Eating Their Words

By May 30, 2012 Blog

Are magazines to blame for eating disorders? It’s a question that’s come up again recently as part of the coverage surrounding Rachel Johnston. Rachel, now aged 20, nearly died after a four-year battle with anorexia. She believes that reading about airbrushed models was the reason for her disorder.  As a result, she’s launched a campaign to ban magazine images showing super-slim celebrities. I applaud Rachel for taking a stand and fighting on this issue. But though magazines may be one factor …Read More

Anorexia: The Japanese Epidemic

By May 28, 2012 Blog

Some shocking stats on anorexia in Japan, from an article by Georgia Hanias in this month’s Marie Claire: anorexia and bulimia boomed in Europe and America during the 70s and 80s but Japan never experienced a problem.  Today, the number of people with eating disorders is increasing more rapidly in Japan than anywhere else in the world. Each year the Japanese government collects three billion yen (£22m) in tax revenue from companies selling slimming aids.  These products are sold by …Read More

The Remedy

By May 22, 2012 Blog

This week the 24 year-old singer-songwriter Karima Francis releases her latest single, ‘Wherever I Go’.  Taken from her second album, entitled ‘The Remedy’, it has already received  critical acclaim – but it very nearly didn’t happen.  In fact, Karima herself is lucky to be here. In 2009, Karima released her first album, with a single on national radio.  Years of hard work were finally paying off and  she seemed like a poster girl for beauty and success.  But beneath the …Read More

Life Lines

By May 8, 2012 Blog, identity

What did you want to be when you grew up? A deep sea diver? A lumberjack or an air hostess? A footballer’s wife? I’ve always had one ambition: to write. I even had a pen name: Emma Swanne, (emphasis on the ‘e’). Friends inked their names on tables and jotters, but I hugged mine close, like a delicious secret. It was a talisman, a promise that one day I would Make It. Authors you see, weren’t like other people. They …Read More

The Shape of Recovery

By May 2, 2012 Blog

Recovery, at least in my experience, is not like in the movies. No running, arms outstretched, into the sunset. More of an embarrassed  and painful shuffling –  forwards (and sometimes backwards, too).     An event – but also a process. First, the event: a moment, when everything changed and Christ broke into my world. A miracle, at least to me. When I was at my lowest weight,  it was like being behind a thick perspex screen: I could see people mouthing …Read More

Keep It In And Cover It Up

By April 2, 2012 Blog

We read a lot about eating disorders in the news and in the glossies.  But what’s often striking are the kinds of disorders that are highlighted.  Anorexia.  To a lesser extent, bulimia. And er – that’s it. But they don’t stop there – far from it.  As well as those who have some symptoms of these disorders but not enough to qualify for an official diagnosis, there are many new kinds emerging: night-eating for example, an ongoing and persistent pattern …Read More

Beyond Body Mass

By March 26, 2012 Blog

Thanks  to everyone who’s shared their wisdom and experiences on eating disorders.  We’re  running the training evenings tomorrow and Thursday evening and I’m feeling a bit nervous. I guess it’s one thing telling your own story, but another to suggest ways of helping other people. If you have any spare prayers, I would really appreciate them. The more I speak with other sufferers and reflect on my own experiences, the more convinced I become that true recovery relies upon Christ. …Read More

Fire-Fighting with a Water Gun

By March 20, 2012 Blog

I’m writing a training evening for church leaders on ‘Eating Disorders’. And I’m not quite sure what to say. Here’s what I think people (including me!) want to hear.  A short explanation of what eating disorders are and who they impact.  A description of the warning signs.  The names of specialists who’ll deal with the messy bits. A list of practical suggestions on how to support those affected. The problem – and then the solution. I’ve got these things in …Read More

Can You Help?

By March 16, 2012 Blog

It’s tempting to assume that churches are full of people who’ve got it together.  The Sunday morning freshly-scrubbed faces and starchy smiles that disguise altogether murkier and choppier depths.  The argument  that’s tidied away along with the breakfast dishes – or at least until the final hymn. Everyone else is fine.  You’re the only one with any issues. Of course, this is a nonsense idea.  Church is for those who recognise their need of a Saviour – not those who …Read More

The Deliverance Diet

By February 29, 2012 Blog, identity

Are diets really a modern phenomenon? Or just an age-old expression of our need to worship -whether at the supermarket or the mirror? In her book, ‘Calories and Corsets’ Louise Foxcroft argues that ‘contemporary’ diets such as Atkins, are nothing of the kind.  She gives the example of the Hay diet, which was popular at the start of the early 20thc.  Given a few tweaks, this became the Beverly Hills diet of the 1980s.  Similarly, Atkins has been given a …Read More