The Struggle is Real
A few months ago I admitted that I struggle with bulimia. Even though I have never made myself throw up, I excessively worked out, dieted, fasted, and then binged on food. I would eat, and eat, and eat some more. It was as if I could not stop eating. Shame and disgust would overcome me and I could return to excessively working out, dieting, and fasting to rid myself of the food I just consumed. However, I would eventually binge again, allowing the vicious cycle to continue.
I continuously wore my Fitbit for about 9 months – everyday, all day. It became an extension of myself. I took it off when I got in the shower and put it back on as soon as I got out. I charged it while I slept so I wouldn’t take any steps without it. I tracked my steps, the number of flights of stairs I climbed. I tracked workouts, my weight. I tracked every bite I put in my mouth. I made sure my caloric output exceeded my caloric intake.
The Fitbit allowed me to make everything a number. My steps became a number. My workouts became a number. My food became a number. Slowly, I even became a number. The Fitbit, I thought, allowed me to have control. I managed how many calories I ate and how many calories I burned. I could insure I would not gain weight and stay slim. This Fitbit, a device designed to propel a healthier lifestyle, only fueled an unhealthy lifestyle for me, creating an out of control eating disorder.
Finally, I took it off.
Since taking off my Fitbit, many changes have occurred. I’ve stopped weighing myself, and I no longer define myself by a number. Walking has become a celebration of the fact that my legs allow me to walk, instead of just another number to reach my step goal. Workouts, if I workout, have become an activity to help me practice self-care instead of an activity that allows me to eat more. Food, although still in transition, has transformed from being a caloric number to nourishment. It’s meals shared with loved ones, and a way God tangibly provides.
…for when I am weak, then I am strong.
– 2 Corinthians 12:10 B NKJV
If you saw me in person, you would probably never imagine I battle bulimia. I live with both of my parents in a nice house with a younger brother and a dog. I make good grades, wear nice clothes, and I have nice car. Even my Instagram pictures are pretty cool, too. I go to church on Sundays, and I love the Lord. I appear to have it all together. However, on the inside, chaos abounds. Anxiety and depression are best friends with disordered eating, so I deal with those as well.
I can assure you, my life is not all butterflies and rainbows, and that’s okay. I’m positive your life isn’t either. Eating disorders bring with them copious amounts of shame, disgust, and brokenness. It’s not fun, I promise, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Over these past few months of battling through this disorder, I’ve experienced the infinite, everlasting love of Christ more deeply than ever before. I’m experiencing another level of what it means to be content in every situation. I’m learning more about how the Lord works through weaknesses and how He truly accepts everyone. And I mean everyone.
I’m still not completely over this eating disorder. I fight against the thoughts everyday, some days more than others. Some days I lose, most days I win. I may never fully recover from this until I enter those pearly gates, and that’s okay. These words give me freedom and strength to gladly boast in my weakness because Christ’s power is made perfect through it.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
I hope these words will encourage you in whatever weakness you’re struggling with. I’ve prayed God would speak His words through me. I am so weak, so needy, and so imperfect. Look, I’m learning and that’s okay. I’ve allowed something as simple and mundane as food control me for many years. It’s
embarrassing. It’s a weakness, and I will boast gladly in this weakness. During those days when change seems impossible, like the struggle will never end, God always tells me He loves me – every part of me, even the parts I’d prefer to keep to myself. He reminds me, through Him, change is possible because He’s changing me from the inside out. He provides a ray of hope because there is always hope. Always.
Madison Adams is a student, daughter, and friend, who loves the Lord, and sharing what HE has done in her life. She’s active in the college ministry at Trinity Baptist Church.