Stop Listening to the Voice of Your Eating Disorder

It was a banana chocolate chip muffin that sent me spiraling down into Ed’s [aka Eating Disorder’s] Black Hole. Yes, it was literally one muffin. Actually, it was only about half of one muffin.

My day started out normally. I was proud of myself for eating a relatively light breakfast of cereal and milk because I knew the cafeteria was serving a special dinner later that day. Thus, I was busy giving myself a pat on the back.

Until I stepped into that little coffee shop alongside my sister and a college friend.

The Muffin that Wrecked My Day

I stared at the options on the menu board—coffee, coffee, coffee, and tea. For several minutes I pondered what I should order, and I finally opted for a banana chocolate chip muffin. I swore that I would only eat a bite of it.  

I sat down on a leather couch and watched my banana chocolate chip muffin. My sister picked off a bite. I wanted to pick off a bite. Although I refrained for a few minutes, I finally broke off a small chunk and savored its sweetness as it slid down my throat. But then I began to panic inside.

This muffin is heaven. How am I supposed to not eat the rest of it? How many calories are even in this muffin? Probably too many…especially after I already ate cereal this morning. Ugh. This muffin is amazing, but Ed is commanding me not to eat it.

Eventually, the muffin was gone, and I realized that I had eaten it…well, at least half of it. It wasn’t a giant muffin, but that didn’t make a difference in my post-anorexia mind. It might as well have been a basketball-sized muffin with triple the chocolate chips.

The Voice that I Listened To

The rest of the day, I allowed my thoughts to descend into Ed’s Black Hole.

Even though I physically recovered from anorexia a few years ago, I still get stuck in Ed’s Black Hole sometimes. I still listen to his voice—the voice that commands me to restrict my dessert intake and to increase my whole grain intake and to limit my red meat intake.

Ed scolded me for eating that muffin half, and I heard his various lectures all day long. But I didn’t tell him to shut up or leave me alone. Instead, I willingly listened to him.

The (Inaudible) Conversation We Had

Ed: “You shouldn’t have eaten that muffin. You’re going to pay for that. Your hips are already so fat.”

Me: “Ugh, you’re so right. I shouldn’t have gotten it.”

Ed: “You need to eat a salad at lunch to make up for your high-calorie breakfast. Just salad, okay?”

Me: “Okay, that’s a good idea.”

Ed: “If you do that, you can eat 10 popcorn shrimp for dinner. But you can only eat a little broccoli and cheese.”

Me: “Got it, yes.”

This is me—in a sense—clinging to a controlling, abusive boyfriend who wants to hurt me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Have you ever clung to Ed or gotten trapped in his Black Hole? Ed is the uber-clingy type, and he wants to run your life. Today, I let him run my life, and I don’t want you to make the same mistake.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matthew 6:24 NASB)

Obviously, this post isn’t about wealth, but I think the idea of serving wealth can apply to the idea of serving Ed. He wants to be our master by leading us into his Black Hole of rumination and lies every single day. He wants to control whether or not we eat the muffin, whether or not we skip lunch, whether or not we workout again, whether or not we wear that new dress, whether or not we eat with friends, and whether or not we run so hard our legs ache for days.

Friend, I know it’s easy to play the victim card in this situation. Our immediate reaction when we get stuck in Ed’s Black Hole is to blame Ed. But he didn’t push us into his Black Hole without our permission. Your choice (and my choice) is this: to listen to our bodies (which God gave us) or listen to the liar’s voice and stay trapped in his Black Hole.

Don’t let a muffin (or a brownie, a skipped workout, or a too-small-now shirt) ruin your day. Those things have already ruined enough of mine. Leave Ed’s Black Hole before it starts to look like home.

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