Back to school

Back to School with ED: Are people watching me eat??

Hello, my warriors! So with the back to school series, it was inevitable that the topic of school lunch was going to be mentioned. This topic hits home for me. I think it is also very triggering for kids in high school who are struggling with an eating disorder.

I know how much I dreaded lunch time. I hated sitting down with my friends. The lunch room is where my ED really started going down hill for me. I spend the first hours of school sitting in the classroom listening to my stomach growl louder and louder as the time ticked closer to 1. I know how hungry I felt, and at the same time, I would not let myself eat. I would walk to the lunch room afraid of what was coming. Knowing that I would lose to my ED once again. Each day my meals would somehow get smaller and smaller. I would sit down in the cold blue chairs and pull my lunch box out. I would take my sandwich and pick at it. I would maybe eat half of it, while at the same to lustfully watching people around me eat. It comforted me to know I was eating the least amount. I felt superior to others, I had the “self-control” that they lacked. My mind was so warped.

3b09cd89bf740a0fef624638e3812933I also had a friend who was anything but helpful for me. At lunch, these times became so much harder. She has her own struggles with body image. At lunch, we would both seem to eat the bare minimum. Some days we just “didn’t feel good”, “had a headache”, “weren’t hungry”, ” had a big breakfast”, etc. It was what seemed to be an endless cycle of lies and excuses. I remember one time where I was so scared people would judge me, and that all my friends were watching me eating less than them, that I went to the bathroom and threw out the remainder of my lunch. I didn’t want my friends to look at me and think I was starving myself. I didn’t feel comfortable eating with people. I was so self-conscious that everyone would watch me and judge me for eating too much or too little

It is so easy to live in fear of eating in the lunchroom. I was blessed by God to have the opportunity to eat elsewhere while at school. I am allowed to eat in a classroom with other friends who have stable eating habits. It is so helpful for me to be around others who eat “normally”, or intuitively. I encourage you, if the lunchroom is a triggering time for you, to try and find a teacher’s classroom to eat in. BUT, do not go sit in the bathroom without eating lunch. You need to find a group that can support you and that you feel comfortable eating lunch with. Small steps like this make a huge difference.

School is a scary place. And a place that if you give ED control, it will thrive. But, if you take control of your thoughts and actions you can change that lunchroom to a place of enjoyment and community.

Many times I had to fall down and give my ED to God. I had to cry and praise him for his power to take control of my demons. He can save you, and he hears you when you call to him.

Psalm 22: 19-22

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.

Take the time to pray to God today. Call out to him. Ask him to take control of your ED. Ask him to give you the strength to face this school year. Ask him to help you wake up renewed each day, and able to face your demons. He is a good God. He will hear you, and he will answer you in his timing.

He has helped me immensely. He gives me the strength each school day to go to lunch, grab my blue lunch box, and eat with my friends. To be able to not focus on every thing I am eating, and to not think about the calories I have consumed and am going to consume. I am able to talk with people, to laugh and enjoy myself, to be there. My ED does come around sometimes. Whenever those thoughts enter my head I have to actively ask God to be with me. To be in my head and heart also. God gives me the strength to face the difficulties that are thrown at me.

Goals for today:

I love this video so much.

She says something in it that really hits home for me. She says that she saw herself the way God sees her.

That is something that I constantly think about. It helps me to eat, to rest, and to most importantly love myself the way God loves me.

Have a wonderful day (or night), and know that God has given you the strength to face the hard times and the good times.

Love, Mack.

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