Thursday, November 17, 2016

ED Matters Podcast

Gurze Books is now offering a FREE podcast on Eating Disorders. You can subscribe to this valuable resource through iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ed-matters/id1173632000

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pride



Initially when I thought of someone as prideful, I imagined an arrogant, boastful person whose ego was the size of Texas. That is until I read this definition of pride:

Pride is thinking too highly or too lowly of yourself, just thinking too much about yourself and not enough about God.

Wait a minute. Thinking too lowly of yourself is also prideful? Oh no. I was definitely guilty of that. I didn’t struggle with thinking I was the best, I struggled with thinking I was failure, that I wasn’t good enough.  I didn’t realize that this was also prideful thinking because it took my focus off of God and onto myself.

We can see pride evident right from the beginning in the garden of Eden with Eve's deception in Genesis 3:1-6. My pastor, Jim Samra, wrote a paper on pride and humility. He says this about Eve

“Of course Eve’s pride is ultimately arrogance. She is in effect saying that she knows better than God what is good for her. But the arrogant aspects of pride are beneath the surface. Eve doesn’t think of herself as more powerful than God. She shows no signs of what we would consider a haughty, arrogant and boastful person. Yet it is still pride. She has no room for God in her thoughts.”

How often do our thoughts drift from God onto ourselves? It happens more often than I would like to admit. This drifting away from God brings us to a prideful place allowing other sins to manifest themselves from this root of pride. It can manifest itself in many different forms like
comparisons, competition, mocking, blaming, ingratitude, bitterness, complaining, manipulation, outbursts of anger, revenge, defensiveness, lack of concern for others, despising authority, selfish ambition, harshness, impatience, perfectionism, and judgementalism. 

That is some kind of list. I don't know about you but I unfortunately found myself struggling with more categories than I want to admit. So if pride is thinking too much about yourself, what is humility then if it’s not thinking lowly of yourself?

If pride is thinking too much about ourselves and not enough about God, then humility is thinking about God and ourselves only in relatioin to God. Therefore, the ultimate expression of humility is “not my will but yours be done”.  -Samra

When Jesus wants to teach His disciples about humility he shares this parable. Let’s look at this passage through the lens of humility and see what we discover.

Luke 14:7-11
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

In other words, humility is taking the seat assigned to you whether it’s the best seat or the worst seat. It’s accepting the seat which God, in His infinite wisdom, has chosen for you. Therefore, to be humble is to be content in God’s arms, to know that God’s will is better than ours.

I struggled a lot with failure. But I was measuring my success and failure based on the worlds standards, not on God’s. When my path has taken unexpected twists and turns resulting in trials I didn’t want, I was challenged to ask not “God why is this happening to me” but instead “God, what do you want me to teach me in and through this situation?” By asking this question, I discovered that my success or failure in life was not based on how well someone else thought I did or how well I thought I did, but rather on whether or not I was faithful to the assignment God had given me. Even when that assignment meant walking through the trials and suffering of an eating disorder.


Beloved, our God is a good God who has your best interest in mind. He longs to heal you and set you free which often requires trials and suffering in order to cleanse us from the sin in which we are so easily entangled. Put your hope and trust in Him. He is faithful to complete the work He starts. All He needs is a willing spirit that is focused on God instead of self. Are you willing to surrender yourself to Him today?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I don’t really have a problem…Do I?

I don’t really have a problem…Do I?

