Thursday, November 11, 2010

Body Image Distortions

The struggle with body image is common between both men and women and can have a huge impact on someone's self esteem and confidence. The truth is is that worth is not found in appearance but rather who we are in Christ. Most of the times, negative body image is the result of a deeper issue. Its really easy to avoid whats going on internally by focusing on something external like your body/appearance.  There are different types of body image distortions:
 
1. Beauty or Beast: Polarized thinking. All or nothing, black or white. You think about your appearance in absolutes and/or extremes: "Either I am skinny or fat", "perfect or a failure". A bad hair day equals a bad day, a good hair day means everything is wonderful...until it gets messed up. 

2. Unfair-to-Compare: Perfectionism. You place your appearance up against some unrealistic or extreme standard. When you compare yourself to these standards, you end up feeling worthless or unattractive. There are three common unfair comparisons: 
     1. comparisons with your own standards of beauty
     2. comparisons to media 
     3. comparisons to real people 

3. Magnifying Glass: Selective Attention/Magnification. You focus on one specific aspect of your appearance or body part and exaggerate it -- As if you were putting your body under a magnifying glass. All you see is one huge flaw but your misery/dissatisfaction with it extends to your whole appearance 

4. The Blame Game: Scapegoat your appearance. You assume that some disliked physical feature is responsible for certain disappointments and difficulties that you've experienced. "If my legs were thinner, he would have asked me out!" "If I were better looking I would have gotten that job." 

5. Mind Misreading: Projection onto current situations. You assume that if you look fat/bad/discusting/ugly,, so is everyone else. "Everyone is looking at how gross my stomach is" when in fact maybe they are looking at you because you're talking to them. 

6. Misfortune Telling: Projection with  a future situation. You predict how your appearance will negatively affect future events. "No matter how good I've been in practice, once the cheerleaders see me in that short skirt in tryouts, i'll never get picked. I'm too fat." "I can't go talk to that group of people because they're just going to reject me because I am ugly." 

7. Moody Mirror: Emotional Reasoning. You let your mood/emotions dictate the way you feel about your body -- If you feel depressed, angry, lonely, you feel bad about your body too. If your mood changes, it may then change the way you perceive your body of the way you feel about yourself. "I feel fat therefore I am fat." 

8. Beauty Bound: Negative Thinking/Self-Doubt. You believe that you cannot do certain things due to your appearance and body. "I am not going to even apply for that job because of the way I look" or "I am not even going to leave the house today because I am ashamed." 

I know some of these examples are extreme and may seem over the top heck no thats not me.  Personally I can relate to some of these whether its related to my body, what I'm wearing or even other things not related to appearance. Thankfully, there is hope! 

"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his outward appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

"Do not let your adorning be external -- the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing -- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentler and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. " 1 Peter 3:3-4

Monday, November 1, 2010

Inspired.

I haven't posted in a while and I think its because I've lacked inspiration on something to write about. So many great great things have happened in the past few months, I am so blessed and am loving life. Boyfriend, new friends, rekindling old friendships, new roomies, travels home, school, new job, etc....I couldn't be more content. No, every thing's not perfect, there has been the rough moments, but I can't complain...The bad always challenges and pushes me to be a better person. So, whats brought this new post?! I've been inspired.

Eating disorders. They're everywhere. An estimated 10 million women and 1 million men in the United States struggle with an eating disorder. 42% of 1-3rd grade girls want to be thinner and 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat. Eating disorders have the highest premature fatality rate out of all mental illnesses. Four out of ten Americans have either suffered or have known someone who has suffered from an eating disorder. (www.nationaleatingdisorders.org) It never fails that when I tell someone I've struggled with an eating disorder, the person I'm talking to reveals that they have also or that they know someone who has/still does. It blows my mind that such a terrible disease is so common and has almost become a normal acceptable behavior/addiction. But then again, its not too shocking with society's emphasis on image and false definition of beauty, the 100's of diets and exercise programs, media, etc. There's also the huge fact that most eating disorders are used as a way to cope, control, an identity, a way to find security, avoid, numb out, find a voice, make a statement.
Struggling with an eating disorder myself, I can relate to all these factors and am so thankful I've found truth and a healthier way to live. I have years of therapy, treatment facilities, friends, family and most importantly God to thank for my recovery. Yes, that's so great, but what about the people who don't have the opportunity to go to therapy and don't have a circle of support? I take for granted of the knowledge and tools that 8 years of counseling has ingrained in my head. I want to share the truth that others shared to me, I want to help, I want to make a difference! Here's the humbling part, its not about me and what I can do, its about God and what He's doing. I am merely a human full of sin. Any good comes from Him.

