Made with Strength Series: How to face Bing Eating

Monday, 11 April 2016

I had a friend come to me yesterday about her frustration over her appearance. Because she knows I'm a coach, she asked me what she should do. 

I could've said this program or that program. But sister, our appearance + health is way deeper than exercising + eating right. 

As I prayed on what words God wanted to share with her, I saw the truth crystal clear: our health is mind + body + spirit. SPIRIT is the most crucial piece of the puzzle. We cannot ignore its affect on our visual perspective of our appearance. 

So in my opinion as a coach, what's the answer? 

The answer is all of the above. You need daily exercise and a nutritious diet to physically be healthy; but your health doesn't end there, that's only half the equation. The other half is finding spiritual healing. You have to seek and find Jesus as the Healer of your dissatisfaction with your physical image, your eating disorder, your weight gain, fill in the blank. 

Because truth: you may try a fit program and see results but those results will still not make you content nor will they be a lifestyle change if there is unhealthiness internally. 

I will use my story as an example. 

I have an eating disorder. I only came to terms with it this year. It may not be what you're thinking... I'm not anorexic despite what some have said--I love food wayyy too much. Rather, mine is the opposite. I have a binge eating disorder. 

Have you heard of that before? 

I hadn't. 

One weekend a couple months ago, my husband left for an away game and I was genuinely depressed. Living overseas together, he is more my world than anything else. So when he is gone, it's really hard emotionally. (WAGS you know how it is...)

I went to the gym like I do every Thursday. But then I couldn't shake this pull to go to the store, buy baking ingredients + ice cream and eat pizookies until I could explode. 

I COULD NOT control it. 
I COULD NOT just go home and eat dinner like normal.
It's like this horrible possession to GET SUGAR now came over me. 

So I went. 
I bought. 
I ate in total hatred of myself. 
I cried, got angry, and kept eating. 
I hate myself for it.
I wanted to hide it and promise myself it would never happen EVER again. 

But then I remembered the time before; I promised the same thing. I swore I could fix myself and this was NOT an actual problem. 

It hasn't happened nearly as often, but I battle the desire to turn my feelings into sugary- high-calorie foods in large consumption. 

Aka the definition of binge  eating disorder.

I hope you aren't laughing at this. I know I did the first time I thought about it. But it's really a very sad disorder that can destroy your life if you never come to grips with the truth. 

I don't think it would ever completely destroy my life physically, but it can spiritually. In this sin, I can replace my need for God with my instant satisfaction with food. 

So why am I admitting my deepest, hardest, most painful secret? 

Because I believe I finally found the answer to a common question I get asked... Only God can heal me.

My husband can't. 
My parents can't.
My best friends can't.
Only God can. 

So here I am. Hurting that I even have this storm to walk through, but comforted that God has a very special plan with this and it includes the area I'm weakest to show His greatest strength as I continue to work in the field of my greatest tribulation: health.

I don't want to be sick.
I don't want to be afraid of food.
I don't want my god to be my stomach. 
I don't want my faith to fall short because I don't believe God can actually heal when I need it most. 

Isn't that why he sent Jesus?
To save; to heal.

He wants to save me from my bondage in the area of food. 
He wants to heal me from finding comfort in food when unwelcome feelings or despair hit. 
He wants to restore to me the joy of my salvation.
He wants to do that for you too.

The crazy part? I haven't always had this. 

I think certain patterns + behaviors growing up set the foundation for this disorder to take root later in life. I grew up notorious for baking cookies. I baked + ate them to celebrate, to comfort, to diffuse, any emotion felt BETTER with baking and then consuming. (Ask any friends who grew up with me-- I was notorious)

When I first moved overseas to live in China, I had an onslaught of unwelcome feelings. My heart was broken over not finding my "husband" in college; my soul was lonely living in a foreign country + being misunderstood daily. 

So I hid my emotions; I sought comfort in secret binging. 

I ate; in large quantities. 

But in public, I ate small amounts and pretended to be "careful of my health". 
As you could imagine, I gained weight like crazy. Seeing the weight come on only fueled the fire more. But then the disorder got worse and I began to binge then starve myself. I even went 5+ days without any food because of my guilt + shame. This was my lowest point. I laid on the floor of my living room in a makeshift bed because I had no energy or desire to go or even move. I stayed down there watching tv shows completely numb to life and it's beautiful purpose. 

This hurts to share. It hurts because I feel completely embarrassed and ashamed. It hurts because I know so many people have this "perfect" image of me- and the idea of disappointing anyone crushes me. I know it will hurt people; those who walked with me in China, my family back home. Because I know they wish they could've known back then to help me; but I didn't even know I needed help. Yet now, I know God needs me to publicly confess to move forward in healing. Why? 

Because binging thrives in the secret + hiding. So I need to bring light where this disorder wants to creep around and steal in the dark. 

Because I'm a daughter of Righteousness, Purity, and Grace. And there's no room for sin to stay rooted in my life. 

Because God knew my weakness, made it my ministry and gave me a platform to bring glory to His name by sharing how imperfect I am to highlight how necessary HE IS. 

Sister, brother...
I don't know what lies hidden in the dark for you.
Maybe it's food like me.
Maybe it's fitness?
Maybe it's pornography?
Maybe it's coveting what others have?
Maybe it's habitual lies? 

I don't know... Maybe no one in your life knows. 
But I can tell you this, it can't live in the light. 

So draw light in. 
Ease it ever so slowly letting it consume the darkness inch by inch. 
Find yourself restored and redeemed by the fresh, beautiful light. 

God is waiting. 
He loves you. 
Find him today. 

Today, I'm healing. I haven't binged in weeks. One step at a time... I'm living proof... You don't have to stay a slave to your desires or emotions forever. 
I am changing.
You can change.
Jesus broke that barrier, now we live in the healing power of the Holy Spirit. 

Live Sown with Strength,


  1. Yes. This is exactly what I needed to hear today! I have ALWAYS been the baker (still am). Over the past few years, my self control has just been flushed down the toilet. And yes, I am a binge-r, but I have yet to come to the stage of deprivation to counteract. I have pretty much zero self control when it comes to sweets and I am constantly trying to overcome that. So thank you for your honesty and inspiration! :)

  2. 😢😢😢 Same. Thank you sharing.

  3. 😢😢😢 Same. Thank you sharing.