What is the spiritual meaning of anorexia? This article has some ideas based on my lived experience…
Good News! After attending group therapy through Eating Disorders Queensland. I am recovering from anorexia and have fallen pregnant (2022 update – I’ve had three sons since 2016)! This blog post is dedicated to anyone who thinks their value on Earth is determined by their appearance or ‘perfect figures’ (physical and financial). It’s not!
March 2022: See my interview with Alison Lee on my recovery and autism diagnosis
May 2020: I now believe that undermethylation, Pyroluria and Asperger’s played a role in my anorexia, which has been confirmed by doctors.
After hearing about another girl in my circle starving herself, I decided to write this blog about my journey with an eating issue. Although I am open about my psychic readings, few people know about my battle with food. It has been a source of shame for me for a long time, but not anymore. I’m giving up the need to ‘look good’ because my speaking out could save a life.
Here’s how the story goes.
In July 2012, my doctor Leanne Barron looked at me and said, “Sarah, if your blood pressure was any lower, I’d call an ambulance and cart you off to hospital like the girl before you. Is that what you really want?”
I couldn’t reply to her, because I hadn’t eaten. I looked away and cried. She handed me a cup of glucose water to stop me fainting, then drew a graph that looked like someone falling off a cliff.
“Most people with anorexia look sick, but a few of them manage to hide it. It’s like white water rafting – they appear fine and then suddenly, they hit the rapids and their heart fails. You could be in that second category.” I had been suffering heart palpitations*, so she wasn’t far from the truth. It hit me that I was in serious trouble. I explained why I wasn’t buying food – because I needed to save money, I couldn’t hurt the animals, I had no appetite, and felt too miserable to cook…*Around this time, I crashed my car into the kerb and burst a tyre, due to a panic episode that had all the symptoms of a heart attack.
My doctor acknowledged my worries and helped me to see the big picture – that I had the right to exist, that meat was what my protein-loving body needed (specifically, beef, lamb, fish and seafood, the things I had cut out), and that I was endangering my fertility. If I kept starving myself, not only would I end up in hospital (eating food that certainly wasn’t vegan or organic), I might never have kids.
It took a long time for her words to sink in, but I experienced a remarkable epiphany that day. I’ll never forget the kindness she showed me in my time of distress.
What Triggered My Eating Issue
I stopped enjoying food around the age of eight. A relative had died through suicide, and no one would talk to me about her death. Also, I’d begun wearing orthodontic plates and chewing was painful (this continued until I had my braces off around 17). I felt depressed by racial bullying at school, and unable to express my feelings at home. From nine or ten I kept a diary of my weight and became obsessed with staying thin.
Trying to control my weight was my way to avoid growing up. I wanted to be the perfect child and I knew that my parents disliked people who were overweight. The more criticised I felt, the less I wanted to eat. It was like my stomach was full of nails. By high school, I was living on rice cakes and reading magazines about models. I kept thinking that, if I was beautiful enough, all my problems would disappear. (Note to self – having talked to many attractive people since then, this isn’t the case.)
I came from a conservative family where we didn’t hug or kiss, and I never heard the words I love you. This is not a judgement of my parents – they always did their very best. Nevertheless, I decided early on that I was a misfit who had to constantly prove her worth. I had a very pretty and charming sister and often felt like the only thing I had going for me was my intellect.
At school, the pressure to perform was enormous. For every student in my grade, there were eight on a waiting list. I got attention for being thin and received comments like ‘I would kill for you figure’. These convinced me that skinniness was a ticket to approval. I did return to eating normally while at university and early on in my career. However, after a breakup in 2011, my anorexic tendencies returned. I spent much of 2012 lying exhausted on the floor in between clients. I stopped answering the phone and postponed my nutritional studies because I lost my short-term memory.
What Drove Me To Recover
Firstly, I believe that everyone’s recovery will be different. Mine revolved around committing to my life purpose and forgiving myself and others for their perceived mistakes. They say that your appetite for food is your appetite for life. Starving is a passive-aggressive way of stopping life when you can’t say No.
Rigid, black and white thinking is a major contributor to eating issues. Healing anorexia requires you to open your heart, speak up for your needs and tame your worries. For me, it’s also about embracing the ageing process and finding positive role models.
In numerology, all words can be broken down into a number, e.g.
ANOREXIA = 1+5+6+9+5+6+9+1 = 42/6
This is the same vibration as
GROWNUP = 7+9+6+5+5+3+7 = 42/6
4 relates to the Heart Chakra and feeling secure or ‘at home’.
2 relates to the Sacral Chakra and emotional wellbeing.
