“All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point—a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved.” (Woolf, A Room of One’s Own)
Today is the release of a book that I never wanted to write.
A book that tore me apart and my family too, and at the same time healed us. A book that was written in the corners of my room at 13 years old when the demons were pulling at my skin and God was fighting for my life. And the nurses wondered at this hypothermic girl who had refused to eat or hug anyone for four years, they wondered why I was still alive, and they told me I was a miracle.
It’s still hard for me to believe it. That I’m a miracle.
But I want to. And some days, I succeed.
I succeed when I talk kindly to myself and massage lotion into my skin and laugh at my own jokes. And I want other people know that feeling. To feel they are miracles, too.
I want to help families with children who are overweight or underweight or “normal” to celebrate the miraculous. To help families everywhere, even the seemingly perfect ones, the ones that home-school and go to church each Sunday and dress in long skirts and never say a slanderous word (like we did), I want to help them as much as I want to help the others. Those that spend no time together and criticize each other and toss around names and stereotypes and have never opened the Bible. And the families in between, too.
Because 75 percent of women are disordered eaters, and 80 percent of girls have gone on a diet by the time they reach the age of 10. And we breed eating disorders through our fast-food chains and our size two models and our closed doors and open laptops.
I once knew a girl who was jealous of World Vision children because they didn’t have to eat, she said, and this made me sad. Because those children are dying.
Mary Pipher said that to be a woman is to have a body image problem, and this makes me sad… I know that we as women have gone through a lot. We’ve been bruised and ignored and misunderstood and idolized, and we’ve gone from Virginia Woolf to Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women, and we’ve all got rooms of our own, now, when all we want is to share them. And how to find the happy balance? How to find harmony with ourselves and with a world that tells us what we aren’t? How to find our identity in a God who made male and female in his image? And declared them good?…
When will we believe we are good enough, in spite of how our stomachs jiggle and our boobs sag?
So I’m crying out with you, I’m crying out for a healing of the fullest kind, a rising up in adults and children, in mothers and daughters, in fathers and sons, so that we no longer chase skinny silhouettes.
Because all a thin body produces, in the end, is a deep, deep hunger.
*today is the official release day of my book, Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder, with Dr. Gregory Jantz. i would be so honored if you would consider purchasing a copy HERE for your library, for your church, for the family down the street.
and to thank you, i’m giving away a package of hand-painted cards and a giclee print from my Etsy website, here. let me know in the comments why you want to purchase it, or why you believe it will help someone you know, or how you plan to help me get the word out. THANK YOU!!*
ALSO: click here for info about how you can win a FREE webinar with bestselling author Dr. Gregory Jantz if you purchase the book within its first month