Open Letter to a Bulimic

Well dear sister, to continue my thoughts of yesterday...

The struggle between the seductive lure of an eating disorder and desire for freedom and health is so typical, and I KNOW many women will be blessed by knowing they are not the only ones fighting this battle.

A couple of things I didn't cover in my post: the white flour and sugar issue. What I've found (as have others!) is that for some reason, these simple sugars tend to be triggering, and it is much harder to resist a binge when you start eating them. Part of it has to do with the spike and plummet in the blood sugar levels, but there's more to it than that, in my opinion - association plays a big role. If you've been bingeing on high-calorie, starchy "comfort foods", it's hard to break that habit. Those endorphins in your brain - the so-called "pleasure centers" - have been conditioned to react to the craving by bingeing on the available food. This is why prayer, planning meals by the Holy Spirit's guidance, and even abstinence from these types of "tigger foods" at the beginning is so important.

As time goes by, and you've gradually developed a more "normal relationship" with food, you will certainly be able to enjoy the occasional piece of cake or pie, but let's not rush things. Think it through and cultivate abstinence when you are tempted by "trigger foods". Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, and He will help you cultivate this discipline. Eating complex carbohydrates and a healthy, balanced diet will help you overcome cravings and restore your health and concentration.

I would NOT recommend keeping a food journal and writing down everything you eat. That puts too much of the focus on the food itself, and not on Christ, where it belongs. Keep your eyes on Him, and just use wisdom and prayer, prayer and more prayer as you plan each meal. Put on the full armor of God as soon as you get up in the morning, and don't even let those condemning thoughts about your body take root in your mind. Take them captive and turn to Christ as soon as they enter your mind.

Remember, my friend, food addiction is a spiritual issue. It is a learned behavior, and as such it can be unlearned. Do not try to do this alone; it can only be overcome in Christ's strength. Additionally, you may find godly counsel helpful - a nouthetic (biblical) counselor will be able to walk through this process with you, holding you accountable and teaching you how to reject ungodly thoughts and replace them with Christ-honoring ones. If you visit the NANC link above, it will take you to the biblical counselor directory by state. Enter your zip code, and you will see if there is anyone in your area....nouthetic counseling is free and is based entirely on the premise that "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (2 Peter 1:3).

Your sister in Christ,



  1. Marie: About diet, is white rice included? And what about sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Splenda, etc?

  2. Ooh, that's a good question. Well, I can only tell you what worked for me; but bear in mind this is just experience/opinion and not gospel nutrition science.

    A nutritionist will probably tell you sugar substitutes are bad for you and not to use them. At some point, I lost my teste for Sweet and Low in my morning coffee, and just used 2 tsp. of sugar. However, I drink gallons of soda - diet soda, which is loaded with artificial sweeteners (if I drank the regular stuff, I guarantee you I'd have Type I diabetes by now. 12 tsp. per can is NOT good for you, either).

    So I see no reason not to use artificial sweeteners, possible health risks aside. I have HEARD that Sepia is healthier - all-natural, and does not cause spikes in blood sugar, but I've never used it. Heard it's expensive.

    As far as white rice goes, sure, brown is healthier (but takes a lot longer to cook). I would say, as long as you pray and commit the meal to the Lord and practice that moderation we talked about, go ahead and eat rice. I do NOT believe in eliminating or restricting things (even carbs) excessively. If it's an obvious trigger food, like doughnuts, yes. But white rice? White bread? I never completely abstained; I just forced myself to be moderate - "Lord, I will stop at this serving."

    I firmly believe that all things in moderation is the key to acheiving a healthy balance and "normal" relationship with food.

    Hope that helps some!

  3. Thanks for your post, Marie, especially the ending. I would end to eating in moderation to eat as God leads, for God wants us to have a relationship with Him and not with food.


    One of the main traps a bulimic will fall into is, instead of turning to God in times of stress/loneliness/uncertainty/boredom/etc. she will turn to the food. If one has disordered eating, clearly it's not a physical hunger she is trying to fill. We need to get into that habit of seeking the true "spiritual food" He abundantly provides, and not a counterfeit that will leave us ever more empty than before.


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