In that one sentence my self-esteem crashed. If he thought I was fat then maybe that meant I was ugly, unloveable, and I’d never find true love. I’d given him everything, even my virginity, and he threw it back in my face. I felt worthless.
I had two choices. Brush it off and not believe the new label or change the way I looked. Sadly, that day I made a mistake as I chose the latter. I started hitting the gym for two hours every night, thinking that I could lose weight and tone up, but my body wasn’t changing quick enough. So, I decided to skip some meals, but as I love my food I wasn’t willing to sacrifice this, so ‘plan C’ had to be created. I decided to eat all the food I love really quickly and soon after eating I would make myself sick. I could enjoy the food without putting on any calories. This was great! I was in full control or so I thought.
Two years down the road I was in a very dark place, lying to myself and everyone else because I had an eating disorder called bulimia – making myself sick up to five times a day. They call it the secret illness because you simply lie and don’t admit it to anyone. I remember one night sitting on my bed asking myself that question ‘What happened?’
I was brought up a Christian but had stopped going to church and felt too guilty to talk to God a long time ago and I was all alone. Psychologists tell us that as humans we need to know that we are loved, accepted and valued in order to live a balanced life. I started to reminisce, remembering my lost friendships and how I was told that God in fact loved, valued and accepted me just the way I was. It had been the most amazing day of my life when I truly understood that I, Emma Owen, could have a friendship with the creator of this world, a God who was alive and kicking! I used to love talking to God, and going to church. What had gone so wrong?
I decided enough was enough, I’d tried everything, but nothing had worked. I decided to give God a second chance, so I prayed.
I don’t know if you believe in God or miracles but that next day I woke up and it was the first day in two years that I didn’t make myself sick! The next day, week, month, and year passed, and to this day I’ve never made myself sick. God had taken this illness from me which I and no other counsellor or doctor could do in just one night. I started reading the Bible again and decided to believe what God said about me, not what the world said. God says I’m precious, fearfully and wonderfully made, and worth everything to Him – I was LOVED!
Marcia Hutchinson, author of 200 Ways to Love the Body You Have, said this, ‘If you talked to your friends the way you talk to your body, you’d have no friends left at all.’ For years I’d hated my body because I believed it had cost me my relationship, but now I know that if someone can’t see my worth then they weren’t worthy of me.
Let’s be kind and learn to love the bodies we’re in, there are people in this world who love you and can help you or, if you dare, like me, ask God for help. Life is for living, and living in full.
Photo by Photo by Ravi Roshan