“For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.”
Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7
As you struggle with food, weight or body image issues, you probably have not thought of yourself as reaching almost angel status. You may feel there’s absolutely nothing redeeming, glorious or angelic about you.
But God sees you differently. You are incredibly made- and it has nothing to do with how you may manipulate your body. It’s not about biceps, abs, bench pressing five hundred pounds or shedding pounds. It’s about your own inherent value, created by God, ON PURPOSE!!!
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
“All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”
This is who you are. As we’ve come to a close of the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I hope you are beginning to see yourself in a better light. If you’re struggling in any way, it’s not because you’re useless and worthless. We ALL fall short of God’s Glory (Romans 3:23). Therefore, ALL of us need a gracious and helpful God.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Wherever you find yourself, I hope you see God working in you, even in spite of you.
If you see yourself struggling with eating disorders, please know you’re valuable enough to get help.
Knowledge IS power. Allow God to empower YOU!
Copyright © 2014 by Sheryle Cruse
Strategies for Prevention and Early Intervention of Male Eating Disorders
Recognize that eating disorders do not discriminate on the basis of gender. Men can and do develop eating disorders.
Learn about eating disorders and know the warning signs. Become aware of your community resources (treatment centers, self-help groups, etc.). Consider implementing an Eating Concerns Support Group in a school, hospital, or community setting to provide interested young men with an opportunity to learn more about eating disorders and to receive support. Encourage young men to seek professional help if necessary.
Understand that athletic activities or professions that necessitate weight restriction (e.g., gymnastics, track, swimming, wrestling, rowing) put males at risk for developing eating disorders. Male wrestlers, for example, present with a higher rate of eating disorders than the general male population. Coaches need to be aware of and disallow any excessive weight control or body building measures employed by their young male athletes.
Talk with young men about the ways in which cultural attitudes regarding ideal male body shape, masculinity, and sexuality are shaped by the media. Assist young men in expanding their idea of “masculinity” to include such characteristics as caring, nurturing, and cooperation. Encourage male involvement in traditional “non-masculine” activities such as shopping, laundry, and cooking.
Demonstrate respect for gay men, and men who display personality traits or who are involved in professions that stretch the limits of traditional masculinity; e.g., men who dress colorfully, dancers, skaters, etc.
Never emphasize body size or shape as an indication of a young man’s worth or identity as a man. Value the person on the “inside” and help him to establish a sense of control in his life through self-knowledge and expression rather than trying to obtain control through dieting or other eating disordered behaviors.
Confront others who tease men who do not meet traditional cultural expectations for masculinity. Confront anyone who tries to motivate or “toughen up” young men by verbally attacking their masculinity; e.g., calling names such as “sissy” or “wimp.”
Listen carefully to a young man’s thoughts and feelings, take his pain seriously, allow him to become who he is.
Validate a young man’s strivings for independence and encourage him to develop all aspects of his personality, not only those that family and/or culture find acceptable. Respect a person’s need for space, privacy, and boundaries. Be careful about being overprotective. Allow him to exercise control and make his own decisions whenever possible, including control over what and how much he eats, how he looks, and how much he weighs.
Understand the crucial role of the father and other male influences in the prevention of eating disorders. Find ways to connect young men with healthy male role models.
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