This is a loving reminder to anyone else battling or recovering from eating disorders who feel triggered by summertime, when everyone sheds their winter layers for short shorts and hits the gym to get “bikini-ready.”
“May 8, 2018. Dear Brittany, love your skin. Your body is a temple, don't tear it down.”
Hi, I'm Brittany. I've got a thing for realness. Real talk, real connections, real conversations. I'm drawn to vulnerability and discomfort, for I believe this space is where God truly meets us where we're at, where He intends for us to flourish and shine in His light. It's taken me years, but I've finally learned to seek authenticity and painful transparency over approval and comfort. So let me be real for a minute…
In the past two years I've been opening up about having battled with eating disorders in my mid-twenties (I'll be 30 in a few months). Since then, I've slowly been peeling back the layers of this dark time in my life, and how the Lord brought me to a place of healing. However, I want to make something very clear:
I am, today, and always will be, a work in progress. And although I have never relapsed, no recovery is easy.
To give you a bit of the backstory…
At the age of 20, I was brutally raped and beaten by a stranger who helped me change my flat tire. I responded by first punishing my body–neglecting it, starving it, numbing it and abusing it. I was living–or barely living, really–in a cage coiled with self-hatred, where I allowed myself to be bound by the shame and guilt stemming from my assault.
Most importantly, I steered my heart, mind and body away from God. I didn't grow up in the church and wasn't a believer, so looking back now I can see how easy it was for the devil to deceive me into the belief that my assault was placed at the hands of God.
In return I hated God, which meant I truly hated myself.
I ran from Him. I ran from me. I ran until I was so far away that out of bitterness I tortured this body that He fearfully, wonderfully and perfectly made.
However, God never stopped pursuing me. In that dark time, He brought me my now husband David, who is similar to David in the Bible, “a man after God's own heart.” He brought me a man with a burning love for Christ that scared me yet made me cherish him more–like a moth drawn to a flame. Over the years David was able to soften my hardened heart. Through his fervent love for me I felt God's love, and before I knew it I was laying myself at the Lord's feet, where He took up my burdens, my afflictions and sufferings, and made them light. He brought me peace, joy, the wisdom to use FOOD to heal me (what the devil had intended to use to harm me), and a new vision of self-worth.
Today, I am a Professional Speaker and Women's Wellness Coach, helping women all over the country to show up in the world as their best selves.
But, sometimes, in my own recovery, I become too fixated on my OWN routines of self-love and self-care. You see, I think when God brings us to the top of that mountain as conquerors, where we can look back at the path He helped us to brave where the devil once had victory in our lives, it can be easy to occasionally fall into a prideful mentality. Sometimes we start to take the credit, and stop giving God the glory. We glorify and love ourselves over Him. This is where my recovery sometimes lacks.
Ultimately, I've found that when I'm not leaning on Him, and instead relying on my own flesh, the devil easily creeps in and tempts me to fall back into those dangerous thought patterns.
So if you feel yourself sliding back into these unhealthy behaviors, the first thing to do is to check your heart, because this is what God truly cares about. We must know that He will allow suffering to linger if we are walking in pride and conceitedness, and not humility.
The second thing to do–pray.
The term recovery is defined as “the action or process of regaining possession or control of something lost or stolen.” When we were born, we were a beautiful creation made in the image and likeness of God. However, when we enter this world, the devil steals, controls, and takes possession of God's original perfect vision, distorting our sight as we look in the mirror, taunting us with self-deprecating thoughts and beliefs. If the devil has stolen your God-like vision, pray for eyes that see you as He sees you–perfect and beautiful.
And finally, always remember that we are called by faith to love and glorify Jesus more than ourselves. And in return we often find the most love for ourselves when we are busy loving Him.
Written By: Brittany Piper