In an effort to be honest– this is a tough one.

AshamedI hate food. I am deeply ashamed. In a world where many who have very little would do anything for even just a piece of bread, food is the bane of my existence. Literally. Even typing this I am so disgusted with myself I feel sick… the tears roll down in heavy shame that this is a fact in my story.

I  pray for a change of heart and shift in mindset, telling myself that food is a nourishing gift I’m lucky to have filling my pantry and refrigerator. I should enjoy it, honor it, eat it.

The truth is, food scares me… and it makes me angry. I’ve confessed recently that I struggle with anorexia. I am currently working to get my weight back up to a healthy place; thing is, I was also diagnosed with celiac disease a few weeks ago. My food choices have been significantly narrowed now that I must consume a 100% gluten-free diet.

Yes. I know it is much easier to eat gluten free now. I have been inundated with articles, books, recipes, websites, brands, advice, and warnings all from loving people who care about my health and well-being. I am appreciative and so grateful for all the knowledge and love given to me.

Here’s where I struggle. I am terrified and overwhelmed when I see even too much food on my plate. Now I have heavy, mental armload of information and instruction, “you should…,” “watch out for…,” “don’t eat this…,” “make sure you…” “definitely try…,” “remember that…,” “you can find…,” “don’t eat here…” “careful with cross-contamination…”

As I try to bring my weight back up to a safe and healthy place, I am scared to eat… anything. My armload of information contains an overwhelming swirl of facts, opinions, and perspectives… much of which contradict each other and are filled with more warnings than hope. While my body slowly becomes detoxed from gluten through the consumption of clean, organic, process-free foods, it seems to have become more sensitive to any ingredients that are not natural. So I’ve had many random days of illness, not knowing exactly what I ate that made me sick.

As a “celiac person,” I am trying to sort the differences between Celiac and “gluten sensitive,” and learn the ins-and-outs of what I can and cannot eat, how I need to prepare it, the best ingredients to use, what to look for on labels, what assumptions to make, and what to do when gluten sneaks into my system.

As an “anorexic person,” I am trying to rebuild my list of “safe,” healthy, nourishing foods, meals, and beverages that I feel comfortable consuming (mentally), that will allow me to thrive (physically and mentally).

As a busy mom, I am trying to streamline meal planning, grocery shopping, Doingherthingand cooking in a way that satisfies my dietary needs without turning my family’s world completely inside out… and scaring my kids. I need to teach them healthy habits. (My five-year old daughter is beginning to pepper me with questions about whether or not she can eat gluten, if she has to be gluten-free when she is a mom, and the worst, why I am not eating.)

As Leanne, I am trying to not be a burden when I go out to eat with my husband and friends or when I go to someone’s house for dinner. Not only do I have celiac disease, but my body rejects garlic, avocado, corn, and (possibly) chocolate (not ready to give this one up yet).

Food is frustrating.

When I thought our family had finally settled nicely into a healthy lifestyle in both food and activity (I had successfully maintained a healthy weight for three years), my body sort of flipped out. After several months of testing and research, turns out food is the culprit.

When I thought I was on a road of recovery away from my eating disorder, when I thought food wasn’t an issue anymore… turns out food is still a big deal, and more complicated than it ever has been.

This has been hard to write, dear readers. I am a positive, encouraging person. Right now, though, I feel pretty discouraged, ashamed… and hungry, quite honestly. I know that in time, I am going to get this all figured out, and eating will become a joyous, appreciative action of gratitude. It’s going to be a process, though.

Have you ever seen someone who is too skinny and thought, “Jeez, that chick should eat a cheeseburger?” Friends I tell you, I wish it were that easy. 😉




23 thoughts on “Ashamed

  1. tonyroberts64

    I offer no prescription, my friend, but a prayer.

    Mainly, in the midst of all the confusing dos-and-don’ts, I pray you will soon be able to simply, “Taste and see that God is good.” I pray that, as you have richly blessed so many, you will be able to sit down and “feast on the abundant riches of God’s grace.”

    God bless, Leanne.

  2. Chess

    How brave of you to put words to your struggle!!! And this piece is so well done that it is sure to create awareness. Eating disorders are very difficult and we just don’t realize how many people struggle with them and how hard they are. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. andrew

    It takes a lot of courage to push the heavy weight aside, gather the swirl of thoughts you have and write about it. But truly identifying your struggle with food and taking the leap to share it is the first major step to recovery……I know it may not feel like it now but you are actually healing as you write this. You may wonder why God gave someone with a history of anorexia Celiac disease. Well, as you know He has a good purpose and reason for everything. Right now it may be a challenge from Him to gain even more strength mentally and physically so you can live a long life with your children and even help others with the same disease. Your support of friends around you can definitely see you accomplishing this!