So, whether it's eating disorder related or not, future posts will be truth related : )!
 I painted this after the first time I got out of treatment in 2006. I think it shows just how emotionally, physically, and mentally consuming eating disorders really are.





Thursday, June 17, 2010

VICTORY

Idol - " 1 : a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly : a false god
2 a : a likeness of something b obsolete : pretender, impostor
3 : a form or appearance visible but without substance
4 : an object of extreme devotion ; also : ideal 2
5 : a false conception : fallacy" http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idol

"But their idols are silver and gold made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them and so will all who trust in them." Psalm 115:4-8

Tonight, I literally destroyed one of my lifetime struggles/idols. A SCALE. For years, I obsessed over appearance, weight and food. It consumed my life. I believed that my addiction would satisfy my needs and fill my life with joy, confidence, peace, etc. However, it never did and never will. Instead, it gave me years of emptiness and hopelessness. Just like God's truth says, I became my idol. I lost all interest in life and could barely function, not only was my health fading but so was my spirit. I was no longer living, but merely existing. I was dying inside and out. I realize my idol is extreme and most people can't relate to an addiction, however, anything we put before God is an idol. Appearance, jobs, money relationships, etc, anything we seek for satisfaction and contentment other than God is an idol.

"Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness"
Psalm 115:1

"You who fear him, trust in the Lord - he is their help and shield" Psalm 115:1

"The highest of heavens belong to the Lord but the earth he has give to man. It is not the dead, who praise the Lord, those who go down to silence; it is we who extol the Lord both now and forevermore. Praise the Lord." Psalm 115:16-18

I can't overcome idols by my own strength, I've tried and fail miserably every time. Thankfully, I have the ultimate Father who is full "Love" and "Faithfulness", I have a "shield" and "help"!!! I fail everyday in some way or another, I am consumed with sin. Praise be to God, He ALONE is my strength. Any victory in my life is because of Him!

What are idol are you serving? Are you living or dying, are you going down in silence?





video video

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Meet NEVILLE....
No, he is not my dog. But, yes, he does live with my roomate, Amanda, and I! When I moved here she was house sitting a different dog and we both were super sad when he had to go back home. So, we started praying about getting a dog and that very next day Amanda's friend who recently moved here asked if we could take care of her dog for the next few months. and as of yesterday, a few months turned into 6 months, yay!!! I know this example may seem silly, but God really does answer prayers in some way or another whether it's what we want or not. I'm blessed in so many ways and one is by God's precious creation, man's best friend!




Friday, May 7, 2010

22 years

Today is my birthday, heck yes!! and it has been nothing but blessed : ) Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes both in Oklahoma and here in Arizona. 22 years, wow, I feel so old yet so young at the same time. I'm big a fan of reflecting on different times of my life and comparing them to where I am today. This is what 8 years of counseling does to you. I just skimmed through old journals....holy cow, I've come far. To help you truly understand what I mean here are some entries...

Friday, October 10, 1995
"Today we are going to Texes and its poste to rain and I dote want to go. but i havent told eny one. We have lise and I dont like it et all. on Wensday we went to dydys house to spend the nite. it was fun and we made erplanes. thay fly good."

Sunday, January 25, 1997
"Dear Diery, i'm sary that I have not ben writing. I have bin bissy. you no. well i have had a log weekend. i went to the lake with my brother and kelly, my frend. we had so much fun. O, and my dad. we went running. And nou my family is going to my granmalls house for 2 days beckos we are getting the flors cleind. well by."

Wednesday, March 28, 2001
"Well, its been a long since i've talked to you, I also to think that its stupid to write in a diary, but right now i've had some hard times and there's nobody I can talk to it about. I'm still homeschool witch is cool, but i'd rather go to real school. I think i'm losing my best friend since we don't ever see each other. i'm so lonely."

July 5, 2001
"Dear Lord, I do look in the mirror way too much. I don't know why I care so much, but you look in the inward appearance. and you love me, Lord, for who I am. The world does judge appearance. Please help me look at people's hearts, not the outside"

Sometime in the fall of 2001
"Dear Lord, today i was being selfish and I was only thinking about myself and that's what I canconceded and a lot bigger of a problem, Jealousy, yikes. I'm so jealous of other people like for example, I get jealous my friends a lot. They're so pretty, go to real school, have boobs, have awesome stuff, and I'm just me. Help me lord."

April 23, 2002
" Lord, help me I'm not perfect lord and no one else, except you."

