Book is Available

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 We are drowning in a tsunami of cultural messages that shout, “Thin is beautiful, and beauty is almost everything.”  You have dieted, binged, exercised, and starved yourself at time to chase Skinny. Yet in your soul, you’ve always wondered if Skinny would truly land you in the perfect life. Join Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC, a Christian therapist, on a healing, fun journey to defeat the Body Image Bandit, who wants you to believe your worth is measured in pounds. You will laugh, ponder, and grasp the heart of your food and body image problems. After all, food/body image struggles are much more about your heart and your story than you ever realized. Then you will begin to unveil the actual causes of your food/body image battles, and the truth will set you free.

My book, Tooshie: Defeating the Body Image Bandit, is now available!

“Freedom from the body image wars and obsession begins with the truths in this fresh new look at making peace with your body.” Gregory Jantz, Ph.D., best-selling Christian author and psychologist.

Here is the link to Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Tooshie-Defeating-Body-Image-Bandit-ebook/dp/B00KP2KMPQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402711952&sr=8-1&keywords=tooshie+defeating+the+body+image+bandit

 

Book Launch Poster

Body Image and Fat Talk

“I’m tired of the way women talk so much about food, diet and fitness issues,” Cindy said.  She sipped her chai tea Starbucks latte as she played with the wrapper from the straw.

“I know, ” I said. “Sometimes I wonder if women could go a whole week without talking about 

                diets,

                                    workout plans,

calories,

fat grams, and

sizes.”

She glanced out the window at the pink snow from the cherry tree. 

“Why don’t women just get on with their lives instead of obsessing about their bodies? I really don’t get it.” 

We had just hiked one of the St. Edward’s Park trails down to Lake Washington.  The Seattle sun smiled on us and people laughed and told stories as dogs, kids, and trail runners met and then passed us. 

“I think the windfall of media poisons our thinking, causing us to compare ourselves to photoshopped and airbrushed images.  And since we see over 250,000 ads by the age of seventeen, we’re drowning in a tsunami of lies.”  I ignored the beep my phone made to signal I’d received a text message.  “It leads to a lot of comparing and coveting; wishing we had bodies that are not actually real.”

“That’s true,”  Cindy said.  She reached into her backpack to find her phone.  “This whole business of coveting can drive us to despair.  When we compare and covet something someone else has – like an image in a magazine that has been photoshopped- we buy into the lies of the Body Image Bandit. I heard a clip of Cindy Crawford saying, ‘I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.’ She was talking about how the pictures of her in magazines don’t resemble her because of all the photoshopping.” 

“Wow.  That’s unbelievable,”  I said.  I noticed two kayaks paddling down on the waterfront.  “Hey, want to go kayaking on Saturday?” 

“Sure.  Sounds fun.  Let’s see if we can go on the Hood Canal to check out the seals you’ve been telling me about.”  She got up and put her cup in the recycle bin.  “I’m going to write a challenge to my Facebook friends to go a week in their real lives without talking about diets, sizes, workouts, and foods.  I bet they’ll have better weeks because they won’t get into negative thinking patterns.”

“That sounds interesting,” I said.  “Can’t wait to hear how it goes.  See you Saturday.” 

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17

Body Image: Fighting the Lies of the Body Image Bandit

What do you do when the Body Image Bandit bites? For example, let’s say you’re waiting in line at Starbucks. You notice the woman waiting in line ahead of you. She is probably a Zumba queen, and could easily model jeans on a billboard. You pinch your “muffin top” and sigh. But wait. You can take steps to protect yourself from the Body Image Bandit, who is the father of lies.

Step 1: Recognize the lies.

You have a much higher calling than asking, “Do these jeans make my tooshie look fat?”

Picture a pair of binoculars. This represents your constant scanning the environment to search for lies of the Bandit.

Take a few seconds to recognize you’ve been bitten by the Body Image Bandit. He is the father of lies, and he wants to make you feel like garbage (shame). Then you’ll  feel discouraged and won’t live out your true calling. You’ll be too busy beating yourself up. Here are some examples of the lies the Body Image Bandit feeds people:

  • I’m not good enough (i.e. not “skinny” enough, tall enough, too tall, my face is ugly, my (insert arms, legs, waist, etc.) isn’t good enough.
  • I’m not loveable as I am.
  • I can’t have a rewarding life until I lose ____ pounds.
  • I won’t have a full life until I’m a size _____.

Step 2: Reject the Lies.

Picture a sign that says, “No Parking Any Time.” As soon as you notice your brain going to the Comparing Channel, picture yourself pulling out of that parking spot. Just like you do when you pull your car into a space saying “No Parking Any Time,” put your brain into another gear.

Step 3: Replace the Lies

Picture a remote control. To replace the lies, visualize changing the channel. You were on the Stinking Thinking Channel! One starring plot of the Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Channel is Comparing your body to other peoples’.

Below are some other channel choices. Practice stopping your thoughts and changing the channels so you can do it faster than a woman with PMS can say, “Gimme ice cream!” Otherwise the lies will seep into your soul and rob your joy.

1. Service: How can you use your God-given talents, gifts and story to help others?

2. Make a list of everything you are thankful for. If you think can’t find anything you’re thankful for, think again. The majority of people on earth live on less than $2 a day! You probably have clean water, food, and more than one pair of clothes. Did you see anything beautiful today? Did you drink coffee today? Put it on your list. Learn to focus on the good.

