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This Quick Study Guide contains excerpts from our Keys For Living book on ANOREXIA & BULIMIA to offer an immediate overview, concise answers, with biblical hope and practical help.



Are You Puzzled over an Eating Disorder?

“ ‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shak en nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”

(Isaiah 54:10)

Are You Puzzled over an Eating Disorder?

Puzzles are solved by carefully putting the pieces together to reveal a true picture. When you put the emotional clues together, the picture emerges of a person in pain—one who feels love-starved, security-deprived, or insignificant—one who is caught in a life-threatening cycle.

Learning the truth and living in the truth about the Lord’s unfailing love for you are the major pieces needed to begin solving the problem… to begin the healing process of becoming whole.

As the nation of Israel did long ago, you also can take great comfort from the Lord’s words in Isaiah...“ 

‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”

Isaiah 54:10


What is Anorexia? 

  • Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by compulsive, chronic self-starvation with a refusal to maintain a body weight within 15% of a person’s normal weight. 
  • Anorexics weigh far less than what should be their normal body weight, which is different for every person, based on age, height, gender, bone structure, and muscle mass. Body weight that is 15% below normal poses a serious threat to physical health. 
  • Anorexia Nervosa is an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat even though a person is dangerously underweight (at least 15% below normal). 

“Someone may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in their bones, so that their body finds food repulsive and their soul loathes the choicest meal. Their flesh wastes away to nothing, and their bones, once hidden, now stick out.” 

(Job 33:19–21) 


What Is Bulimia?

  • Bulimia is a psychological eating disorder characterized by repeated or sporadic “binge and purge” episodes.
  • Bulimics practice a strict diet with intervals of binge eating— consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time. They then practice self-induced vomiting, or abuse laxatives or diuretics.

“Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”

(Philippians 3:19)


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Characteristics of Those with Eating Disorders

  • Confusion over values
  • Deception of self and others
  • Depression over feeling “fat” (although weight is normal or far below—even to the point of looking like “skin and bones”)
  • Compulsion for some feeling of control
  • Loneliness because of the desire to avoid discovery 
  • Low self-worth because personal value is based on appearance
  • Perfectionism because they believe that everything must fit just right, or it’s horrible 
  • People pleasing with an excessive desire for approval  

“Guide me in your truth and teach me.” 

(Psalm 25:5) 


Situational Causes 

  • Feeling worthless because of abuse in the home 
  • Feeling inadequate because of unrealistic expectations of others 
  • Feeling driven in a high performance atmosphere 
  • Feeling hopeless as a result of depression from past behaviors 
  • Feeling powerless because of obesity or other eating disorder in the family 
  • Feeling angry because of past mistreatment
  • Feeling anxious due to stressful life changes

“I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.”

(Job 10:1)

How to First Acknowledge 7 Key Needs

  1. Agree...

to get a thorough medical checkup. This condition is life-threatening! (Proverbs 27:12)


2. Acquire...

as much knowledge about eating disorders as possible—for yourself and for those close to you. (Proverbs 15:22)


3. Attend...

weekly (or regular) sessions with a knowledgeable, professional, Christian counselor. (Proverbs 23:12)


4. Admit...

your inability to control your eating pattern. (Romans 7:15)


5. Abandon...

the idea that you just need more willpower. This is not a diet or willpower problem, but a battle to address strongholds.

(2 Corinthians 10:4–5)


6. Allow...

yourself to forgive those who have hurt you ... and even to forgive yourself. (Colossians 3:13)


7. Act...

in total faith on God’s power to rescue you. (Psalm 71:1–3)


“My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

(Philippians 4:19)

The Way to Freedom

  • Recognize that you have an eating disorder.
  • Acknowledge your need.
  • Get professional help.
  • Discover your past predispositions.
  • Identify your present stressors.
  • Avoid your destructive patterns.
  • Flee your enticing triggers.
  • Resist your compelling urges.


“My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

(Philippians 4:19)

The Way to Sustained Freedom 

  • Yield yourself to God. (James 4:7) 
  • Claim your victory in Christ. (Romans 6:13)
  • Picture your success. (Philippians 3:20–21) 
  • Replace lies with truth. (2 Corinthians 1:21–22; 7:1) 
  • Devise a plan for daily success. (2 Chronicles 26:5) 
  • Enlist the support of others. (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10; Proverbs 27:9) 
  • Throw away your scales. (Colossians 2:8) 
  • Journal your journey. (Deuteronomy 11:18–20) 

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

(Galatians 5:1)

 Key Verse to Learn

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

(Deuteronomy 31:8)


Key Passage to Read

Psalm 139:1–18, 23–24


Additional Scriptures

Philippians 4:19

Proverbs 15:32

Philippians 3:19

Psalm 139:1–18, 23–24


Grace Filled Words

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8

“Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” 

Philippians 3:19

 “Guide me in your truth and teach me.”

Psalm 25:5




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God desires to give you hope as you face life challenges, problems and difficult trials. The good news for us, God specializes in redemption and transformation. He takes that which was lost and restores it. He takes that which was dead and gives it life. He takes that which had no hope and rewrites its story. This is our God! As you pray today, ask God boldly to transform the thing inside you that you want to see changed forever!

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