Eating disorders could be compared to rampant disorder in your living environment, for certainly we live in our bodies. The purpose of this book is to reorder this area of your life; to recreate a comfortable environment for you to live within; to restore and reassign value to the precious and to discard the vile. It is to breathe life, hope and direction where there has been discouragement, death and confusion.
Many of you have already come to the realization that you have exchanged truth for a lie in some areas. Now is the time for a practical application of truth. There is nothing more powerful than the shared one-on-one testimony of what God has done in our lives. I cannot be there personally with you, but through the pages of this book, I believe you will hear what I have to say in a very deep and personal way.
When something is in disorder, it is out of order. Like a messy room where everything is in disarray. You can’t find anything in the overwhelming chaos. Items of value and significance are tossed aside onto the floor or under the bed while an empty candy wrapper sits atop a dresser as if on display. Dirty laundry is tossed carelessly on a chair or bed as though it were a decorative throw.
Order begets order. To correct disorder, you must first establish order. Order is the force that opposes disorder. It can become a very powerful force in our lives. A life in order has its priorities correctly assigned and establishes boundaries to protect these priorities. God has given us this admonishment in His Word:
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (Matt. 6:25)
Worry is never constructive, and it is always accompanied by fear and torment. Worry can become self-consuming. We could rephrase this scripture in Matthew 6 by interchanging the phrase “think obsessively about” for the word “worry.” It would then read:
“Do not think obsessively about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”
If life is more important than food and the body more important than clothes, then why are so many young women dying to look good in their clothes? Sadly, they do not know their life is more important than their appearance. They sacrifice the greater for the lesser. They have meditated on a lie and forsaken the truth. Statistics tell us that more than a thousand women die of anorexia and bulimia each year. This does not factor in the number of overweight women who die from the side effects of abusive fad diets. There are others who survive, yet their metabolisms remain sluggish from years of extreme dieting.
When does it all begin? Each story is different. Some girls perceive an obsession with weight as a normal rite of passing into womanhood—one they are introduced to as they watch their mothers or older sisters try on clothes in dressing rooms and bedrooms. Their innocent eyes and ears drink in every detail as their mothers try on suits, dresses, pants and bathing suits. Considering her mother to be the most beautiful woman in the world, a little girl reacts with shock as her mother exclaims in horror:
“Oh, I look so fat in this! Look at my stomach sticking out! These jeans make my bottom look huge!”
The little girl may even protest, quickly responding by saying, “No, Mom, you look beautiful!”
But this assessment is brushed aside as childish. “You’ll understand when you grow up,” her mother explains. So she hurries to grow up. And as she grows, the food disorder begins to grow also.
As you see, to reorder the disorder of your life as a result of your struggle with an eating disorder, I pray that the principles God taught me in my own time of reordering will help you to win the victory in the area of your weight also. You are not what you weigh, as surely as I had to learn I was not what I weighed. This book would be incomplete if I neglected to share my personal struggle.
Editor’s Note: The preceding is an excerpt from best-selling author Lisa Bevere’s book, You Are Not What You Weigh: End Your War With Food and Discover Your True Value. Click here for Excerpt 1 of the book, and here for Excerpt 2.
Lisa Bevere is the best-selling author of Fight Like a Girl, Kissed the Girls and Made them Cry, Out of Control and Loving It! And Be Angry and Don’t Blow It! In addition to speaking at national and international conferences, she is a frequent guest on Christian television and radio shows. She and her husband, best-selling author John Bevere, make their home in Colorado.