Until recently I thought I didn’t have a testimony to share. That’s because I gave my life to Jesus when I was 3 and wasn’t radically saved out of anything. It turns out I just have a different kind of story to tell.
Growing up I was an incredibly picky eater. I had major tactile sensitivity issues, which caused me to eat a very limited diet. These issues meant that I developed a fear of trying new foods. The only vegetables I ate were peas and corn until I was probably 17. When I was 17 I decided to become a vegetarian and started adding one or two more kinds of veggies to my repertoire but I basically survived on toasted sandwiches, chips and mac and cheese. It was no surprise that I got very sick and had to start eating meat again.
In my teenage years, my limited and unhealthy diet started affecting me in a different way. I became very insecure about my body and the way I looked. By the time I was 18 years old, I must have tried at least 10 different diets. I wanted nothing more than to feel thin and beautiful. As I felt like I had no control over my eating habits, I even became mildly bulimic for a short period of time. None of this helped, obviously and my insecurities just increased.
When I left home, my tactile sensitivity got worse and because I had been on so many diets I was confused about what normal eating was. I had extreme food anxiety and this caused me to lose all interest in food. I would walk into a grocery store and almost have an anxiety attack. I remember walking around numbly from aisle to aisle not knowing what to buy and just leaving with a bag of chips and a slab of chocolate because I knew I could handle those textures. I began to believe that this was my lot in life, that God had created me this way so there was no point in asking Him for healing. My sister would offer to pray for me and I would flat out refuse. I was depressed and anxious and my life was just about coping.
My mom became very worried about me at this point and paid for me to see a nutritionist. I had seen nutritionists and dieticians in the past but this time I was desperate. I told the nutritionist about all my food issues and she created a menu that I was comfortable with. She never forced me to try new foods. So, I began my new plan.
I feel like going to that appointment was a step of faith that God honoured because after that a miracle happened. Out of nowhere, I got this desire to try new food. This was completely out of character for me. I decided to try broccoli, something I’d tried once and hated. I actually liked it. Then I tried mushrooms, brussels sprouts, aubergines, kale, cauliflower – the list is endless, really. I loved them all. I even started eating onions, a food that I constantly picked out of meals because of its slimy texture. I suddenly experienced such freedom and breakthrough around food.
When my family saw the massive change that had happened in me, my mom and sister revealed that they had secretly been praying for breakthrough for me for years. It wasn’t something I had the faith for myself but God decided to bring healing for me anyway. It has now been a year of food freedom and I am honestly not the same person anymore. I have tried hundreds of new things and I enjoy it. I am no longer afraid of food. I am healthy and comfortable in my own skin.
I started learning more about nutrition and even began finding food interesting and exciting, which was something that had never happened before. I also began learning my identity in Christ instead of looking to the world for affirmation and this brought healing in the way I viewed myself and my appearance.
Now, I feel like the purpose of my life has changed. I want to help women find freedom with food and health as well as find body acceptance and their identity in Christ. I started the Get Well Club, an Instagram account and blog, where I share about nutrition, mental health, body acceptance and what God is teaching me so that others may experience the same breakthrough I have. I went from a very insecure, self-conscious and anxious girl to a woman who is happy with the body she has – flaws and all – because I know my identity in Christ. One thing that God has taught me through all of this is that the area in your life that is most attacked by the enemy is usually the place He wants to use you the most.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cari is a member of Joshua Generation Church. A nutrition enthusiast and vegetarian who probably spends too much money on coffee and kombucha. Cari is passionate about helping others find their own breakthrough when it comes to food, balance and mental health. Find Cari’s blog here: https://www.getwellclub.co.za/
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