Confronting Fear in Eating Disorder Recovery

Fear and eating disorders go hand in hand. Fear often surfaces in food related behaviors such as feeling afraid to eat or being afraid of not getting enough exercise, but is actually rooted in deeper fears. These fears may include fear of expressing emotions, of getting hurt, an unknown future or even fear of what others think.

To confront the surface fears, it is helpful to address the deeper, underlying fears. In Christian eating disorder recovery, you can have God’s help as you recognize and admit your fears. You can also examine those fears with your mentor, counselor or another member of your treatment or support team. Facing fears may seem like a continual battle, but you don’t have to do it alone.

In Christian eating disorder recovery, you will benefit from accepting and embracing God’s love since 2 Tim. 1:7 shows God’s love as an antidote to fear. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” As an eating disorder sufferer, mediate on a spirit of love as well as a spirit of power and of self-discipline, and you may just notice that fear is not even needed. Not that it will be that simple to let go of all fear, but the more that you focus on God’s love, the less room there is for fear.

A great place to start when combating fears is in God’s Word. There are verses all through the Bible that speak of fear. Meditating on those scriptures and having them close by so they are accessible when needed can help you face and conquer your food related fears as well as your deeper fears. You may want to start with some of the verses listed below.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Josh. 1:9)

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you'” (Isa. 41:13).

Another helpful verse on fear is found in I John 4:18. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” This focus on God’s love will help to dissipate your fears.

Fear only feeds the eating disorder. In Christian eating disorder recovery, remember that fear is not of God, but allow your food related fears as well as their deeper fears to direct your focus to God’s love. Having scriptures on fear easily accessible will help you let go of fear when it comes.