Did you know this week is National Eating Disorders Week here in the United States?
ANAD says that “up to 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S” and “eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.” Like so much else, EDs are highly appealing, but the pay-off is destruction, and if left untreated, death.
Disordered eating offers the promise of finally being acceptable to others in how we look and what we eat. It offers the promise of finally having control over this one little thing, when we’ve had to sit back and take too much for too long.
But it’s a lie.
Instead of being accepted, we find ourselves slaves to the standards and expectations of others. Soon, we adopt those standards and expectations as our own, and though we think we are still in control, we’ve actually surrendered. Make no mistake, those standards and expectations dictate when we eat, what we eat and how much, and who we eat it with.
And while we make ourselves slaves to what we think we should be, we’re destroying ourselves.
Among many other health risks, National Eating Disorders lists heart failure first for both anorexia and bulimia. Binge-eating produces many of the same health risks as obesity, such as Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
The unfortunate thing is that too many people have died and will continue to die, enslaved in the thinking that they need to be something else. They won’t even see it coming. And that – that is exactly what our enemy wants: our destruction and death. Our bodies were not made for this kind of abuse, and they cannot – will not – withstand it.
Our bodies were created by God to be His dwelling place. He wants us to know how intricate our bodies are, how absolutely breathtaking and awesome. He wants us to treat our bodies like the miraculous works of art they are, not be taken in and ruled by a lie about what they should or should not be. He wants us to have life, full and free.
Family and friends, often disordered eaters are among the last to understand the harm in what we are doing. Please educate yourselves on the signs of disordered eating and the best ways to help a loved one fighting an eating disorder. Sadly, we are not always in a place where we can hear you, so take time to learn about recovery options and resources.
If you’re battling an eating disorder, you are not alone, and you cannot make it alone. Let your family and friends into your struggle and let them help you, even if they don’t do it perfectly. Take advantage of what is available for your recovery, even if you don’t do it perfectly. It’s going to be a battle, and at some point, you’ll go from survivor to fighter, and from fighter to winner, so don’t give up on yourself.
Much love. ❤