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7 Signs You May Have A Disordered Relationship With Food


Have You Ever Wondered…

How do you know if you have a disordered relationship with food or your body, and when do you need to reach out for help? You’re about to learn 7 signs that you might have a disordered relationship with food and be introduced to a common misconception that SO many women have towards determining whether or not they need help. Get prepared to be challenged and identify some habits that are not serving you or your health journey so that you can discover true health and your identity in Christ!

But first, let’s start with that common misconception:

“I Don’t Struggle With Disordered Eating Because Of My Body Size.”

This is a HUGE LIE from the enemy that SO many women fall into. Your body size has nothing to do with validating whether or not you struggle with disordered eating! Read that sentence again if you need to. Diet culture wants you to believe that struggling with food and your body is “just something every woman has to deal with”, and that dieting “is just a lifestyle”, but…

What Are You Risking When You Buy Into Diet Culture’s Lies?

C.S. Lewis’ book, “The Screwtape Letters”, is a book set in World War II about demons being trained to tempt humans away from following Jesus. (Sounds strange, but it’s actually super interesting!) The student demon asks his mentor wether or not he should make his assigned human an extreme patriot of the war or an extreme pacifist. The mentor responds by saying that it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that the human cares more about his chosen issue than he cares about Jesus. Sound familiar?

When it comes to dieting and our relationship with Jesus, we have to ask ourselves: “What do I really care about most, and how is that evidenced in my life?”  The enemy doesn’t care what is distracting us as long as we focus on that thing more than Christ, and he can definitely use dieting as that distraction. When we recognize disordered thought patterns and behaviors, it's then that we can clearly see what distractions are keeping us from our calling. So, let’s dive into these 7 signs:


Sign #1: You Are Skipping Meals to “Make Up For” or “Save Up For” Something That You Ate or Are Going to Eat. 

This can look like: 

  • Skipping breakfast to make up for an unusually large dinner the night before 
  • Only eating certain amounts or types of food to “save up” for meal in the future

This mentality can be harmful to both your mental and physical health because it communicates, “you just did (or will do) something wrong.” In other words, this behavior gives food morality that it does not have. 

Sign #2: You Refer to Food as “Good and Bad”, “Clean and Junk”…(Fill in the Blank)

Again, food does not have morality; this means that food does not have the ability or capacity to make decisions. For example, food cannot vandalize your neighbor’s property! Since food cannot be good or bad, YOU cannot be good or bad because of what you eat.


Sign #3: You are Completely Cutting Out Food Groups and/or Eating Very Little Variety. 

Do certain foods feel safer and more acceptable while others feel ridden with anxiety? While leaving out variety in your diet can harm your mental health, it can also cause nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances. (See episode 4 for more info on hormones!)


Sign #4: You Are Constantly Thinking About How Your Body Looks.

Maybe you feel like a slave to the scale, or you can’t stop thinking about how that pair of pants rests on your hips. The solution to body fixation is NOT positive body affirmations. Though I'm not against a positive mentality towards your body, thinking about your body means you’re thinking about your body. In reality, thinking less about your body and changing the way you think about it is a much more effective solution!


Sign #5: You Feel Like There’s Only One Way to Eat, and You’re Not Doing It Right. 

First of all, your body is unique from everyone else’s! This means that your body needs and enjoys types and amounts of food unique to you. In short, there is no one best way to eat!


Sign #6: You Find Yourself Thinking About Food All Day, Even When You’re Not Hungry. 

There are TONS of factors that can contribute to food fixation.  A few of them are: 

  • being highly restrictive in your intake
  • following food rules
  • intentional dieting


Sign #7: The Way You See Yourself and/or Your Value is Largely Dependent on How Much You Like Your Body or How Good You Think It Is.

Did anyone just let out an internal, “ouch”?  You have absolutely no control over your value as a person! When you were knit together in your mother’s womb, the King of Heaven called you worthy. Heather Creekmore, in her book “Compared to Who”, wrote about how a princess is only given that title because of her direct relationship to the King. She is not a princess because of anything she did; she was born into her position. Dear friend, you are inherently valuable because of who created you and assigned value to you.


So… What Now?

Even if you said “yes” to only one of the seven signs, you deserve help and support, my friend! Here are some steps you can take right now:

Remember, recovery, freedom, and peace towards food is 100% possible, and Christ is 100% faithful! Though recovery is a daily battle against the enemy’s lies, it is so worth it, dear friend. Until next time, may you be filled with joy and abound in hope.  

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