My friend – Sarah Beth Flippo (on the right)
This morning when I woke up, I just felt the need to share a testimony of a friend, whom shared hers with us two days before my birthday in August. Many girls I know, including me and some friends struggled with eating disorders back in high school, for different reasons but it is something that happened. So when I read her testimony, it really struck a deep cord in my heart. It is beautiful and she wrote straight from the heart. Hope this may encourage some girls out there today.
My Struggle Against Anorexia Nervosa and How I Survived It!
Tonight as I was laying in bed, God really started to speak to me about my past. I have met so many people that look at me and think straight off the bat that I am a very confident and put together person. Now I am not saying that I’m not because I am but it took one crazy road to get here. Most of you have never heard my testimony as to how I came to know Christ. I actually haven’t even been a Christian that long. But tonight as I was laying here I felt that God wanted me to share it to the public for I know many girls and even some guys are struggling from the very thing that brought me to my knees, Eating Disorders.
I was diagnosed with Anorexia January 2009. It had all started six months before that when I had moved to the US for 9 months with my family. I was a happy teenager that didn’t care about the size in her jeans or the way she looked all I knew was I was happy with life and that is all that mattered. I was comfortable with where I was in South Africa and was not ready to get up and move. There was nothing I could do to make the move stop it was something that had to take place. I soon realized when I got to move to America that it was not the same as Africa. I had never experienced culture shock until June 2008.
As I got to America I started to realize a difference between me and all the other girls, they wore make-up and dressed up for class and I was a simple girl that didn’t wear make-up and did the jeans and t-shirts every day. As school began things got a little harder. At the lunch table I would eat whatever but the other girls would watch what they eat or not eat all of it I thought that was why they were all so pretty and skinny. So I slowly began to do the same thing. It started out as a harmless little “I’ll lose a little weight to where I am healthy.”
So it started I began to eat a little healthier and work out a little harder in gym class and as they said, the weight began to decrease and it felt good, I loved the compliments. So I decided to lose a little more and again, I loved the compliments. So I decided I’d lose another dress size, except it wouldn’t stop one dress size became more than 7 dress size in total. I was a size twelve when I started and made my way down to a size zero by the December of 2008.
But I still was not satisfied with the way I was, in my mind I was still the size 12 girl (which is not even close to being big). When I got to a size four that is when the compliments stopped and the questions started. Soon people were telling me, that I needed to stop losing weight as I looked good but not healthy anymore. But I did what I knew best and listened to my anorexia speak. It got so bad I would not let myself eat over 200 calories when the regular intake for one was 2000.
Soon the symptoms started, I began to lose my hair in chunks, I began bruising all over my body, I was always cold no matter the temperature I always had sweats and jackets on and then more symptoms arose after that. In January 2009 I fell ill and my mother took me to the doctor where I got medicine and weighed nothing was said about my weight until I had to return two weeks later because of severe bruising down my spine, and this is when the mater arose my weight, had lost 4 pounds since the last time I saw the doctor. I will never forget this is the day my life changed forever. He diagnosed me with Anorexia Nervosa. I can still remember the look on my mother’s face when he said that I had developed an eating disorder.
It seemed all so unreal to me as I didn’t want to believe him, in my mind I was not sick and I did not need help until he said the D word. What D word you may be asking? Death. He told me that I could have a heart attack any day if I kept up this life style the words to this day ring in my head “You are killing yourself, Sarah if you keep losing weight you will DIE.”
That is the moment I realized it was not my time to die, that moment I realized I did not want to be a statistic on some graph of people who died from Anorexia but I wanted to be the statistic on a graph that survived it. I remember getting off that table and getting into the car and looking at my mom saying were going to do this. It was not an easy road out, matter fact it was one of the hardest roads for me and especially my family. It took 3 years for me to recover from anorexia, and to this day I still struggle with it but not as badly.
I had to go to counselling, doctor visits, shots, medications, nutrionist the list goes on and on but every single person that helped me through my journey saved my life. But most of all my Christian Parents, I know that they did not have an easy time with me growing up and I know I had cost them some money but they never once turned away, they always stood right next to me and cheered me on. They still cheer me on to this day. God has blessed me with an amazing family that has supported me through a very difficult situation that effects many many families today. I have to say to the girls that consider any sort of lifestyle that your body is a temple of Christ and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Love the way you are because God does! And if you are struggling with something along these lines, go seek help because you want to be that statistic that conquered!