6 is the Third Eye Chakra, which is the seat of truth and vision.
So anorexia could be related to the fear of maturing, due to a perception of adult life as lonely and unsafe. Perhaps the child has learned this from an environment or culture that values precocity and youth over wisdom and experience. What do you think?
Here are 20 ways I helped myself to recover from an eating issue:
1) I resolved my subconscious beliefs of unworthiness and guilt by taking part in Family Constellations. I specifically forgave myself for being born female (in China girls are still being aborted or abandoned due to their ‘lower social value’). After this I finally felt able to breathe, eat and exist again.
2) I studied and received Holistic Counselling to heal my inner child and build self-love. I stopped thinking that being helpless, sick or dead would solve my problems. Taking responsibility means ‘being able to respond to your needs’, not sacrificing your life for others.
3) I overcame my fear of ageing. I stopped buying into the myth that ‘beauty is a 16 year old Photoshopped model’. I accepted my white hair and womanliness. I began associating with people who embraced their age instead of lying about it. I even lived with a woman in her 80’s who had a boyfriend, did her own concreting and kept me awake with her partying (!)
4) I realised that the soul never dies, after researching mediumship, studying past life regression and lives between lives. I deleted my vows of poverty and frugality to allow abundance to return. This was a wake up call that gave me true courage. From that moment, I chose to tackle my life purpose as a Master 11 Spiritual Messenger head on. I decided that ‘it’s better to be green and growing than ripe and rotten’. Find your lifepath
5) I started a page on 11:11 on clocks after seeing repeating numbers. This led me to conclude that loving Angels were always at my beck and call. I studied metaphysics and asked for help with my psychic business. It occurred to me that I had been ‘starving for inspiration’ most of my life. That’s why I went off my food in protest.
6) I took up art therapy with Alison Lee, to explore my hidden talents and dreams. I had been numb for so long that words weren’t enough to express my pain – I needed paint, crayons and dance to get it out. I learned how to cry when I was sad, and to yell when I was angry (doing this in a parked car is great!)
7) I retrained my mind and inner critic/ genius to follow orders, instead of ordering me around. This is a pattern in people who had strict upbringings (they censor and correct themselves well into adulthood). Meditation, pilates and yoga (especially Kundalini yoga) were invaluable for creating mind-heart balance. I now journal my hopes and worries and keep a list of things I am grateful for.
8) I invested in fortnightly acupuncture, Chinese herbs and regular massage. I began taking epsom salts baths and going to the beach for swims. I bought shoes that didn’t hurt my feet. This was huge for someone with anorexic tendencies, because you tend to deny yourself comfort when you make a mistake.
9) I stopped counting calories, or trying to eat the ‘right’ foods and just asked my body what it needed. I got in touch with myself by hugging, kissing and praising my body as often as possible.
10) I began to accept help and receive love from others, especially my partner Kris, friends, family and amazing clients. I accepted food parcels when money was tight, instead of going without. The book Compassion by Osho was a lifesaver.
11) I did the Landmark Forum to let go of angst, which was extremely confronting. It was a productive experience but I no longer attend their events due to their marketing style and other concerns over their true motivations and ethics. More on the courses I’ve studied
12) I educated myself on anorexia and its impacts on the brain. Starvation reduces your decision-making ability and memory so you fall into a vicious cycle of stress and regret. It takes long-term external support to install new habits.
13) I discovered raw food and Paleo cafes that could cater to my gluten and dairy free needs. Places like Naked Treaties are heaven! Eating tasty food around happy people brought my appetite back quick smart (as did B vitamin supplementation and liver cleansing practices).
14) I stopped eating food that was lacking in chi (life energy) – I went to the markets and bought fresh organic food instead of fruit and vegetables that had been in cold storage for months. I no longer eat at fast food outlets where the staff look grim – why would I put that energy into my body? I started living in sync with nature (see Jost Sauer’s book The Perfect Day Plan).
15) I made mealtimes sacred. I ate outdoors in the garden whenever possible, and blessed my food and body before eating. Someone once said to me ‘your body is like a puppy – you need to feed and walk it because you’re its owner’. This changed my whole perspective on having a physical body.
16) I switched to fresh water to open my Third Eye and improve my digestion. Excess fluoride and chlorine don’t agree with me. I drink spring water and have a filter shower head.
17) I joined an extras agency while I was at my thinnest, before realising that I hate the idea of being hired for my looks. I no longer gossip about people’s bodies – that’s God’s business, not mine.
18) I started this blog and facebook page so I wouldn’t feel alone on this ride. I eat more when I feel grounded and connected to the world. You’ve given me a reason to eat again! Thank you.
