Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. (NIV)
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “9 Two are better than one, because they have good return on their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls down and has no one to help them up. 11 Also if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A chord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Genesis 2:18 "The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a suitable helper."
From the very beginning of time God knew that in order for people to grow and thrive and not merely survive we would need helpers. He created us to love and be loved by other human beings. We can demonstrate this love by safe touch, serving, praying and, at times carrying each other’s burden. Even those of us like me, that are introverts, need human touch, words of support, encouragement, and of course, love in order to thrive.
According to medicinenet.com’s Medical Author William C. Sheil Jr., MD, FACP, FACR “failure to thrive, refers to a child whose physical growth is significantly less than its peers.” “A specific type of failure to thrive syndrome is sometimes seen in abandoned or institutionalized infants who seem to just “give up” and become listless and unwilling to nurse. It is assumed that this phenomena is emotional in nature, although other factors may also be at work.”
I believe that God’s word encourages us to first live vertically in relation to Him, The Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit and then to live out our faith horizontally within our community and take care of each other. We are meant to play together as a team.
We all need a coach, a game plan, and a well-stocked play book to face our opponents head on. While it is preferable to be on the offensive, marching down the field, there will be moments when the clock is ticking down and you will need to play defense. You will have to run to the sidelines and trust the coach, trust your training and trust the playbook.
Whether we are involved in team sports, induvial sports or spectators, we all need a coach/mentor at times to motivate us, encourage us and often push out of our comfort zone to press on towards the goal set before us. And yes, we all need cheerleaders who believe in us even if it feels like 4th and 20 with 10 seconds on the clock. We need people who believe that when all you can do is throw a “Hail Mary Pass” into the end zone, you will score and win the game.
This is why I chose to become a certified eating disorder coach. I can’t think of a more relentless foe than an eating disorder that chases after you in a race or stands behind the backstop taunting you “Hey batter, batter!” At one point or another you fear the runner catching up to you, or the eventual swing and a miss. You fear a full-blown relapse like a runner being caught or a batter striking out.
I have been where you are. I have been in treatment programs, one on one outpatient therapy, and groups (more on groups later). Like me, you may have discovered why you developed and eating disorder or are still in the process discovery. You may be uncomfortable in your body and our cultural thin/beauty ideal has you feeling that you will never measure up. Maybe your self-esteem has become deeply connected to your body image.
While eating disorders are complex mental, biological, and neurological illnesses, let’s be honest they are also environmental and cultural. We live in an Instagram, Facebook, media driven, not to mention youth and sexualized world, where being “fat” is the worst possible thing you can be. Yes, fat is worse than being old (without the face lift), or mean. ( Think... Mean Girls? By Tina Fey)
May I recommend Bossy Pants Written by Tina as well? A topic for a blog another day.
The notion that thin equates health, fitness, and happiness, is an illusion masterminded by the multi-billion-dollar diet, wait… I mean “wellness” community to take your hard-earned money as they convince you that you are not only unhealthy, but morally bankrupt because you don’t look like the super model on the cover of a magazine, have washboard abs or the ridiculous body of Barbie.
This pervasive diet culture creates an atmosphere where successful recovery from an eating disorder can be difficult to attain, sustain, or even desire because our culture has normalized eating disorders, dieting, disordered eating, and loathing our bodies. Food, health, fitness and weight stigma have caused all of us, particularly women, to attach a degree of morality to the foods we eat and our bodies. Fat has become a feeling and a phobia. Hunger, coupled with hours in the gym, has become a virtue. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am flipping tired of being hungry and spending hours in the gym on perfecting my already fearfully and wonderfully made God given body.
This is why I have become and EDIT™ level 3 certified eating disorder coach. I am ready to be your coach and cheerleader. Ask yourself, “what would my life be like free from eating disorder behaviors, disordered eating, accepting that your body is lovely and can be Healthy at Every Size?” (Read more https://haescommunity.com/pledge/). Freedom and empowerment can be yours!