Sunday, June 28, 2009


Wow! I just reread yesterday's post. I must have had that one percolating for a long time.

I wonder if those of you who don't really struggle with this eating disorder know what its like to sit and listen when you make comments about other people's weight, when you brush off the seriousness of the disease by saying, "Oh, everyone struggles with that!"

No, they don't. Other people may have to watch their weight or think they have to watch their weight. They may have a few pounds to lose. If they are successful they are quick to tell everyone what worked for them, especially to those who have much more to lose than they did. But they don't wake up fixated on what food they'll eat that day. Food doesn't dominate their lives. It hasn't wrecked their health.

So many women talk about their weight and their need to lose pounds when the only thing wrong with them is poor body image and falling for the fashion industries anorexic portrayal of what women are supposed to look like.

Most of us who have this disease would give almost anything to look like you. I would give anything to look the way I did as a teenager--when I thought I was fat and first started dieting.

You may never directly have criticized us or put us down. You may never directly have implied that we should have more willpower. You don't have to. We internalize all the looks and comments you make about others and about yourselves and your imaginary fat. We supply the shame ourselves.

And shame turns into blame. It's society's fault, it's my parent's fault, it's emotional eating, it's the result of being depressed, ADHD, whatever.

Those can be contributing factors. But basically, we were born with a predisposition to food addiction--some more severely than others. This is not gluttony. We eat out of compulsion. Some days we fight the compulsion more successfully than others.

Some of the shame we feel dies away when we know and can accept that those compulsions are part of the way we were made, like the color of our eyes, or having knock knees. Seeking medical solutions is a healthy way to take care of ourselves--like my granddaughter getting orthotics to help straighten out her rapidly growing legs to prevent future problems.

Praise God for supplying our needs medically--for inspiring Dr.s to come up with improved methods to help us beat this life-threatening disease. Maybe we need to come up with marathons and walkathons and purple ribbons to raise money and awareness and to show support for those of us fighting this disease. Purple because our hearts are wounded. Purple because all the other good colors are taken. Purple because we too, are God's childen. That makes us royalty.