I know you’ve seen this by now. If you haven’t, you must. This video embodies exactly the mission I feel I’ve been on.
During the launch of Oprah’s cable network channel she featured a reality type show that followed the journey of 6 women during their stay at an eating disorder facility somewhere in the south. The show highlighted women with bulimia, anorexia and also compulsive over eating/binging disorders. I found it fascinating and heart breaking. I related so closely with some of the women, while I found that other women seemed uninterested in getting treatment. They came across as childish, sort of stuck in some defiant teenager mindset. It made me stop and check myself. I want to be learning and growing and moving forward….not stuck, stomping my feet because I want to eat something.
In the past couple of months I have just grown tired of food having that kind of power over me. As a woman proclaiming faith, shouldn’t I be overcoming these things in my life? As a mother, shouldn’t I be living by a better example and giving my children the best me they deserve? As a wife, honoring my husband by presenting the most fresh and desirable version of myself that I can? As a woman, and human being in general, to appreciate this life that God has given me by being good to myself and kind to myself? Accepting defeat is not an option anymore.
The very thing that launched me into doing my own “in home rehab” was an unfortunate incident late one night a few weeks ago with leftover Chinese food. I found myself stuffing it all in simply because it was there. I thought of that reality show on OWN, and how I was behaving like a lunatic. Like one of those women who were resisting treatment. Selfish. Childish. I remembered how pathetic I thought they were, having been handed an opportunity to change and get better and foolish for squandering it away.
Put the fork down woman.
The way see ourselves is a choice. A choice we must constantly make. Daily. Maybe some days hourly. We are prone to see every flaw. Every wrinkle. Every pimple. Every unwanted hair. Every fold of skin. Every lack.
The Dove project shines a bright light on the way we paint such ugly pictures of ourselves. It has made us all stop in our tracks this week and say, “Yep.” The question is, what can we do about it?
The women on the show were asked to do something during their treatment that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. It is something that I did that summer when I watched it, and still do. I encourage you to do it as well. Even if food isn’t your vice, I know we ALL struggle with something.
The therapist instructed all the women to find a picture of themselves as a child.
I chose one that was taken when I was about 6 years old.
They were instructed to put the picture up somewhere where they would constantly see it.
I put mine on the fridge.
The essence of the lesson being ( at least what I took away from it) is that we would never speak to a child ( or any of our friends) the way we speak to, or think of ourselves. At the core of disordered eating in most cases it is an attempt at controlling and numbing the emotions that were felt as that young child. By way of extreme overeating or extreme restriction. To re-learn how to care for their “inner self” in a different way that didn’t involve abuse of food or whatever…is really hard work. It takes a supernatural re-wiring.
The women were encouraged to look at their pictures constantly. To remind themselves of who they once were…a child who deserved protection and care and love, and to gain the confidence as an adult, who is able to stand tall and not buckle from fear. To gain confidence and strength knowing that the things that compel us to loathe ourselves and doubt, have no power over us after all.
Because we DON’T have to hate ourselves the way the world pushes us to. We DON’T have to constantly compare ourselves and measure all of our wrongs.
Oscar Wilde said it best,” Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)”