Andrea's Anorexia Nightmare
By Audra Smith Haney
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“I had extremely low self-esteem, and never felt early on, good enough, smart enough, (or) pretty enough.” From her earliest memories, Andrea Logan White felt invisible. As the middle child of two career driven parents, she was hungry for affection and attention. “My father was a police officer and my mother started working quite often in full-time jobs. We grew up in a very emotionally sterile environment so there was not a lot of affection or attention.”
When Andrea turned 13 years old, her parents divorced and her grandparents died. “I really was hopeless. And (I) was diagnosed with depression at 13. I was threatening suicide because I was so desperate to just have somebody pay attention to me and to love on me.”
When Andrea’s cries for help were ignored, she realized that by controlling her eating habits she could take charge of her life. “Really going into high school was when the eating disorder started because my life was a mess. I started to control my environment, ‘If I can just do this one thing and be strong in this area, then I’ll be different.’ And I think that was the one thing that made me, oddly enough, feel strong.”
Soon, anorexia consumed Andrea’s life. “I remember at the worst point of the eating disorder, I think I was eating 500 calories or less. So I would count every stick of gum. Everything I would put in my mouth, and even at 78 pounds, 85 pounds, 95 pounds, I would see a fat, ugly person. I was alive but I was so dead inside and so broken and it was just all-consuming; the obsession, the compulsion, and it just takes every part of your life away from you.”
When she was 18, Andrea went to an outpatient facility for two weeks to get help with the anorexia. But shortly after her treatment ended, Andrea moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of acting. The anorexia wasn’t far behind. “I was around sex and drugs and everything you can imagine and money. And it became normal to me, and that was scary.”
“I would relapse in and out of the anorexia because I had no support, no foundation, because
I was looking at people with plastic surgery and looking what appeared to be the perfect life esthetically.”
After a couple of years in Hollywood, the competition for jobs and fear of rejection began to wear on Andrea. That’s when she started working a side job as a personal trainer. Several of her clients were Christians. “I was exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and I was tired of doing everything in my own strength. I was at the place where my eyes were open. I was ready for it. And I just started seeing the joy and the peace that these other Christians that I was working with, and I could see the difference in their lives.”
Driving home from work one day, Andrea prayed to God when she stopped at a light. “I got to rock bottom and I just remember crying out to God in my car and I was sobbing. Somebody had beeped their horn and so I hesitated to even look over and he held up a sign and he pointed to it. It was the sign to a radio station. I turned the radio station on and there was a pastor repeating the prayer that I had just cried out. God used that and it was him repeating my words and my cry out to God. That was a huge sign not only physically but also symbolically of God saying, ‘Listen, you’re here for a reason and I have a plan for you. I am here and I am real.’ That’s when my life made a dramatic change and I accepted Christ as my Savior. I just remember feeling that peace and that joy and knowing that it was real.”
In 2003, Andrea married David White, a man whom she met at her church. But Andrea continued to struggle with eating disorders, even after becoming a Christian and marriage. Shortly after her wedding, she slipped into bulimia.
“The anorexia I thought, ‘Okay, I’m a new creature and I’m healed.’ But the other part, knowing is that we still have the emotional wounds and the soul wounds. And I think being a Christian and learning your identity, it’s ongoing. For two years straight, my husband and I were on your knees and crying out to God. As a believer, asking God for His mercy.”
Through consistent prayer and Bible study, Andrea began to see a breakthrough. “God is so good, when He heals, He heals you and then some. God healed me of bulimia instantly in an instant. I stopped throwing up. I mean, it was a miracle.”
Doctors had told her she would never get pregnant because of the ravages of anorexia. When she became pregnant with her first son, she knew her healing was complete. “He not only healed me of bulimia, but blessed me with a strong, healthy child. And so I feel like I got, you know, double healing.”
Today, Andrea has two healthy children and has been living free of her eating disorder for over six years. She works alongside her husband David in their business, Pure Flix Entertainment, a faith and family company. ‘Since I’ve been saved, 99% of my work has been in the Christian market. And it’s just been such a blessing to do a story– to have part in it, to also have redemption in it.”
“He is faithful every time He sees you, whether it’s anorexia or bulimia or depression. He is right there to cradle you. I’m telling you, He will not let you down.”
“I would say, cry out to Him and be relentless.”
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