A Diet for Disaster

dietJanuary it seems, is the month of the Diet.  And not just any old diet – this year, (as with every year), it’s something Radical and Exciting that will Change Your Life.  From Dukan to Atkins – you can eat anything…as long as it’s blue and contains the letter z! Knock yourself out  with a mountain of raw zucchini.

Diets are especially appealing to a certain kind of person.  Perfectionists. Those with low self-esteem, who long for a programme that promises self-worth. Those who like to be in control. Good at saying no. Good at counting calories and measuring progress.  Not so good at knowing when to stop. (Or so I’ve heard)..

This year, for example it’s the turn of the ‘fasting diet’.  Proponents talk about the fact that it gives you a ‘natural high’ and the need to ‘push through your hunger’.  For some people, this may be ok. But for others, it’s incredibly dangerous.

I’m not saying that dieting ’causes’ eating  disorders – any more than the existence of alcohol ’causes’ alcoholics.  However.  If you’ve got – or had – a drinking problem, then the pub can be a dangerous place. And in the same way, if you’ve struggled with eating disorders or have tendencies in that direction – then going on a diet can be a trigger.

Being a healthy weight is a part of taking care of ourselves and looking after our bodies.  But the numbers on the scale (or the clothes tag) are not the point.
Jesus doesn’t just call me to a healthy BMI, He saves me and gives me a whole new life in His kingdom – a life where the context is healthy living, healthy eating, a healthy view of the body. But my identity comes, not from my body, but being part of His.



6 thoughts on “A Diet for Disaster

  1. “I’ve lost this much…. I’ve just done this long in the gym….. I’ve detoxed for this long now” That is all I’m hearing these past weeks from some people and I am stuck as to how to say I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW…without telling them a whole history or getting annoyed. Thanks Emma…I really wish I could know my identity. Hmmmm tricky, xxxx

  2. Thanks Emma, yes this time of the year is a challenge for me too even though I am over 12 years in recovery. It’s always tough hearing about diets, detox etc……..it’s like an alcoholic going into the company of other drinkers. I just want to shout out and say look what it can do to you…..but I know not everyone takes it to this extreme. However I would dearly love to gather all those vulnerable young girls into one place and tell them the truth about eating disorders and tell them how precious they are to God and show them their potential without torturing themselves with the pressure of January diets and wacky detox programs!!!!!!!!!

  3. I hear you, ladies. Chatting today with a friend whose five year-old daughter thinks her thighs look fat!

    Laura, I reckon you’re totally justified in saying you don’t want to talk about it. That’s my policy: though it’s maybe easier for me because most people know my history. Otherwise, carry an enormous mackerel and when you hear the word ‘de-tox’, give ’em a thwack. Job done..

  4. Thanks for the reminder in that final sentence of your post Emma.
    It is an addiction isn’t it? – I LONG to eat less and that feels like a real craving in the way that people who are addicted to other things describe their cravings. But unlike other addicts who have to try and avoid the thing they crave, I’m trying to avoid a negative!
    I’ve been making myself eat more and put on weight, but right now I really really want those ‘good feelings’ that eating less gives (even though the more rational side of me knows that, although it promises to make me feel good, it never fully delivers and just goes on insatiably demanding that I try harder, do more, eat less…). But it’s sooo tempting to just give in to the irrational side of me, to the voice of the ‘anorexia minx’ whispering those lies… Aaaagh! I really need God’s help cos I have a feeling my self-reliance is heading for a fall…

  5. Haha a Mackeral is a great idea to carry around….hmmm may try that though the smell may be enough to put people off :P xx

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