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Family relationships can be very challenging at times. It is important to approach difficulties prayerfully. The Christians in Recovery Web site is loaded with hundreds of pages of information and files designed to help you learn and to equip you.
You are not alone! God can and will help you overcome your situation.
Finally, on this last day of this eating disorder awareness week, we encounter, perhaps, the trickiest issue: love. The Most High's love is so thorough and passionate, it outlasts time. It is everlasting.
"... Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3
We are that wanted.
We often underestimate that reality. We can get distorted tunnel vision, convinced by the rejection we encounter in our lives.
Our experiences often produce a lie with each negative encounter: "you are unlovable."
When you think of an eating or image disorder, what springs to mind?
If we're honest, often our knee-jerk characterization is female. A lot of us think disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, are a "women's issue."
But what about the male gender?
"In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). For various reasons, many cases are likely not to be reported. In addition, many individuals struggle with body dissatisfaction and sub-clinical disordered eating attitudes and behaviors, and the best-known contributor to the development of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa is body dissatisfaction." www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Unfortunately, both the male and female genders suffer from distorted and disordered image messages and practices. Perhaps, males don't always possess the same behaviors as those of their female counterparts. Nevertheless, the obsession and self-destructive evidence is there. And, at some of its most extreme, it often manifests in the bodybuilding arena.
"...The onset of disease in males is typically triggered by a concern with bodybuilding and sport training..."
The English Dictionary defines *SELF* as...
A person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality: one's own self; a person's nature, character, etc.: his or her better self; personal interest; Philosophy, the ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted with that known, remembered, etc. the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.
I came to an understanding a while ago that my *SELF*, has many different hats so to say. For instance there is my Family-Self, (represented by my surname and genetic inheritance) My Work-Self, my Cultural-Self, my Social-Self, my Happy-self, my Sad-self, my National-self, my Lower-self
and my Higher-Self (which equals my Higher Power or Spirit- Self). I have a body-self, a mind-self, emotional-self. I also have an Addict-Self, and a Co-dependent-Self...etc...
I recently came across an image post on the internet. It was a female's body, in workout gear. And it was accompanied by this statement:
"For Every 'Comment', I'll do 10 sit ups, For Every 'Like', I'll do 5 squats. Go, go, go!"
Furthermore, this post was also followed by a series of emoticons to emphasize its message: three arm curled biceps and one gold trophy.
(Sigh... Here we go again...)
Exercise, goals, striving for improvement/perfection...This is where I squirm, faced with posts as these.
Indeed, there is much emphasis on fitness in today's culture. There are countless gyms, trainers, exercise equipment, programs, workout clothes and shoes, as well as a variety of athletic activities from which to choose. It's overwhelming.
Yet there's still a rise in eating disorders and in such health issues as
What's your reaction to this image? Can you relate? Did you and your mother actually participate in this activity together, treating it as a bonding thing, a game, a competition or a means of "self-improvement?"
Mother's Day. It is devoted to the remembrance and celebration of our mothers, those people who first loved us. And, perhaps, even, in the name of that love, diet and weight measurement were a part of that.
With my mom, I believe it was. She battled with her weight her entire life, certainly as long as I've known her. I discuss it in my book. Years later, I see how it wasn't intentionally done to harm me.
But, nevertheless, that focus on body image, weight and thinness did. It's not just my experience, not perhaps, not just yours, either. Studies have, indeed, shown its impact: I can relate.
"…The study, published this week in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, found that when a teen-age girl develops an eating disorder 'the mother-daughter relationship appears to contribute significantly.'
Kathleen M. Pike and Judith Rodin, who wrote the study, say they concluded this after comparing the test results of girls with eating disorders with those of girls who did not.
'It appears that some of the mother's own dieting and eating behavior and especially her
There is a great contrast between love and lust. Lust is more of a sexual or greedy feeling, while love is more of a secure and content filled feeling we get from giving and receiving. Lust does not have to be something sexual, it can be a greedy desire for more money and power, etc. But for this article, I am using it in its sexual context.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 sums up the common traits and variances of love and lust.
LOVE is kind = considerate, caring, giving, thoughtful, understanding
Lust is envy = jealous, greed, spite, resentment,
LOVE is not proud = humble, submissive, meek, modest
But now thus says the LORD that created you..."Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
What's in a name?
We cannot get around that question. From the start, we are named. As life continues, we bestow more names to children, pets, toys, places, projects, et cetera.
This naming business is far from insignificant. Consequently, it can often subject to negative, extremely personal and abusive behavior. It can challenge the recovery from our individual hurts, histories and obstacles.
I've personally encountered this toxicity. I have had people call me derogatory names; profanity and misogyny have often been at the center of those names.
It's startling, infuriating and potentially harmful to my health and recovery. Often reeling from these encounters, my only recourse is to
It is so hard to share with someone seemingly endlessly with no fruit seeming to bear. I have been through this with various people -- some regarding faith and others regarding recovery. They do not want to hear about God, the Bible or church. Or they are not interested in getting sober, getting out of that codependent/abusive relationship ior changing their life in any way. I believe it is a problem with their eyes not seeing and their ears not hearing.
It is not a matter of my not saying the right thing. The issue may be that it is not the right time.
I am sowing seeds on dry hard ground. (see: Mark 4:3-9 and Mark 4:10-20)
I'm a huge fan of classic cartoons. The Roadrunner, in particular, always makes me smile.
Recently, I stumbled across an image, featuring Wile. E. Coyote's "calling card," which read "Genius." And it immediately reminded me of a famous Albert Einstein quote:
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.