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TRU: The Real U

One Woman With Inner Beauty Can Change the World

Food, Self Worth, and the Real Me: A Follow Up

Food, Self Worth, and the Real Me: A Follow Up

By Becca A.

To see the first part of this article, visit Food, Self Worth, and the Real Me

I recently read through my first blog post on TRUTheRealU.com called “Food, Self Worth, and the Real Me.” I wrote this post right before serving a full-time mission for the LDS Church, so I didn’t read over it again for about a year and a half. I have loved people’s comments on the post—I love hearing about other people’s experiences as well! After talking with a friend about my struggles, she encouraged me to write a follow-up post, so that is why I am writing this.

Something I didn’t mention in my first post is that when I decided to serve a full-time mission, I was terrified that my eating struggles would interfere with the work I needed to do. As a missionary, I would be dedicating 18 months of my life to inviting others to come unto Christ. How could I do this if I was so focused on my own personal issues?

Missionaries depend a lot on receiving meals from families in the area, and I knew I wasn’t going to be in a lot of control of what I ate. Feeling good physically is extremely important for me because it allows me to look outside myself and focus on others. It drives me crazy when my own skewed perspective of myself limits my ability and desire to help others.

I prayed a lot that my worries would disappear, and that I would have the ability to do what I was needed to do for this 18 months. I knew I could not overcome this struggle on my own. I described in my first post that over time I was finally able get through my struggle to the point where I could pinpoint specific lessons I learned and strengths I gained from the experience. I truly feel that God took away something that I could not possibly get rid of on my own. This was extremely important as I prepared to serve God and invite others to come unto Christ for 18 months.

I really can’t explain how it happened, but for 18 months it was as if God gave me a new brain. Wiser, more spiritual, and more capable. I still cried when I opened up about my eating struggles with others, and I could still feel the pains of the experience, but the present temptation was no longer there. I was able to talk to and relate to other people in a way that I would not have been able to had I not gone through what I did. It was like God gave me an incredibly hard experience so I could really understand what other people might be going through.

food

I probably gained a total of ten pounds on my mission. Before the mission, this would have been devastating to me. But as a missionary I never looked at a scale, unless I was at a doctor’s appointment. I never declined dessert. I ate what I was given, and I didn’t think twice about it. Even when I did overeat, I didn’t think the world was over and I didn’t hate myself for the next 24 hours and think the world was watching my every bite. I simply accepted my body the way it was, and I was happy.

Now, there is a lot more I could write, but I really don’t know how to put all of this into words. I just know that I am a different person than I was before. I went for almost two years without obsessing with food the way I did for a good portion of my life, and I am happier and healthier than I’ve ever been before. That is pretty good evidence to me that my life doesn’t have to be controlled by food or diet. As long as I am taking care of myself as best I can, God will take care of the rest.

Obsessing about anything is no way to live, because it takes over what is really important, and it limits our ability to listen to God.

It is possible to overcome struggles. I’m not saying that they will disappear forever, because temptations have a way of sneaking back in and trying new ways to grab your attention. But every time we overcome a struggle we gain a new set of tools. My ability to handle these struggles has grown. I recognize where the temptations come from, and I am better at avoiding those temptations. When I do give in to the temptation, I know it’s not the end of the world. I have a new perspective. I have a lot more faith than I did before, because God has done a beautiful job of allowing me to struggle while teaching me very important lessons. I hope that anyone who reads these posts will learn from them and recognize how important it is to share your own struggles with other people. It helps you and it helps those you share with.

I sure am grateful for life. God knows what He’s doing.

Thanks to Becca for sharing her beautiful experience! If you would like to share an example of how you’ve overcome a personal struggle, email erin.jones278@gmail.com.

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