Bigger than me

There is no such thing as fat.

Or skinny.

These are terms brought to us by a world infected with faulty thinking that body size, large or small, has bearing on our personal value. Simply speaking, “thin” means beautiful–if one is beautiful then one is marketable, reliable, noticeable–valid for beauty and business. (I have noticed, however, that no one can seem to agree on what “acceptably thin” is.)

On the contrary, if one lives in a larger body, then one is “fat,” which means one is not valid for beauty and business. Fat has become a negative term associated with unacceptable, inappropriate, shameful, unhealthy, ugly and unworthy. Generally speaking, of course, we don’t use these terms to people’s faces because that would Scale Without Feet OMGbe hurtful and rude. The message comes across clearly and deeply enough through the 965 diets everyone should be on, national headlines that tout 965 ways to look slimmer, lists of foods that will help you lose belly fat, and my personal favorite, articles that teach you how to become an exercise addict.

No you look totally fine just as you are–but you should try the slim green diet where you only eat green stuff and only at the times of day that start with “s.” And wear this new organic miracle spandex to squish in your belly, and replace your desk chair with an exercise ball so you can lose that pooch and not have to wear the spandex (it’s better to be natural). Then you can concentrate your efforts on increasing your hate for the gym by going 12 times a week, 6 of those being core-training classes so you can turn your slimmed tummy into a 6-pack. Because then you will able to wear a bikini and you will look sexy and not gross to all the beach combers who will definitely be looking at you and judging you.

If you want. I mean you’re totally fine now, but if you want to be better, which you should so you aren’t seen as lazy, then do those things. 

I digress.

I have fallen ill by playing into society’s definition of fat and expectations of thin and the skin-surface value placed upon what this world thinks of me at either size.

I have anorexia. I have lived with this disease for at least 13 years, maybe longer. On November 3, 2014 I went into “official” rehabilitation for anorexia and learned just how big and ingrained this disease has become in my brain and my life. It had become so much bigger than me… an addiction grown so out of control that it looked completely “normal.” I didn’t know how sick I was. The disease had become a lifestyle, and not just for me but also for my husband and children. This disease has infected every area of my life to the point where I can’t even recognize when the eating disorder is leading my thoughts, behaviors and decisions.

Fig Newton Balls!

Fig Newton Balls!

Today marks 64 days in rehab. I have gained healthy weight (I didn’t even have to put on my belt today–which will be a topic of discussion in therapy tomorrow); my metabolism has healed to the point that it tells me when I am hungry for real; I am eating regularly with little to no thought; I am experimenting with food in my kitchen; and I went out to breakfast yesterday with no sign of a panic attack. All great news!

But I still have anorexia.

Because anorexia is not about food.

December6On December 6th, God healed my fear of “fat,” opening my eyes to the truth that the world places value on “fat” and “thin.” God places value, however, on the condition of the heart–and these of which terms I have worked 13 years to adhere and over which I nearly killed myself, don’t even exist in His kingdom. They aren’t in His dictionary. At all.

Not only had I become physically ill over faulty worldly beliefs, but I confess my heart had become infected with personal judgement toward people (including my own family) in larger bodies, generally believing they lived unhappy and unfulfilling lives. It was a horrid and humbling moment to have this truth revealed to me–it made me sick to my stomach. I fell to my knees in repentance. I even called my parents to confess and apologize.

But God revealed it so he could heal it, because following the ugly truth came a most joyous and healing truth:

My physical body matters merely to carry out discipleship of/for Jesus, to live in a way that brings holy Love to this physical world that has become very brokenhearted–to share the good news about a Kingdom of Love led by the most adoring Father. As long as I am able to do this well (whatever “well” means between me and Jesus), then the size of my body had no bearing or matter on anything. 

The core of my disease–the heart of my dis-ease has been healed.

But I still have anorexia.

