God Doesn’t Make Junk

This post is the first in series of posts on the topic of “My body, God’s temple,” during national eating disorder awareness week. You can find the other posts here


Audra is a THRIVE-at home wife of nearly 11 years and mom to two little boys, two and under. She is making the adjustment from being in the workforce to being at home. You can find her blogging at Rediscovering Domesticity.
Eating Disorders.
What a multi-faceted topic.  I am so thankful that Emily is tackling this tough issue and is bringing more awareness to it. I am humbled that she asked me to write a guest post for her!
Have I suffered with an eating disorder?  Thankfully, no. But I have seen the potential in me and it is scary.
Let me tell you a little about my story.  Cliff notes version.
  • Diagnosed with thyroid issues at age 10 (Graves disease) – struggled to keep weight on
  • Radiation to kill thyroid at age 14 – while regulating things, I gained 40 pounds in just a few months.
  • Kept extra weight on into college. Basic lifestyle changes allowed me to lose the weight. Got as low as 87 pounds in college despite eating normally – very physical job.
  • After marriage, slowly put on weight over the years – stayed about 20 pounds over my goal weight.
  • Had 2 babies. Highest weight pregnant was over 160 pounds (I’m only 4’11”). 
  • Current weight – 110 – my goal weight. With breastfeeding and chasing 2 littles, I am struggling to keep the weight on at the moment.
Ok.  It wasn’t until after my first child and severe depression and anxiety issues (thank you, thyroid) that I started really having issues with my appearance.  I hated how I looked and avoided pictures.  I was tempted to do some more extreme dieting. The only thing that stopped me was breastfeeding.  If I cut calories, my supply would drop. I am thankful for that connection!  It kept me eating until I was in a more healthy mental state.
God doesn’t want us to be struggling with eating disorders and with self image.  God doesn’t make junk. He created us all in His image.
Psalm 139:14
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
   your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
 As we seek help to heal, we need to take steps toward our own healing.  This goes for healing from eating disorders, depression, and many other issues.
1.     Spend time each day thanking God for who He made us to be. It may sound empty and hollow at first, but thank Him anyway.  He can change your heart.
2.     Look in the mirror and say, “I am beautiful. God made me. He loves me. He knew me before the world began. He has numbered even the hairs on my head. He loves me.  I am beautiful.”
3.     Start opening our hearts to receive love.  Refusing to accept the love that God freely gives is offensive to Him. Refusing to receive the love our spouse, children, parents, friends, and family freely give is a slap in the face. Imagine telling someone you love them and having them refuse that love – by refusing to accept the love of others, we are telling them that they really don’t know what they are talking about. That they are wrong.  As uncomfortable as it can be to receive love from others, it is rude and hurtful to not receive it. It takes time.
4.     Realize that we are setting an example for others. For our friends. For our family. For our CHILDREN.  What do we want others to learn from us? Personally, I want my children to learn how much they are loved. How much they are worth. How fantastic they are. I don’t want them to learn my insecurities.
5.     Pray for a change of heart. Pray that God show you how HE sees you.
There is an awesome movement happening – Operation Beautiful.  The premise is simple. Leave an encouraging note somewhere that another woman may seem. We are bombarded in every direction with messages that tear us down. Let’s start building each other up. Let another woman know she is beautiful. You never know now much she may need to hear it that day.
So, is healing a process? Most certainly. Does it take time? Sure does. Will there be bad days? Yup.  Is it worth the pain and humiliation to seek help? More than you can possibly imagine.
Have you struggled with eating disorders? Do you know someone who is struggling?
Blessings, 
Audra

  • I've never struggled with an eating disorder but I do struggle with severe depression so the "God doesn't make junk" thing is something that I have to remind myself of all of the time. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  • Thank you for sharing your story, Audra! I'm working through some thyroid issues right now & can relate with the pregnancy issues.

    My biggest problem with eating is ignoring my body when it says 'time to eat'. I need to take care of myself, so I can take care of my kids!

  • Erin – I had to say a lot of the same things as I struggled with PPD. God made us in His image, so we are definitely not junk!

    Michelle – I, too, struggle with eating when I need to because I am busy with the kids! It's so hard to take time for my own health when they are crying for attention.

  • Graves disease here too, but not at 14! That's really drastic for a teen! They did not diagnose me until in my late 30's and then radiated twice. I never lost weight, but run into gaining.

    I like the idea of leaving a note for women about their beauty. A lot of 'beauty' is just genetic, so there is no level playing field.

    I believe in giving as many compliments to women as I can, even if I don't know them. I've walked up to women who were strangers just to compliment them on something. It's always lifted their spirits!

  • Donna – my new favorite greeting (stolen from a good friend of mine) is "Hello, pretty lady!" It always brightens my day when my friend says it to me, so I'm all about passing it on!

  • I love what you say about God not making junk. I went to a girls' conference last year and the speaker had us all repeat this mantra with her:

    "I AM somebody. I AM God's child. 'Cause God don't make no junk! Amen. Amen. Aaaamen!"

    And all you could hear was a throng of beautiful female voices calling out to a God Who made them beautiful. Such a powerful moment. 🙂

  • Audra, thanks for such a wonderful post! I've learned so much just from reading the guest posts 😀 I think we all need to be reminded that God doesn't make junk!

  • Thanks so much for writing, Audra! The steps to healing were very encouraging, especially the one about not refusing other peoples' love. That is just what I needed to hear! Thanks for letting God use you! 🙂

  • oh, thank you Audra.. I struggled with eating disorder when I was younger….

    this is so encouraging and your title is just PERFECT. God doesn't make junk!!

    http://www.theblogforbrides.com
    http://www.journeyofawoman.wordpress.com

  • by the way, Emily.. could you send me an email? I am trying to find your email address here but couldnt find it haha.. I will tell you something =D

    teacher (underscore) viviene (at) yahoo (dot) com

    http://www.theblogforbrides.com
    http://www.journeyofawoman.wordpress.com

  • Thanks for the post Audra! I love the idea of leaving beauty notes around for other women to find :-D. I checked out the website and I especially loved one of the post-it notes that said "people with squishy tummies are more comfy to cuddle with"…needed to hear that one today!

  • Did the radiation on your thyroid work for you? I have the same problem and the medication barely does anything. id love to not have to take a pill every morning.