“She loves food!.” He exclaimed. “We’ve been together for years and I never even realized how much she loves to eat. She’s got massive will power though and she’s so disciplined.”
He spoke with such amazement, almost proud.
“How so,” I ask.
My mind starts whirling. Flashes of my war with food start racing and quietly I will his next words to be anything but my minds.
“Well for example, she loves this dish I make. So much that she forbid me to ever make it again. It’s so good!”
He goes on to list every delicious morsel of ooey, gooey goodness, laden with heaps of buttery delight.
“When I made it the first time, she ate the whole casserole dish! Not in one serving, but throughout that night. She loved it!”
I proceed to ask more questions, each answer pointing to the truth I so desperately want to banish…
…from her life. From my life. From the lives of every 1 out of 3 women who battle an eating disorder, and live in a war zone each and everyday.
The hardest part? This battle ground you can’t escape. Your body. Your mind. Your very skin.
They, me, us. Living each and every day in an invisible hallocaust, begging silently for someone to save us from ourselves.
I took the deepest breath I could and silently whispered a prayer. I would need the Holy Spirit to speak through me and prepare his heart for what I was about to share.
I told him my story; every aching and painful reality. The voices. The lies. The battle. The hatred and the agony. All directed at myself, the food that nourishes me and the body I have lived in slavery to.
“That’s not will power,” I explained, “That’s obsession; a coping mechanism she’s trained herself to do in defense. It’s how she’ll win the battle for today. Tomorrows another story.
You see, the lies, they never stop; We’re not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough. And if we are that minute, we won’t be fine for long. Eat just one bite of the wrong thing, miss one day of working out and we’re well on our way to being a heffer tomorrow. We’ll never be good enough or worthy of being loved unless we’re perfect. At least thats what we subconsciously tell ourselves, without even realizing it. We even believe the lies to be our own thoughts.
That eating of the whole casserole? That’s not love. It’s hatred. It the forbidden fruit she’s just tasted. And the lies they get louder with every bite. But she’s already screwed up and ate it. She knows she’s “never allowed to eat this or do that again.” But she’s already fallen off the bandwagon, she mind as well make it good one- an epic fail! So She’ll eat the whole thing
When it’s done, guilt and shame will follow her; a distended gut, her dunce cap of punishment. Mirrors will taunt and mimic her stupidity and her mind will whistle the tune of “ugly, fat, not good enough.” … for hours, for days, for weeks.. however long it takes her to “be in control again and appease the image in the mirror.
So, she’ll try harder. She won’t let it happen again. From the binge, comes the purge cycle, be it a physical purge, or simply an elimination of anything ” not healthy.” And working out will be her pennence, while she tricks herself into thinking she’s “got this.”
You see foods the strongest enemy and ourselves the tattling five year old. And exercise? Well it’s the best friend who’s really a frienemy, and disguises her evil motives.
It’s a battle she’ll never win, only succumb to more and more. Slowly but surely, she’ll kill every part of hope, every like she once had in herself, every food and movement that once brought her joy and made her feel alive.
This is 1 in every 3 girls reality; the war with food continues.
And the world thinks we’re healthy. We’re active and we’re disciplined. They praise us for our vainity and ask pointers for our ways. They feed the monster thats slowly killing us and ripping the very essence of our joy.
This evil epidemic has gone unnoticed, not talked about for far too long.. why? because we’re too ashamed to admit it. Too stubborn to “let go” and find freedom. Fear tells us it’s not possible and our coping isn’t so bad!
And as players in the game, we’ve fed each others obsession and quietly cheered each other on to the gates of hell..
A living reality that needs to stop. It’s time we shed light on the truth.
If you are facing a battle with food or an obsession with exercise, it’s time you face the truth. Reach out for help. Tell someone, anyone who you feel safe with whats really going on.There is help. There is freedom. There is another life with healing!
If you have a friend, an acquaintance or a family member that deals with an eating disorder; or you know someone who you suspect is struggling, please tell someone.
While attacking them face on is not always the best tactic, reaching out to someone who loves them with the truth is paramount. Quietly, in secret, that women is begging you to save her.
She may not have the words to ask or the willpower to leave the battle herself, but acknowledgment is the first step to healing and you may be her only chance.