Recovery form an eating disorder or disordered eating—reconstruction—is an “inside-out” job. And the job is not complete until you have cleaned out emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As you are working at recovery, be ware that you may be tempted to “recycle” your damaging patterns instead of getting rid of them completely. In times of stress, you may want to “recycle” back into old patterns. Expect this and prepare for it. Second Peter 2:22 says this tendency to return to destructive patterns is like a dog returning to its own vomit or a washed pig going back to wallowing in the mud. Neither of these analogies is an attractive visual. Attractive? No. Instructive? Yes. Both of these analogies help you visualize the truth of the destructive behaviors.
So, if there is a natural tendency to return and wallow, how do you prepare for it? Prayer is your best weapon in this effort to rid yourself of your eating disorder or disordered eating. Through prayer, you connect with the power of God to assist you in your determination to reclaim the beauty of God’s creation that is you. Through prayer, you can hear God’s voice reaffirm his care, concern, and love for you.
Remember, you are wonderfully unique beyond what you’ve been able to see. Each of us is a work of art, beautiful in our complexity. As children, we experience an innate sense that we are good, that life is good, and that we are special. Somewhere along that line, however, through the actions of others and circumstances we can neither control nor comprehend, that self-awareness gets sidetracked. We stop seeing ourselves as “good” and start believing that at we are in some way “bad.” We don’t really understand why we are bad, but we certainly know the results of our deficiency.
Things that have no value are not taken care of. Objects of great worth are cared for, protected, and prized. It is time to stop thinking of yourself as someone of no value. If you are having trouble finding that value on your own, look outside of yourself to your true friends, to caring family, and to God.
Each act in the present has its consequences in the future. Acts of destruction will reap future damage, but acts of concern will produce healing. Slipping back into old patterns will only prolong your suffering and prevent healing. It’s time for your reconstruction. With God’s help and your determination, rebuilding can be done.
In addition to God’s strength, self-determination and the power of prayer, there are people that can help you through this process. If you have tried to recover from an eating disorder, but find yourself being drawn back into old habits, you may need the help from a professional team of healing specialist. The world-class staff at The Center • A Place of HOPE are dedicated to holistic healing—incorporating spirituality in the very fabric of recovery. Call 1-888-771-5166 or fill out our contact form and someone from The Center • A Place of HOPE will be in touch with you soon.
Excerpts of this blog were taken from Dr. Gregory Jantz’s book Hope Help & Healing for Eating Disorders: A Whole-Person Approach to Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating.