Tuesday, November 29, 2011


i've been wanting to write this post for awhile now. i just wasn't sure how to say what i wanted to say. but i think i'm ready now. so here goes.

when i was 16 years old, a cute boy from down the street asked me out on a date. and then another date. and then another.

there was a creek that ran behind both our houses. it had an old wooden bridge over it. we got to know each other on that bridge. sitting and swinging our legs and talking and flirting. 

after a few months of sitting and leg-swinging, he walked me to the bridge one night and gave me my very first kiss.

we returned to the bridge often. even into college. whenever we were home, the bridge was where we would go to be together.

the cute boy from down the street is now a very handsome man. 

last night, he took me out on a date. 

afterwards, he walked me to a small stream with a bridge that crossed it and he asked me to marry him.

{i said yes.}

this stream and the bridge are across the country from the creek and the bridge where our relationship bloomed. they are new and they are different, but they are savoringly reminiscent of what led us to them. they are a unifying symbol that celebrates where we've been and where we are and where we're going. 

i will always be who i am because of where i've been. the struggle and the hurt, the victory and the joy, the eating disorder and God's hand carrying me away from it are undeniable parts of my make-up; seeds that will bloom and grow in a million different ways, time and again before i die.

but just like the old bridge gave way to the new, i think this journey of healing is ready to yield itself to new chapters. my recovery will be just as influential and present as always. my life is forever shaped by this journey, as my life could only happen once this journey took place.

but it's time to discover another new bridge. it's time to close the chapter this blog represents and step onward into all that God has.

so today, i am saying goodbye to the blog. i'm thanking God for holding my heart through the mourning and for keeping His promise of joy from tears. 

today, i am stepping into the beginnings of a new morning. a morning that starts a journey alongside the love of my life. a morning that might never have happened without the mourning that freed me to become one with another.

"...weeping may last for the night but joy comes in the morning." psalm 30:5

infinite thanks to you for reading. 

much, much love, 


....and for all who've asked, here is the ring. i could never love anything more :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

dear eating disorder,

today, i figured something out about you...

you do not think that i'm fat.

in fact, you think i look pretty great the way i am. you've also noticed that i'm in love, that i'm doing well in school, that i'm embracing the beauty of food and healthfully approached exercise. you hate that i get to look at the mountains every day.

it is because of the aforementioned things that you want me to believe that i am big. you recognize that although my life is imperfect, i am fully present. you watch me rejoicing in the good and doing my best to grow in the bad. you don't like when i'm alive. you want to paralyze me, and so you tell me that I am too fat for anything else to matter. you tell me that the size of my body invalidates my worth and that if i want to tap into my true potential, i've got to be skinny again.

but today, i realized that if i were truly fat, you would have no reason to attack me. if i were actually as big as you're telling me i am, then you wouldn't be telling me that i'm big at all. because in order to become big, i would have had to idolize the consumption of food. and if i were idolizing food i would be paralyzed already and you would be satisfied with that. and you would leave me alone.
but it is because i am far from paralyzed that you so desperately attempt to convince me that i need you.

so thanks, i'm taking your ambush of bad body image as a compliment.

i am not you and you are not me, so i get to decide all by myself whether or not i like my body.

and i decide that i like it.
actually i love it.

and you hate that it is loveable.


Thursday, November 3, 2011


if you want to know something that's incredibly difficult and confusing, it's going from starving yourself, to having medical professionals feeding you six times per day, to trying to learn to eat in moderation and maintain that moderation every day for the rest of your life.

there have been times throughout the past six years that i've been so confused by these different approaches to food that i've cried out to God, asking Him why in the devil He thought it was a good idea to just let us all loose down here with a world full of food and expect us to know how to use it. i've wondered why we can't all be the same size and just eat however much or little and it not matter instead of being tortured by the tension of moderation. if he really loved us, why did He make it so hard?

but then if you think about it, there's hardly anything in life that we just get to rest on, that we just get to have figured out. God's mercies are new every morning, but so are our capacities to for idolatry.

we need love and acceptance. we need to help and we need to be helped. we need to rest and work and play. we need exercise and we need sleep. we need to be cautious and we need to be alive. we need to need people and we need to be secure in who we are.

there isn't one of those needs that can't be over met or under met.

every single one of them is only healthy in moderation.

and sometimes, moderation is getting a lot or a little of any one of them, depending on where we are.

at first thought, moderation is a daunting task. we've got about a million different facets to our lives, all of which are teetering on the edge of becoming idols if we indulge or ignore them to extremes. it's frightening and stressful and it's a lot.

but it's also a part of what makes us alive.

and we are alive because God made us and God made us to  bring glory to Himself.

but the beautiful thing about God making us to bring Him glory is that it's when we're bringing him glory that we get to be the fullest alive.  and fullness of life can mean suffering for seasons, but fullness in suffering is better than emptiness in fun.

God gave us some clues when he talked about hating gluttony and sloth, but it would have been much easier if He would have just left us a list of which needs need to be met in what ways in what circumstances. but then meeting our own needs in moderation wouldn't be living fully for God's glory; it would be following a formula.

so meeting our needs without indulging or ignoring them is a day-by-day, really a moment-by-moment series of choices. to be moderate is to be in constant effort. it sounds exhausting, but what is really exhausting is stagnation.

the thing about moderation being a constant effort is that our relationship to God is a constant effort as well. as soon as we think we're good and we can stop trying, we've probably gone too far one way or the other.

so here is where (i think) it all comes together. to glorify God in our fullness of life, we need to be in constant communion with Him. to be in constant communion with Him we need to be in active battle against our existing and potential idols. And this active battle (i think) is otherwise known as moderation.

so moderation is the battle that fights off our idols and enables us to reach heavenward each time we choose it. But we have to choose it and we have to choose it a lot of times each day. and to choose something so in-between extremes requires effort, which requires help, which we get from our God, which means moderation and communion with Him go hand in hand.

God blessed us with beautiful, enjoyable means of meeting our needs. He intended for us to enjoy meeting our needs alongside the people we love. He intended for us to meet one another’s needs. He intended for us to bring glory to Him through lives that pulsate and thrive when we meet our needs in healthy fullness. in His infinite love and grace, God gave us sense and experience because He intended for us to get to taste hints of His majesty when we meet our needs in ways that satisfy those senses and experiences. we get to enjoy life and we get to enjoy it most when we lean on Him to help us enjoy it rightly.

how brilliant a design is that ?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


i've always had long, muscular legs.

apparently i got them from my grandfather.

they're a little awkward sometimes because i'm only 5'4 and my legs take up so much of my height that there is hardly any room left for my torso. so i've got the shortest stomach in the world, probably.

but i kind of like the way i am because it's a little unusual for a girl who's 5'4 to have legs that are long. even at my sickest i was sometimes kind of okay with them. the real problem i've had has been with my arms.

the long story shortened is that all i wanted in life was to have stick-like arms. during a conversation that God ultimately used to lead me to the decision to get treatment, a friend asked me what i felt made me worth getting up and living every day. i told her it was because my arms were * inches around, the smallest they'd ever been.

so naturally, after hell upon hell's worth of months of weight gain and recovering, the thing i hated most about my body was my arms.

when i got back to school for the fall of my senior year i purchase some dumbbells because i decided that toned arms were not as beautiful as emaciated arms but they were more beautiful than fat arms and so i went to work, trying to get my arms all ripped up. 

my goal was to get my arms so toned that i was special again, the way i was when i was skinny. i thought that that would be the best of both worlds, because i could have what i really wanted in life without giving myself up to starvation. i thought it was a fool proof plan.

but apparently i am among the 7% of women who bulk up when they strength train, because that is what happened. 

so i stopped with the weights and started with these crazy pushups and arm circles and what not. all i did was think about my arms and try to make them burn so bad i could barely stand it. and once they burned that bad i would endure it for as long as possible, telling myself that this was what i had to do if i wanted to have a good life. 

nothing satisfied me. no matter what, i looked in the mirror and i hated my arms.

