28 Days to Overcome an Eating Disorder

Thanks to the many girls who have opened up about the struggle to me, I have had the ability to see the pressure, pain and turmoil of an eating disorder, which has caused me to respond in this blog. I long to see freedom in the lives of these precious, adored girls of God.

londoncitypic_blogJune2014-01For those of you reading who struggle with an eating disorder, you are not alone in your battle. They say that 1 in 4 women, young and old, are facing it with you.

How do you beat it? How do you triumph?

Christ says to you, “I have already provided you with a way to triumph.” We flip to 2 Corinthians 2:14 and read, “thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” (ESV)

Christ died and rose again for your victory over everything that may oppress you. Thoughts, desires, evil in the world – nothing holds you stronger than Christ. His power inside of you is enough to overcome anything! Do you believe it? Ephesians 3:20 declares, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!”

What would the world be like if all of us saw others and ourselves as Jesus sees us?

I offer this 28-day journey, not as a challenge, but as a prayer that you would live the fullest life of grace and truth – a life more satisfying than knowing you fit a size 7. Your purpose is far greater than that! Girl, you are called to be a world changer, and it’s time to stop letting an eating disorder call the shots on your destiny!

These thoughts for each day simply supplement what you are already doing to overcome. You may even start over at Day 1 when you reach the end.

Within these days are tools that have helped me live for Christ and can apply to so many different struggles…So…

Let’s go for it!

-Elissa

Day 1: Write down 3 reasons you want to overcome the eating disorder. (Jesus paid a high price for your freedom, for your children, for your health… etc) Call a friend or pastor to tell them about your commitment to overcome and ask them to pray for you over the next 28 days.

Day 2: Write down one experience that sticks with you that has added to the struggle you face with the mirror or the perception you have with your body. Once you have done this, rip the paper up and say out loud, “This is my past and it no longer has a hold on me in Jesus’ name.” Song of Solomon 2:10 “My beloved responded and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along. For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone.”

Day 3: Write Psalm 103:1-5 on an index card, or stationary paper, and tape it to your mirror. Read it out loud: “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Day 4: Write out Song of Solomon 2:10 and tape it to your mirror. Read it out loud. (See Day 2)

Day 5: Plan a meal that sounds tasty, balanced and inviting. Eat this meal in a quiet place where you can be prayerful and aware that Jesus is there with you. Enjoy that meal with Him and keep His presence in your mind as you eat. Listen to what He is saying as you eat. Jeremiah 19:12-13 “…you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Day 6: Thoughts are powerful. Pinpoint a negative thought about your body that you’ve obsessed over. Every time it enters your mind, ‘grab’ a hold of it and say out loud, “I take authority over this thought in the name of Jesus. It has no hold on me. I belong to Jesus Christ.” Practice this throughout the day. Ponder 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)

Day 7: Read Psalm 139 from start to finish out loud. Write down verse 14 and tape it to your mirror: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Day 8: When you put your faith in Jesus, you received the righteousness of God as your own. God gave you this gift so you can stand faultless before Him, acceptable and cleansed. When God sees you, He sees Jesus’ righteousness, not your mistakes. Today when you pray, don’t allow your mind to dwell on your faults, think on God’s goodness and thank Him for the sacrifice of Jesus! Spend a few minutes praying now. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Day 9: Call your friend or pastor and update them about your journey. Pray together. Throughout the rest of the day, pinpoint each thought that fuels the eating disorder. Even if it is in the form of regret or anger. (Refresh with Day 6) Make it a practice each day to “take captive” your thoughts.

Day 10: When you are in your bathroom next, read every scripture taped to your mirror, out loud. Make a point to do this every day. Romans 12:2 is a favorite of mine, it reads, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Day 11: Look up your favorite scripture and tape it to your mirror. If you can’t think of one, read Romans Chapter 8 and pick one!

Day 12: If you haven’t already, throw away all magazines, posters, etc that fuel your mind with negative thoughts. Read and write out for your mirror: Isaiah 51:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (NLT)

Day 13: Stop owning the eating disorder. What does that mean? Well, I see it like this – every time you say “my eating disorder” you are reminding yourself that it’s part of who you are. But, who you are in Christ has no connection to an eating disorder. Your identity is wrapped up in Christ – where no kind of disorder exists! When you talk about it, say “the eating disordering I’m overcoming”. This is hopeful and purposeful language that will further train your mind to think what God thinks about you! For your mirror: Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (ESV)

youareloved_blogJune2014-01Day 14: Sit for 15 min in silence as you read 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Ask Jesus to instill this verse inside your inner being. During the silence meditate on the words “the One (God’s Spirit) who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”. Allow God to reveal to you what this means for your life today.

