Tynea Lewis

As a freshman in college, I developed an eating disorder. Looking back, I can see the first signs. Even in high school, I watched what I ate, I felt fat after eating certain foods, and I felt insecure in certain outfits.

Comparisons and Control

In my college years, when everything was new and I grappled for control, I ate too little and exercised too much. My desire to be healthy quickly spiraled out of control when I compared myself to others and didn’t measure up: He’s smarter. She’s prettier. He’s more athletic. She has all the guys chasing her. When a guy I had become interested in didn’t feel the same way about me, I controlled what I ate to make myself feel better, hoping that being more attractive would gain his approval. When school assignments overwhelmed me, I went to the gym and ran for hours. Diet and exercise were ways for me to take control. Slowly, I began isolating myself from my friends because they started commenting on the changes they saw; and I didn’t want to keep defending my choices, so I avoided hanging out with them. My time was spent focusing on how to be thin, which I thought would bring happiness. Instead, it brought pain, confusion, and broken relationships.


tired runner FTR TSP 181798149I started to believe that the only way I could earn someone’s love was to be thin. If I didn’t run as much as I wanted or if I ate too much, I felt like a failure. I let the world determine how I saw myself. Yet, no matter how much I turned away, God continued to pursue me. God used scripture and other people to speak truth into my life. I didn’t want to hear the truth. I wanted to deny that I had a problem, but I couldn’t run from it any longer. God wanted me to see what I was doing to myself and to the relationships that were once important to me.

For quite some time, I convinced myself that I didn’t have an eating disorder because I had never dropped below 100 pounds. But I learned that eating disorders are more than weight lost. They’re a mindset. I was consumed, living in bondage.

Learning to Be Me

Recovery was a long journey, but God loved me and gave me a support system to lift me up on days when I couldn’t do it myself. I’m thankful for the lessons God taught me. I had to stop comparing myself to everyone around me. I was trying to squeeze myself into a mold I thought others expected of me instead of embracing who I was, the person God wanted me to be. God made me unique. God called me to do something no one else could do. But by allowing myself to be consumed with the way I looked, I didn’t allow God to use me to advance the kingdom. My own selfishness got in the way of God’s using my life to touch other people. I don’t need to be a certain way to earn God’s favor. Nothing I can do will make God love me more. I am God’s child, already loved more than I can imagine.



Do you find yourself in a battle, searching for your worth? Here are some verses that spoke truth into my life. Take a moment to look them up, and allow God to speak to your heart.

devozine Lectio Divina TS 97648012

  • James 4:7–8
  • 1 Peter 3:3–4
  • Psalm 139:13–16
  • Proverbs 31:30
  • 1 Samuel 16:7
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19–20
Tynea Lewis is a freelance writer who is loving her new role as a stay-at-home mom.

—from devozine (March/April 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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