A Surprising Intervention

Husband and I are addicted to a show called Intervention. If you haven’t seen it, it’s pretty self-explanatory; it focuses usually on one individual, but sometimes they share two individual’s stories, whom have an addiction. 99% of the time, the person is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

We went to watch one last night, and it was about two different stories. One girl, Gina, was addicted to heroin. The other, Kaila, was anorexic.

I had never thought about anorexia as an “addiction,” although I’ve often said that during those times, losing weight was addicting, not necessarily the disorder itself. For most, you would probably ask how the two are different. It’s just something that a lot of people won’t understand: there are many facets to an eating disorder, and none of them truly make sense. I mean, a disease that convinces you that you are fat when you are 85 pounds is not likely rational, right?

Surprising Intervention1

Anyways, as we were watching {which sometimes can be hard for me}, I got an eery chill in my bones when Kaila spoke the words verbatim that I had said to husband not even two weeks ago.

“I needed something to make me feel special, different. That {anorexia} made me different, and sometimes even better. Powerful; because I could say no. That I didn’t need food when others did.”

Hearing the same words I said coming from another person’s mouth almost made me cry. It truly is that messed up. It’s a disease that festers on a persons insecurity by telling them they are fat, then the insecurity gets worse as you lose the weight; but on the flip side, you feel more powerful?

Surprising Intervention

I don’t think anyone, even people who have been through/are going through it, will ever really understand it. I know I didn’t. People have been trying to figure it out for years, and it being a fairly new disease, a lot of questions have yet to be answered. Who knows if they ever will?

Anorexia Nervosa is the number one mental illness that leads to death. This shows just how powerful it can be: Gina went to treatment, and has been sober since.  Kaila left treatment after 12 weeks, and hasn’t spoken to her parents because if she didn’t go to treatment, her parents would stop paying for her schooling.

Anorexia had more power over a woman’s brain than a woman who’s body was physically addicted to heroin.

Just a little food for thought {no pun intended}, I guess. It was just something that had been on my mind since viewing it.

Watch this documentary if you wish to know more about the strange illness.

Uplifting in Discouragement Part 4: Final

During the conference, after I had begun to feel the healing process take place in my soul and body, I can honestly tell you that the spiritual warfare began immediately. All of the sudden, I found myself being so distracted, especially during the worship times. I began judging women, which honestly is one thing that I pride myself in not doing. I asked for God to help keep my attention on Him, on worshiping Him and thanking Him for what He was doing.

I could hear things in my brain that are things the real me would never think about. In the middle of a Christian conference. But that just goes to show that God was doing amazing things not just for me, but for hundreds of women. The devil was feeling threatened.

While that’s a great thing, it can also be dangerous if you don’t put your guard up. I had visions of the next week, and saw Satan slowly taking away everything I learned and me spiraling down into my dark place that I so often used to go. I did not want that.

When I felt like I was being healed, I thought to myself, “Wow, God is moving in me and soon, I won’t have to deal with this thing that has plagued me for eight years!” Then I thought about cancelling my therapy appointment because I knew God was going to heal me. But then when I felt that spiritual warfare, I knew that I couldn’t count on myself to keep moving forward. Especially since it had been eight years. I believe that God made therapists and counselors for a reason and so even if it was just for the first appointment, I would go.

And I did. And I love her. She is a Christian counselor who understands how big of a role my faith plays in my healing.

So, me writing all of this down is for me to never forget. Ever. I can say that even since the conference less than two weeks ago, I have had to reread in times of despair. Even just on Saturday, Husband had to help me consciously stop saying terrible things about myself that I didn’t even realize I was. And if someone gains something from this story, well, that’s even better.

I am still constantly a work in progress, but I believe in a God who heals.

Healing

Uplifting in Discouragement Part 2

Click here to read part one of this story.

The next morning, I was ready to be rocked again. After hearing those words, I knew that the rest of the weekend had amazing things in store.

One of my best friends, Katie Leach {she goes by Kate now, but I will never cease to call her Katie; Sorry Katie! You love me :)} was a guest speaker for the event and had her moment to shine that Saturday morning, and boy, did she ever.

I will be true and honest with you; over the past month I have been depressed. I say depressed because I don’t know what other word{s} to use. I don’t hate myself and who I am like I used to, but my body image and self esteem in the physical realm have been completely and utterly depleted. I’ve felt like it’s been even more so than when I was anorexic. I’ve heard a lot of people call weight gain due to a marriage to be defined as “contentment”, but I did not know how to deal with this.

I know it sounds so silly, but to me it was a very real, very emotional and dark time. To gain weight for most people doesn’t stop them from living their lives, but for someone who {albeit doesn’t suffer physically as much} suffers from an eating disorder, it does. Oh man, it does. And it gets worse; because of the physical damage my body endured for so long, I literally wasn’t able to starve myself, even though I tried. It became {what I think is worse than just starving} a dangerous starve/binge cycle. One can only imagine that even though you restrict, you gain weight. I gained 5 pounds last month. 5. That’s big for 5’2″.

