Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Search for Unfading Beauty (Part 2)

Please welcome Meagan as she shares part 2 of her story with you.  (If you missed part 1, read it first.)

Somehow, I convinced my family the weight loss was because of stress. (at this point, it's what I truly believed) Several friends and relatives told my mom I was anorexic. She always denied it.
I cooked breakfast and dinner for my family almost everyday. I was happy with that. I could control my food that way. Anytime we had a change of plans, for example, they spontaneously wanted to go out for dinner, I had a meltdown. I hated going out to eat. Remember, I loved isolation. I couldn't control what they put in the food. It scared me.

We tried a few more doctors and finding no new results, we tried a therapist. He diagnosed me with Anorexia Nervosa. I drove home, relayed the information to my parents and again convinced my parents that this trained professional was wrong. I knew myself. Their precious daughter couldn't be anorexic. She loved food too much!

During this whole time, I had devotion every morning. I loved church. I had been saved at 11 years old. But I knew something was missing.
I sat in my room for hours one morning crying to Jesus. Admitting to myself that I had a huge sin in my life, blocking my personal relationship with Him. I called Mom into the room and confessed all to her. We later told Dad. Mom set up appointments with a counselor at my church. I felt so relieved. Little did I know the battle had just begun.

I met with my counselor weekly. I wouldn't be where I am today without her. At first, there was little improvement. When I actually lost more weight, Dad threatened to send me to a rehab center in Texas. He told me to get serious about my health. Living in Texas would mean losing my job as a pastry chef as well as losing my family. After a few months of weekly weigh-ins and therapy sessions I started gaining weight. It was slow. 1 to 2 pounds every couple of weeks. I cannot describe to you the battles I faced. I can remember falling to my knees one afternoon, my body shaking with sobs because I was so exhausted from fighting the battles in my head. My counselor encouraged me to replace the devil's lies with Christ's truths. I clung to verses for daily support.

Anorexia Nervosa is a true mind disease. The remedy to "just eat" is NOT that simple.

One rainy night, my counselor prayed with me. She prayed Jesus would take the lies and fears from me. She prayed I would give Him total control. We were both weeping. I could physically feel the burden lift from my shoulders. That was my turning point.

I still struggled everyday, but it got easier and easier. I was happier than I had been in a long time. Once I got to a safe, healthy weight, I was allowed to exercise again. My trainer put 20+ pounds on me and I felt great! I fell in love with it and became certified as a personal trainer. I quit my job as a pastry chef so that I could start school to obtain a degree in nutrition.

I have an amazing life. Jesus and I continue to grow closer. I still struggle with my thoughts from time to time, but it is always easy to realize it is just lies. Jesus has completely healed me and I am so thankful for everything he has taught me. I learned to lean on Him each and everyday for everything. My hope is that one day I may be able to help someone because of my experience.

1 Peter 3:3-4 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Meagan Cochran is a 20 year old living example of a oxymoron. She is a pastry chef as well as a personal trainer. After becoming a registered dietitian, she plans on tying all three passions together. She loves her family of 8 (2 parents, 5 siblings) and her church. She is excited about Jesus and wants to share the story about his healing power in her life!  You can connect with her on Twitter or at her blog, My Life, My God, My Eats.

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