How to Get UP when you Fall…

Seriously, let me get this off my chest and let you off the hook at the same time: It’s not IF we fall, but rather WHEN we fall. All of the people around you that seem to have it so together and make huge successes of their lives have learned only ONE thing that you didn’t: HOW TO GET UP!

We live in such a broken world, and yes it’s not fair that we have to carry our cross on our hips (literally) while others hide theirs under their tiny sweaters, but we all struggle with something. Everybody has bad days and EVERYBODY FALLS!

If you have an eating disorder or struggle with food addiction you need to realize that RECOVERY IS A JOURNEY, and yes, the journey can be long and exhausting.
In spite of great victories and years without sugar you might find yourself in front of the freezer, eating ice cream straight from the tub when life throws you a curve ball.

Now don’t think for a minute that I don’t believe in miraculous healing. I believe that God can and will heal you from food addiction in an instant if He so chooses. However, if His will for you is to walk out your journey to freedom, then I would advise you to not live in denial, but rather arm yourself for the journey. To say “I will never, ever, ever fall for that again” is just setting yourself up for failure, self condemnation, guilt and shame.

So now that we’ve established that you and I are not the only ones with wobbly legs, the question remains: How do you get up?

What is the first thing that comes to mind after you have fallen and your eating is spiraling out of control? I’m not talking about the pre-fall-stage where you’re still toying with a bite of this here and a morsel of that there, because at that point you might still feel that you have things under control. No, I’m talking about the flat-on-you-face-stage where you know you’ve once again lost all control, you binged for one week straight, all you can think of is your next meal and you’ve easily gaining five to ten pounds. When you hit that place, you know you’re on your knees, you don’t wonder anymore.

Usually I experience the following emotions and thoughts after a fall: First guilt, then shame, followed by it’s evil twin; self condemnation. Then I usually I start looking around for someone to blame. In the end despair and hopelessness will sweep over me, and the enemy will whisper in my ear “You will never overcome this, you might as well give up.”

I know all to well how intense these emotions of hopelessness can be and therefor I want to reach out my hand to you in your place of despair and tell you: VICTORY IS NOT FAR AWAY, BUT YOU HAVE TO ACT QUICKLY!

The enemy can gain so much ground in our lives if we stay down. The longer you stay in that place the deeper you will sink. That place where you have fallen can change into a pit of captivity that can be your home for the next few months or even years.

WHAT NOT TO DO:

1. Don’t look for a diet. Resist the urge to go on the internet and read up for hours on the latest diets out there. You will end up eating stacks of food while trying to find a “quick-fix” that DOES NOT EXIST.
2. Don’t go over every little detail trying to figure out how it happened. It probably happened gradually and you can not change the past. Rather spend you energy on getting up and moving forward.
3. Don’t blame your husband, your kids, your friends, my program! or God for your fall. Okay if you have to blame someone, start with the devil and then take responsibility. The blame game will just ruin your relationships and keep you laying down longer…

WHAT TO DO:

1. ALWAYS GET BACK TO BASICS! Diets don’t work, pills don’t work, excessive exercise don’t work, and starvation just end in binging and purging. So throw out those Chinese food and chocolates and go stock up on vegetables, fruit, lean meats, granola bars for those weak moments and oatmeal for those carb cravings. Make a few salads, cut up some fruit and cook a chicken to be prepared for the first three tough days. YOU ONLY NEED THAT FIRST DAY OF VICTORY TO TURN THIS THING AROUND! You might have a week of working it up to that FIRST DAY, and that’s okay, but keep trying until you get there…

2. TAKE IT TO GOD: Number One will not work if you don’t give it over to God! LIVING HEALTHY IS JUST ANOTHER DIET IF YOU DON’T SURRENDER IT TO GOD! Believe me, after a fall you need a good cry before God. You might not know it, but at this point you might be avoiding God because you are so ashamed and you might be disappointed in Him for letting you down, AGAIN.
Tell God how you feel, it’s not He who fails us, but He does understand that we feel that way sometimes, because He so understands our human nature. Not only did He create you dear sister, He became flesh and although He never sinned, He understands. ESTABLISHING A DAILY TIME WITH GOD WILL BE THE ONLY THING THAT WILL HELP YOU UP EVERY TIME YOU FALL, PLEASE TRUST ME ON THIS ONE!

