Amy Woods: Hiding Her Bulimia
By Jewel Taylor
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: November 1, 2010
“There were times when at night in my bedroom I would do workout routines. I know that I was very aware of wanting to make sure I looked like all of the other girls in high school, drill team, cheerleading.”
Amy Woods' struggle with her body image carried over into her marriage to husband Brian.
“It was about six months into our marriage that I officially started making myself throw up. I was just very determined to appear always that I was the perfect wife.”
The pressure Amy put on herself to maintain that image was too much. She desperately grasped for control in her own life and weight.
“I would eat super small amounts. Then I went from eating those same things and not swallowing it but spitting it in the trash. I remember loving to eat. I would always choose to eat and know in the back of my mind it was always an option to go make myself throw up. In the beginning it was not very often. Then it would go to every day and then it would go to several times a day.”
Brian was a medical resident and worked long hours at the hospital. Amy had no problems hiding her bulimia from him.
“I got really good at lying and explaining away my weight loss. My face was very sunken in and I was way smaller than a person my height should be. People noticed.”
The battle continued through three pregnancies and 11 years of marriage…
“It’s like a drug with people that they don’t want to do that, but they can’t help it. I was addicted to being small. I was addicted to being in control.”
In 2005, Amy was out on the front porch watching her kids play…
“I prayed for the first time, and I said, ‘God, I don’t know what it is I’m missing, I don’t get it.’ God took me on a little journey, I guess. It was sort of like a movie clip where He took me back through some times when I heard things from family members or from society say, ‘When you’re fat, you’re not lovable.’ He took me back through relationships that I had in high school. The boyfriends that would say my value came from being pretty or small and I believed it. When the doctor telling me I was two pounds from being what they call obese. But I wasn’t. But I believed it! At the end of each one, He kept telling me how much He loved me and how that was not who I was. At the very end I was on a boat, and my kids were on the boat with me. And the boat was sinking. And He said, ‘You’re taking your children there too.’
“In that moment I knew that I could no longer live like that. It was not going to be my own strength and my own power that would make it different, be different; it was going to be Him. For the first time I knew that I was going to be able to get up from that porch and walk away from the actual behavior of making myself throw up. I was transformed in that moment. I saw the truth for the first time.”
She finally told Brian everything.
“He reacted with just love, support, just no judgment from him, whatsoever. He was sad that I had believed those things about myself. In reality my husband always found me attractive. It was my mind. It was the lies that I was believing about myself that made me go there.”
Amy and Brian grew in their relationships with the Lord. Today, Amy teaches the family of seven to find their worth in Jesus Christ…
“I want my kids to know where I’ve been, how the Lord saved me, and it wasn’t on my own. I didn’t do anything to make it better. The Lord did that. There’s nothing too big. There’s no place too far that you’ve gone that God won’t be there. I want them to know the places that I’ve been and the true joy, the true freedom you get from God, from Christ alone.”
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