put into my life.

Finally, I'm starting to understand how to take my eyes off of me and onto Him :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Strength is Ours for the Taking

"In the day when I called, You answered me; and You strengthened me with strength (might and inflexibility to temptation) in my inner self." Psalm 138: 3

I drive to Walmart to walk around. I have a few minutes to spare before I meet a friend, and I am tired of being at home. I am fidgety and anxious, restless, bored. As I pull into the parking lot, I pray for strength to resist the urge to buy tons of food and binge on my way to my friend. I walk into the store and see all of the glorious food, the ones I typically crave, the ones that make me feel happy and calm when I gorge myself with them. I keep praying for strength, but then I think, "Well, I have enough time. I've been good. I could stand to gain a few pounds. It will make me feel better!" Then I give in to the temptation, buy the food, stuff it in, and enter a food-coma, wondering where God was in that moment.
God has recently shown me that I can pray for strength all I want, but it is my responsibility to tap into that strength, to rely on it to resist temptation! In "Unmerited Favor", Joseph Price talks about how we don't have to earn grace or favor from God. In fact, we can't because Christ already paid the price for us to have it! He bridged the gap between us and God, so there is nothing that we can do once we have accepted Christ as our Savior in order to lose favor or a right standing with God! However, this doesn't mean we lose our responsibility. We don't get a free pass to sin. This just means that no matter how many times we fall, He is always there to pick us up, and strengthen us to resist the next temptation.

We have to accept that strength! Like I would typically do, I would pray for strength, hoping that God would intervene on my free will and "make" me make the right choices. But while realizing that I cannot overcome my addictions and temptations in my own strength, I have to accept that like grace, God has already given us strength! We don't have to ask for it. It is already ours! We have inherited it! All we have to do is realize the source, accept it, and do whatever it takes to flee temptation! And when we do fall, we take responsibility and move on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

choosing life.

Life has been... well, crazy.
Pretty boring, but hectic. And sickening, honestly.
Here's what my life has been for the past 8 weeks:
  • Stressed with school work -- finals last semester and now I'm taking a 4-week session that has me SLAMMED constantly. Can barely spend time with anyone!
  • Pretty much abandoned my relationship with God. Having a hard time fitting in time for devos or watching Joyce, and honestly, I've been a bit POed with God -- next bullet somewhat explains it...
  • RELAPSE. Oh joy.
    • Started with crazy binge-eating with finals, which led to weight gain, and then...
    • Began restricting again. As usual, started out fairly innocently. Just wanted to lose what I gained during finals. But, of course, I can't do things in moderation, can I?
    • So lost more weight. Got back into the fasting/binging/purging with laxatives and diuretics mode.
    • Got down to about 6 lbs below the minimum weight my nutritionist wanted me to be (not to say too much about numbers, but BMI was about 19, which isn't underweight so a part of me doesn't understand why this has been considered "bad"-- that's the ED talking)
    • The past week has been b/p non-stop, and now I'm back in my range, even though it's all in my stomach... yay for bloating
The results of this abuse has been pretty devastating surprisingly, since I've done this in the past and haven't felt nearly this ill. I've been getting very dizzy and faint, can feel my heart palpitating, nauseous, haven't been able to concentrate, getting really confused, feeling very out-of-it and spaced out, and very grumpy and moody. There have been times where I literally felt like I was going to die, which is scary.

So, I am trying to get back on track. Although I do want to be thin, more than that, I want to live. I want to be fit and healthy. I want a social life (even though it is minimal anyways lol). I want to be able to focus when I am in classes and when I am talking to people. I want to love my body, even though that's a toughy. And I want purpose in life. I know that life is about so much more than myself, my body, and what I eat. My life is about what God wants me to do and what He has created me to do.

You may not understand why I'm writing this, but a huge part of having an ED is secrecy and trying to sugar-coat how bad things are. So this is me reaching out and trying to get my life back. Here's a snippet of what I plan to do to get back on track:
  • Get back to structured/regular eating-- make sure I'm getting the nutrients I need and try to let myself have foods I'm craving in moderation
  • Be open and honest-- I suck at reaching out because I feel like a whiny baby. But at the same time, I worry about people trying to be too much in my business. So I need a balance in this area, between being super-dependent and shutting people out.
  • Focus on taking care of my body and being fit and healthy rather than fixating on a "thin" image. Trying to be who the world wants me to be isn't worth the price. Along with this, I need to be okay being at the range my nutritionist has advised me to be at, even though most of the time I feel "fat" at that weight... bleh.
  • Work on my relationship with God-- as hard as it is, I need to learn to trust Him, to rely on Him for strength, and to focus on Him rather than food/myself
  • Figure out how to deal with my emotions/issues that led me to relapse in the first place, such as handling stress, managing relationships, dealing with low self-esteem, identity issues, etc.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Things That Make Me Joyful part 4

26. Powerade Zero :)

27. Naps

28. A Quiet House (Makes me feel like this!)
29. One Tree Hill!
30. Wearing Sweats
31. Salads

32. Hearing from old friends
33. Being Motivated

34. Road Trips!

35. Pedicures

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Things That Make Me Joyful part 3

16. Broccoli :)

17. Wool socks!

18. Cycling class
19. Highlighters
20. Being strong

21. The thought of getting married :)
22. The beach!
23. Holy jeans :)
24. Text talk
25. Doggies