To the Little Girl Staring at Her Reflection in the Mirror

To the little girl staring at her reflection in the mirror,

To the little girl afraid to develop into womanhood.

To the little girl who dreads the doctors office for its scale,

And counts the water on her washed hair as weight.

To the little girl who battles with herself,

And cannot bear to put on tight clothing.

To the little girl who arranges and rearranges the food on her dinner plate,

That her rate of eating may be not seen,

Little girl, I see you.

 

 

To the young girl who sees the calories more than the food,

And the scale more than her worth.

To the young girl who dreads dinner because of the worries-

About her family getting enough

And to the girl who inside

Just wants to actually be allowed to eat.

To the young girl who never before realized

How easy weight loss was

Because she’d just used self control before,

To the young girl who would give anything,

Go anywhere to lose an ounce,

Young girl, I see you.

 

 

To the girl who cries about the carrots and hummus

And hides the celery down her socks,

To the girl who cannot understand the food

And when it becomes too much

It turns into a disaster.

To the girl who tries to eat,

And tries again,

And tries again,

Only to feel like a failure.

To the girl who tries all day to eat,

Goes to bed distraught

And wakes up to faint.

To the girl who would give anything

To actually be able to eat again

And at the same time would rather face death than food,

Girl, I see you.

 

To the mothers who look on,

Who hug their child to feel their skeletal frame,

And then cry.

To the fathers who get almost angry,

At themselves,

At the situation,

It doesn’t make sense-

A situation spiraling out of control.

To the siblings who have watched their sibling almost die

To the siblings whose own voice gets almost forgotten

Family of your loved one, I hear you.

 

And yet though the situation is hard

You must fight

You must be our voice when we cannot speak

Be our feet when we cannot walk

You must be our anchor when we cannot go on.

 

And to us,

To the girl who is in the blackened mist,

Almost falling,

Please carry on.

Maybe half falling,

Maybe crawling,

And breathing the dust.

But your life has more worth

Than the confusing lies of an eating disorder

And you must fight to win that battle.

 

My Thoughts on Dieting and Weight

Tree years ago. I was innocent, ernest, and eager. Life had fullness and complexity. It was through simplicity and truth that I began to learn to know God. 

And somehow, in the midst of my pure desire to, “be good,” I fell into a perfect storm.

An eating disorder. One that, I look on now, and think that if I had not gotten the care I had, it could have taken my life.

I mean I wouldn’t have survived it if I were treated like a “normal” seventeen year old.

 

You see, seventeen year olds shouldn’t have to be told to eat their food. They aren’t incapable of getting themselves something to eat. And they don’t have to be watched every hour of the day and have their choices laid out for them.

But I did.

Because of a mysteriously fatal disease.

And I fell into it all…

Innocently, right after my conversion.

 

I fell into it through a desire to be good.

Nothing. Else.

 

And yet, how is our world so messed up, that in the attempt to be good, one can begin to starve themselves? How is our world gone so far to tell the younger generation that they will be healthier, happier, accepted, and possibly more Christian, if they control their weight and eating problems?

 

Oh why have we gone so far?

 

And yet God looks down from heaven. I think sometimes He cries. I used to think God didn’t cry.

 

I think He cries when He sees America. He cries, because He loves us. And we get so much wrong, even in the effort to do right-

We hurt ourselves.

 

And we struggle and strain and go on new diets and stick to exercise routines faithfully and calculate and count and measure and weigh—

 

And God says, “Oh my, child. If only you knew.”

 

So let me begin, to tell you what I think about dieting. About weight, food, and eating. I am not claiming I have it all figured out. I still doubt myself sometimes.

 

But the past three years have taught me a lot. There is a saying that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

 

I hope this has made me stronger.

 

When I think about food I first go to the very basics. Feeding. Feeding is our first responsibility as a human being. It is one of them. What are we supposed to do the minute after we are born?

Cry,

And eat.

 

The crying is to tell others of our needs. The eating is to nourish our minds and bodies, and to bond with our mothers.

 

Now let me take you to say, someone with anorexia. I like to observe that the very first responsibilities of life are not being met. We have someone who is likely taking on way too much responsibility in so many other ways.

 

For myself, I worried for my family constantly. I tried to do everything perfect for them. I worked relentlessly. Yet I could not feed myself, and my voice to ask for help became quieter and quieter.

Feeding ourselves is a responsibility that even a newborn can be trusted with. They cry, because they are hungry, and they know it is hunger. There is no doubt in their mind saying maybe it’s just a sensation from being up too much without sleep, or perhaps it’s stress, or an unhealthy emotional desire for food. This person doesn’t care. And the newborn, in that regard is so extremely smart, because they know what they need without a hesitation, and therefore their body says, “Thanks! I’ll be precisely accurate when telling you when to stop and when to start next time!”

Did the baby diet for years to figure this out?

 

Did they read the newest science discovery on caloric intake and metabolism?

 

Yet somehow, the smallest of babies are ahead of us adults in this way. They know when to start, and they know when to stop. They know what tastes good and what does not. They know what is hunger and what is pain.

Yet we get them confused constantly.

 

Oh, I’m pleading with you all to see. I want you to know what I am talking about simply by looking at the basics.

The need we have to feed ourselves: it cannot be undermined. Anorexia becomes a problem when both basic responsibilities are unmet. Disordered eating is a problem, more so when it is only the latter of food. And so many of Americans fall within the throes of disordered eating.

 

And so what does it mean to be responsible for feeding ourselves? And what does it look like to not do so?

Let me begin.

 

I like to use examples in my writings. And I think I will use one this time.

 

When I was twelve I decided I wanted to lose weight. I knew very well of the dangers of losing weight, and I also knew full well that it would be unhealthy for a child my age. Something told me to look out for myself. So at dinnertime, when I would otherwise have wanted to eat a very small portion, I found myself eating close to normal sized portions, only because I knew that what I would do would be risky.

 

I didn’t feel good about forsaking my responsibility as a human being.

And I think too, in life we are not only responsible to feed ourselves. We are responsible to help feed those around us and to ensure they too have what is vital for life. I knew this as well, and I became very aware of what others might notice if they were to observe my eating less.

 

This says something. Someone in tune with their needs for food will automatically sense danger when heading the wrong direction. It’s not hard. The reason I found it so hard to restrict at the beginning was because I was alive to those needs. I wasn’t numbed. And that is where we ought to stay. Sometimes we go through something difficult in life and it becomes extremely easy to get desensitized from that which we need or need to do.

 

To be responsible for feeding means that the clarity is without question. I know when I am hungry and I know when I am full; I doubt it none the less than if you were to ask me if the sun were currently shining.

 

A responsible person will not feel okay with consistently getting less than what is appropriate for themselves. And they know this without any kind of external calculation. This person will also feel uncomfortable with getting a lot more than what they need. It will not be a pleasant experience and one they will not return to often.

 

Food is a complex thing. God did not make food to fill merely a physical hole. A baby nurses from their mother for a reason. We gather at the dinner table together for the same reason. To deny ourselves of food, is to deny ourselves of something more than what will strengthen us physically.

 

Fasting is a thing, and because it is biblical I am not going to say it is wrong for everyone. I will not get into the subject. However I do think fasting with exterior motives would be a huge temptation in this day and age.

 

I think that when we have it in mind that the goal with our diets and food is responsiblity, clarity will come more easily. When we know what we are about, there will not be hesitation. We should not need for someone else to motitor or look out for what we eat, nor should we need any kind of external control or motivator when it comes to food.

 

Food and Worry 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on; for is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”

The Bible tells us strictly to not worry about food. It is not okay to be consumed with food, eating helathy, and eating right. 

Why would God want our focus there?

Do we want our focus there? 

On our deathbeds are we going to lay there and think, “I’m so glad I ate salads every day. Oh that soft drink I avoided! I am so glad I spent my life making sure I never ate over 2,000 calories.”

How fufilling is that? Is it pleasing to our creator? 

Did He intend for us to spend our entire life figuring out how to do something a newborn already knows how to do?

Maybe God would rather instead we never forgot.

 

Key point: eating should come second hand. There should not be a lot of fuss, focus and worry. Eating is a natural part of life that should be very normal and easy.

 

Is food our idol?

I think Americans seriously need to begin to ask themselves this question. Food can become idolatry in more ways than one. Specifically, I am thinking about the diet industry. How many Americans feel that they are more confident on the days they “eat healthier?”

If you could automatically lose 20 pounds, would you?

Do you think about food in terms of how healthy it is usually when you go to eat?

Do you dream of being “healthier” or thinner?

Idolatry was treated seriously in the Bible. If we are letting food, diet, exercise and weight become more important to us than God and the people He puts into our lives, we are living in sin.

 

What about overeating?

I do think there is something as the sin of gluttony.

I don’t think every person who is fat or who “over eats” would fit into that category.

I also think it’s important to look clearly at the truth, not only on stigmas and things we’ve been taught by society. Fat does not equal unhealthy, nor does fat equal over eating. Over eating does not equal lack of discipline. We have to get it clear that serious problems that occur from obesity are not completely and only linked to food type and amount. It is very important we look at the whole person, the emotional state, the beliefs they have about food and themselves (and their esteem based on body image), along with family patterns and things they have been taught. Diet history is also extremely important.

I would lastly say that being fat is a complex problem America faces. Telling people to eat less or avoid certain stuff only adds problems to problems. That never works.

 

How should we then eat?

Let us look back to the newborn. He never hesitates or asks how to eat. He was born knowing how to do so.

At a mealtime, we should come excited. Food was made for us to enjoy it. We should come ready to share with others- the food at the table and the joy in our hearts. And we should come thankful.

I think that it is important to realize that finding one certain right way to eat, in terms of amounts or kinds of food, is always going to be the wrong way to go about it.

We make it a goal to listen to our bodies and to get enough according to what our bodies say. If we are otherwise healthy, enough should be sufficient.

 

The Miracle of the Human Body

One thing worthy of noting is the miracle of the body. We were made so inttactely and designed so meticulously. God put together perfect balances. He breathed life into us.

Can’t we trust that same God that He made our hunger signals to work?

I think that whenever we find ourselves in doubt, we should assure ourselves that God knows what He is doing. I think just like He said, we ought to take it one day at a time only worrying about today’s troubles. Listening to our body is as simple as getting sleep when we are tired and eating when we are hungry. It is not giving into every desire of our flesh. It is not over pampering ourselves. Sometimes we may need more than other times, and it is allowing for that. It is, like the cry of a newborn, speaking our need.

 

Weight

So, how much is too much? You tell me to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. Then what if I gain too much weight?

I do think our weight is related to the type of food we eat. Some foods do seem to make us gain more than others. However the reason to eat natural foods is not for this reason, eating food closer to the way God designed it is usually better for us. I do think that a balanced approach includes all foods and makes room for cravings. It is very unhealthy to restrict.

Weight may yo-yo on the beginning of a journey to strengthen your relationship with food. Eventually it will even out and find its happy place.

If you are eating meals and snacks regularly, including fats and proteins along with carbohydrates, drinking water and living a moderately active lifestyle, you will not be unhealthily overweight (unless you have a genetic disorder.) If you are unhappy with where your body settles when you listen to its hunger cues, that is your problem, not your body’s problem. You need to learn to be happy with the way God made you. Curves are normal. So is weighing over 150 pounds. We weren’t meant to be barbies.

 

Final Conclusions 

God made food a pleasurable experience for a reason. The first sin began with a temptation of food. Food was eaten in the last supper, and bread is a symbol of God’s body. Food is symbolic.

We have learned that food fills our needs beyond the physical nourishment. It is not okay to purposely deprive ourselves from food. It is not okay to be persuaded by the new trends of diet culture and become obsessed with weight and image.

Eating disorders are very serious. Most of us know that first or second hand. I can tell you they are thought consuming and unpleasant to deal with. And extremely dangerous.

I want to leave with this question: if every person in the world who was affected first or second hand from an eating disorder decided to give up dieting and weight stigma completely, and spread awarness and advocate for others doing so, how soon would the world change?

Also this: when tempted to count calories, look at the stars; think of the planets. Try to count the sands of the sea or measure the strength of an ocean wave. Understand that everything works together in a balance and harmony that God made. Why would we second-guess His perfect measuring system for food- our hunger signals?

Why would we? If we live in a fallen world that idolizes skeletal frames, then we might.

 

Not if we love God and the way He made His world, and the way He made our miraculous bodies.

So, what will you take away from this? Will you take the time to share this, spread awarness, such as this post or in your own words?

Will you change your actions?

Will you change the way you think about weight and moral?

Will you dare to save a life?

I hope you will.

 

Tears in the Battle

I wrote this poem specifically thinking of those of us who have been through the ups and downs of an eating disorder. I know personally how recovery can be painful, downright impossible or simply terrifying. But I want to encourage you all that no matter how far you’ve gone you always have another chance to stand up and try again. Because things do get better, because you do matter, your story is valid, and you belong here ❤

She was crying.
Not because of pain,
Or because of grief,
But hurt.
Down
In her soul
She was longing.
Longing to be held,
To be loved,
To have worth.
Insecurity
Claimed her life
And every breath she took.
Until
In every action
She trembled
And she shook.
She was tired.
Not because of work,
But because she was weak.
Tired of alone.
Of dying.
Of incapability to speak.
She lifted
Her shaky hand
And wiped away a tear.
When could
The day come
That a choice
Was not a fear…

Washington Rain

The view from my window

Is one of Washington rain

Falling pleasantly

Its sweet drum pattering on the roof

Forming droplets on the trees

And dancing upon the pond.

People may call Washington a dreary place,

But if you equate dreary

With rain

I’d redefine that word

And ask yourself again,

For this Washington rain

Hazel colored skies

Mountaintops in shades of grey

Misty white

Is just one more

Of another kind of beauty.

 

Life is like a Melody

Sometimes this life we see

Is nothing but pure simplicity,

But if a little deeper we would go

Oh there’s so much we would know.

Life is like a Melody…

Bringing out sweet notes

Gentle waves of harmony

That rock a balanced boat…

Sometimes this life is hard

There’s things to wrap our minds around

But if for a moment we could stop,

Just one perspective could see a lot.

Life is like a meldoy,

One that cries tears of rain

Drops that fall in harmony

With sun that shines again.

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Sometimes in deep perplexity

It’s hard to fathom simplicity

All time and space has no grand end,

And smaller things can be found yet smaller again.

And life is like a Melody,

One that weaves and intertwines

A great symphonic harmony

One that begs to be defined.

Sometimes life is filled with pain

To face another day again

And to try still to stand strong

Can feel like a ringing song

And life is like a Melody,

One that though common is freshly true,

A beautiful dawning harmony

Weaving old patterns into new.

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Is God… Fair?

But why not me?

….

My cousin was only nineteen when he died from cancer. 

A brain cancer. One that started in his spinal cord. There was little hope upon the diagnosis.

His life was cut short, about a quarter of what it should have been. 

He had to face being confined to a hospital bed, chemotherapy treatment, and surgical operations. 

Even in all this, he knew there was little hope. 

Life isn’t fair. 

I think we ought to remember that when life is going our way. 

It’s an easy thing to remember when it’s not. 

But what about in the good times?

When I have more than someone else? 

When life is almost too easy for me?

When I’m being blessed with countless goodness, while I look upon others who have it rough? 

Life isn’t fair. 

But is God just?

And what is just? 

Life is just. Maybe what happened to your cousin did not happen to you. Maybe you feel somehow favored, blessed, or have it easy. 

Or maybe every day you’re reminded that life is unfair by a hurdle you have to face. 

Struggle.

Uncertainty. 

Trial. 

Despair. 

Maybe in these moments you feel like you’re barely able to creep forwards. 

You crawl in the dust, 

On your knees, 

Gasping for breath,

Staying low to avoid the smoke. 

The haze, the fog,

The thick-

Almost traps. 

But even in the worst of worst-

God is still just. 

Maybe things in life didn’t go your way.

Maybe you don’t understand how one is made to suffer and you have it well. 

We can’t. 

