Whatever It Takes

How badly do you want to be thin? What would you trade? Would being thin make you ultimately happy – even if you don’t really believe that  – do you think that? Would life be easier, happier, more fun, (add an adjective) if you were thin?

A recent study revealed that many women would give up a year of of their lives to be thin.

Another study discovered that most women would give up sex to be thin.

In April, the New York Times, reported on a new, disgusting trend. Women, mostly brides, in a last ditch effort to be thinner (and therefore in their perception: more beautiful on their wedding day, make that special day happier, etc.) have resorted to feeding tubes.

At first, I was shocked. I remember being inpatient for my eating disorder. One of the sweetest little girls I have ever met, greeted me at the facility’s entrance. Alicia became a quick confidant and encourager for  me. But it was hard to look at her without crying. Alicia was 12, but she had stopped growing when she was about 5. Because of her refusal to eat and seeming determination to starve herself, Alicia wore a feeding tube. This disfiguring device looked just like it sounds. A long tube ran up her nose into her stomach. It was taped in various places down her little body until it attached to a pole, nearly twice her height, where hung a plastic bag of liquid nutrients. Everywhere little Alicia went – to counseling sessions, to watch TV, on pass into the the little town nearby, to bed, to worship – everywhere, her tube went along.

Now, imagine a grown woman, preparing for her wedding day, strapped up with a feeding tube. A little more visually appealing, these brides carry around a purse with their “food” bag instead of Alicia’s pole. Nonetheless, they have a rubber tube snaking up the side of their face, through their nose and into their stomach – to supply them with starvation’s subsistence – a mere 800 calories.How far have we fallen?

Here are some other facts for your consideration:

2/3 of dieters regain the weight they lost within about 4 years of any diet

About 44% of women admit to being on a diet at any given moment

And guess what! Despite all our paranoia, drastic measures, social mores, fitness obsessions, fad diets and self help books, political intervention and endorsement – despite all these things, recently an advocacy group reported that by 2030, more than half of the population in the majority of states will be considered obese. So, apparently, our strategy isn’t working.

Happily, there’s a small, underground minority that is working hard to reverse the trend. Have you heard of Intuitive Eating? Sounds interesting and logical, doesn’t it?

How about a new book, by Greg Archer, whose provocative title (albeit accurate) I’ll encourage you to check into yourself.

Another wonderful person whom I consider a champion of this movement toward reprioritizing our weight, our diet, our life goals, is Emily Wierenga.  It was a recent article on her blog, Chasing Silhouettes, that launched me onto my soapbox again.

Enjoy her words of wisdom:

No longer [should food be] an object to be feared. It is a necessity to be enjoyed and embraced.  It is another form of communication, another way of sharing in this thing called life, of relating with other humans through a means devoid of words. It is the breaking of bread, which Christ calls us to.

So, as you wisely set health goals, lace up your sneakers, breathe deep during a jog or slice your paring knife through the pale green skin on a tart, fresh apple, wonder : Why am I doing this?

And then do whatever it takes to honestly answer that question with:

So that I might, “present [my] bod[y] as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is [my] spiritual worship. [I will] not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of [my]mind, that by testing [I] may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

Read more articles like this at: Moms Who TRI Blog

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