19) I joined the monthly circles at Red Tent Australia so I could learn from women and share my experiences in a safe, supportive place. It’s such a relief to find somewhere I can just be myself.
20) I stopped concentrating on my looks, and started focusing on creating a bright future, especially creating a family with Kris. This has brought me more satisfaction than any weight loss ever could (see my thoughts on this topic).
As you can see, there was no single solution – I’ve undergone a total lifestyle change. I still have relapses of not eating when I’m stressed. But I catch myself earlier. I no longer have ribs that hurt when I lie down or the sad gaze of someone a decade older. I am so grateful that I was never hospitalised or lost my periods. Thank goodness my friends Caroline and Natalie told me to get help when I did.
Can Numerology Explain Eating Disorders?
It’s possible that I was destined to have an eating disorder/ issue, as you can see it in my soul contract. In numerology, EATING DISORDER has a 76/13/4 vibration, which is the sum of my birth name. Your birth name influences your career choices and mind.
7 is the Crown Chakra, which is about listening to your Self/ Soul
13/4 is a Karmic debt number which requires the bearer to overcome the tendency to criticise. It shows a past life tendency to judge or blame others for your problems.
I’ve been repaying this debt by devoting my life to positive expression (e.g. charity fundraising and blogging on spiritual topics). It’s possible I chose to develop and heal from an eating disorder in order to authentically teach self-responsibility. Many people have Karmic debts, but not all of them know how to pay it off – read more on Karmic Debt Numbers.
I’m lucky I discovered mine through numerology. The term ENERGY HEALING adds to 76/13/4, which could explain why holistic medicine has helped me to recover from anorexia. Who knows, maybe one day I will specialise in spiritual nutrition?
13/4 is the number of the Moon Goddess and honouring your feminine cycles. It’s also about keeping promises to yourself and Mother Earth. No wonder my background is Environmental Science! From a metaphysical perspective, I’ve read that Starseeds (for example, people with Master 11, 22 or 33 lifepaths or names, such as myself) are prone to food allergies and digestive or eating issues.
They’re not used to eating food or going through puberty. Having come from telepathic worlds, they don’t know how to handle conflict. When they are ‘force fed ideas’, their natural reaction is to throw them up or shut down their bodies. My thoughts on 11:11 Starseeds.
6’s also hold themselves to high standards of physical perfection and need to learn self- compassion. Singer and famous anorexia sufferer Karen Carpenter was a 24/6 lifepath.
When I was little, I remember looking in the mirror after being teased at school. I said “Sarah, you may be an ugly duckling now, but one day you will be a swan.” My wish came true, thanks to the help of the many people listed above. I feel beautiful now, and this allows me to see the good in others. After all, you can only love another person as much as you love yourself.
I don’t know why people have anorexia – I only know why I had it (or a variation of it – some would say I had orthorexia). I had a wounded Solar Plexus Chakra – I felt powerless and wanted to control my feelings. Not eating was my way of ‘stopping life’ and making the pain go away. I had to learn stress management to break this cycle for good. People who develop eating issues are often highly intelligent and have above average willpower. This could be why anorexia and bulimia are so hard to treat – because the patients are in many cases as bright as their doctors.
Maybe – we shrink ourselves to fit other people’s expectations, when what we really need to do is blow their minds with our creativity and courage??
It’s time to stop cutting ourselves down to size, and to spiritually rise.
If you or someone you know has signs of an eating issue, such as:
-wearing baggy clothes
-social withdrawal e.g. avoiding group outings
-eating slowly or not at all at mealtimes
-binge eating in private/ signs of purging
-talking about food or their body constantly
-always worrying about money (obsession with figures)
-weight that goes up and down (or just down)
-feeling cold all the time
-not sleeping well or insomnia
-skin issues or hair loss (I had calluses on my toes from malnutrition)
-hormonal imbalances e.g. severe period pain, missing periods, acne, muscle aches, fatigue, weakness or mood swings
-constantly criticising their bodies or focusing on their flaws
PLEASE TAKE ACTION! My friends helped me to catch my eating issue before it led to permanent damage. Anorexia is the most deadly mental illness out there, mainly because it so often goes untreated.
I Eat Meat And I’m Spiritual. A Story About Iron, Eating Issues And Motherhood
Channel 7 Interview For World Eating Disorders Day – Give Your Future Self A Chance!
Sarah Yip in the Sunday Mail – Orthorexia and Starseeds
Too Much Pretty Food Can Blind You To Your Beauty – Why I Eat (Organic) Pears With Strange Bums!