Whether a person suffers from bulimia, anorexia, or compulsive overeating, eventually the secret does manifest itself. Our bodies are able to tolerate enormous amounts of abuse, but sooner or later they begin to break down. Weight drops dramatically, teeth rapidly decay, the throat bleeds, and the heart beats erratically –or stops altogether. Twenty percent of anorexics eventually die as a direct result of their anorexia, and many more suffer irreparable physical damage. The stress of bingeing and purging also takes its toll. There comes a point when certain vital organs and glands begin to break down.
Eating disorders are emotional time bombs because all emotions are put on hold so that the persona can concentrate solely on food. They also act as time bombs in our relationships. Other people cease to be as important as the relationship with food. Food becomes a secret friend or a hated enemy that no one else can understand. Feelings of alienation separate the person with an eating disorder form those who would help if they only knew.
Eating disorders also cause serious damage to your spirit and soul. The shame you feel about yourself and the way you eat, as well as the constant secrecy and deception, gnaw away at your inner being. The guilt and frustration of the disorder also hinder a person’s ability to connect with God. The more you turn to a physical comfort like food, the less likely you are to turn to God for spiritual comfort.
Whether food is your bitter enemy, to be approached only with the greatest suspicion and caution, or your secret friend, eagerly awaited and constantly thought about, you need to put it back in its proper place – as neither enemy nor friend.
In order to rectify this relationship with food and eating, seeking professional help is often the best solution. If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, The Center • A Place Of Hope can help. Call 1-888-771-5166 / 425-771-5166 or fill out our contact form and someone will be in touch with you soon.
The content of this post was derived from Gregory L. Jantz’s book, Hope, Help & Healing From Eating Disorders: A Whole-Person Approach To Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating.