Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 20-26 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. As my friends and family know, I've been in recovery from an ED for nearly 14 years. I am eternally thankful to my parents and my friends who sought the help I needed, when I couldn't ask for it myself.

After two stays at in-patient treatment centers, I am grateful and thankful to be able to say that I have been in active recovery since the year 2000. That's almost 11 years of living healthy, free from the grasp that ED once held on me.

At the time, my therapists told me that it is something I would battle all my life... that anorexia is a chronic condition that is to be managed, rather than an acute illness that can be treated. Only by the grace and miraculous healing of our God can I say that they were absolutely wrong. I have lived free from ED behaviors and thoughts for over a decade now. It is no longer a part of my daily-- or even weekly, monthly-- life.

One of the things that helped me tremendously in my recovery was to learn to appreciate my body. The biggest "problem area" for me was my stomach. I hated it. (Even though it was completely flat!) So as part of a therapy assignment, I wrote down all the things I appreciated about every "problem area" of my body.... I was thankful that I had legs which allowed me to walk, arms with which I could hug a loved one, etc. But when it came to my stomach, I had such a hard time finding something positive to appreciate about it. But finally, I wrote that I was thankful for my healthy abdomen because it would one day carry my child. That was in 1999. Fast forward 8 years, and I now have that baby in my belly. And I LOVE it! Recovery is "worth it" for so many reasons, but the greatest reason I have discovered so far, is that I am now healthy and strong enough to conceive and sustain another human life. How incredible is that?!? Definitely worthy of appreciation, if you ask me.

I pray that my daughter will not have the struggles I had. I pray that she will be confident in who she is, in who God created her to be, and that she will not listen to the noise of this world when it tells who what she should look like. But I know that I can't protect her for ever. She'll some day play with grossly disproportionate Barbie dolls, pick up a Seventeen magazine, or watch a stick-thin actress in the movies. While I can't completely keep her form the influences of this world, I will do all I can to make sure she knows that she. is. beautiful. I can do my part to raise a healthy daugther by loving myself... eating healthy and exercising, but not obsessing. Appreciate the wonders of our bodies that God created, and not abusing the temples He's blessed us with. And both her daddy and I will tell her every single day that she is perfectly, wonderfully, beautifully made.

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  1. Shey, I am so thankful God healed you! You are a blessing to so many by allowing God to use your witness of all you have come through with Him as your Lord and Savior and strength. And now Gianna joining the family. How blessed you are! Love you, Aunt René :)


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