The Fashion Police Chronicles – Oscars Style

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“We’re more than just our dresses,” said Reese Witherspoon. Preach it, Reese!

Every year, after the Academy awards, the fashion police nitpick the female participants to pieces. A total meat market – fashionista style. I love fashion and design. For me, fashion invites be to express myself in art. If I had to choose a career outside the helping professions, it might be dress design. Or -drum roll please- shoe design. I mean shoe sales cause me to salivate. What’s not to like?! But the Fashion Police at the Academy Awards situation reinforces the pressure for women to be objects rather than glorious creations as God intended. The pressure of Academy Awards fashion police is over the top. Whether the attendees can voice it or not, the evaluation revolves around the beast called Shame. Comparison is the name of the game of the Academy Awards fashionista chronicles. I adore fashion, but this evaluation process has turned past the vortex of fun. Girls and women get steeped into the stew of comparison so much that the vast majority have body image issues. So I’m done with the process. Although the fashionista diva within me wants to evaluate and choose my favorite, I won’t play the game anymore. Goodbye, Fashion Police. I will miss you, but I don’t like what you represent. IMG_0673 IMG_0648 IMG_0673-0

Body Image and Children: 7 Ways to Protect Your Daughter (or Son) from Eating Disorders

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Tooshie: Defeating the Body Image Bandit

After her brother said she was fat, Karen (not her real name) vowed to do whatever it took to get into a pair of size 6 Calvin Klein jeans.  Most women who struggle with eating disorders remember this type of significant moment in their stories.  This vow included starving herself to the point that she passed out on a beach.  When she regained consciousness, the EMT asked her, “What can I do to prevent this from happening to my daughter?”  With tears in her eyes, she answered, “You can love her unconditionally.” 

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe these elephant thighs,” you remark in front of the mirror as you try on a new pair of jeans.  “Maybe I have elephantitis, and my doctor hasn’t diagnosed me yet.”  Your daughter hears this, and you both laugh.  But the problem with these types of negative body image statements is that they…

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Stop Obsessing about Body Image Issues (and Get On with Life!)

Have you ever wondered how much time you waste per day by thinking about:

  • Do these jeans make my tooshie look big?
  • I need to lose weight!
  • Is that woman (in front of you at the grocery store) thinner or fatter than me?
  • Have I eaten “good” food or “bad” food today?
  • I wish my ____________looked better.

Research shows that when you add all the time together women think about such things, it adds up to  an hour a day.

What if you committed yourself to getting on with your life?  After all,

you weren’t created to obsess about your body!

You have a much higher calling.  So when you waste precious time obsessing about body image issues, you are robbing yourself and the world.

Phil 4:8 encourages us to think positive thoughts. “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.”  Phil 4;8 helps me to focus on the positive. 

For example, I’m planning to speak at churches about How to Defeat the Body Image Bandit, using lots of humor, research, and my own story.  I’ll have the churches take up an offering and donate it to organizations that help victims of human sex trafficking.  So instead of focusing on “Do these jeans make my tooshie look fat?” I’m spending my time planning and preparing the speech instead of combing through beauty and fashion magazines, comparing my body to those of photoshopped, concentration camp thin models.  Such a much better use of my time. 

Notice Phil 4:8  does not say:

“Finally, girlfriends, whatever can make your tooshie look sleek, trim, and keep cellulite off your thighs – think about such things.” 

Yet we often live as though we were created to obsess about our bodies.  After all, we’re so good at it!

What if you were to live out your gifts and talents, using your personality and story to become the person you were created to be?  It’s time to stop obsessing about our bodies and get on with our true callings.  You are a unique

masterpiece,

                                    a jewel,

and you were created for a much greater purpose.  So get on with it!

The Million Dollar Body Image Question

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When did you first begin to obsess about your body?  Can you identify what event or events sprung you into yo-yo dieting, starving yourself, purging, binge eating, and/or excessive exercising?

Once you can do that, you’ve identified a major contributor that prevents you from developing healthy relationships with food and exercise.  Draw a time line of your life and place markers at the most eventful times.

Also other changes, such as getting married, divorced, moving, having a friend move, starting or ending jobs, etc.  Remember, any major change is stress, whether it’s experienced as positive or negative.  No wonder brides gain an average of 18 pounds during the first year of marriage!

During these difficult times of your time line, you probably began to obsess about your body.

 

You attempted to self-medicate by dieting, bingeing, purging away your true feelings, and/or overexercising.  This offered you what we call the illusion of control in the 12-step programs.

In other words, your life felt out of control by your parents’ divorce, a move to another city, a difficult break-up, etc. You knew that you were powerless over the situation, so you obsessed about your body and attempted to control it instead.

Body

Eventually your new, dysfunctional way of coping took on a life of its own.  Whether it’s obsessive overeating, bingeing, compulsive dieting, purging, or overexercising you’re struggling with, you’ve probably been looking for a solution for years. It became a beast in your life, and you have desperately tried to tackle it.  And now you’re wondering what really works in the long-term sense, not quick fixes that help you change for a small chunk of time.

“How do people recover?
We   believe an eating disorder is a mechanism for coping with stress. We binge,   purge and/or starve to feel better about our shame, anger, fear, loneliness,   tiredness and ordinary human needs. As we learn to address stress through other   mechanisms, the symptoms of the eating disorder tend to fade away. It is a   process, not an event. In EDA, we share our experience, strength and hope with   each other to help one another come to terms with and change how we deal with   life.

Recovery means living life on life’s terms, facing pains and fears   without obsessing on food, weight and body image. In our eating disorders, we   sometimes felt like helpless victims. Recovery means gaining or regaining the   power to see our options, to make careful choices in our lives. Recovery means rebuilding trust with ourselves, a gradual process that requires much motivation  and support. There are bound to be setbacks and moments of fear and frustration.   Support – professional, group and family – helps us get through such trials   safely, when we are honest about them. Support groups such as EDA provide   inspiration and opportunity for turning the most deeply painful and humbling   experiences to useful purpose. As we learn and practice careful self-honesty,   self-care, and self-expression, we gain authenticity, perspective, peace and   empowerment.”

That is an excerpt from Eating Disorders Anonymous, which provides great results for many people.  I truly believe in 12-step programs ,and have been in Al-Anon (a 12-step program for friends and families of alcoholics) on and off since 1999.

Next to my salvation, my husband, the gifts of attending Multnomah Seminary and Mars Hill Graduate School (now called Seattle School of Psychology and Theology), Al-Anon has been one of the most beautiful gifts God has provided.  (The 12 step programs are not affiliated with any religion.) A true life saver. 

They say to try 6 meetings of a 12-step before deciding if the program works for you.  (Like life itself, you can find groups like people.  Some of them you really click with, and others you think, “holy moly, I feel so sorry for their mothers!”  So don’t give up.  Try different meetings.  Also, find a good therapist who is knowledgeable about your issues.

 from www.Eatingdisordersanonymous.org

Another great resource, also a 12-step: www.oa.com (Overeaters Anonymous) (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)

Also www.celebraterecovery.com (for Christians)

body image

Your Body Image Time Line

When did you first begin to obsess about your body?  Can you identify what event or events sprung you into yo-yo dieting, starving yourself, purging, binge eating, and/or excessive exercising?  Once you can do that, you’ve identified a major contributor that prevents you from developing healthy relationships with food and exercise.  Draw a time line of your life and place markers at the most eventful times.  Also other changes, such as getting married, divorced, moving, having a friend move, starting or ending jobs, etc.  Remember, any major change is stress, whether it’s experienced as positive or negative.  No wonder brides gain an average of 18 pounds during the first year of marriage!

During these difficult times of your time line, you probably began to obsess about your body.

You attempted to self-medicate by dieting, bingeing, purging away your true feelings, and/or overexercising.  This offered you what we call the illusion of control in the 12-step programs.

In other words, your life felt out of control by your parents’ divorce, a move to another city, a difficult break-up, etc. You knew that you were powerless over the situation, so you obsessed about your body and attempted to control it instead.

Body

Eventually your new, dysfunctional way of coping took on a life of its own.  Whether it’s obsessive overeating, bingeing, compulsive dieting, purging, or overexercising you’re struggling with, you’ve probably been looking for a solution for years. It became a beast in your life, and you have desperately tried to tackle it.  And now you’re wondering what really works in the long-term sense, not quick fixes that help you change for a small chunk of time.

“How do people recover?
We   believe an eating disorder is a mechanism for coping with stress. We binge,   purge and/or starve to feel better about our shame, anger, fear, loneliness,   tiredness and ordinary human needs. As we learn to address stress through other   mechanisms, the symptoms of the eating disorder tend to fade away. It is a   process, not an event. In EDA, we share our experience, strength and hope with   each other to help one another come to terms with and change how we deal with   life.
Recovery means living life on life’s terms, facing pains and fears   without obsessing on food, weight and body image. In our eating disorders, we   sometimes felt like helpless victims. Recovery means gaining or regaining the   power to see our options, to make careful choices in our lives. Recovery means rebuilding trust with ourselves, a gradual process that requires much motivation  and support. There are bound to be setbacks and moments of fear and frustration.   Support – professional, group and family – helps us get through such trials   safely, when we are honest about them. Support groups such as EDA provide   inspiration and opportunity for turning the most deeply painful and humbling   experiences to useful purpose. As we learn and practice careful self-honesty,   self-care, and self-expression, we gain authenticity, perspective, peace and   empowerment.”

That is an excerpt from Eating Disorders Anonymous, which provides great results for many people.  I truly believe in 12- step programs ,and have been in Al-Anon (a 12-step program for friends and families of alcoholics) on and off since 1999.  Next to my salvation, my husband, the gifts of attending Multnomah Seminary and another graduate school, Al-Anon has been one of the most beautiful gifts God has provided.  (The 12 step programs are not affiliated with any religion.) A true life saver. 

They say to try 6 meetings of a 12-step before deciding if the program works for you.  (Like life itself, you can find groups like people.  Some of them you really click with, and others you think, “holy moly, I feel so sorry for their mothers!”  So don’t give up.  Try different meetings.  Also, find a good therapist who is knowledgeable about your issues.

 from www.Eatingdisordersanonymous.org

Another great resource, also a 12-step: www.oa.com (Overeaters Anonymous)

Also www.celebraterecovery.com (for Christians)

body image

Body Image and Your Scale: Does it Own You, or Do You Own It?

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Scary Scale [ Explored:) ] by Chelsea3883

Photo by Chelsea Panos

How much power have you given your scale?

Many people let the numbers dictate whether they have a good day or bad day.  They feel like it owns them, and they give it a lot of power in their lives.

Over the past several years counseling women, I’ve encountered many who give their scales that much power.   Other women have sadly expressed their mothers did this, and it had a profound effect on their growing up years. 

If their mothers weighed in at a lower number, they displayed more of a fun, upbeat side.  But if the cloud of weight gain (even a pound or two) hung in the air, the house felt tense and their moms acted depressed.

Eating disorder programs often recommend that patients get rid of their scales.  Specialists in the field realize that many of their clients have an obsession with weighing themselves, often stepping on their scale many times each day.

Experts believe people can tell whether they are gaining or losing weight by the way their clothes fit.  Besides, weight varies throughout the day, week, and month anyway.

How long will you continue to let your scale cause you to have bad days, weeks, and months?  Can you honestly say that you never let the number on the scale  – the magic number– influence how you treat people?

You may want to discuss this with safe people whom you trust to give you honest feedback.

If you don’t have the courage to put your scale away long-term, consider a therapeutic separation. That means taking a break, putting it on a cruise to Tahiti or the attic for a while.

My hope and prayer is that you re-think your relationship with your scale and begin asking the tough question:  Do you own it, or does it own you?

TRY THIS:  Write a letter to your scale.  Tell it how you’ve given it too much power in your life (i.e. letting it dictate on many days whether you have a good day or a bad day).  Describe in detail how you are tired of the feeling that it owns you.  You may even want to give it a name, and suggest that it go away for a period of time.

© Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC and Fannies:  Reflections on Cookie Dough, Life, and Your Derriere and Fannies:  Reclaiming the Plunder of the Body Image Bandit, 2007 – 2047. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC and Fannies:  Reflections on Cookie Dough, Life, and Your Derriere with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Body Image and LeAnn Rimes: Worshiping the Art of Skinniness

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Does LeAnn Rimes have an eating disorder?  A few days ago, she posted a picture of herself in a bikini on Twitter.  This started a tsunami of tweets about whether or not LeAnn has an eating disorder, including one saying “@leannrimes “Whoa, you’re scary skinny! Sorry don’t mean to offend but that’s a lot of bones showing through skin…”

LeAnn replied “@AJPaterson1987 those are called abs not bones love.” Later, in an airport, she tweeted this:  “Boston Dog’s sliders and French fries in the Cabo airport are so good! Anyone coming here try them!!!”  LeAnn has tweeted previously on the subject
of her body.

While it is not my place to comment on LeAnn’s situation, I think our culture is deranged in that it worships the art of skinniness.  When a culture believes, “the skinnier the better,” to the point that many models look like concentration camp survivors, we certainly have tragedy on a monumental scale.  By the age of seventeen, Americans have been exposed to 250,000 ads featuring pencil thin models.  It’s no wonder we are ultra-obsessed with body image. Most of the models in the media are anorexically thin, and most are unable to menstruate due to exceptionally low levels of body fat.  That speaks volumes.  Barbie, the most popular doll in America, would have diarrhea 24/7 if she were real because her waistline is so incredibly tiny.  Is this what we want to portray to our girls?  Check out my goodbye letter to Barbie for more information:
https://cherriemac.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/bye-bye-barbie-body-image-and-barbie-dolls/

We live in a culture which screams, “To be thin is to be beautiful, and beauty is almost everything.” Sadly, the message sinks deeply into our souls until it chases people into a sea of despair.  We grab onto what appear to be life rafts, but are sharks in disguise.  This quickly lead us into the Ferocious Foursome:  Dieting, which leads to bingeing due to feeling extremely deprived.  At this point, the dieter wants to eat everything except the TV.  So the second step of the Ferocious Foursome is Bingeing, which leads to more shame and self-contempt.  After the Bingeing comes purging (for some) and then over-exercising (for some).  If the last two aren’t practiced, the lifelong dieter is stuck in the cycle of dieting, bingeing, dieting, bingeing, until they are dizzy.  Research shows that almost all diets lead to weight loss, but later on weight gain. The dieter eventually gains more weight than he or she lost to begin with!  It is exceptionally rare to lose weight and keep it off for decades.

The truth is, body image issues such as compulsive overeating, purging, bingeing, and negative thoughts about our bodies are much more about our stories and relationships than food.  People often try to work on the symptoms only, and don’t address their reasons behind food issues.  Until we address the underlying issues, we won’t fight the Body Image Bandit and win.  When did you first start to binge, purge, or have self-contempt about your body?  While the cultural current is certainly a key factor, addressing the pain in your story will help you fight back the Body Image Bandit – the Father of Lies, who tries to convince you that you are unworthy unless you’re stick thin.

So how can we avoid the Ferocious Foursome, and concentrate on what is truly important?  What if we could learn to embrace the bodies God gave us, and realize with every cell ofour beings that we are each unique masterpieces?  I hope you join me on the passionate voyage of discovering the real you and focusing more on your gifts, talents, and calling than your tooshie.  After all, “Man looks at outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”

Body Image and Eating Disorders: My friend says she doesn’t have an eating disorder, but I think she does

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A few mornings ago it happened again.  While staring at the TV in my “I desperately need more coffee” stupor, another ultra thin, bony movie star denied that she has an eating disorder.  I almost flipped channels on her because I am very tired of all the denial in Eatingdisorderville.  I don’t keep up on celebrity tidbits, but my morning wake-up show interviewed this woman.

This is not an uncommon denial.  I know several people who deny that their thinness is the result of an eating disorder.  Yet I sense they are extremely uncomfortable around food and are hyper-critical of their bodies.  On the other hand, I have a beautiful friend in her fifties who is thin yet does not have an eating disorder.  People have been quick to accuse her, yet I have been with her on several long trips and could not help but notice her relationship with food.  She definitely does not have an eating disorder.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t sit around and observe what people are eating and not eating.  Yet at the same time, due to my training and experience, I have noticed how many thin women meet the criteria for anorexia yet deny having an eating disorder.