April 9, 2003
"I have so much going on in my life. I have a ton of school things, working out, tanning, hanging out with my friends, church, family, etc. and whenever these things all start to get crammed together it seems as though you're the first one I neglect Lord."

August 29, 2003
"I feel completely lost. I feel out of place in my family and friends. I feel like i have to prove something, like I'm willing to do anything and everything. I feel like I stand out."

January 7, 2004
"My life has completely fallen apart. Things with friends, guys, family, my eating and most importantly with you.I have strayed away from you and the sad thing is is that it doesn't really mean much to me....i feel so empty and alone and that's why I'm turning to you. No one understands how I feel. I can't be the girl people want me to be"

Summer of 2004
"I'm so far away from you that I've convinced myself that I don't need you, I've wanted nothing to do with you, I'm so broken"

October 30, 2004
"Why the hell am I this way? when will average ever be perfect to me? I'm tired of perfect. its destroying my life. Because I have to be perfect I f-ing screwed up myself."

May 6, 2005
"I swear I'm insanely retarded. you'r life is like hell, Jen, you make it like hell its all your fault."

December 23, 2005
"I hate everything about life right now"

July 12, 2008
"I am at a place of emptiness, loneliness and brokenness. Lord, here I am, take this life. I turn to you."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
"I never thought I'd be where I am today. Seriously, its crazy how much my life has changed and continues to change. God, its all because of you lord."

Okay, so i know that was a lot and its probably still hard to understand why I was so depressed, etc, however, that's irrelevant right now. My purpose for doing this is to show that God really can change your life, just like He has changed mine. I battled with depression and an eating disorder for 12 years, and yes, I still struggle from time to time, but I am in recovery. I have a purpose for living! I've read this verse time after time but not until just recently have i really taken it in. Reading through my journals and seeing the dramatic change God has done in my heart and life is living proof that His promise is true.

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power which is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20




Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Only You

I've been listening to the song "Only You" by David Crowder on repeat a lot lately.

"Take my heart, I Lay it down
At the feet of you whose crowned
Take my life, I’m letting go
I lift it upto You who’s throned

And I will worship You, Lord
Only You, Lord
And I will bow down before You
Only You Lord

Take my fret, take my fear
All I have, I’m leaving here
Be all my hopes, be all my dreams
Be all my delights, be my everything

And It’s just you and me here now
Only you and me here now

You should see the view
When it’s only You"

Is it really just God and I? A few months ago, God started to overwhelm my spirit with the following realization. Far too often I fill my life with everything but God. Whether its an eating disorder, guys, friends, family, music, hobbies, etc...its not God. Not that all of those are bad things by any means. Its just that they take up so much of my time that I'm treating them as if they're God. I spend more time trying to find new music than I do reading God's word, the living breathing truth. If I truly believe all these things won't satisfy then why do my actions prove otherwise?
Another thing thats been on my mind, is that my walk with the Lord is not about me at all. I know thats a huge "Duh" but when I really think about it if its such a huge "duh" then why are there so many sermons, books, etc telling us how to pray, read the bible, tithe, etc so we'll be satisfied, content, wise, find joy, etc. Yes, theres nothing more satisfying than seeking and obeying God and yes, He promises that when you draw near to Him, He draws near to you and you will bear good fruit. However, its not about us; its about God. Its not about doing this or that so then i'll finally find contentment. The core of my walk it isn't about what I'll gain and the godly woman I'll be become, its about God.
"Who do you seek? They answered Him, Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus said to them, I AM! Then when He said to them I AM, they departed into the rear and fell to the ground. Then again He asked, Whom do you seek? And they said, Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus answered, I told you that I AM." John 18:6-8

"Moses said to God, Behold, I shall come to the sons of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has send me to you; and they will say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and He said, You shall say this to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you" Exodus 3:13-14

What knocked the hundreds of soldiers down? The God of all creation, the Sovereign and Supreme Most High God, The God that stood before man in living, breathing flesh and uttered His perfect, divine, holy name: "I AM!" Its about God. I seek Him because He is God.






Tuesday, April 27, 2010

THE BIG MOVE



It's official.....
I live in
ARIZONA!!!
and, I love it! Yes, I miss everyone at home : ( that part of the move definitely sucks. but I won't be gone forever. I'm starting this blog to keep people updated about this new adventure God's led me on. I haven't had a huge melt down yet and surprisingly haven't even gotten lost driving!! But I'm sure both of those will come at some point in time. God's opened so many doors through this moving process and I'm looking forward to see what's next. I'm embracing the unknown and trusting in Him to take care of me. Who am I to question His perfect power?

So, here's my new room. It still needs some help and it's bright. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for color