We can’t fathom this world, 

Or the way God put it together.

But even if things seemed so imbalanced,

We have to remind ourselves things MUST be fair because the one who is in control of it all-

Created balance. 

Perfect, tiny, delicate balances. God is so mighty he works the balances of gravity and the waves of the sea. The magnetic field and the courses of the planets. 

Yet the same big God has eyes keen enough to see to create emaculate, precise balances for things as small as the cell. The germ. The veins and capillaries in our bodies. The sperm and egg. 

Why would we question God’s ability… 

To set a balance?

What is fairness?

Maybe, the sun is not the same size as the sand. 

Maybe the fly isn’t as mighty as the horse. 

Maybe the dark…

Isn’t the same as the light…

And we still need both. 

What is fairness?

What is equality?

Just because my plate was loaded higher with blessings,

Or with struggle, 

Than yours,

Does that mean-

Life isn’t fair?

If today I breathe, 

If today I make it through,

And I’m given the opportunity to love another 

And to reach out to my creator

I can therby assume that God made life fair, 

And He knows all about balance. 

Down There

I fight 

I sweat

I batttle. 

The air is tense 

Thick 

Humid and heavy. 

I ache inside, 

And step further 

Only to be pulled 

Two steps back. 

Why me?

Why the tangle 

Why the haze,

Why the dream. 

I pull my sword,

But it comes slowly,

Almost heavy

Almost if it weren’t made for my hands 

In the first place. 

I attempt to attack,

To battle, 

And then comes the blow 

Of the enemy. 

I fall 

Again

And 

Again. 

person walking on footpath beside grass field

Photo by JACK REDGATE on Pexels.com

Who said it should be like this?

Why am I almost blinded,

Walking uphill,

In a desert of fog?

I’m crying 

But I can’t feel the tears 

The air is so dry. 

Why-

And when will it all

Be over. 

I can’t 

Carry the sword anymore 

It’s heavy 

It’s falling 

Falling 

Falling 

Falling to the ground. 

I attempt to pick it back up,

To fight again,

But my limbs are as steel

And the sword as stone. 

I cry

And I release.

I let go.

I know I can’t anymore,

I can’t do this battle

I can’t handle this fog.

And so I release 

And hand it over 

To the one who knows so much better. 

Somehow, I fall to the ground,

Crying,

Pleading. 

And then I can see Him

From down there. 

For He is a man 

Lowly in heart,

Humble

Often on His knees

He’s found with the wounded 

With the samaratian 

And that is where he is-

Down there. 

Down there,

I see my Savior. 

I kiss the feet of my Lord. 

I let my tears 

Trickle 

And wash the sand off His feet. 

Down there, 

I release.

I let go. 

And I never knew 

That I would only find Him 

Down there. 

Battle Upon the Sea

Swift. Cold. Dark and deep. 

The night was approaching, 

The tide nearing, 

And I felt myself falling asleep. 

I startled. 

Jumped. 

Stay awake! Alert! 

For I knew full well 

Of quiet dangers,

Slippery hurt. 

Fast, fast the night approached 

The sea waves roared 

The thunder crashed 

I felt for my oars 

I awoke, I sat, I gasped. 

Where has the time gone?

What has become of day?

I struggled to regain control 

I fought, I battled, I lay. 

Cold was the misty sweep 

Of salty ocean on bare skin. 

I coughed not once but twice

And fought once again. 

Loud, crash, roar and stop-

The thunder repeated her song. 

beach clouds dark dark clouds

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

I moaned to keep myself alert

The night droned weary and long. 

Then my boat 

Forcefully, heartlessly rocked 

With the next wild wave

My heart beat fast

In the search for new strength. 

I felt myself weary, 

Alone, afraid.

I knew myself lost,

The boat in the sea 

Desperately far, 

In the storm that tossed. 

 

I panicked,

I gasped, 

In search for good air. 

For the boat attempted to turn 

Push, overthrow 

And leave me there. 

With every strength 

Taking all risks 

I thought I knew how 

I wrestled with the boat

Full, strong, with vigor- 

To keep myself sound. 