From Behavenet:

“Early signs may include withdrawal from family and friends, increased sensitivity to criticism, sudden increased interest in physical activity, anxiety or depressive symptoms.

  1. Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height (e.g., weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight less than 85% of that expected; or failure to make expected weight gain during period of growth, leading to body weight less than 85% of that expected).
  2. Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.
  3. Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.
  4. In postmenarcheal females, amenorrhea, i.e., the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles. (A woman is considered to have amenorrhea if her periods occur only following hormone, e.g., estrogen, administration.)

Specify if:

  • Restricting Type: during the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has not regularly engaged in binge-eating or purging behavior (i.e., self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas)
  • Binge-Eating/Purging Type: during the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has regularly engaged in binge-eating or purging behavior (i.e., self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas)”

If you think a friend or relative may have an eating disorder and is denying it, research the subject carefully and proceed with love.  In my experience, the majority of women who are excessively thin do have eating disorders.  Obviously this is a tough call because sometimes it is difficult to know.  Yet if you sense an extreme fear of fat, and/or a magnified fear of food, you may be on to something.  At that point, it is best to educate yourself and to proceed carefully in loving her and calling her (or him) to glory.  Normally the first place to start is to learn all you can about the eating disorder.  And then tread lightly, remembering that to engage her in a power struggle about her denial is generally not a good idea.  Sometimes interventions work well, but before you proceed, study the subject from good sources.  I recommend www.aplaceofhope.com.  Then you can begin the process of calling your friend or relative to glory.  After all, that’s what friends and family are for.   Because if you don’t, she may end up robbing herself in terms of life expectancy.  The prognosis for untreated eating disorders are dark, yet  the glimmer of hope abounds with experienced eating disorder specialists.

Statistics:

  • 5-10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease and 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years.
  • Anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness (including major depression).
  • The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15-24 years old.
  • Without treatment, up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders die. With treatment, the mortality rate falls to 2-3%

Body Image: Abuse, Drinking, and Eating Disorders

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As we discussed in the last blog entry, eating disorders, abuse, and drinking are often three sides of a dangerous triangle.  Candy’s story described the entanglement of these three issues.  Often an overly critical comment about a woman’s body propels her into a deeper layer of self-contempt.  Sometimes such comments stir the soul to the point that the woman vows to do whatever it takes to – drum roll, please – get skinny.

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Sadly, “getting skinny” is considered a magical cure in our culture.  “If only I was skinny, my life would be perfect,” is a common misconception.    (See my blog entries on Magical Thinking.) And so begins the woman’s road to supposed happiness, which turns out to be hollow and filled with pain.

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She uses whatever is available to help her achieve a desired numbness so she doesn’t have to feel the pain.   Alcohol, food, drugs, and a controlling/abusive male usually play starring roles in the drama.

Often a man who criticize women’s bodies are abusive.  He is controlling, which is almost always a precursor to abuse.  Most women are unaware of the warning signs of dangerous relationships, so here is a list of red flags to look for:

An abusive past, including a parent
that was physically abusive. Never fool
yourself into thinking he escaped the
scars of abuse, or that you can change
him.
• Harm of animals: Often abusers
harmed animals before abusing
other people
A whirlwind romance, leading to
cohabitation or marriage in a
relatively short period
Jealousy or possessiveness: the
abuser is jealous of time you
spend away from him
Blame: he says everything, or
most everything, is your fault, and
sometimes even suggests that
you are crazy
Cutting you down: He often
makes derogatory remarks about
you, sometimes in jest
Isolation: He tries to isolate you
from others, usually so gradually
that you don’t notice it at first.
This may include denying your
access to transportation, moving,
or getting upset when you talk to
friends and family
Control: He gradually takes control
of different facets of your life,
including how money is spent,
how time is spent, etc.
Pushing, shoving, slapping, or
restraining are usually the precursors
to other forms of abuse.

It’s easy to fake you’re Mr. or Ms.
Wonderful for a few weeks or months, or
even a year. But most people can’t keep up the lie
for two years. This is why it is important
to get to know the guy (or gal) well. When things
seem too good to be true, they probably are.

