Thursday, November 28, 2013
Thanksgiving has a lot to do with inhabiting. Either people inhabit our homes or we invade someone else’s place. Regardless, there’s the cliché stress, family issues and close proximity which makes us want to throw the turkey through the plate glass window. And that’s if we’re feeling generous. Let’s get real. Most of the time, we want to aim it at a family member’s skull. Or is that only me? Hello out there? We all give mental assent to how Thanksgiving should have an emphasis on gratitude. But practicing that? Well… So, Psalm 22:3 doesn’t feel so great, especially when we’re this close to tearing Aunt Mabel’s hair out, strand by strand. “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” It’s hard to experience gratitude, let alone, be vessels for God to inhabit our giddy praises. But we’re instructed NOT to grumble, complain, hair pull or throw any feast out of any portal. “Do all things without grumbling or questioning.” Philippians 2:14 “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” James 5:9 Not feeling great, are we about that, huh? We’re not the only ones feeling a bit miffed by the grumbling issue. After all, let’s do a reality check. Aside from anyone within earshot of the family table, who else is hearing us mutter away? Two guesses. The family dog? The family cat? How about God? Oh, yeah. Forget about Him… God has a history of dealing with this behavior… “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’” Exodus 16:12 “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5-7 Now who wants to engage in a food fight? Yep, in the middle of every hustle and bustle, holiday party and excruciating family member, there is God, hearing about ALL of it. And how often does He REALLY hear the words “thank you?” Are those crickets I’m hearing? I’m all too guilty of it as well. I admit it- I don’t thank God NEARLY as much as I SHOULD. Despicable… shameful… petty…human… Sigh. Yeah. But before we all go and crawl under some rocks, let’s just stop and think on a few scriptures. God does not want us to be garden slugs. He does, however, want us to be mindful-not perfect-just mindful. That’s where it starts. And it doesn’t have to take that much time or effort. So, let’s be MINDFUL of these scriptures, even in spite of ourselves, even in spite of an irritating family get together. Doable. “I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” Psalm 7:17 “Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.” Psalm 147:1 “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1 And even that last one, Psalm 34:1, is achievable if we look at it and separate the scripture from our feelings. They don’t always have to match. We don’t necessarily need to feel all oo-ey goo-ey. If all we can do is “go through the motions,” out of obedience to God, I believe He will honor that. And I believe He starts with us WHEREVER we are in the process, let alone, holiday. So, let’s start, wherever we are this Thanksgiving; let’s be mindful of thanking God. Just start by saying those two little words today. We’re all capable of at least doing that. Happy Thanksgiving; God bless!!! And yes, Thank You, God, for being soooooo good! I give You praise! Copyright © 2013 by Sheryle Cruse
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Holidays and special occasions are often very stressful periods for individuals with food and weight problems. The emphasis on spending time with family and on celebrating with food can be very difficult. Based on past experience, and an understanding of yourself and of the people close to you, you may be able to avoid, or cope constructively with, uncomfortable situations. For example: • Predict high stress times and places; decide which events you will and won't attend, and plan to have some time to yourself to restore yourself and take care of your own needs. • Predict which people might make you most uncomfortable and plan appropriate ways of excusing yourself from their company. • If at all possible, allow yourself to enjoy a moderate amount of "special occasion foods." • Predict what people might say that would lead you to feel uncomfortable. Plan and practice responses. Ask people not to comment on your body, appearance, or eating habits. • Predict negative thoughts that you might have during the holidays, and practice thinking differently. • Carry with you a list of phone numbers of friends and crisis lines, and a list of self-soothing activities. It may be helpful to realize that the "picture-book" holiday sense is not a reality for many people. Some cannot afford it, there are many single people who are not close to their families or do not have a family, and there are many families that do not fit into the dominant cultural model of "family". Do not blame yourself for family or friendship conflicts. People are not different during the holidays than any other time of the year. Remember that you are responsible only for your own actions and for taking care of yourself. For more info: NEDIC Bulletin: Vol. 7, Coping With the Holidays
Monday, November 25, 2013
In order to get myself prepared for the holiday season, I watched “Home For the Holidays.” It’s glorious in all of its dysfunctional family splendor, much like most of our real, less than Norman Rockwell-esque lives. God bless and help us all. Just breathe. We will get through this.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I’ve been working on an application for a speakers’ conference, dealing with the mother/daughter enmeshment issue. So, you know it’s fun times ahead. A large part of what kicked this off for me involves the magnitude of the issue in my eating disorder situation. It’s not about blame; it’s about explaining its impact. And it is a factor for a lot of us out there. As if the mother/daughter relationship was not complicated enough. Anyway, the prep brought me back to a drawing I did years ago, encapsulating, for me, the enmeshment factor. This drawing, entitled “Braids” addresses how both Mom and I are joined by a linking braid.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
In this image-obsessed culture, we’re often focused on sculpting our physiques. We have countless diet and fitness programs to prove it. We tend to view ourselves as this lump of dough.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Mattel has introduced two Jennifer Lopez Barbie dolls. I was cautiously optimistic. After all, J-Lo has curves, right? And then I saw the dolls. And then the disappointment set in. Robert Best, the Barbie director of design, told Yahoo Shine!, “We created a specialty sculpt that has more enhanced curves.” Really? I guess that’s a matter of opinion. Barbie isn’t exactly known for realism. It’s a start, but c’mon, Mattel, you can do better than this. This is still far from a “real woman’s body.”
