Eating disorders, which can be identified by either an insufficient or an excessive food intake, are experienced by nearly 5 percent of women worldwide. Research shows that more than 90 percent of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 15-25. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating are the three most common eating disorders.
Anorexia is characterized by a fear of becoming overweight. An anorexic person, who is at an average body weight for her height, feels compelled to become thinner in order to feel good about herself. She is intensely driven towards her weight goal, which is manifested in food refusal. To her it is not only about the body image but also about control. Statistics show anorexia often plagues women or girls who have had a history of circumstances being out of control. Interestingly, this condition reveals wonderful strengths when it is properly directed. To be able to set a goal and stay on task to achieve that goal shows great leadership quality. But until these leadership qualities are rewired in spiritually and emotionally healthy directions, these positive character traits will cause negative mental and physical breakdown.
Bulimia can be characterized by an exaggerated fear of becoming overweight. It differs from Anorexia in that the sufferer lacks self control. The Anorexic takes total control, while the Bulimic loses control and then tries to regain it by vomiting–this is the binging and purging cycle. Statistics show that women or girls who struggle with bulimia have a history of stress and addictive behavioral patterns. Another issue is the double-life it takes on. The bulimic woman displays herself as healthy to the watching world–yet secretly resorts to an unhealthy habit. Bulimics need help in bringing about a life of balance.
The anorexic and the bulimic typically come from similar backgrounds. They differentiate in that one takes extreme control (which is unhealthy) and the other finds herself out of control.
Anorexia and Bulimia, although seemingly about appearance, are cries for deeper transformation of the mind and emotions. Blue Skies: Beyond The Dark Clouds Of Broken Thinking invites us to travel deeper into the life changing habits of thought God has designed for us to thrive.