It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week!

I was 25 when my therapist diagnosed me with an eating disorder. I legit said to her, “But I’m not skinny!”

And she said words that shattered my world in the best way possible: “You don’t have to be skinny in order to have an eating disorder.”

This week has been national eating disorder awareness week, and I want to bring awareness to the fact that 30 million people in the US will suffer from an eating disorder; 10 million of those individuals are men. But what I want to bring attention to the most is the fact that recovery is possible.

I’ve struggled with my ED since I was 13. I just didn’t know about it until I was 25.

I knew something was wrong with me back in 2016 when all I wanted to do was die. It was in 2018 that I got up the courage to go to my parents’ bedroom—they were brushing their teeth—and I said, “I need help.”
My parents knew exactly what to do, and I am forever grateful for their kindness and understanding.

“You don’t look like you have an eating disorder!!!” is the number one comment I was receiving when I opened up to some people about my disorder—followed by “ew.” Well, I suffer from Binge Eating Disorder and bulimia with anorexic tendencies. We can’t know what a book is about simply by looking at its cover. Be quick to listen and slow to speak, and be slow with judgment.

I shouldn’t say I “suffer” because recovery IS possible, and I am in a remission of sorts. For recovery, you only have to take the first step. That’s a lie—you have to work harder than you ever have before—but it is worth it.

I’ve learned that I am not my disorder. I also know that I have disordered eating—and I’m not defined by my waist size. I found a love, one in which the guy is willing to die for me (and He did). Through all my ups and downs in my recovery, He stayed with me. He was never gone. He was always there.

I’m talking about Jesus. Never underestimate my Jesus. He gives hope to the hopeless. He weeps with those forcing themselves to throw up. He cries with those who stare in the mirror and truly hate themselves. He does this all because of His radical love for us. That’s right: US. Not just me—not just you—but all of us.

I like to think that one day I’ll be strong enough to lift someone up when they are down—but until then, I know that we are all cherished and loved and cared for by Jesus.

Hope is possible—as is help.
You can call the hotline number at 800-931-2237.

Honestly, if you are struggling, reach out.

 

Elizabeth Nichols
Elizabeth Nichols is a 27-year-old caffeine addict, and the only thing she loves more than reading is writing. She’s currently been to 12 countries, she’s a certified sign language interpreter for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and she lives life flying by the seat of her pants, screaming “Hakuna Matata.” Her goal in life is for everyone to someday understand all of her book and movie quotes, but she’s not holding her breath. “Stay golden, Ponyboy.”

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