Monday, October 8, 2012

Chasing Silhouettes, a giveaway, and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

I haven't mentioned it recently.  It just hasn't really come up in conversation.  It's not something that I'm proud of and perhaps when I wrote about it, maybe I came across as "recovered?"

I have honestly repressed the thought that food is still an issue for me, but as I was previewing Emily Wierenga's new book, Chasing Silhouettes, God kinda tapped me on my shoulder.

I say "kinda" but really what happened is I read the definition of all the different kinds of eating disorders.  There is one in the "Lesser known forms of eating disorders" that Emily lists called the Food Addicts.  Definition?

Uses food as a means for soothing stress, dealing with anger, or celebrating a joyous event; food is a constant preoccupation

Stress-eater?  Yes.
Dealing with anger?  Not so much.
Joyous events?  Yes
Constant preoccupation?  Yes

I look forward to eating.  I look at the time and I think "in just two hours, I can eat lunch."  I reward myself with a chai latte, and at night, a glass of wine.  After dinner, perhaps I'll have a few Oreos or sneak one of my kid's ice cream sandwiches.

How harmless can one chai a day be?  A few Oreos at the end of the day?  What is the big deal, really?

I don't eat copious amounts of food.  I am not overweight.  I am very fit.  I don't talk about food incessantly.  

And yet, as is most things in this life, it's not the outside with which God is concerned.  It's the state of the heart and the fact that I often turn to food -- no matter how in portion or healthy it is -- for comfort.

And this is what I love about Emily's book. It is chock-full of amazing advice on how to care for a loved one who struggles with an eating disorder, but it also beautifully describes that this relationship with food is a spiritual matter at its very core.

And this means that prayer and love and grace is required, both on the part of the one helping and on the one who needs help.

I am thankful that I am not in full-relapse mode, but I am grateful for the God who puts books like this in my path that remind me from where my true strength and comfort come.  And I am grateful for a sister in Christ who is willing to be brutally honest about her story so that I can be brutally honest about mine.

I think about my own eating habits and I watch my daughters like a hawk, for I know where I have been and I don't want them to arrive at the same destination I did.  But Emily's book gives me new perspective and new hope.  While I can model good eating habits and encourage healthy foods, I can also delight in conversation with them, be open to their thoughts, allow them to grow into their own person (giving them many opportunities to make their own choices), and pray, without ceasing, for them.

If you, or someone you know, has an eating disorder, I know you will find hope and help within the pages of this book.  God's presence is found throughout the chapters, fueling the belief that yes, through Christ, we can do all things.  Even finding freedom from those things that bind us tightly and obscure our relationship with God.

A note from Jen:
Can I just say how incredibly honored I am to be a part of Emily's blog tour?  For those of you who know Emily and her writing, her book is just as authentic as you'd thought it would be.  For those of you who don't know Emily, she writes on her blog here and at the Chasing Silhouettes website, a space specifically designed to be a place of hope and healing for families and caregivers of people with eating disorders.

Emily is giving away a copy of her book.  Are you wanting to help someone with an eating disorder? Do you know of someone else that could use this book?  If so, please enter into the giveaway by leaving a comment.  You can leave up to three to increase your chances of winning. 

Post on FB about this book, perhaps mentioning the YouTube trailer found here.
Tweet about Chasing Silhouettes.
Buy a copy for your church, library, or any other place that you think might benefit from Emily's words.

The point is, we want to get the word OUT about this book!  If you can think of a better way than the ones that I listed, just let me know in the comments.  I'll use a random number generator and let you know who wins next week.

Also, good news!  If you are one of the early purchasers of this book, there is something very cool in store for you.  Purchase Emily Wierenga's new book Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder within the first four weeks after its September 25, 2012 release date and receive a special invitation to watch an online forum on eating disorders with bestselling author Dr. Gregory L. Jantz, FindingBalance CEO Constance Rhodes and author Emily Wierenga. 

Readers must email a scanned receipt, a picture of them with the book or tell us when and where they purchased the book to, and they will be logged in to receive a special invitation to watch the event. They may also submit questions for the panel to answer, some of which will be selected and answered during the forum.

Don't forget -- leave comments letting me know how you've spread the word!


  1. Hi Jen, I feel like I'm on the same page with you. I've never had an eating disorder and I'm fit. I'm also a "live to eat" kinda gal. I just really enjoy food, healthy stuff included!

    I have a daughter in college, and I'd like to read this with her. She doesn't have a disorder, but is tall and athletic and self-conscious because she isn't built like her rail-thin girlfriends. Thanks for introducing us to Emily!

  2. Count me in the foodie crowd too. I love to eat; look forward to the next meal, the next snack. You can't always tell by the outward appearance who has issues with food. I look forward to reading Emily's book. She's amazing.

  3. got the book. gonna write about it after i read it!

  4. Started reading the book...thanks, Jen, for sharing your story...always appreciate your was the SDG Retreat?

  5. The book sounds thought provoking.


  6. oh jen, what an AWESOME review. you made my heart so very full. thank you. thank you, for helping get the word out to families that need it. love you. and i hope the retreat was wonderful...

  7. I can't wait to get Emily's book. Thanks for the helpful ways to get the word out...sharing now...hugs! xoxo

  8. Jen, I didn't know you struggled like that, although, from reading you, and being a "recovering anorexic-bulimic" myself, I know what causes those of us to think and act the way we do--we struggle with a lot of the same things, you and I. I like that you are watching your girls--paying attention to them. Open conversation and joy together--spending time-- is key. Love you, dear girl.

  9. I am certain that I would fall under one of the disorders in the "lesser known" categories. Most likely food addiction, as well, but I have had an unhealthy relationship with food for my entire life, and have battled with my weight for most of it.

    I would love to read Emily's book, for the wisdom and insight that she shares.

  10. Our relationships with food can be so harmful! Mine was not good-I used it to feed my self-esteem. I turned to it when I was angry, hurt, nervous, or happy—basically most anytime! I used to keep pound size bags of M&M's in my car's dash, in my drawer at work, in a cabinet at home. Hmmmm, no wonder I used to have a serious weight issue.

    I know it is something my girls struggle with as well, although they have never have been heavy, thankfully. Of all the things we imagine teaching our children when they are little, this type of behavior really never comes across the radar. Thanks, Jen and Emily, for highlighting our often complex and potentially harmful relationship with food! Congrats, Emily, and I pray your book reaches the hands of those in need.

  11. I'm so grateful for Emily's courage and passion. And for your perspective here, too. I wandered that road of eating disorder for years as a young woman- got trapped in a web of lies and half-truths as I tried to convince myself that I didn't have "issues" with food. So thankful for the persistent girls in my college dorm who wouldn't let me keep living that way- and for my husband who loved me thru that road back to health. I'm spreading the word about Emily's book- am buying it for other moms but also purchasing a copy for my church library. It's a resource that needs to be available through the church because, as you said, food is so tied up with spiritual things. Congrats, Emily!

  12. Wonderful topic and post. I find myself in the opposite category. I actually dislike food and dread trying to come up with things I will actually like to eat... (and yes, I know I'm but I love a lot of people who struggle with food on a daily basis.

    Thanks for posting. I'd love for you to link up with my post this week. I'm #36 on the list above.

  13. I am a stress eater - when people talk about not being able to gain weight - It amazes me - however, there are sweet people I know who struggle with being able to eat. Emily ministers so beautifully about her struggle - and it is so good to be able to tell someone, "Stop by Emily's place - I think you might be blessed there."

  14. i have a very specific friend that i would love to give this book to. i hope i win!

  15. Interesting perspective -- I sometimes turn to food for stress relief or a "reward" when a Bible verse would be so much better. Thanks for the great post & for hosting the linkup, & God bless!

  16. Love you. Love E. Thank you for always being the hostess with the mostest.

    Now, I can't WAIT for a full blown blog post with pictures included on the RETREAT!

  17. Dude, and I totally forgot to put a link on my blog. Sorry, I have been forgeting that lately.

  18. sounds like a great ministry going on in that lil book! I have a close friend who suffered that way for years! thanks for sharing

  19. So excited to see how God is using Emily and this book to give hope to so many!


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