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  • Emily Ledford


Updated: Jan 23, 2020

Hey, Emily here.

Years ago, being extremely vulnerable, I wrote “my story” about how I came to love all things exercise and nutrition.

Many told me they resonated with my story, thanked me for sharing, confided to me privately about their similar struggles, and even asked me advice to get through it. I don't have a cure, but hopefully the things I shared could be of help.

But there was that one person:

That one messaged me privately and told me that you could find "my" stories all over the internet. And that it has been done a million times. My story was nothing new or special and I needed a new story—to market better.

And it stuck with me and made me want to be quiet, never speak of it again. It made me feel terribly ashamed. Ashamed that I’d poured my heart out, trying to help others in a similar situation to let them know they weren’t alone. I wanted them to know that no matter how desperate they felt, there was hope. But, ugh, my story was now just stupid. I let that person get to me. I never wanted to speak of anything I’d overcome again. So, I deleted the story, never wanting to see it again. My vulnerability bit me in the butt.

So, with that said, let me go ahead and tell you that boring old story again that is really nothing new. After all, I’m too lazy to come up with anything other than the truth. And, I’m no professional marketing expert. I’m ready to do that again because I am my own person, can make my own decisions and I’m stronger on the inside now… at least that is how I feel most days.

Point is still the same: maybe it'll help someone. 😊

I began showing signs of of anorexia in 8th grade. By 9th grade I was full blown anorexic.

Life was crazy. I was hiding under the shame of things beyond my control that I had not shared with anyone. I could only control my body. I wanted to disappear and make myself smaller and smaller. So I’d live on a piece of bread, and a lettuce slice with a drop of mustard on it each day--for months. I lost a lot of weight, was miserable, always feeling fatigued, faint, depressed.. and still felt fat.

Well, I lost control again.

I started eating more. And that walked me right into bulimia. I dealt with this for years. I stopped that for awhile but became a binge eater. I tried not to do bulimia things so it led me to using HOURS of exercise to compensate for all of the calories I’d consume in private.

Literally ate those Home-Ec treats we’d make in class in a bathroom stall between classes so that no one would know. I spent every dime on pills and potions that promised me skinny. They made me violently ill and contributed to many other health issues I'd have to face.

During ALL of these years, food was on my mind 24/7. I couldn't fathom any other way.

With all of this came so many other issues such as depression, jealously, inability to concentrate, grades dropping rapidly, food and exercise obsessions, wanting to just be taken from this earth, weight gain, weight shame. So much pain. SO MUCH PAIN, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. What was even left of me? I felt I served no purpose on this earth.

My husband even walked with me through many of these residual issues (and still occasionally helps lift me up out of my yucky mindsets) that surround body image. His unconditional love has helped tremendously. I am so grateful and blessed to have him. Throughout all of this, God would place the right people at the right time into my life. I had so many people speaking God’s truth into me during those years. It took me a while to receive it.. but really, without having my hope in Christ, and knowing how HE defines me, I’d shudder to think where I’d be by now.

I am recovered, yes. And I have been for years now. No doubt. But it hasn’t been easy. Some days, weeks, phases, it’s still not easy. You can be recovered and still have triggers. You must know them. You must be on guard. You must know Truth because feelings cannot be relied on all the time. You must have a plan of action. You must be ready to fight.

To step outside and look into the past, recovery, and now being able to help people with the two things that I used to be a SLAVE to: exercise and food--

Well, that is just ONE of my WOW, GOD stories.

In summary, here’s how it all went down and continues to go:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done…” Genesis 50:20

I thought there was no hope. NO hope. I finally recognized Jesus IS my hope. He was and is always my hope.

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

I think that'll do for now.


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