Diana Anderson: Overcoming Anorexia
By Audra Smith
The 700 Club
When Diana Anderson started high school, she was a healthy athlete. She also had a wonderful family, friends and a church life.
In her senior year, when her long-term boyfriend broke up with her, the picture wasn’t so rosy.
"I didn’t have this person that I had just given my heart to," Diana tells The 700 Club. "It was earth-shattering to me as a 17 year old. I really turned to fitness as a way to control my life. I turned to food, counting calories, counting my minutes on the treadmill or at the gym as a way to just garner strength in my view. But I wasn’t turning to God or my family or my friends.Soon enough, I dropped from 120 lbs, which for 5’5” is very healthy to 110, then 100lbs, and then below 100 lbs within months."
As Diana’s body dwindled away, the concerns of her friends and family grew. Her mother Barbara recalls, "I don’t think the changes with Diana were sudden. Over time she seemed to lose the joyfulness that she always had. Then there began to be physical symptoms as well as the change in her mood."
Diana says, "There was pretty unanimously a cause for concern among my friends.I was sleeping an inordinate amount. I was feeling drowsy in school, in activities. My hair was thin. My nails were brittle. My skin had that real sallow yellowish tint to it. Sunken in eyes and all of that. To me it was a necessity, just a necessary inconvenience to be thin. I was so fearful of gaining weight in any form or fashion.
"Food was my god. It was an idol. It was all consuming. I thought about what I had eaten that day, if I could afford more calories, so it was horrible. I was in such bondage."
Diana’s parents looked to a myriad of medical specialists for an answer.
"Because of her physical symptoms, we just thought that there had to be a physical explanation," Barbara says. "It still hadn’t dawned on me that this could be an eating disorder."
As a last resort, Diana’s mother decided to research all of her symptoms online.
Diana says, "I came home from school. She was sitting at the computer and asked me to come look at what as on the monitor. There were all these signs and various indications of anorexia of which I possessed them all. I read that list, and I remember I just cried. I look at her, she looked at me and we had that agreement."
"There was no longer an opportunity for her to ignore or deny it," Barbara says, "and so we began from that point."
"From there I just began to go to God, pray and say, 'I can’t do this. I have tried everything to deny it, and all my friends and family are concerned. I don’t want to be one of those statistics of girls who let it go to far.'"
Diana began looking to the Bible and prayer in order to reshape her thinking.
"You have to realize that the root is in the spirit world and your relationship with the Lord. I had the belief in God, and I had been going to church for years. I knew that God cared for me and all that, but I wasn’t giving Him my burdens. I wasn’t looking for Him to be the source of my strength."
After a year of studying the Bible and praying about her anorexia, Diana was completely delivered from her eating disorder. Today, she is back to a healthy weight and nutritious eating habits. She’s even written a book called Miss University to help college-age girls keep fitness and nutrition in balance.
"Corinthians 6:19 has always been my go-to verse since I‘ve been well. 'And do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,' and we are to honor God with our bodies and all that we do.
I am healed in the Lord. He has taken care of me, and He has given me the grace. I am not bound to food. I am not bound to my body.
"I know that being fit and being well, my immunity, my energy is up, my muscles are strong. All of that is to enable me to God’s service."
What does she say to other young women?
"Just know that God cares for you so much and that He sent His Son to die for you. He wants you to be well. He wants you to have life overflowing, to the full, and a big part of that is your physical life. Jesus is going to give you that!"
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