Once again, I found myself watching a clip of the travel channel show, Man vs. Food. And as before, I was again struck with our culture’s glorification of such a ridiculous and unhealthy “sport” that simultaneously tells us gorging is acceptable.
I was reminded of when I was in college, and a friend and I talked about having a food competition between the 2 of us. This friend was a pretty big guy-not fat-just big. Super tall and super active (a soccer player, biker, and runner), he could naturally put away a lot of food. He saw my kitchen-sink salads, knew I was a runner, and it kind of snowballed into trying to find local restaurants that would have some sort of competitive eating challenge.
We looked and couldn’t find one we really liked. We decided to go to the casino in Oklahoma that had a super cheap, but super awesome lunch buffet. It was around the time that we were planning this that my eating disorder really returned in full force. Even though I was making horrible decisions as far as bingeing and purging went, I had enough sense to know that making food a competitive thing would surely lead to even unhealthier decisions. That may have been the start of a long journey to healing, and I do mean loooong.
Girls with EDs seem to accumulate like-minded friends. Like attracts like, and this is no different. At one point in college, I lived with 9 other girls, and nearly every one of us had struggled with food, exercise, or body image in some shape or form. It’s unfortunate that I’ve become good at spotting it in other people easily. Thing is, it’s an issue that needs LIGHT. When it’s in the dark, and you’re isolated and alone, and you feel like you’re all alone in dealing with it, in a very real sense, you are. The thing is, it is so much easier when it isn’t a closet issue.
I have a reusable shopping bag I got once in Florida during National Eating Disorder Awareness week. It has this printed on the front:
When our reality is darkness, the battle is all uphill. When we bring it to the light and attack it with Truth (I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am called to honor my body by what I put/don’t put in it, all things are lawful but not all are profitable, I am to be a living illustration to others, worshiping the idol of self-indulgence, covetousness, or the porcelain idol–the toilet–will bring neither God, myself, nor others respect) we aren’t so alone.
It’s not us versus food, but us versus ourselves, versus the culture around us that demands we look a certain way, act a certain way, eat/not eat certain things. As I battle that, I want one thing to be certain in my mind: “despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:37).