3. GET MOVING! You know it, there’s no easy way to say it, YOU HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO GET ACTIVE! Read my article on “Hate to Exercise?”. Exercise is a huge motivator to eat healthy. It also helps you fight depression and lack of energy that usually accompanies this struggle. Don’t make anymore excuses! Never mind how great your obstacle, someone else has a bigger one, and God has an answer. So ask Him to help you find a way to get active DAILY!

5. TELL SOMEONE! After talking to God about it, tell a friend, a spouse or a counselor that you’ve fallen. If you don’t have anybody, please email me about it. I will be happy to pray for you and encourage you in any way I can. It is so important to tell someone else because there is freedom in getting the truth out there. It also gives us a clean slate to start fresh, and it always helps to be accountable to someone else. Don’t let the enemy have a field day because you are to proud to admit that you have fallen. We all fall! I write about all my failures and nose dives on this blog for exactly this reason: To not give any room to the enemy by living a lie, and to encourage you to NOT FOCUS ON THE FALL, BUT IMMEDIATELY GET BUSY WITH GETTING UP!

Don’t keep laying down sister, it only opens a door for bitterness and unbelief. You don’t need those in your life: YOUR GOD IS JEHOVAH RAPHA (THE LORD YOUR HEALER) AND HE’S STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU WITH HIS HAND EXTENDED, JUST WAITING FOR YOU TO TAKE IT, GET UP, REPENT, FORGIVE YOURSELF AND KEEP GOING!

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)
“for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity”.

You can do it girl, get up again!

Heleen

 

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14 thoughts on “How to Get UP when you Fall…

  1. I so needed to hear this. I’m afraid I have been slowly sliding and find myself in that place of despair that you describe. I really know what to do, but somehow I keep forgetting. So thanx for reminding me Heleen. I will be emailing you to hear if you have more suggestions for me. Just wanted to give you a thanks on here. I appreciate you!

  2. Thanks. Was pretty down and out but I’m getting back up and trying again after reading this. Love Jan

  3. Your words really hit home, Heleen. Right now I’m “up” and doing well, but like you said, it’s a matter of “when” I will fall again. I will try to remember your words.

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. I am so down…..and exhausted spinning and spinning my wheels hoping I will just get the traction I need to pull me up… Pleeease God take this cup from me…I surrender to you. I need help. Thank you Helen you are so sincere and seem to beleive in me when I dont beleive in myself. Please pray with me and for me….thanks

  5. Heleen, thank you for your wonderful ministry! As a 37 yr. old woman who has known the Lord for over 30 years and who also has struggled with an eating disorder for the past 20, I am encouraged to know there are others out there like me who struggle with this thorn on a frequent basis. Your words are uplifting; they give me hope and let me know that I\\\’m not the only woman who both loves the Lord and wrestles with my flesh in terms of how I eat. Praying that God would continue to bless you and the powerful work you are doing!!

  6. I too, have struggled for years, but this is the first website I\’ve found that makes sense. Thank you for what you are doing, Heleen. We are out here in cyberspace and appreciate what you are doing so much. Keep up the encouragement! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I have struggled with an eating disorder for 13 years. To God be the glory, I stopped abruptly on the 14th of February 2011. I stopped taking diuretics and had only 3 binging and purging relapses(vomiting). I feel its a miracle to have stopped that way. I stopped exercising and the bloating is worse now. I need God to help me focus and keep to eating the right things at the specified time and also exercising. I woke up very sad today. My chipmunk cheeks are still here, my thighs are heavy and the water retention is amazing…Not withstanding, I give God all the glory. But after the writing exercise, I feel better and I know I have to GET UP! Please pray for me and with me.

  8. Thanks for the reminder about getting up when you fail. I always do an examination of what happened to cause the binge and more importantly what could I do next time when confronted with this situation. I realize that it is so important to make time to be with God each day and to exercise at least 5-6 times per week.

    I am also realizing that when I am having trouble with my food, that I should look at what I am eating. Some foods just trigger me to overeat and I should avoid these at all costs.

    God bless.

    Janet

  9. Heleen, thank you sooo much for this post. I’ve been binging for a month, and yes, you can imagine how big I got over this past 4 weeks. It’s been crazy. I started binging after 10 days of eating only apples and drinking water. I went back to my nutritionist, and she gave me a healthy eating plan, which I love, but there’s a problem: I cannot eat after 8pm and guess what? Those late night hours are the weakest for me. All I want is to eat, U N H E A L T H Y food, and it’s really getting out of control. I read on one of your blogs that it is essential to be following a Bible study while you’re on this journey, and I actually have 2 great books: “Made To Crave” by Lysa Terkeurst and “Breaking Free: Discover The Victory of Total Surrender” by Beth Moore ( I actually got this one after reading one of your blogs; you mentioned it). Which Bible Study should I do first? I have read “Made To Crave”, not entirely, but I have read some chapters and it’s powerful. On the other hand, I have never read Beth Moore’s book, or any of her books. So yeah, I am here, stuck. I start every day with my head up high (sometimes), but after 8pm, I deliberately choose to eat anything I can find and I’m tired of this situation. And I have another question: Do you think a person that battles with food addiction, gluttony, binge eating, however you want to call it, fast? I really want to know. I get out of control when I fast. I don’t know why. Not only do I feel super irritated, but my healthy eating gets out of control (after breaking the fast, of course). What would you suggest? Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Hi Mel

    About fasting: It is very dangerous for someone with an eating disorder. Many ladies are still in the “ALL” or ” NOTHING” mindset that comes from years of dieting or binging and purging. It is very important to first get rid of that lie that “I will just stop eating and it will fix things” FIRST. God never meant for us to use fasting as a means of “control” but rather as a means of absolute “surrender”. The problem is that if you’ve struggled with food for a long time it might have become just another way to “control” your weight or your life.

    This might not be true for you Mel, but if you struggle with perfectionism, it might be. I would recommend to still fast, but let your fast be from your addictive foods, and not from food in general. In my life this has been huge: I would truly have to hang on to God and surrender if I was ONLY breaking free from addictive foods, but I could stop eating (fasting) without too much trouble or needing God.

    So talk to God openly about which fast would be right and wise at this point. Surrender is key, so ask yourself what is the thing you TRULY have not been able to surrender (for instance, fasting from coffee was a very good start!) but try to stay away from any”extremes”

    These two older posts of mine might help you to decide which way to go from here:
    http://www.blogeatingdisorder.com/blog/805/one-sober-day-can-turn-things-around/
    http://www.blogeatingdisorder.com/blog/346/breaking-the-power-of-a-binge

    Also watch this Beth Moore video where she also speaks about this topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gYuYrFW60e4
    Heleen

  11. Hi Heleen, over the past year I have gain understanding on something that I think might help your readers. It can apply to any struggle a person has whether it’s an eating disorder, project too big at work, or selling a house.

    As believers, if we having a working knowlege of the Word of God…put the Word to work for us…it will produce fruit in our lives. I’m not talking about “name it and claim it” but finding out what God thinks about the situation and then come into agreement with what His word says by decreeing it outloud.

    Let me explain….last year I had a project as a nurse administrator that was bigger than big…..getting our facility licenced and accredited by the state and another organization. I had never done anything like this or even close. In fact, up until 2 years ago I had never been in an administrative role…no prior experience and from anyone who knows me, no developed administrative gifts. So one year into this 2 year project I felt my back up against a wall, overwhelmed and I didn’t know what to do. So I made a list of statements that weren’t true in the natural, but they were in line with God’s Word.

    “I am an organized administrator according to the divine order of God that He has placed in me.”

    “peace reigns in me continually”

    “I complete all projects with excellence because greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”

    There were 10 statements and I read those outloud to myself on nearly a daily basis before I went into work or at work with the door closed. It’s important for you to say them outloud so that you hear your own voice saying them. You hear with your outer ear and inner ear.

    Saying it doesn’t automatically cause it to happen, but saying it is involved with calling forth faith, developing your faith for what it is you want to happen. And you can’t just give it a try, you have to be committed to seeing it through. It didn’t look like things were happening with my work project….but I chose to look with my heart and believe what I was planting with my words would bear fruit. Im getting long here, but I know this works because the project was completed with excellence this past June….I received totaly favor with all our surveyors and with no major deficiencies. That is God and the power of His word!

    And it is something once you begin to do, you gain such strength and faith because there is faith released in the Word as you declare it…actual power for you to accomplish all that He has designed for you. Overcoming power. You don’t have to wait until WHEN you fall again….His Word can give you life and freedom. Great is His love for you!!! He is your biggest cheerleader!!

  12. Perfect timing with this post Heleen – I am in a \"down \" time & you sure know how to stir up the courage to get going again . So tired of it all & if it wasn\’t for health reasons I think I would just give & & be as happy as I can being in obese level .
    Love & many blessings to you Heleen !

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