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Accidental Anorexic

25 Jul 16
Anne Russell
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Please don’t read this post wrong. I do not think that I am fat and need to eat less. I do not refuse to eat because I can or because I want to punish myself. With that in mind, onto the note.

I was sick. One morning as I was getting out of bed, I collapsed on the floor. I started shaking frequently, and had headaches and sleepiness constantly. We had no idea what was wrong with me. I didn’t have blood sugar or pressure issues, I was eating normally (I thought), and was sleeping normally. After a few weeks of investigating, my parents decided to look at the number of calories I was eating in a day. The average healthy number of calories for a girl of my age and weight was 1500. I was eating a little over 500.

Flashback a few months. I was in braces. I got something installed in my mouth called a MARA device. It basically forced my jaw to correct my severe underbite. Because it’s so painful and awkward to eat with your jaw in an abnormal position, the average person who gets this loses 10-15 lbs. I was already at the minimum weight for my height, so we tried to keep me eating as much as possible. Despite our efforts, I got used to eating a lot less than normal.

Back to the main part of the story. After we discovered the source of my problems, I tried to eat more, but my habits of unintentionally starving myself were not dying well. I got more and more frustrated with food and myself. It wasn’t my fault that I wasn’t hungry. One week at church we sang the song I Bless Your Name. It’s based on the passage in Acts 16 when Paul and Silas praised God in jail. Some of the lyrics are:

Some midnight hour, if you should find
You’re in a prison of your mind,
Sing out in praise, defy those chains,
And they will fall in Jesus’ name.

While we were singing this, I realized that I had been trying to fix my eating problem with my own will power, not by God’s power. I prayed for release and for resolve that came from Him. That day, I enjoyed lunch.

Here’s my two takeaways:

  1. Take care of your body. Romans 12:1 says: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” We cannot give our bodies as a sacrifice if we are abusing them, intentionally or unintentionally.
  2. Turn your problems over to God. After the day I decided to surrender my eating issues to God, my problem didn’t completely disappear. I still have to force myself to eat sometimes. But fighting the problem became easier, because I was using His infinite power, not my sad excuse for will power.

I was an accidental anorexic,  but by the grace of God, I am recovering. I am learning to enjoy eating, and maybe my whole life, a little more.

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