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
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 email@example.com, 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!