i think that this speaks to the idea that whenever we seek things with the desperation with which we ought to seek God, we will never feel that we've gotten them.

fast forward to denver.

i stopped being obsessed with working out and i started to love food and i started to like and sometimes love my body.

my arms aren't bulky anymore, they aren't toned, they aren't emaciated. they are just my arms and they are what they're supposed to be. 

i don't think i have the most gorgeous arms in the world, but to be honest, i don't think they're half bad. they allow me to hug the people i love and to carry groceries home from the store and they'll make me able to hold ski poles as soon as i dig up enough dollars for a lift ticket and they'll hold my flowers when i get married and they'll hold onto my clients' paperwork when i'm a counselor and one day they'll pick up my baby. 

all of those things are beautiful and all of those things are more than enough to make me love my arms and to make me feel thankful.

i guess what i really want to say is that i don't want to think of them as arms. i just want to think of them as me. because what i am is a heart and a soul and a mind and those things are the important things but they really aren't anything without a body to be their house and to manifest them here in the world. 

so i guess that's all. 



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

i love fall.

and i love halloween.

and i love scary movies.

until it's time to go to sleep.

actually, i recently placed a new restriction on myself in that regard:

no more scary movies. ever again. 

i have somewhat of a photographic memory. and images of killers in masks running around with butcher knives dancing through my head at night just isn't something i want going on in my life anymore. so in spite of how fun it is for the hour or two i'm doing it, i'm just not going to enter those images into my head.

but before i implemented this restriction, i spent one of my favorite halloweens of college in a friend of mine's dorm room watching a couple of horribly scary movies. it was hilarious and terrifying and fun.

we had been at a party on campus, but were tired of frat boys and their houses and so we left and went to blockbuster because it still existed then and we got our movies and went back to her dorm.

we watched this one movie called skeleton key. the majority of the movie was one mysterious, creepy occurrence after another until the very end, when the main character is trapped in the attic trying to protect herself from "spooks" by using spells from an old book she'd found lying around the house. 

although she didn't reveal herself until the final minutes of the movie, it had been obvious for awhile that this white-haired, raspy-voiced old lady was the source of all the creepiness and scary music the whole time. so when the main character is attempting to protect herself with the aforementioned spells, the old lady comes creaking up the stairs. a wild look in her eye, she steps into the room with the terrified main character, who tells her she's too late, that she's already cast the protective spell.

but the old lady laughs and tells her the protective spell could never have saved her. she tells her that the moment she believed the "spooks" were real, she entered their world and she made herself their prey. 

so if the main character had clung to the truth she'd previously known, the truth that "spooks" were make believe, she would have remained immune to them. she wouldn't have lost her life in the last fifteen minutes of the movie. she wouldn't have left disappointed audiences all over place to cope with a horrible ending to a pretty horrible movie. 

the other day, i thought about the fact that body image is a lot like the "spooks". i have spent more time and more energy than i care to think about, taking all kinds of precautionary measures to protect myself from bad body image. i've hoped and prayed that it would stay away. i've helplessly waited for it, like some kind of monster i can do nothing about, trying to enjoy the time i have before it barges in my door and turns my whole world upside down. 

i've had some great body image lately, but i've found myself afraid to believe that it's real, afraid that as soon as i settle into it the scary music will start playing and bad body image will be on its way back to get me. 

but i've realized that to be afraid of bad body image, to be unable to enjoy good body image and the peace that comes with it is to believe that bad body image is more than image. it's to believe that the large and ugly image i see is real. 

in other words, living in fear of seeing a fat person in the mirror is believing that that image is true and believing that that image is true is believing that i am fat

so if i am truly fat, then what do i do with the good body image? i can't believe that i'm fat and than i'm not fat, so i have to believe that the good body image is just a trick my mind is playing on me; that it's nice to look at, but only in a heartbreakingly imaginary sort of way.

but what if it's the other way around?

what if i'm actually kind of a small person, and the fat girl is just a fake production of my mind. what if i actually get to live inside the body i like and i get to simply dismiss the one i don't like?

