Hope in a Sea of Lies

Ahhh, springtime. The time for warm weather, new life, and bathing suit season. Questions like, “do I really need a second helping of dinner? Or are one-pieces finally back in style?” begin to invade my mind.

I notice every extra pound around my hips, my thighs. Though I struggle with my body image throughout the year, it seems spring is a particularly difficult time; cold-weather hibernation, holiday parties, and big sweaters allow me to roll through winter without facing the reality of my changing body.

Ahhh, springtime. The time for shame, fear, isolation, guilt, lies. Thoughts stream through my head that, if said out loud, would sound like abuse.

You’re such a fatty.

Where is your self-control?

Aren’t you embarrassed by how fat your legs are? Cottage cheese thighs – who wants to look at that?

You’re disgusting.

The negative self-talk is supposed to drive me towards discipline, towards the body I wish I had. If I had a better body, then it would be easier to be around other people. If I had a better body, then I could go out to dinner without worrying what people think. If I had a better body, then I could do the things I want to do. Instead, I am driven towards isolation. I bury my head in shame. I feel guilty for my self-imposed failures. I am at war with myself with no escape.

Many of us live this reality to some degree or another. For some, it is a wishful “I wish I could lose these last five pounds.” For others, it is a constant battle to fight insecurity. For still more, it is a daily hell, a debilitating identity crisis that affects every aspect of life.  Life is governed by food, the scale, and the mirror.

Sins against the body aren’t just created by those around us. They are committed in our deepest thoughts. We speak lies to ourselves that decry the image of God within us. As all sin does, sins against ourselves drive us into isolation.

Living Bread (www.LivingBreadGreenville.org) offers hope to those whose lives are dictated by an eating disorder. They provide holistic treatment including counseling, nutrition, mentorship, prayer ministry, and financial scholarships for in-patient 12_ezer_bodymatterstreatment, if necessary.  Living Bread will be at the Body Matters Conference tomorrow and Saturday (April 12 and 13) at the Pelham Campus for support and information.   The organization also has opportunity for volunteers to pray or mentor.   Sign up for the conference today and stop by the Living Bread booth for more information.

~Taylor Beard, Pelham