Day 15: Listen to this song: “Our God” by Chris Tomlin. Add 1 John 4:4 to your mirror and read all verses out loud again. Aim to memorize as many as you can as the days progress.

Day 16: Read your reasons on Day 1. Spend time praying that God would help you and enable you to do these things. Listen for His Spirit encouraging you today. Reminder: Continue ‘taking captive’ all negative thoughts. As you do this, you will make room in your mind to hear the voice of God and receive His love for you.

Day 17: Read Jesus’ words in John 10:1-18. Pick out a verse to write out for your mirror or another important place you will see it each day.

Day 18: Call your friend or pastor or parent to update them on how you are doing. Pray with them. Recognize today that it’s Satan’s desire to intimidate you, but those kind of thoughts are not from God. Stand strong against them. Read today and write out: 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (or ‘a sound mind’).” (Idea: Personalize it by adding “ME” instead of “US” when you write it out.)

Day 19: Set aside 10 min of prayer time and begin by verbally thanking God for your legs. List all the things you do with your legs and praise Him. Walking, standing, getting coffee, serving others etc. Then move on to another part of your body. Thank God for your torso. How it carries life, the ability to bare children, providing you with posture and strength for all your days. Thank God for your arms, and the ability to hug others, to carry things, to type and do your job. Be sure to target parts of your body that have been a difficulty for you. Find at least two things to thank God for those parts. (Tip: Think about your hobbies like music, dance or cooking. Thank God for these body parts in light of your talents, too!)

Day 20: Plan another meal to eat with Jesus. Give yourself time to prepare it and thank God for providing you with food as you go about the preparations. As you eat, keep your mind on the presence of Jesus with you, watching over you and pouring His love into you.

Day 21: For your mirror, check out 1 John 5:4-5 “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Day 22: When you decide to exercise today, invite Jesus with you. Picture Him joining you and talk with Him while you are on this walk or jog. Ask Him to show you His love.

Day 23: As you eat today, reflect on the verses you are memorizing. Also, you may choose to turn on worship music to think on and praise God as you eat. Acts 17:28 “in Him we live and move and have our being”!

Day 24: Stand in the mirror and verbally thank God for your (listed) body parts and their amazing uses that God designed. Read this verse and post it! Psalm 33:20-22 “I put my hope in the Lord. He is my help and  shield. In Him my heart rejoices, for I trust in His holy name. Let Your unfailing love surround me, for my hope is in You alone.”

Day 25: Sit for 10 min in silence. Close you eyes and picture yourself going about your day from start to finish. In everything, see yourself happy, free from any compulsion or disorder. See yourself enjoying the best things in your life and going from one thing to the next without a single hesitation or struggle. This is the beginning to truly believing with your heart that you are free! Read Mark 11:23 “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.”

Day 26: Call your trusted friend or pastor to update them. Share what have already overcome with them. Praise God and pray together: “God, thank you for being near during this time of pressing through to see Your will done in my life. We thank You for giving us power by Your Holy Spirit to overcome just as Jesus overcame. We pray for continued healing and full restoration in every cell of my body. You are the Giver of Life. In everything I do give me the strength to honor You.”

Day 27: Write a testimony from a day recently when you experienced God helping you take a step towards overcoming. Celebrate every step! Post this personal testimony in a place you will see each day. Remember that while this is a process, victory is already yours through Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:9 “God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (NLT)bird_blogJune2014-01

Day 28: Continue to memorize and declare the verses on your mirror and ‘take captive’ every thought that entices you to mentally entertain negative thoughts. In addition, continue to withhold from speaking negative words about your body or your life. Don’t give those thoughts or words any space from here on out! Instead, dwell deeper and deeper in the truth of who you are and what your future will be… free, joy-filled, radiant. You belong to Jesus, not a disorder. You belong and each day you have His full attention. You are His daughter, the daughter of The King.

1 John 3:1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!

~Elissa

 

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