BiggerthanmeBecause anorexia is a disease of the mind. My heart is healed, but my brain is still very much broken. This was proven by my therapy appointment last Friday wherein I was SO excited about a new pizza recipe I am going to try, and after relaying my excitement and thoughts, my (amazing) therapist pointed out where the idea was tainted with disorder–controlling and fretting about what to put on it and how to prepare it so I wouldn’t get sick (because I also still have celiac disease which gives me another kind of fear of food-yeah, I’m kind of an mess. 🙂 )

Anorexia is a BIG disease… bigger than I could have ever handled on my own, (which I obviously couldn’t seeing as they nearly hospitalized me). I am making progress by leaps and bounds with the help of a God who is bigger than both me and my disease. With over 13 years of well-worn pathways in my brain and only eight weeks of rehab under my belt, I have a long way to go, but just as night fades into daylight, I see anorexia beginning to slowly fade, leaving me to live in the dawn of a heavenly new life.

 

 

 

0 thoughts on “Bigger than me

  1. Lyn

    my metabolism has healed to the point that it tells me when I am hungry for real; I am eating regularly with little to no thought; I am experimenting with food in my kitchen; and I went out to breakfast yesterday with no sign of a panic attack.
    WOW!! Leanne, that is such good news! I’m thrilled for you. Yes, you’re still anorexic, but, your heart is tuned to God (it really always was) and you’re finding strength in Him. Bless you dear friend. May the Father continue to strengthen you xxx

    Reply
  2. nikki deckon

    When Jesus was teaching his disciples He said out loud, “Father, glorify your name.” The Father said back for all to hear, “I have done so and I will continue to do so.” Perhaps He is continuing to do so through our stories of brokenness and healing. I definitely say, “Glory be to the Father,” when I read your story.

    Reply
    1. Leanne Post author

      Beautiful, Nikki. I give all the credit to Him who has been so faithful getting me into and through recovery. Thanks for your affirmation!

      Reply
  3. tonyroberts64

    “…just as night fades into daylight, I see anorexia beginning to slowly fade, leaving me to live in the dawn of a heavenly new life.” What a beautiful, hopeful ending to a story drenched with grace and truth. Keep walking in the Way and sharing your testimony, my friend!

    Reply
  4. monetnicole3

    Beautiful and empowering words of an incredibly strong, courageous and persevering daughter of God almighty! The truth He has revealed to you has empowered me and helped even my own journey, as the devil tries to get humanity off track through such convincing lies, and perceptions. Please keep sharing how He is moving and showing His love for you in your life!! And as I am still learning now, we can never do it without His strength that He gives, and we are NEVER alone! He sends legions of angels to surround and help us in our times of need, that far out number the devil’s army.!

    Reply
  5. andreakine69

    Leanne… I am so happy that your body has been telling you ‘when’ you need to eat. Do you know how lucky you are? That means that Ana isn’t blocking it… that your brain and stomach are working in sync. That YOU are able to make the choice to eat, NOT the disease. That is so huge, allowing you to heal, not only bodily, but emotionally, mentally, bodily and spiritually. I am glad that you have gotten over your fear of ‘fat’… I hope that it is a permanent thing… that the disease isn’t going to sneak in and take that away from you. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR LASTING RECOVERY. I too, am so happy that you feel free enough, brave enough to experiment new recipes in your kitchen… spend more time in your kitchen. 🙂 But more than that… not only COOK them.. but to EAT them as well. GOD Leanne… I am so proud of you. Continue on this path, keep pushing Ana away even when Rehap stops, and you will continue to be stronger and stronger and Ana WILL be quieted for good. You said that the Anorexia will never go away… But that is where you are wrong. With some people… IT DOES GO AWAY. Oh my sweet sister.. with some it does. I know that it seemed like it was forever that you were under its power, oh I know how you suffered…. But your signals came back in such a short time, you were able to SEE and understand what FAT really was and break free of the twisted mind games in your heart where it starts… to begin to let it go… where the hurt begins, that is where Ana gets her ammo. Uses the hurt and then grabs hold of the mind and never lets go. BUT you have closed your heart to her and when that is closed, you become stronger and when you are stronger than her…. she becomes weak, and then weaker she is then she has nothing to grab you with. You are healing faster than I have ever seen anyone from this disease, and over the course of my life ( and that my dear, has been almost four decades)…and trust me when I tell you. YOU CAN GET BETTER ALL THE WAY< JUST ALLOW YOURSELF TO BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN.. WANT IT FOR YOURSELF. ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE HAPPY WITH OUR ANA. you deserve happiness without being sick. I know that the celiac's will still be there… but you know how to manage that…. but the anorexia…it CAN AND WILL disappear it has started to, in just a short time now, and you have the tools now to do it. USE THEM. I love you sis. I believe in you. So proud of you for beating this. Keep it up because I know that you are so close to being free of her in your mind just as you are in your heart. <3