    1. Leanne

      Thank you, Andrew. You are a gift to me. <3

      While I don't at all put the blame on God, you are right that there is a purpose for my story, and in my journey towards healing I hope to honor Him by loving, serving, and living better and more faithfully.

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful and encouraging comment.

  4. Carrie K Sorensen

    My thoughts are with you. Fear is huge, and shame is sneaky and I feel proud to see how you’re dealing and thankful to have you as a friend. I realize now it’s through all of this that you’ve been able to find the right words to say to me, and I hope to find a similar strength as I work through my own loss. As it’s been said, there is a purpose to this. Know that your strength of sharing is already working through others. <3

    1. Leanne

      Carrie, you are the best, girl. I am blessed to call you a sister-friend! Thank you for your encouragement and your perspective. I have learned much from you! *hugs*

  5. taratalkstoomuch

    I don’t know about you, but I am definitely wondering why God would add celiac to your plate. However, I know He is going to use this, and use you, to His purposes, and to further love His people. Meanwhile, I wonder if He isn’t just waiting for you to reach the end of your (significant!) capabilities so you can just….REST….in Him. I have found that to be a not uncommon call for uber-competent women. Meanwhile, thank you for honoring us with your story and the opportunity to pray for you.

    1. Leanne

      Thank you, Tara. Your words mean so much to me. The whole thing about rest… every time I think I have that figured out, turns out I am clueless. I don’t think I truly understand what resting in God means. I have much to learn! ( I keep asking Him what “being humble” means– perhaps the two are tied?)

      Thanks for being you, Tara. You make me smile!

    1. Leanne

      Thank you so much for opening up here, Lucas. I am glad I am not the only one. 🙂 Anxiety is the perfect word for it.

      I look forward to check out your blog, friend. Thanks so much for reading and offering such a thoughtful comment.

  6. Lyn

    Leanne, your honesty about your struggle with food and your continued faith in God inspires me. Like David, you can confidently say, “I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me & heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud & mire; He set my feet on a rock
    & gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see & fear & put their trust in the LORD”
    Psalm 40:1-3. One of my favourite quotes from a Christian writer and pastor (Warren Wiersbe) is, “When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.”
    My prayers go up to the Father on your behalf Leanne, that He will comfort, strengthen and uphold you as only He can and that He will make your life for Him even more beautiful than it already is. xxx

  7. Debb Stanton

    Cyber hugs to you right now, dear friend! Thank you for being so real and honest. I cried when I read your article, because you touched my heart, and I know I’m not the only one you reached. Yes, unfortunately, recovery takes TIME and lots of fits and starts. That’s why it’s good you have God on your side…and everyone who loves you also have your back…and I have no doubt that you will get back to a healthy level — because you’ve been there before. 🙂 I’m very proud of you, dear sister. It’s easy for me and others to say to you, “don’t be ashamed, don’t hate yourself”, but we know you can’t just flip off the ashamed switch. Know that we are here for you, and you can share anytime. Will be praying for you, dear one! 🙂

  8. Christopher Shawbell

    I know much of your pain, my friend. Most everyone is allergic to some (or a lot) of what they’re eating, yet they are unaware because their body does not inform them (through reaction) in such a definitive manner as ours does. And so they continue to kill themselves with the food they consume.
    So here’s the upside I’m getting to; this is not an ailment! This is your body doing its job! Because your body kicks butt you now have the opportunity to live a better life, feeling better, and with more energy than ever before—I know, I’ve been through it all.
    People die of cancer because their bodies DON’T tell them something’s wrong, or they ignore it.
    Though you wandered the labyrinthine halls of Guilt and Shame for some time over this, what I invite you to realize is that you are teaching your children by example how important it is to be aware of your health, and they will, like you, live longer happier, and more fulfilling lives as a result. So damned good for you, Leanne!
    I’m sure these sentiments have been made in the numerous posts above, but I care about you and want to say so in my own way.
    You rock! Always have … always will.


    1. Leanne

      Thank you so much, dear friend. You are so encouraging! You’re right… I don’t see any of this as ailments, more just frustrating as I forge a new/different path of health. I already feel better eating more clean! In time, as I find new staples, recipes, and routines for food prep, I’ll become more comfortable and confident in my new lifestyle.

      And, as you say, my kids will hopefully learn how to live happy, healthy, lives!

      Thank you, again, for all your thoughtful responses, Christopher. It means much. 🙂

  9. Veronica

    God has certainly given you the gift of transparency, which is the key to connecting with others. I see him giving your own story for one reason: to use you. And if I know you (which I do!), you are more than willing to walk through the fire if it means drawing someone else out of muddy waters into the fresh, clear streams of life. Your experiences are not in vain. God is good. Lets do this! 😉


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