In the blackest of midnight

Wild, empty, cold, 

On that storm- tempered sea,

Lots of life’s memories 

Once forsaken 

Came back to me

Suddenly inside 

Open, honest, ready, 

A picture came clear,

One that made sense, 

A puzzle now pieced, 

One I could hear. 

I saw in the picture 

Put together, 

Of myself in my life 

Just like the boat 

Just like that tempest 

Just the same strife

How the storms seemed to catch me 

Hold me, throw me 

Upon unpredicted wave,

How I seemed to grow tired

Empty, defenseless, 

As I fought them again. 

I thought of the times 

So many, 

Life had grown easy and plain. 

How rest was granted 

Or I thought 

How there was no thought of rain. 

Yet in those times least expected

In quiet bliss 

When day drew to a close 

Tired, gone, rest 

I’d find myself unwarned 

Of the daring sea shows, 

Of the water cry

Of The howl of the storm. 

I’d pull, and fight,

In attempt to protect from harm.

This picture in my mind 

Vivid and strong,

Now rang clear to me. 

Just like on the boat

Just like how I stood, 

And wrestling the troubled sea,

I needed at all times 

Through tempest, through calm,

To stand, and guard aware

Be ready for any storm 

Any fight 

Any blow 

And have my ambitions there. 

 

Broken Scenes of Beauty

Sometimes a long, difficult effort 

Gets seemingly thrown away. 

Sometimes our hardest endeavors 

Only seem to turn around backwards on us. 

We had poured into

That which we thought would turn out 

For our good. 

 

We find ourselves second guessing

The efforts we’d put in. 

We wonder why some others 

Seem to get off so easy. 

Simplicity 

Completion

Perfection 

It all seems so far away. 

 

img_20200520_204848275

We look momentarily

At the scene. 

To puzzle through it

To understand us 

Feels beyond. 

 

The result wasn’t what we’d wanted. 

It was different. 

Different than we could have imagined. 

Perhaps even different than something we could have created. 

 

Things were different than they could have been…

For someone else. 

Instead of peace, 

We were given this seemingly

Messy battlefield. 

 

But what about… 

Instead of seeing the battlefield, 

Instead of seeing the pain, 

We saw that what was won. 

The triumph

The strength gained

The victories.

 

For every valley that was walked through, 

We saw its mountains

And yet

Others may have plains flat…
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And sure, 

Some others may have been plotted on those lands of peace. 

 

But for right now, 

If the scene in life

I tried to make 

Didn’t turn out as simple as I thought it should, 

I’ll try to see it a little differently 

And perhaps somehow, 

Through those attempts to see it better, 

I’ll learn that in every beauty 

There is a complexity. 

 

Somehow I wouldn’t go Back… If I Could.

Yet somehow, I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

Even if things had turned out slightly different.

Even if there was not a price tag on the pain. 

Even if my story had read itself simpler,

Somehow, I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

 

Somehow, I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

Sometimes it seems to beckon me that way. 

It reminds me of sweet determination, 

Carefree bliss, 

Light sorrow. 

Somehow, I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

 

Somehow, I wouldn’t go back if I could

Yet do I remember the finery there,

Though the price I paid was all,

I gained all in return,

At least the distortion of such. 

And somehow, I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

 

Somehow, I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

I remember with it

 the dreary lost,

The empty words,

The ample cry. 

The search for direction,

The fast growing silence- 

Drowning out my tears. 

Somehow, I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

 

Somehow, I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

I remember with it 

The struggle to persevere,

The fight to continue,

The battle to win. 

The constant joy of the enemy 

Upon yet another defeat. 

Somehow I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

 

Somehow, I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

What I have now,

Simple, 

Meaning of sense,

Sometimes uncomfortable-

Real, honest, imperfect 

Though different-

Yet so much better,

Somehow I wouldn’t go back if I could. 

 

Somehow I wouldn’t go back if I could 

Life has its ways of rhythm 

With surrender 

Comes a song of victory 

A sweet fragrance of hope. 

Though there are hills and valleys,

With it come the beauty 

And now I know 

Shadows exist for a reason. 

Somehow I wouldn’t go back if I could.

 

 

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