Free to Fight; Overcoming Anorexia by Kendall Simpler

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You know when someone tells a joke, and you laugh and nod just to make yourself feel included?

That is me when I hear people discussing their childhood. They all loved cartoon channels… I watched National Geographic and E.R. Those “kids” would all be drinking milk at lunch, but you better believe I was whipping a Diet Coke out of my lunchbox in elementary school.
  
I grew up in a very “adult” world. As an only child with zero cousins, this meant I hung out with my parents a lot… For as long as I can remember, I felt this internal pressure to please the pants off of my parents.
This was scary because the only standard I had for excellence was perfection.
When I was 16 years old, I came to this pivotal realization that I had everything under control except for my weight. I was convinced that if I just lost a few pounds- everything would get better.
What started out as a diet quickly spun out-of-control.
When I reached that goal weight, the diet wasn’t over… I believed with every new number would come happiness, worth, and value. I never got any of those things. Eventually, I was weighing myself at least six times a day. All I could think about was the scale, and my mood was dependent on what number I saw.

The major misconception we have with eating disorders is they are about food, physical appearance, and vanity. We don’t see that they actually all begin, and end with your mind.

Before I knew it I couldn’t even decipher between my own thoughts, and what my eating disorder was telling me.
I was so wrapped up in my eating disorder that hearing from a doctor that I had anorexia nervosa was laughable. I didn’t want help. All I wanted was what my eating disorder had promised me- happiness and value.
 
My identity was taken from me. My mind was engaged in a constant battle between wanting freedom from these thoughts but needing them at the same time.
I showed up on the campus of Samford University with the very same baggage I had at home. With no accountability, and no one knowing my background, this made it very easy for me to get even more roped in by my eating disorder. As badly as I wanted to be normal, I didn’t know how to function outside the walls of my eating disorder.  
One night I was lying on my floor, crying, I just began to cry out to God. I was fed up, and began to imagine the kind of life I wanted. I thought to myself;
How was I supposed to one day be a mother, instill confidence in my children, when I hated myself?
How was I supposed to love and serve the Lord, when I was destroying this body He’d created?
How was I supposed to be a good student when I was skipping classes to burn off whatever I consumed?
In that moment, I felt God’s presence and knew I had to make a choice. I wish I could say it was easy for me to just jump in and trust God, but I was going back-and-forth. The thought of leaving the only life I’d known for years was unthinkable.
But isn’t that convenient and just like Satan?

The enemy wouldn’t fight to keep you where you are if he didn’t know God has destined you for greatness.  

In my lowest of lows, someone said, 

“you can’t let Satan tell you those lies anymore.” 

It finally clicked… the thoughts associated with my eating disorder were actually not from my own mind, had no validity, held no weight- they were just deceitful lies from the enemy of my soul.
 
The same enemy that John talks about that comes only to steal, kill and destroy.
I wonder what our lives would look like if we started to be more attentive to the voices we were letting in our ear?
 
What if we started to combat those negative thoughts that are always taking from us?
Friends, let me tell you- there is no counselor, no treatment facility or doctor that could ever intervene the way that grace can. These things can all help, but grace is what truly saves.
I’m not here to tell you I experienced a “one-and-done” healing moment and woke up feeling freedom from anorexia. That’s not what happened.

In that weak moment, God heard my cry. In His perfect way and in due time, He transformed my thoughts, renewed my spirit, and rebuilt what was lost.

This freedom I’ve found isn’t just fancy-talk, it’s not reserved for “those” people. It’s yours to have, it’s not just God’s gift to me, but it’s what God intended for all of us.
Psalm 40:1-3
I waited and waited and waited for God.
    At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
    pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
    to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
    a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
    they enter the mystery,

abandoning themselves to God. 

 

XO, Kendall

5 thoughts on “Free to Fight; Overcoming Anorexia by Kendall Simpler

  1. Gabby!

    Thank you SO much for your response! Kendall's story is beautiful and we are so glad that you had the chance to read it! Don't forget to check out out latest post and keep commenting, we LOVE YOU!

    Xo, To Be Loved Blog

  2. Yas!
    Thank you so much for commenting! We are so AMAZED at the way God works through the lives of the women who write for us! Be sure to check out our latest post! Love ya

    Xo, To Be Loved Blog

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