By Lori Price
My name is Lori Price, and I have struggled with an Eating Disorder (“ED”) for over 20 years. When people think of someone with an ED, most people may create an image in their mind of a female, first born, high achieving, cheerleader/athlete, and above EVERYTHING else, a very YOUNG person struggling with these issues. They NEVER think of a Mother of three, in her late thirty’s, seeking their first treatment for an Eating Disorder! Well… I’m here to tell you that this happened to me and I’ve learned that I’m not alone. What I have discovered through treatment is that there are no age limitations on disordered eating. My therapist says she sees more clients in my age category than adolescents. Sure, symptoms may often begin in adolescent years. I struggled with an ED for many years on and off, but didn’t receive treatment until I was an adult, at the age of 38! “Symptoms” grew over the years to be an all-consuming way of life. The eating disorder dominated my life affecting my marriage, children, and relationships.
For me, what started out as a way to lose a few pounds when I was younger rapidly spiraled into something that took control. It took control of my every thought and action. I was somehow convinced that this was a positive addition to my life. If I could just lose a few more pounds I would finally be happy. The number on the scale was never good enough. I would drastically increase my exercise and decrease my food intake. It became a numbers game of which I was no longer in control. My self-worth had become wrapped up in my body size. Of course, desiring the “perfect” body size is affected by much more than our own thoughts. It didn’t help that after being body fat tested, my college coach told me that I needed to lose weight! It doesn’t help when you read a People magazine and all you see are ultra-thin models or popular stars that have received plastic surgery and other professional help to look the way they do. But, as I found out in therapy, there were a few other triggers that helped the ED thrive; including my parent’s divorce, my personal trauma experience, and raising 3 children with a husband who, early on, was a raging alcoholic.
Growing up I had a pretty “normal” childhood. I was born in Phoenix AZ. My parents were both musicians in The Phoenix Symphony. I have identical twin sisters who were born deaf and are 6 years younger than me. I was super close to my Dad growing up. We had weekly daddy-daughter dates, and just had fun together. When I was 12 my life was forever changed. My parent’s told me they were getting divorced. I found out my Dad had had an affair! I was confused, very angry, and felt betrayed. My Dad was a very non-confrontational man and NEVER addressed the divorce with me; rather, he ignored the issues. I didn’t talk to my Dad for 6 years, and he never tried to mend our relationship. It was crushing to say the least. It felt like he had died, except I continued to see him. He still continued a relationship with my sisters. I have learned that this led me to believe that I wasn’t good enough or he wouldn’t have left. I had to stay strong for my Mom and became her confidante. This process taught me that MY feelings didn’t matter and that I had to be the one who took care of the family. I always wore a smile on my face, but on the inside I was crumbling.
In high school, I lived 2 separate lives. I was the class president every year, swim team captain, prom queen and very involved in school. I was also secretly drinking and doing some drugs. One night while drinking I was involved in a sexual trauma situation that I kept secret from everyone, for a very long time. “It was my fault” I convinced myself. The shame of this experience significantly increased the “need” for my ED, and I started restricting calories, even though I had long, daily workouts swimming on a club team.
When I was 17, I went to college at NAU. Again, I was super involved in school: Swim Team, Sophos, Cardinal Key Honor Society, Pi Phi Sorority President. On the other side, I was also using drugs, drinking, and I began restricting food and using laxatives. Looking back, I think the eating disorder became a priority when swim coaches kept telling me I needed to lose weight after being body fat tested. On top of that, it didn’t help that my roommates and sorority sisters were also practicing the same disordered eating behaviors.
Restricting food was hard to maintain. I was hungry all the time and was consumed with thoughts of food. When I would allow myself to eat, I would eat more than I should (or at least more than my ED thought I should), and I would then beat myself up. These thoughts led me down the path of bulimia. I purged for the first time when I was 13. I felt like I was fat. I think at this point in my life, this was the ONLY thing I was able to control. I felt completely out of control with everything else in my life. Bulimia became my secret and a way for me to express emotions and feelings.
After college, I became a teacher and taught 4th grade while continuing to manage a pool. I loved it!! I loved children, school, and staff. I had found my happy place. I also met the love of my life, Garth. He was a blast: successful, smart, and attractive. We ended up getting married 1 year later, and I got pregnant pretty quickly. When we had our first child, Zack, we agreed it would be best if I became a stay at home mom. Well, life came crashing down all around me! My interaction with all those people I used to see daily dramatically decreased. On top of that, it became very obvious that the person with whom I was closest, my husband, was an alcoholic, causing us to fight often. I had no one to talk to; I was all alone, again. I went into survival mode, living in my own little world. Eating Disorders love secrets…
(I should mention that a few years later, Garth sought treatment for his alcohol abuse and has been sober now for 18 years!)
As I have explained, these ED thoughts become all consuming. While my friends were actually having fun with their kids at Disneyland, I was trying to find the SECRET bathroom! This wasn’t my plan! I never set out to become bulimic! As I spiraled out of control, this secret was taking me away from the people I love. I was isolated, depressed, and unsure how to climb out. I tried many times to just stop. I continually promised myself tomorrow will be better. I won’t do this again.
Where could I turn? Who could I tell? I really didn’t trust ANYONE! Much of the world really doesn’t “believe” that this is a disease. I didn’t even think my husband would take me seriously. Most of the time, I didn’t believe I had a real issue (or at least I told myself that). ED was for women in their teens and twenties, not for a married woman with children, right? But it was impossible for me to stop alone. I finally confided in the only “close” friend I had left, and in my husband, who both encouraged and insisted that I seek professional help at A New Beginning and Remuda Ranch.
It has now been 7 years since walking thru the huge doors of Remuda Ranch. I remember being terrified. My thoughts were out of control. I shouldn’t be here, I’m not that bad. I fought treatment the first few weeks. I wanted to leave. However, I found out that my body was in bad shape. My EKG had to be repeated on 3 separate occasions, and all the tests showed long QT syndrome. This basically can lead to sudden death. My electrolytes were out of balance, potassium was low, and I was on the road to destruction.
While in treatment and struggling to accept that I had serious problems, I wrote this poem. Maybe some of you can relate:
MIRROR
I look in the mirror, and what do I see?
A sad broken girl looking back at me
People in her life think she’s having a ball
But they don’t really see that girl at all
In her life’s been so much pain
Sometimes she questions her strength to remain
She doesn’t let the sadness show
For fear of letting anyone know
She keeps her secrets locked inside
Trying to move forward with a gentle glide
Her body broken and heart bruised
Feeling like she’s been completely used
At times the pain becomes too much
She holds it all in, she cannot trust!
Her body she so desperately despises
She’s learned to hide it with all the disguises
Wearing the smile upon her face
When on the inside feels like such a disgrace
So much sadness, so much fear
Everything important is becoming unclear
The restricting, the purging eases the pain
But in the end feels completely insane
EAT they say “you know what to do.”
She’d rather lose a limb, than have to gain a few
Her faith right now can’t be broken
For only with him she can be awoken
I look in the mirror and what do I see?
A little girl looking back at me
“Why did you leave me, what did I do?
I’m sorry all these things have happened to you!”
The cost of my treatment was extremely expensive, and I couldn’t believe that it was not covered by insurance. That still blows my mind!!! Even though the doctors, nurses, my friend, and my husband were convinced and wrote letters on my behalf, I was still denied coverage. Something needs to change. Seems like you have to die before the insurance companies believe you really are in serious need of help. People deserve to get the treatment they need.
Treatment is very difficult; I’m not going to lie. I had to bring out things in my life that I wanted to stay buried. I had to feel feelings, when I didn’t want to feel anything. Feeling terrified me! My ED kept me numb. Learning how to feel again was scary – no matter what the feeling was. Every time something in therapy got hard to talk about, my initial reaction was to RUN! I had to learn that feeling is ok; in order to feel happiness I also had to feel sadness. I also learned that I shouldn’t starve or purge feelings away. I had to feel them, write, and talk about them. All of these steps in recovery were NOT easy for me!! And they are NOT my favorite things to discuss. But I can say it gets a little easier every step I take. The ONLY reason I kept going through treatment was hearing my therapist, Dr. Ashley say, “the only way out is working through it.”
ED therapy is not a quick fix. I thought after 45 days of being at Remuda Ranch I would be done with the ED. But, I’ve been in treatment 7 years now and finally feel an end. After Remuda, I went to A New Beginnings (Outpatient Treatment Center) in Scottsdale AZ, where I still attend today. I’ve continued to see 2 amazing therapists Dr. Ashley Southard, Anna Brennan, and a terrific dietician, Kristine Bott, who all never gave up on me, even when I would give up on myself. Working on recovery has taught me a lot. I’m stronger than I once thought; I’m learning who I am and what I’m not. I’m NOT my eating disorder!!! I am a Mom, wife, friend, daughter, aunt, and teacher.  I have a huge heart for others and I am now finally learning to have one for myself.
A tremendous benefit of my recovery was establishing a sense of self-worth outside of my body shape, size, and my performance. I realized that my worth wasn’t derived from my body size or a number on a scale. It comes from a beauty within.
The message that I want to leave you with is this: There is a way out, if you’re willing to do the work.  You don’t have to battle this alone, help is available!!  I really believe recovery is possible.
About the author –
Lori Price is a second generation native of Phoenix, Arizona. Her husband of 22 years, Garth, is also a Phoenix Native. Together they have three beautiful children: Zack (21), Jake (18), and Paige (17).
Lori received dual majors in Elementary and Special Education at Northern Arizona University. She was a fourth grade teacher until resigning to be a full time mother. Currently, Lori is an Owner / Manager of Flip Dunk Sports, a Trampoline, Gymnastics, Cheer, and Dance Center.
While going through her own recovery, Lori became an advocate for eating disorders and positive body image. Discovering a lack of general awareness about eating disorders in the Phoenix area, she decided to organize the first annual NEDA Walk for the Valley in 2012. Lori continues to be involved in NEDA with coordinating the 2013, 2015, & 2016 Walks. She has also coordinated Body Image Awareness Workshops for children and adults, and manages a Facebook site that supports eating disorder recovery, the “Phoenix Eating Disorder Awareness Walk”.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Discontentment



