There are a lot of random topics I want to cover in this one post and I don’t know if I can do so succinctly but that is the plan. And Jesus as my witness, I want to testify to a lot of what I’ve learned about recovering from anorexia so that this blog may become about other things more to His glory.
Also I encourage you to take a read of this blog by Julia Grigorian, whom I’m sure you all know and love.
Two things still plague me in regard to my eating disorder on a daily basis, and this is just mere honesty: counting/measuring/calculating what I eat, and eating only a select few foods.
I had a solid year of recovery in which I was branching out and eating lots of different things. But this past maybe 12 months, I haven’t branched far beyond very lean meats, oats, carrots/cucumber/greens/potatoes, beans, nuts, fruit. This sounds like a healthy diet, but is it healthy to cycle between just these foods? Mentally or physically? No. In fact, I know that this has a negative effect on my body and mind. So why do I continue to succumb?
When I first heard about recovery, I heard that people were made to eat 2500 calories a day and this terrified the life out of me. I wanted to die. I had many days and many nights with no receptivity to the Lord where I just sat and thought, I want to die.
Slowly, with months and months of meals that took me three hours and fights with my parents and trips to the clinic, I learned that 2500 calories is about what all my friends/normal people who don’t even know what the heck a calorie is, eat every day. Often more. And when I opened my heart to Jesus again, I learned that we weren’t meant to know what these units of energy meant, or to fixate on it. God didn’t intend for us to eat the exact same amount of food each day. There is a certain amount that will fuel us for the day’s work and that’s that. My body will sort out the rest.
Lately I feel I have found my passion for micronutrients and their beauty again. And in prayer I think this is where the Lord is calling me with all this “good stuff;” His intricate and impossibly complex yet so connected and concrete way of feeding us… of filling different fruits and vegetables and grains and legumes with all sorts of different vitamins and minerals that do all sorts of different good in our bodies and it seems so wasteful of the glory that was meant for us to consume merely a small few of the nutrients and macros that the Lord gave us. He could have done whatever He wanted to fuel us, but He gave us taste buds and variety. Not to be abused or dwelled upon but used for His glory.
Tonight, Johnny bbqed chicken breast, which is “safe” for me and isn’t too scary. He didn’t have much left in this house for sides though and wanted to make wraps, which he knows isn’t something I would usually eat. I could have feared the bread that won’t harm my body, or I could’ve praised the Lord for the gift of food in the first place and thanked Him for the blessing of it.
By His grace, through my fear, I opted for the second choice. And with Johnny by my side, and His Spirit in me, I was at peace eating.
No, processed flour and oil with additives isn’t something I’d regularly eat. But knowing that I CAN without fear, can enjoy food that my boyfriend makes casually and know that it’s not about the food but about spending time together, that is what I care about.
As I’m away from him now, I feel the anxiety welling in me. My brain makes the weight of a single tortilla feel like it is growing inside of me, clinging to my skin and making me “big.” But I know this isn’t true. Because while I’m away from Johnny, who helps me so much with food thoughts, just his presence, I know that I am still just as near Him. And He has shown me this “getting big” business isn’t true.
I learned this the very first time I ate again after months of starvation. I will never forget that meal. Four chicken strips, a potato, and broccoli sat on my plate when for the past few months it had been a few bites of chicken breast and a couple pieces of spinach.
That night I are two chicken strips and half the potato and all the broccoli and my stomach felt like it was going to explode in pain. I cried and cried, of the mental and physical pain. And the next morning… my body was exactly the same.
I mean, that’s obvious to me now. That was still too small of a dinner. But the lesson is, nothing my eating disorder, derived from the devil, tells me is true or necessary or going to take me anywhere. I desire Christ’s Kingdom and there is no place for an active eating disorder in it.
In the middle of dinner tonight with the man I love, one of Johnny’s tortillas ripped and there was a hole in it. His solution was to grab another tortilla and wrap that around the one with the hole. He had I think four or five of them and I had one, scary tortilla. Except, oh yeah, tortillas aren’t scary.
He didn’t know it, but the simple act of him so nonchalantly eating another 180 calories without thought reminded me of how the non-eating-disordered brain works in regard to food.
I don’t think Johnny fully knows it, but he’s been a gift from God in regard to my eating disorder. Eating around him, I don’t have the plagues. I don’t feel finicky. I feel home. I believe with all of me that God has given us each other as helpers, to fill different gaps through His Spirit and to continually lay down His Truth. And that Truth is– with or without Johnny present, my Lord is present, and for Him/through Him, I can properly feed myself. Hopefully lots of new and different and healthy foods. By the means of glorifying Him according to His will for me in regard to this passion that certainly serves His Kingdom but not with the disorder in the way.
I also am feeling rekindled by my passio for fitness. I have always been an active girl, but used to love working out before it became a demon. In recovery I wasn’t allowed to work out, and since then it’s still been sort of taboo in my house and my daily workouts are done sort of privately. I know that because of my secrecy there’s still disordered motivation behind the workouts and I want that gone. I want to head out for 10k runs just because I love my body and I want to keep it healthy. Not because I’m hating on my body and wanting to shrink it to nothing.
I have new and wonderful plans for cassiescookery that I hope you’re all excited about. I am grateful for this space and continually lift every aspect of it to Christ and He has been, oh man, so gracious in providing light and the words that He needs said.
“do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit for this is not fruitful but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus… who emptied himself taking the form of a slave and became obedient to the point of death.” PHILIPPIANS 3:12