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

Caring for your Anorexic

By February 23, 2012 Blog

Life this week’s been a bit chocca.  I’m working to a deadline for the book:  ‘A New Name’ and it should be out in the summer.   I’d really value your prayers as I put the finishing touches to my story.  I hope it will help those affected by eating disorders and point people to Jesus.   In the meantime I thought I’d post a couple of quotes from Frederich Beuchner’s memoir, Telling Secrets.  Here he talks about caring for …Read More

Bulimia Self-Help

By January 14, 2012 Blog

Bulimia is an eating disorder, first recognised by the medical profession in the late 1970s. It comes from the Greek word boulimia: or ‘ravenous hunger’. Sufferers ‘binge’ on large amounts of food and are then gripped by an extreme sense of loss of control.  They then try to compensate by using behaviours such as vomiting, using laxatives, diuretics, excessive exercise or dieting. These in turn provoke a range of emotions: guilt, worthlessness, depression, anxiety, helplessness, hopelessness and despair. If this …Read More

Festive Fire-Fighting

By December 8, 2011 Blog

It’s a tough time of year for those struggling with addictions or eating disorders.  Here’s a few tips; As much as possible, surround yourself with people who will encourage your recovery: people who will listen to you, challenge you and keep you accountable.  People who will ask you how you’re feeling and not settle for ‘fine’, when you’re not. Stick up Bible verses and reminders of God’s love and strength and presence.  Not ones about working harder – grace-filled truths …Read More

Positive Body-talk

By October 24, 2011 Blog

Those struggling with eating disorders have things in common, but each case is also unique. When it comes to finding reasons for the disorder, the same rules apply. It’s easy to point the finger at say, family (see previous posts here , here and here),  but automatically apportioning blame is  simplistic and harmful… What’s much harder  is to suggest ways in which such disorders can be managed, or even prevented. A friend of mine sent me a link to an article in Eating …Read More

Eating Disorder Etiquette

By August 16, 2011 Blog

Ever have days where you bounce from one faux pas to the next? Congratulations on your pregnancy! (I’m not). Let me just wipe that stain off your cheek – oh, it’s a spot. Jenny, meet one of our key workers – er, remind me of your name… Taxi for one please. Of course, I’ve been on the receiving end of a few as well. Although to be honest, my overriding reaction is normally relief that it’s not me digging the hole.  Saying …Read More

Shaping Self-worth

By April 27, 2011 Blog

There’s all sorts of reasons why eating disorders can develop – from personality type to culture. It’s rare that we can identify one particular cause – but there are steps that we can take to help protect our young people. This applies particularly to the ways in which we are taught to view our bodies and the messages we give out about what gives us worth and identity. In her book, ‘Where Has My Little Girl Gone? How To Protect …Read More

Life to the Full

By January 23, 2011 Blog

So… we’ve been thinking a bit about binge eating. You might not term it an eating disorder as such, much less admit it to others – but there’s a problem. There’s something in there – in you – that won’t be silenced. And you don’t have a name for it. But it’s big and dark and most of all, it’s Hungry. Starving. No amount of cookie dough will satisfy it completely. But it quietens the growls, at least for a …Read More

Wise Counsel?

By January 10, 2011 Blog

What’s the difference between a counselling session with a professional and a conversation with a friend? There are some situations where expert knowledge is essential to deal with specific issues, perhaps sexual dysfunction, violent pathologies or other disorders with physiological implications.  But I wonder if we seriously undervalue the potential for ordinary conversations and friendships to bless others. When I was spiralling down into anorexia (see my story here), it was incredibly difficult to get help.  We knocked on scores …Read More