This question of whether one really has an eating disorder is actually quite common, also in Christian circles. It is plain to see that a person with anorexia or bulimia needs help, but other eating disorders such as compulsive overeating or binge eating disorder tend to be outright denied or minimized by the person who struggle with this as well as the people surrounding her life.
For years I wasn’t sure what to make of it either because as Christians we tend to do one of two things:
We look at our eating problem only from a spiritual perspective. We neglect to face the fact that God has made us stewards over our bodies and emotions: So we pray and we fast yet nothing seems to change and we stay stuck in a cycle of promising ourselves and God that we will do better, just to fail again the next day.
On the flip side, we tend to totally deny that food struggles might have a spiritual root such as idolatry or gluttony. We play it down as something insignificant, something we have to take care of ourselves and not “bother” God with. We are convinced that we should just “find the right diet and get a grip” or “have some self-control already!” So we stay stuck in this place year after year, feeling condemned and convinced that we are “second-class Christians”
Have you considered that what you are dealing with might be an eating disorder?
You don’t have to vomit or sneak food to have an eating disorder. A disordered way of relating to food can rear its ugly head in many other ways.
See if you can relate…
- Every birthday we promise ourselves that we will start a diet as soon as the cake is eaten.
- Every Christmas we wish that we could fit in a nice Christmas dress or sweater, but we drink our gingerbread-lattes, eat our pumpkin pie, stay hidden in our houses and promise ourselves that next Christmas we will be thin.
- Every Spring we find ourselves staring at the breath taking summer dresses and we make plans to go on a diet that can take off 50 pounds in two weeks.
- Every Summer we hate wearing Capri pants when others wear shorts, we hate wearing cotton shirts when others wear tank tops and we decide that we will try it too. So we buy it, but we cringe and we promise ourselves that next summer will be different.
- Every wedding invitation makes our hearts skip a beat, not because of excitement, but because of stress. We get on the computer and search into the wee morning hours for a diet, the perfect diet potion, or the perfect pill to get us thin before the dreaded wedding date.
- Every day we promise ourselves that tomorrow will be different, and every night we cry ourselves to sleep because we did it again…
If any of this sounds familiar then you might be at a crossroads with your eating. It’s time to face the music: You need the help of God and people who understand.
Overeating and food addiction are actually very common among Christians. For years gluttony has been the “acceptable sin”. The truth is that it hurts our relationships with God and it harms our health and our families, just like any other sin. You can read more about Weight problems in the church on my website.
If you keep denying that this is a sin or a serious matter in your life, you will stay stuck. Please let the Holy Spirit search your heart. Start today on your journey to freedom by facing the seriousness of this matter. Then bring it before God, repent and ask Him to show you which way you should take to get out of this sinful pattern.
From a girl who lived in denial for many years and wants you to be free as well
If you are looking for Christian based eating disorder treatment, you will find a bunch of free material and a very affordable 12 Week Program on my website. Here are some resources for you:
- God will I ever be Free? – Download my free ebook
- 12 Week Online Program and Private Forum for Women Struggling with Food
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