Monday, November 11, 2013
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
I saw this and immediately thought “triggering.” After all, how many of us with disordered eating issues have shame/guilt/fear of eating in front of others? The article below reminds us we still have unhealthy ideas about what is attractive. “Too embarrassed to eat a burger? Japanese restaurant invents a mask to hide women’s faces as they scoff… and sees sales triple” By Simon Tomlinson
This Excruciating Business of Food (And God's Hope Concerning It), featured in the November 7th issue of Christians In Recovery, looks at the how loved ones can support the eating disorder sufferer, while promoting healthy recovery.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Recently, Lady Gaga has made waves about body image and her struggles with eating disorders in the latest Glamour magazine. “I always have been [conflicted about my body]," And some days are better than others, you know? Some days I feel fantastic. Today’s good. [But] at the end of the day, I’m a tortured soul." Known as quite the visual recording artist, we’ve seen some of her creations: the meat dress, the alien egg and the Joan of Arc look. But regardless of how many artistic visual expressions she puts out there, insecurity is still a painful reality. Like a lot of us out there, struggling with eating disorders, Lady Gaga was once bullied. And you just need to look at your nearest gossip magazine to read how she’s scrutinized. Last summer, tongues went wagging as she did, supposedly, the most outrageous thing: she gained twenty-five pounds. Here, in my head, is where I hear the phrase, “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” It was a few years again, when I heard rumblings she was “too thin,” perhaps even anorexic. It got me thinking, for Lady Gaga, what’s message? What exactly IS that “right weight?” Aren’t we still, celebrity by celebrity, person by person, demanding a “right (perfect) weight” standard which is elusive, impossible to achieve, let alone, maintain? I hear those words not just from my childhood, but for us at large today. It’s a whisper; it’s a scream. It’s a snarky remark. But somewhere, those words linger, don’t they? Again, I trot out good ole’ Song of Solomon 2:14… “O my dove…let me see your form…for your form is lovely.” Form. Whatever it is, whatever size and shape it is. God is not confining it to a limited definition. Why are we? Words are powerful, healing or deadly because they are ideas. And, whether or not “right weight” is audible, its message and influence are still strong. We have the idea there is such a thing as “right weight” and we spend our entire lives chasing it and even, perhaps, hating ourselves. This was not what God created our forms to be. Copyright © 2013 by Sheryle Cruse
Monday, November 4, 2013
Here we go again. Remember a few weeks ago when actor Chris Noth admitted he was asked to lose weight for the “Sex and the City” movie? Well, now another actor reveals a similar story, actor John Corbett. According to a recent article, he admits the show’s executives wanted him to lose weight between seasons three and four, in order to be irresistible to the show’s lead character, Carrie Bradshaw: “We told Corbett to lose weight between seasons three and four. When we talked about whether or not we wanted to see John come back, we basically said we want him to come back so hot that she cannot believe it. Like, he looks so much better after she left him. And we made him lose weight. And then we made Chris lose weight for the movie." Producer Amy B. Harris So, a-dieting Corbett went. Harris further tells Eonline.com how funny it was that the male stars were the only ones placed under pressure to watch their figures: "It's hilarious. The women were, like, perfection, and no one ever mentioned anything about their weight ever. It was just the two guys! I think the women were just predisposed to be lucky and didn't have to worry." Hmmm. I’m not exactly laughing. I know that most of the time, the pressure is on females to lose weight, especially in Hollywood. But damage is still damage, regardless of the gender. The male population can develop eating disorders, body image issues and unhealthy patterns just as much as women. I get uncomfortable when “better than ever” is the message automatically associated with losing weight. Once again I cite a couple of troubling facts: “1 in 10 cases involve males.” “Males are less likely to be diagnosed early with an eating disorder.” (The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders) It’s not amusing or empowering to hear about men being asked to change their bodies, in the name of being “aesthetically pleasing” by Hollywood standards. It’s demoralizing, giving yet further credibility to “thinner is better.” We seem to keep harping on how, until we look a certain way, we’re not valuable. Lie! Yet again, I hope we can learn, live and apply God’s Truth about each of us, male and female: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Psalm 139:14 I guess we’re not there yet. Copyright © 2013 by Sheryle Cruse