CS Lewis and Complete Freedom from Anorexia

I hereby designate C.S. Lewis “My Favorite Author”. But then, maybe by simply reading Predatory Lies, you figured that out before I did.

This morning, I got an email called, CS Lewis Daily. Never one to disappoint:

Teachers will tell you that the laziest boy in the class is the one who works hardest in the end. They mean this. If you give two boys, say, a proposition in geometry to do, the one who is prepared to take trouble will try to understand it. The lazy boy will try to learn it by heart because, for the moment, that needs less effort. But six months later, when they are preparing for an exam, that lazy boy is doing hours and hours of miserable drudgery over things the other boy understands, and positively enjoys, in a few minutes. Laziness means more work in the long run. Or look at it this way. In a battle, or in mountain climbing, there is often one thing which it takes a lot of pluck to do; but it is also, in the long run, the safest thing to do. If you funk it, you will find yourself, hours later, in far worse danger. The cowardly thing is also the most dangerous thing.

It is like that here. The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self—all your wishes and precautions—to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves’, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good’. We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way — centred on money or pleasure or ambition—and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown.

When I was fighting for freedom from my eating disorder, I ran up against this conundrum.

Could I not retain “myself” or the habits I had established that afforded me some imaginary modicum of control?

Could I give up counting calories but continue obsessively exercising?

What if I was willing to get treatment, as long as I could weigh myself everyday?

Could I continue to pursue the self-centered desires of my heart and keep personal “happiness” as the great goal of my life and at the same time surrender my will, my life, my eternal salvation to a God that I claim to love and trust?

And this is what I found: Just like cutting the grass can keep it short, but will not produce real, nutritious wheat; managing aspects of my eating disorder might keep me alive but would never result in freedom.

To mature and blossom in freedom, I must necessarily uproot the  grass and allow Christ to remake me–to make all things new. The change must be complete, a destruction of the old to allow the new to take root and flourish.

Learn to Love the Skin You’re In … by Amelia

Another thought-provoking article by a wonderful writer, Amelia, at The Bottom Line:

We can’t change our skin like snakes do; so, learning to be comfortable in our own skin is vital. We have to love ourselves, or else others will find it hard to do it for us. The message about “loving our bodies” is worn out. Yet, people aren’t convinced. Maybe it’s because the message about “skinny being the only sexy,” is louder.

Numerous people struggle to love their bodies—a large percentage of them are teenagers. An article on Huffington Post states, “About 40 percent of 10 and 11-year-old girls in the U.K. want to lose weight. That number rises to 54 percent in 12 and 13-year-old girls and to a stunning 63 percent among 14 and 15-year-olds.” While boys are less concerned about body image, they’re not all exempt.

Finish this post here … 

Chapter 8, Missing Peace

So we went back to the drawing board, parents pushing, me pushing back and a well-intentioned therapist saying all the right things at exactly the wrong time. I wasn’t ready to give up.

My sister Jennifer remembers the tension in our home. “As things got worse I had a lot of feelings. I was upset that I always had to corral Kelsey and Rachelle and keep them from bothering Mom because she was often in multi-hour conversations with you. I was upset because Mom and Dad started getting more and more stressed out. I was annoyed that you were doing all this and at the same time, Mom and Dad were encouraging you to gain weight by bribing you with a German Shepherd.”

Daddy and I came to lots of temporary truces. “If you gain 8 pounds in the next month, you can have the Honda when you turn 16,” he bargained once.

“What if I can’t make it? The dietician suggested 10 pounds in two months. Can we do that?”

“OK. Ten pounds in 2 months. But Abby, I’m serious. We’re looking into other inpatient treatment options. If you don’t meet this goal, we are going to take drastic measures.”

I felt trapped. To be true to my personal agenda of uncommon resolve and self-discipline, I had to perform certain long workouts and eat a certain number of calories and tally only a certain number of fat grams. But, my parents were offering me a different challenge. To please them, I had to perform as well, simply doing the opposite all my anorexic tendencies.

Either way, I was a failure. If I relinquished control of my strict diet and exercise regimen, I would fail as an anorexic, a new title I found strangely compelling, a definition all my own. If I failed to gain the agreed upon pounds, I would fail to meet my parents’ expectations.

To this point, the first 15 years of my life, I believed I had fallen short of my parents’ mark. That battle might have been lost, but I hadn’t yet played all my cards in the effort to beat my own nebulous goals. I chose to play another hand.

A Gift of Links

As promised, today I’m going to share awesome links that you will find especially helpful for the holidays. Enjoy!

Chantel Hobbs – manage your holiday weight

Bodyrock.tv – keep moving!

Crown financial – Christmas Credit Cards- don’t panic

Dave Ramsey  – Financial Peace, need I say more?

Don’t look all over Amazon- here’s exactly what you need for Christmas

Christmas marriage meltdown? 

I hope you enjoy some of these links. I love all of them, personally.

Merry Christmas!