Struggling With An Eating Disorder Or Body Image?

Mar 22, 2018

SHE’S THE BIG MODEL” (i was a size 2) “YOU NEED TO LOSE TWO INCHES OFF YOUR WAIST THIGHS AND HIPS BEFORE WE WILL SEND YOU ON ANYMORE CASTINGS” (i had a 25” waist and 35” hips) “YOU’RE A FAT COW KYLIE. I CAN’T LET CLIENTS SEE YOU LOOKING THIS WAY” (i was a teenager modeling in NYC) 

During this time (at 120 lbs and 5’10”) i remember looking in the mirror and thinking about how overweight I was... the girl I saw in the mirror was three times the size that I was in actuality... but I saw something else. My mind was distorted. I had a disease. 

My mom told me that I was thinner than I thought I was ... but I didn’t believe her. I cried and told her that if only my thighs were as thin as hers I would be thin enough. She tried to tell me that I was skinnier than her. She pleaded with me. I still didn’t believe her. Finally she got out the tape measure and compared her thighs to mine. And as she stated all along....Hers were bigger than mine. I couldn’t believe it. All I could think of was how my agents told me that I needed to lose weight before they’d send me on more castings. My dream was to become a model. It was my idol and I was willing to do anything for it. Even if that meant believing a lie and putting my health at risk. So... I did a fruit cleanse and lost ten lbs. I was weak and shaky and felt like I was going to pass out during it but I kept going because my mind was thwarted. 

When I saw my agents at my modeling agency they all praised me and told me how proud they were. How beautiful and skinny I was and how the clients were going to love me. 

I was 5’10” and 110 lbs. Size 0. I was sickly thin but the clients loved me and I started booking more modeling jobs. 

Some days I would only eat oatmeal and coffee. Other days I would binge eat and then feel horrible about it. 

My mind was warped. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t ever have a full blown eating disorder but from the short time in my life that i did crazy cleanses and hardly ate any calories i accumulated lifelong side effects. Some models would just smoke and drink coffee all day to stay thin. Some models had surgeries to remove ribs or had their hip bones shaved down... Models die every year from eating disorders... but our society praises them. Society praises the sickly thin bodies and creates an unhealthy standard for girls all over the world. 

The sad truth: 

  • Anorexia is the third most common chronic disease among young people, after asthma and type 1 diabetes.
  • Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 with anorexia have 10 times the risk of dying compared to their same-aged peers.
  • Approximately 7 in 10 women and girls report a decline in body confidence and increase in beauty and appearance anxiety, which they say is driven by the pressure for perfection from media and advertising’s unrealistic standard of beauty.
  • At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S. 1, 
  • Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder. 

Side effects of eating disorders:

Bone loss, heart disease, heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), cardiomyopathy (weakening heart), affects ability to become pregnant, Seizure, Disordered thinking, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy), anemia, hair loss, hormonal imbalances, death... and more. 

Our society is obsessed with image... weight... likes... unrealistic standards.

Media, magazines, reality tv.... it’s everywhere we look. There’s always a weight loss billboard or wrinkle erasing ad. 

All of these things promote unrealistic standards of beauty. Images are photoshopped. Women are told they have to look a certain way to get the job and the result is destruction. It’s destructive to the women in the magazines and on tv and destructive to all of the girls and women looking at them. The world has an unrealistic standard. The images we see are such an illusion. Full of photoshop, makeup, lighting techniques, and tricks. The models don’t even truly look like themselves after all of these things go into getting the perfect shot. I remember seeing pictures of myself while modeling and hardly recognizing myself after all of the photoshop. 

I COULDN’T EVEN LIVE UP TO THE IMAGES OF MYSELF.... 

Take the pressure off ladies... if the models you see and feel pressured to be like or look like can’t even live up to the worlds standard of beauty then nobody can! 

We starve ourselves, workout nonstop, try wrinkle erasing serums, and botox and we will never find satisfaction or happiness in it. I was 110 lbs and living most girls dream and I wasn’t satisfied. (And neither were the models around me... they were some of the most insecure people I’ve known) 

The reason for this comes down to idolatry. We idolize beauty, image, looks, bodies... etc... and when you idolize something you will do anything for it. You will lie for it... deceit yourself for it... become sick trying to attain it. From the time that we are little we see people around us obsess over image and put so much focus on it. We start putting our focus on it.... and when we spend all of our time trying to live up to it we obsess over it and it controls us. 

We become so controlled by it that we begin to make small compromises... like skipping a meal here or there... then we crave more of it and before you know it you are spiraling out of control and months deep into an all consuming, mind thwarting eating disorder... Sound familiar? Or even somewhat familiar? 

Or you are constantly shaming yourself... Saying you look horrible, or are too big/little... not good enough... 
It all equals back to what we are focusing on... If we are spending most of our time comparing ourselves to others and trying to find more ways to become physically "beautiful" we will never find contentment in who we are. Our bodies are constantly changing and so are beauty/fashion fads... We will always be trying to keep up with it.

It’s time to change direction.... it’s time to see yourself with new eyes. The world sees us for our outer appearance but the one who created us doesn’t. He sees our heart and He loves us and finds beauty in us. As long as we are buying into the worlds definition of beauty then we will believe we don’t measure up. We will look at ourselves and say our stomachs are huge or our thighs aren’t little enough and we will believe it. We have to start being positive about ourselves. We have to decide that we love ourselves and our bodies. We have to see ourselves through Gods eyes... 1 Samuel 16:7 For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. When we begin to pursue heavenly things more than worldly things we will find freedom from the bondage of eating disorders and body shaming. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2  This may require radical change on your part.
For example... I deleted my Facebook about seven years ago because I was comparing myself to other women all the time on it... I was trying to get attention on it... and it was getting in the way of my growth in Christ and my focus on things that grew my heart rather than my outer appearance. ( you can read a post on that here) I also stopped looking at tabloids and magazines because even though I knew of all the photoshop that went on... I still let it affect me.... To this day I still keep away from worldly magazines and tabloids but I do have a Facebook again. I am now in a place where I can have a Facebook and not use it in a negative way. I’m not urging you to delete your social media accounts (unless you think it’s what you need to help you escape an eating disorder) but I encourage you to take a social media break if this is one of the areas that you find yourself comparing your body to other women’s or feeling bad about yourself after being on them. Take a little social media detox, a magazine detox, and a reality tv detox and meditate on things that don’t revolve around image. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9.  Meditate on things that help change your heart. Things that help you see yourself through a new lens. If you have an eating disorder.... your mind is thwarted. You don’t see your true appearance. You see something else when you look in the mirror. I encourage you to tell yourself that you are beautiful and that you love your body every time you see your reflection.
You are a child of God. He made you and He made no mistakes when He did. Positive affirmations are very important. When you talk negative about yourself you will believe what you say. So start talking positive and you will start believing it. Surround yourself with friends who will build you up and encourage you and not people who tear you down. Join a small group or growth group where you can confess what’s going on and have women who can help keep you accountable. Pray... fervently... that the Lord will help you break free from idolatry of outer appearance and image. Pray that He will show you how to see yourself the way He sees you.... spend time in His word so you can read about His love for you and how He sees you as worthy and how He made you in His image... when you feel anxiety or like you are slipping back... take it to Him. Cry out to Him... Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. books or articles that are positive and focus on growing as a person not about outer beauty or appearance. (Remember... if we we spend most of our time focusing on appearance it will consume us) I will link some articles below for further reading and there are lots of positive books you can read too. I’ve had countless girls write to me after reading my book:I'm No Angel to tell me that they were able to overcome their eating disorder because of it...


We are in this together!! Feel free to email me and I can be an accountability partner to you... I know how hard it is to struggle with body image as I have gone through it... Stay diligent and focused.. You can overcome this through Christ....  Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

**If your health is already suffering from an eating disorder or you’ve been struggling for multiple years and have been hospitalized from it then you may need to seek medical help because anorexia and bulimia are diseases and can be fatal. Some cases require rehab services or IV therapy and if you think that you are at this point or if you’ve had friends or family come to you and tell you that you need to seek medical attention then you probably do and I encourage you to do so.**


Lord, I pray for the women reading this. I pray that if they are struggling with an eating disorder or body image issues that you open their eyes to your truths. Please show them that you made no mistake when making them and that they don’t have to listen to the world about image. I pray that you open their eyes to your love for them. Show them that they can be content in you alone and that true happiness lies in living a life for your glory! 
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.


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