Overcoming Anorexia

How two courageous women battled an eating disorder—and won
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD BE THIN. At least that's what American society dictates. Pictures of emaciated models and celebrities flood the media, aimed at young women who feel defective if they're not so thin their bones protrude. And it's working. Seventy-five percent of American women say they live in a chronic state of dissatisfaction with their body. And 5-10 million young women struggle with eating disorders and borderline conditions.
These eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa (self-starvation that leads to extreme weight loss), bulimia nervosa (bingeing and purging), and binge eating (compulsive overeating with no purging), affect both mind and body simultaneously. According to Donald Durham, program founder for Remuda Treatment Centers, an inpatient/outpatient Christian counseling facility, eating disorders are often triggered by a specific traumatic event or set of circumstances that causes the person to use food as a solution to resolve her pain. Eating disorder sufferers tend to be young women aged 14-25 (however, the disorder can strike as early as age 8 or as late as age 70), Caucasian, affluent, and perfectionistic, with a type-A personality. When they feel their world is falling apart, they rest in the knowledge that they at least can control their bodies. The hidden truth, of course, is that what they initially take control over soon controls them.
Christie Schweer and Renee Ratcliffe found that to be true—and soon were battling for their lives. But they had the guts to get help. With the help of their faith in Christ, they've stopped looking at their bodies through distorted lenses. Now in recovery from anorexia, they share their stories in the hope others will find healing. —The Editors
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