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The Fatman That Lives Inside of Me

I have struggled most of my life with food.  When I was young, I had the metabolism of a squirrel, and my overeating was not shown in my weight.  All of that caught up to me once I got to high school.  I was still overeating and my metabolism slowed, so I put on weight.  I was not huge or anything, but my weight rose higher and higher.  My senior year, I decided to start skipping meals.  I started with breakfast.  Then came lunch.  Before long, I was barely ever hungry at suppertime.  It got to the point that I was eating once every other day…then once every few days…then just whenever I could force myself to eat something (or eat so my mom would not worry).  After a while, the fainting and stomach pains started.  I was at the BMI for my height…but I looked like a skeleton wearing skin.

I tried to start eating again, but I just couldn’t.  I would get huge headaches.  We went to doctors.  At the time I did not quite realize that I was anorexic (sounds dumb when you are on the outside of this, but if you are on the inside of this problem it makes sense…don’t ask me why because I am not sure).  I had all kinds of tests.  They could not pinpoint the problem.  But, thank God that he is rich in mercy and grace!

The night of my graduation, with us still not knowing what was wrong with me, we went out to eat.  I got something called the “Crab Pot.”  It was a pot (pretty big sized pot).  I ate.  And ate.  And ate some more.  I finished my Crab Pot…and my two brothers’ Crab Pots.  I, unlike most people who have to deal with aneroxis, was healed without even admitting that was my problem.  There was no turning back after that night of Crab Pots.

I kept eating.  But it was back to the overeating that I practiced before the aneroxia.  You see, aneroxia was not the problem.  I struggled with my weight from that point on.  It fluctuated up and down as I would have control over food for a while through some kind of diet, and then I would lose control and be back to the same habits in no time.  My weight moving up and down…but spiraling upward.  But guess what, it turns out that weight is not my real problem.  Like the aneroxia, my weight is just a symptom and not the true problem.  What was the problem?  Me and food, or so I thought.

Two years ago, God led me, through one of my best friends, to a study called The Lord’s Table.  This, along with a couple of other things God led me to at the same time (the Bible and a book called Radical), complete changed the way that I viewed God, myself, and my need for Jesus (for more on this, please read My Time Travel Testimony at my other blog).  When I started the study, I wanted to find victory from overeating and lose weight.  I realized that, a couple of weeks in, it wasn’t about food.  It was about me and God…mostly me and how I think of, approach, and relate to God.  It turns out that food was just another symptom.

God showed me that the way I treated food was not a food issue.  It is about how I viewed Him.  God made me for Him.  I was made to love, serve, and worship Him, and Him alone.  God loves me.  He really truly, deeply, and wholly loves me.  He wants me to trust Him.  He wants me to love Him.  I was created for this purpose, and when I don’t there will be an emptiness inside of me.

Food is how I tried to cure this emptiness.  I ate.  I didn’t eat.  I watched what I ate.  But it all comes down to eating.  I focused on food.  I felt like if I could control my food and my weight I would feel happy and whole.  It never worked.  I had to learn to feed on Christ.  Jesus Christ is the key to this whole thing.  You see, I keep turning away from God because I feel unworthy.  I know that I am a sinner.  Turning away from God is what leaves that empty place I try to fill with food.  When I turn, I feel more shame, so I run away more.  I hide like Adam in the garden.  I don’t want God to see me.  When I hide more, I feel emptier.  When I feel emptier, I fill up with food.  When I fill up with food, I feel more ashamed.  When I feel more ashamed, I hide more.  And so the hole gets deeper and deeper.

This is where Jesus comes in.  I don’t have to hide!  I really am a sinner.  I really am separated from God and can’t not see his face (thus the want and need to hide).  But Jesus came.  He lived the life I could not live.  He died the death I should die.  He took the punishment and wrath that is mine.  And he was raised again to prove that my death and wrath was paid for and was accepted.  There is a great exchange that happens.  My death was applied to Jesus (which he did not deserve) and his perfect life is applied to me (which I do not deserve).  God sees Jesus’ life when he looks at me.  I do not have to hide!  I just need to turn to him and trust that he has accepted me through Christ.

So, what does this have to do with anything?

I struggle with food because I turn from God.  I can turn to God with confidence through Christ.  So my life must be about turning to God through Christ.  That needs to be the focus of my life.  How do I do that?  Well, that is why I started this blog.  I want to share my struggles and victories.  I want to share my lessons learned.  I want God to use my successes and failures to draw others close to him.  I want the accountability that sharing this with you gives me to help draw me closer to Him.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”   The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  There is a Fatman who lives inside of me.  I want him to pass away.  I want him dead.  I can only do this by letting Jesus make a new creation out of me.  I want you to join me on this journey…will you come along with me?