2. Truth:. Copy specific verses down so you can memorize them. I like to use the blank business cards available at office supply stores. Here’s a verse to get you started:  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8. (Notice it doesn’t say to think about clothing sizes, numbers on a scale, or what you’re gonna do when you “get skinny.”  🙂

3. Pray. Ask the Lord how to use your gifts, talents, and personality for His glory. (Have you read The Purpose-Driven Life, by Rick Warren? The book explains how to use your gifts, talents, personality and story to live out God’s calling for your life. Because you were not created for so much more than  to obsess about your appearance.

Like many activities, this takes practice! The more you practice, the better you’ll get at it. If you continue to work at it, you’ll have a renewed mind.

 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

lotus with leaf

Link

My friend, Mindy, decided to post blog pictures of herself without make-up or photoshopping. It’s powerful…but you may also think, “If I looked like Mindy, I would do it too.” I know what you mean. I often look like a gekko when I wake up in the morning. Especially when I haven’t had a cup of coffee.

Enjoy this post from Momma Mindy’s Moments.  MaKiNg FuN of MoM

Body Image, God, and Cellulite

My previous counseling office was in a building which housed an attorney, a mortgage broker, a tutor, two other therapists, and a physician who performed facelifts, chin lifts, botox treatments,and cellulite removal. In what other building in America could you get your thighs and head shrunk all in the same building?

IMG_0719

One stop shopping at its best! (Please understand I know the Lord uses therapists as a vessel of His healing in many cases, and I have my own therapist who God has used to help me overcome my own struggles.)

But seriously, my heart grieved because young women who probably wore a size two or four often visited the physician for cellulite removal. The bottom line was that I was working hard to help my clients feel good about themselves with the bodies God gave them.

But the physician was acquiring her work from women who felt they were fat when they weren’t.  Week after week, I saw the same thin women coming to get the “fat” sucked off their thighs.

Each week their belief systems were reinforced with the idea they were inferior unless they appeared flawless. A glorious set-up for the Father of Lies. Because deep in your soul, you realize that to be flawless is to be on the other side of glory.

That was one reason I decided to move out. Also, all the fat sucking machines kicked the power switch off from overload! Seriously.

The media blasts us with 250,000 ads before age seventeen. Most of the ads shout,“To be thin is to be beautiful – and beauty is almost everything.”  

But God’s word says, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7).

God’s perspective of life is much weightier than anything else. Even a number on a scale – or cellulite.

Perspective and Body Image

While walking down an aisle at Walgreens, my heart almost fell to the linoleum floor and shattered. I was praying for God to give me inspiration to write another blog post.

And then I saw him. The almost-skeleton of a man gingerly shuffled past me down the bread aisle with a walker. He looked about thirty years old.

Gray Deluxe Rolling Walker by Medline®

Courtesy Costco.com

His bones stretched tightly under his skin. I didn’t stare, but passed him with a slight smile. (I remembered all the stares from people when I crashed on my bicycle several years ago and didn’t want this man to suffer any more than he already is. Read the story here:  https://tooshieblog.com/my-story/) Closely behind him walked a thirty-something year old woman pushing a cart. Most likely his wife or sister. I figured he must have wanted to get out because he grew tired of staying at home, even though I could tell he was rushing full speed toward eternity.

Perspective pumped through my veins as I regretted all the times I’d pondered my physique, wishing I could erase parts and redraw them.

I am a masterpiece, and so are you.

God designed each of our bodies with his miraculous glory and wonder. The intricate complexities of the human body operate light years better than the fastest computer. We can easily get swallowed up into the abyss of comparing our bodies with photoshopped images and feel slighted. But this is because we have been brainwashed from seeing 250,000 ads before age seventeen.

Perspective: It is truly priceless.

“For we are God’s masterpieces, created   in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10).

Notice the verse doesn’t say we were created to obsess about our tooshies!  🙂

Body Image and Fat Talk

“I’m tired of the way women talk so much about food, diet and fitness issues,” Cindy said.  She sipped her chai tea Starbucks latte as she played with the wrapper from the straw.

“I know, ” I said. “Sometimes I wonder if women could go a whole week without talking about 

                diets,

                                    workout plans,

calories,

fat grams, and

sizes.”

She glanced out the window at the pink snow from the cherry tree. 

“Why don’t women just get on with their lives instead of obsessing about their bodies? I really don’t get it.” 

We had just hiked one of the St. Edward’s Park trails down to Lake Washington.  The Seattle sun smiled on us and people laughed and told stories as dogs, kids, and trail runners met and then passed us. 

“I think the windfall of media poisons our thinking, causing us to compare ourselves to photoshopped and airbrushed images.  And since we see over 250,000 ads by the age of seventeen, we’re drowning in a tsunami of lies.”  I ignored the beep my phone made to signal I’d received a text message.  “It leads to a lot of comparing and coveting; wishing we had bodies that are not actually real.”

“That’s true,”  Cindy said.  She reached into her backpack to find her phone.  “This whole business of coveting can drive us to despair.  When we compare and covet something someone else has – like an image in a magazine that has been photoshopped- we buy into the lies of the Body Image Bandit. I heard a clip of Cindy Crawford saying, ‘I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.’ She was talking about how the pictures of her in magazines don’t resemble her because of all the photoshopping.” 

“Wow.  That’s unbelievable,”  I said.  I noticed two kayaks paddling down on the waterfront.  “Hey, want to go kayaking on Saturday?” 

“Sure.  Sounds fun.  Let’s see if we can go on the Hood Canal to check out the seals you’ve been telling me about.”  She got up and put her cup in the recycle bin.  “I’m going to write a challenge to my Facebook friends to go a week in their real lives without talking about diets, sizes, workouts, and foods.  I bet they’ll have better weeks because they won’t get into negative thinking patterns.”

“That sounds interesting,” I said.  “Can’t wait to hear how it goes.  See you Saturday.” 

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17