    Reply
    1. Leanne Post author

      Thank you for being such a faithful cheerleader, Karen! God is so good and sends me angels of friends like you. Your voice of encouragement and insight has been valuable for me. Love you much. <3

      Reply
  6. anniehp

    Such a relatable and powerful post. It is so true how entrenched we can get into our eating disorders to the point where even when we do want to let go, we don’t know which bits are ours and which bit are Anorexias. I wish you the best of luck in recovery, healing of the brain takes a lot longer than the healing of the body. It’s hard but I truly believe it is possible!

    Reply
    1. Leanne Post author

      Thank you for your kind and understanding words, Annie. Yes, it is very hard to tell the difference between my healthy self and the ED voice; I’m also finding it hard to tell when I am giving in to the disorder or simply having grace for myself. Like you, though, I do believe in time I will able to sort it all out and my healthy self will emerge strong and confident. Thanks again for your lovely comment!

      Reply
  7. Carol

    thank you for sharing. as a therapist, i appreciate seeing into your heart and mind so i can understand others better. i am not without my own eating issues. thank you for your focus on Jesus- i need to hear that again and again. right on.

    Reply
    1. Leanne Post author

      Thank you, Carol! Unfortunately, I don’t think it is a select few of us who have eating issues.I think our whole country has fallen into faulty habits and beliefs when it comes to food! However, I believe with God’s help and guidance, those of us who can get back to a place of healthy and intuitive eating can maybe help get others back on track!

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Reply
  8. Carrie

    I’m so happy to hear you are getting better and determined to stick with it. I am so relieved your faith is helping to guide you as something bigger than yourself. You are a beautiful person, Leanne, and those of us who know even a little part of you are blessed to be in your thoughts. I truly wish the best for you and hope this journey is filled with enough success the struggles become only speed bumps. All my love to you and your family. <3

    Reply
    1. Leanne Post author

      Thank you so much for your heart, Carrie. Your words of blessing and well being mean a lot to me. Much love to you and your family too. 🙂 *hugs*

      Reply
  9. hiccup

    Your writing thrills me. It’s carries with it an incense that honors our much-loved Daddy. Your authenticity…and your skillful ability to write draws me like…communion: I want to eat it…and drink it. You’ve got “family” written all over you!

    Reply
    1. Leanne Post author

      Thank you so much for your kindness and affirmation. I am thankful that you have taken the time to read and comment; even more so, I am thankful that your heart is moved. Many blessings to you.

      Reply
      1. hiccup

        My eyes popped when I read MY comment. I’m a lot more calm right now. Again, I say…your writing really, really moved me. I look forward to your future postings. I can’t guarantee that I won’t spill and make a mess all over again with my metaphors… 🙂

        Reply
  10. Sara

    God healed me also of anorexia .
    5 feet 5 …I was down to 78 pounds .
    He taught me how to gain and lose weight at will.
    He make me an expert on food .
    Thank God for his power to heal
    I wasn’t afraid of fat . God showed me why I didnt want to eat.
    Thank God that he knows all about us .
    He Knows how to heal each one of us he knows what to do .

    Reply

Your turn! What would you like to say?