With much trepidation I made the confession to my husband: “Honey, I have an eating disorder.”
I was shocked by his reply: “Yeah, I noticed.”
Me: “What do you mean you noticed? What’s my disorder?”
Daniel: “Uh, it’s kind of obvious- you are a binge eater.”
Me: “You knew I was a binge eater! Why didn’t you say anything?”
Daniel: “Come on honey… it’s kind of obvious… you skip a meal then eat like five meals in one sitting.”
Me: “Daniel! What if I was starving myself? I could have died.” (note: intense drama and overreacting in my voice and attitude)
Daniel: “Please… you think fasting is not eating for an hour… you won’t starve to death.”
Apparently my sin was much more obvious to my husband than it was to me! A few days before I spoke to him, I was listening to some interviews with Elyse Fitzpatrick, author of “Love to Eat, Hate to Eat.” I had no idea it would apply to me at all, until she started to describe indicators of sinful eating. The ones that really hit me:
- “I habitually, compulsively overeat even when I am not hungry.” Who doesn’t, right? I mean, if something sounds good, than why not eat ALL of it?
- “My emotions and my sense of well-being are significantly affected by how much I weigh or how my clothes fit.” In some ways, I say no to this, but I definitely find myself thinking my husband would be happier or I would be happier if I were fit.
- “I have secret eating patterns that I wouldn’t want other to know about.”- Does hiding the empty box of Girl Scout cookies in the trash count? Or stuffing the empty breadstick container in a diaper bag?
- I guess the only one that didn’t apply at all was anorexic or bulimic behavior. I don’t have any self-control, so anorexia is out of the picture; and I can’t stand throwing up, so bulimia is out too. Unfortunately it’s not because the ideas never appealed to me, but more because I couldn’t do it.
So now I found myself feeling convicted and confused. Ye, I had sinful eating habits, but what now? Where do I go from here? I told my husband, and he remembers seeing those behaviors start during my first pregnancy but felt like it wasn’t a big enough issue to address since I wasn’t overweight (besides the poor guy has to confront me on enough things already!).
I spoke to a couple friends about the issue, but no one seemed to have any insight on the next step. Everyone seemed to be dealing with a similar issue, so in a way it was like we all agreed to continue doing it and never talk about it again. Obviously, that didn’t settle well in my heart. I have spent the past few months trying to figure out what is really going on in my heart, and I’ve come to find the root cause for my sinful eating is a lack of self-control and over indulgence. For some women, it’s using food to cope with life instead of turning to Jesus, and yet for others it’s clinging to their own self-sufficiency instead of turning to Christ.
If you have noticed any of these behaviors in your own life, or if your weight is something you have struggled with… PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE check out the resources available through Elyse Fitzpatrick. I have been blessed to see God use this area in my life to show me much deeper sin in my heart, which I will share next time.