My obsession with food started around age 15 which was the same year my father passed away. Up until that point I think you could say I had a fairly idyllic upbringing. I think in my mind focusing on food was a distraction from grieving and gave me something to control when my emotions were crashing around me.
It started off quite healthy, I cut out junk food and exercised every day and lost a few kilograms. I felt good about myself but thought more could be done. Soon I started cutting extra food out of my diet and spiralled out of control into anorexic tendencies. Depriving myself gave me such a huge hunger for food. When I would lose control and overeat I would turn to bulimia as a way of purging excess calories. This went on for five years and was a dark and painful time of my life.
At the same time I descended heavily into the party scene as a way of escaping from reality. My days were filled with food binges which is a very lonely addiction. At least if I binged alcohol I could do so with friends and didn’t feel quite so alone (this was my twisted reasoning).
As a child I had always had a relationship with Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour. During these years I didn’t think it mattered what I did but I felt Him drawing myself back to Him. One night after a live show at an after party I felt the Lord speak to me saying it was time to quit the party lifestyle and follow Him.
I broke down in tears, I had come to the end of myself and no longer wanted the party lifestyle. I ran into his loving arms and gave him all my tomorrows. I felt happy and ecstatic to be back in His embrace.
At the same time of this commitment the power of my eating disorder was broken. For the first time I could sit down at the breakfast table and be satisfied with what I had eaten and not want another bite. I didn’t walk around thinking about food 24/7. I had all this extra money that I wasn’t spending on food and alcohol.
In the past I had felt like my life was a train heading to binge town and was full of darkness. That eating disorder was always with me it felt like part of my identity. Now my whole future stretched out ahead of me without this disorder. I felt like I had been in a dark room and someone had switched the light on. I felt happy and I felt free. It was a miracle.
I’d drive to work singing and grateful for each new day. Small things brought me great joy, I seemed to have happiness even in the most mundane of circumstances. For the first time in a long time I felt happy to be alive.
Years down the track I am still eating disorder free. I eat freely without extreme guilt or calorie control. The Lord is so faithful and he wants to help us with the small things of life. All we have to do is turn to him and trust him with the details of our lives.