He always uses the same three-step pattern:

Tension (where something gets on his nerves),

Blowup (where he gets angry and lashes out verbally and/or physically

Apology “I’m sorry.  I will never do that again.”

(Of course that is a lie because it will continue to get worse if you don’t seek help.)

If you are involved in a controlling and/or abusive relationship, call 911 if you feel you are in immediate danger.  Contact a local counselor in your area to get professional help.

US National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233

 

Body Image: How to Develop a Healthy Body Image

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By now, if you have been following this blog for long, you understand that issues with food, weight, and body image are much more about your heart and your story than food and weight.  Let me say it again:  It is NOT about food!  It is about your heart and your story.  Until you work on these underlying issues, you will not fight the Body Image Bandit and win.  Geneen Roth, writer and body image specialist, recently addressed this on Oprah.  One of the women interviewed had been 100 pounds overweight.  But in working through her story, she realized the weight gain coincided with the divorce of her parents.  She had been dieting on and off for years, but until she addressed that pain in her heart and her story, she could not keep the weight off.  This did not surprise me at all because issues with food and body image are much more of a symptom than people realize.  If you treat the symptom only, it is like covering up an infected wound with a bandage.

What would it look like for you to finally work on the roots of your issues instead of treating your symptoms only?  And how can you re-learn a healthy relationship with food?  Since we have seen over 250,000 ads by the age of seventeen, and we are constantly bombarded with ads about delectable foods as well, our relationships with food are entangled in a web of confusion.  On the one hand, the images re-program our brains to think, “To be thin is beautiful, and beauty is almost everything.”  Of course we know deep down that our worth is in our hearts, but the media drowns us in toxic messages so we get confused.  At the same time, the media floods us with juicy, delectable images and messages about foods that are dripping with taste.  And of course most of these foods are high in fat and sugar.  So our relationship with food plummets to a deeper level of confusion.

We want to have it all, which is why so many fall into the arms of eating disorders.  Eating disorders – particularly bulimia – make us believe that we can have it all and get away with it.  But of course we know now from research that people actually die of bulimia.  It is another example of the enemy disguising himself as an angel of light.  Or perhaps we choose anorexia and it eats away at our hearts and our lives.  Whenever we deny ourselves, we develop an insatiable hunger which results in the sick cycle of dieting and bingeing (and for some, purging or over-exercising).  (For more information, check out my blog postings on The Sick Cycle of Dieting, Bingeing, Purging, and Over-exercising.)  So dieting and denial is a landmine that will completely distort our relationships with food until we feel completely hopeless and powerless.

About two months ago, I started to pray wholeheartedly for God to give me a healthy relationship with food.  I know dieting is a monster because it only leads to feeling deprived, which creates a binge mentality.  This is why research shows that almost everyone who diets loses weight, but later gains it all back- plus more!  But I also know that purging is not the answer and is in fact extremely dangerous.  Thankfully, by the grace of God I have never been chained to the beast of bulimia (see my blog posting, Confessions of a Purging Flunky).  I have also received a lot of counseling and the Lord has helped me to work through my own issues – yet at the same time I know that this side of Heaven, I will always have issues.

And so I finally put my relationship with food on my prayer list.  Several times a week, I prayed for God to give me a healthy relationship with food.  I think he has.  Please understand that I am not talking about cutting out everything, because that is what leads to a feeling of depravation.  Then all heck breaks loose and you eat everything that is not nailed down.  (You’ve been there, done, that, and got the tee shirt, haven’t you?)  So I have been eating better as far as more fiber and less fat, etc.  BUT I do not deprive myself!  I still have mochas, ice cream, etc. about once a day.  I have not concentrated on eating or not eating any certain way – I have simply prayed for God to give me a healthy relationship with food.  I have lost about ten pounds, which is significant since I’m under 5’3”.  More importantly, I feel released from the world’s messages about food and body image, for the most part.  I will keep praying and keep you posted.

And so I would like to ask you to take the 40-Day Challenge:  Pray every day, asking God to give you a healthy relationship with food.  He is faithful and he will answer you and take off the chains of despair about food and body image.  That is the only way to fight the body image bandit and win.  Ask God to set you free…And please keep us posted!