Anyways, it began affecting my social life. I hated that every single thing that gathers people together revolves around food. I looked at the other women in our marriage group with envy because they could just eat, enjoy it, and not think about it for the next 24 hours. It became hard for me to pay attention. It stole the joy I once had from such a good thing.

Have you ever heard the song “I’m Worn” by Tenth Avenue North? I read these lyrics to husband about a month back and just cried as I read them, because they’re so true:
I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

I’d gotten so close several times before to complete healing, to even wanting to be healed, but something inside me would say, “No! Stop! This is where you’re comfortable. Out there, healing, that’s scary!”

But I’d finally had enough. I’d held on to my eating disorder for so long, and it had such grips on me that I finally wanted out. I wanted to be normal. Normal! Is that so much to ask?! I’d made the decision to seek out help. So, the Thursday before the retreat, I found a therapist and made an appointment with her for the next Monday, after the retreat.

So back to Katie. First of all, I wanted to say that worship was amazing. One of our worship leaders pleaded with God to let the Lord literally breathe his presence over us, and that my friends, is just what He did. I just cried during worship. I knew I was there for a reason.

I had no idea what Katie was speaking on prior to that morning, and when she got up and declared that she was speaking on what God created women to be, I knew it was going to be good.

I’ll focus on the last point, but Katie said these three things: God made women to be strong. God made women to be persuasive. And God made women to be beautiful.

That last one got me. It got me good. She spoke of Esther and how she won the kings favor with her beauty {Esther 2:15}. She also said that Satan has a special hatred for women. Doesn’t that make sense, though? He was the most beautiful angel and turned from God and became ugly. He can take people’s joy, kindness, love toward one another… but if you think about this, he cannot take beauty. It is impossible for Satan to take a physical trait away from you.

Women have gone so long thinking, “If I think I’m beautiful, that’s selfish or conceited.” What would our friends think if we said, “I just look absolutely beautiful today”? Isn’t it sad that even with our own friends, we can’t feel comfortable living in the beauty that God made us? Sad! It’s begun to make me angry! It shouldn’t ruin or run my life!

But these words… even if just not for myself to stop saying terrible things about me… these words have begun to change my thinking; it hurts Him when we criticize ourselves because we were made beautiful in His image.

You are beautiful, like Esther.

You have won The Kings favor, like Esther.

Stay tuned for the next post for more about that weekend.

Side note: I wanted to say that everything I’ve heard, read and felt is from none other than Yahweh, Jehovah Jireh, the Emmanuel; Jesus Christ. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I also don’t want to live a lukewarm life. He is where my inspiration comes from, and no. One. Else.

Inspiration…

Ok, so I am a little burnt out – not from cooking {even though I do it every single day}, but from writing about it. There’s only so much you can write about a Pot Roast or a cookie before getting a little dry of words. So, in lieu of my boredom, I have decided to write about someone who inspires me as a chef. Her name is Nigella Lawson, and I have only heard about her since just before this time last year.

Lawson is a beautiful woman, and I bought her cook books as soon as I could get my hands on them. Her recipes are so stimulating – I know that’s a strange word for a recipe, but just watch her show and you’ll understand what I’m talking about {she has been coined as the “Queen of Food Porn” – not in a dirty way}. She is, in all literal terms, addicting. As someone who struggles with self-worth and body image, I find Nigella alluring because she provokes those who are stick thin by her pride of being a curvaceous, gorgeous and intelligent woman who enjoys food beyond all comprehension.

Thumbing through one of her cook books the other day, I found that she has no recipe that is of the ordinary. In fact, being a “Stay At Home Mom & Chef,” and thinking I know all about food, I discovered probably hundreds of recipes that I had never heard of before – shows how much I really know! Innovating and enticing, I plan on making particular recipes as soon as I can. They call out my name:

Crostini Del Mar {Made with: baguette, garlic, olive oil, parsley, mussels, clams and vermouth}

Hapiness Soup {Made with: yellow squash, lemon, olive oil, turmeric, chick. stock, basmati rice and s&p}

Linguine with Mussels {Made with: mussels, linguine, olive oil, garlic, long red chillies, sherry and parsley}

Raw Beet, Dill, and Mustard Seed Salad {Made with: dill, raw beets, lemon, olive oil, mustard seeds and parsley}

Red Mullet with Sweet and Sour Shredded Salad {Made with: red mullet OR red snapper, Thai fish sauce, lemon, sugar, peanuts, green papaya, carrots, scallions and long red chillis}

Black & Blue Beef {Made with: beef rump, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, sugar, pepper and scallions}

Grilled Quail {Made with: quail, soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and orange}

Caponata {Made with: eggplant, s&p, olive oil, onion, plum tomatoes, sugar, white wine vinegar, bittersweet chocolate, salted capers, green olives and a hard boiled egg}

Figs for A Thousand and One Nights {Made with: figs, unsalted butter, cinnamon, vanilla sugar, rosewater, orange-flower water, mascarpone cheese and pistachios}

View her program, and trust me – you’ll be hooked, also.