When I think of someone who struggles with discontentment, I think of that person in my life who complains about everything? Nothing seems to please them and they see the world in a glass half empty kind of way? Just being around that person can suck the joy out of life. 

But discontentment stretches beyond someone who complains. It also describes someone who has a restless desire for something they do not have and those matters are often hidden deep in their heart. Maybe they long for their body to look differently. Maybe they long for a better marriage. Maybe they long for a better boss or a better job. Maybe they long to feel appreciated and accepted. 

Whatever it may be, they aren't content with the way things are. Therefore they struggle to live in the present because they are either longing for the way things were or longing for things to be a certain way in the future.  They argue that if things were different, then they would be able to find contentment. 

Friends, discontentment HARBORS things and contentment UNLOCKS things.  When we continue to be dissatisfied with our lives, we leave the door open for satan to infect us with things like fear, anxiety, worry, unforgiveness, and bitterness.  Whereas when we CHOOSE to be content in "all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18) (and it is a choice) we open the door to allow GOD to bring joy, hope, peace, faith, trust, and forgiveness into our lives.  

Matthew 6:25-26 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feed them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

I don't know about you but being content in all circumstances seems like a pretty tall order.  How can we switch our focus? PRAISE. When you praise God and thank Him despite of what you are going through, something shifts inside of you. You can remain negative and praise the LORD at the same time. 

No matter what each day brings, we have a choice: we can focus on how hard things are and how we wish they were different leaving us filled with anxiety and despair. OR we can focus on who God is and what He promises us because regardless of our circumstances, our God doesn't change. He is who He say He is and He will do what He says He will do.  

What if we took a radical approach in our prayer life when we are faced with a difficult situations. Instead of complaining about all the parts we wish God would change. What if we asked God what He wanted to teach us in our situation? What if God has something for us to learn or way for us to grow closer to Him? What if this is an opportunity for us to grow our faith and trust in Him? 

I challenge you with whatever you are facing today, to surrender it to the LORD

Further Reading: Dwarfed by Discontentment by Vickie Kraft https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-15-dwarfed-discontentment