what if i decide that bad body image is all a trick, a ploy from my eating disorder to make me serve it longer and harder. it's just a stupid illusion that can only touch me if i believe it. and there's no reason to believe it because nothing about my lifestyle can sensibly result in my body weighing more than it should. 

what if i decide that good body image is real. that when i like what i see, i'm seeing the real me. that when i don't like what i see, i can laugh and shrug it off and feel bad for my eating disorder because its exhausted all its tricks. that i don't have to be afraid to believe i'm actually okay and happy with where my body is because i don't have to be afraid that good things will always go away.

if i do these things, if i take the reigns of what i know about my body back into my own hands, i get to live a free life. i get to stop thinking about how much i hate myself and what i might do to fix it and i get to start using that extra time and those extra thoughts for things that are real and are important. i get to stop being oppressed and start appreciating my body and the things it does for me. i get to start eating awesome food and stop thinking that it's going to make me even fatter. i get to start thinking about my life as a life and not as a quest to escape the fat girl in the mirror. 

i've been living this way for nearly a month. 

it is wonderful. 

and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. 
john 8:32


Saturday, October 1, 2011

something that is newly true about me is this...

...i love food.

i have loved the things food makes possible for me for awhile, but i've been afraid to love food solely for its deliciousness.

but i've stopped worrying about what good-tasting food will do to me. i've stopped being afraid of good food. i've stopped being afraid of myself. i've stopped being afraid of myself having a relationship with good food.

i love macaroni and cheese and granola and toasted ravioli and fish tacos and chips with salsa and deep, dark chocolate and egg sandwiches with cheese on sourdough bread and best of all, frozen custard. i love it all most when it's made with its most real self, not fat or sugar free .

i've been living this way for a month...

...and my clothes all fit the same. my clothes all fit the same.

yes, the same.

i am not a self-indulgent person, i am not an overeater, i am not overweight.

 i am a woman who loves to be fully alive and loves to experience life's fullness on a daily basis through the taste of beautiful, flavorful, God-given foods.

i am a woman who is conscious of her health and as a result, believes in utter moderation (which is a whole post in itself).

i am a woman who feels more beautiful than ever when she quits worrying and just eats really good things til she's satisfied.

i am a woman who finally trusts her body.




Friday, September 16, 2011


i've mentioned this before, but i think it's funny and also fascinating that as humans, we possess certain qualities in such extremes that they end up being the very best and the very worst things about us at the same time.

today, i'm thinking about the best/worst idea in terms of selflessness and servitude and sacrifice. more specifically, i'm thinking about the best/worst idea in terms of treating others with utmost concern and telling them we're sorry when we don't.

it's really funny to me that there are some people who spend ungodly amounts of time agonizing over the way they treat others in the smallest of situations and end up apologizing for however they act anyway, while others take hefty stomps through relationships and interactions, pursuing their own agendas and never thinking twice about the way they're treating others unless they're confronted.

i've known a lot of fellow strugglers in addition to myself and i'd say that at least 99% of us fall into the "apologizer" category.

when i think back on some of the reasons i apologized just yesterday i'm slightly amazed at all the things for which i felt guilty and said i was sorry.

those who are closest to me get the bulk of the apologies and they also tell me to stop (i originally had "sorry to all of you" in these parentheses. i realized it when i was reading back over what i'd written and i laughed out loud). last night, after i'd apologized a few times over the course of an hour or so, a dear someone gently let me know that no more apologies were necessary.

so then i got mad at myself for apologizing so much. and i nearly had to bite my lips to keep from apologizing for apologizing.

but this morning i started thinking about it, and i started thinking about owning my actions and my words and what it would've been like if i hadn't gotten really upset with myself for putting too much lemon juice on the broccoli i was roasting or for realizing how much i miss my mom and calling her for 5 minutes to say goodnight while my boyfriend was over or for calling my best friend and talking about myself for a second. i thought about the fact that i wouldn't even have noticed if i'd been on the receiving end of those things, unless of course the person who'd done them had apologized. i suppose i would have noticed the intensely lemoned broccoli as well, but i would've made a sour face and laughed and moved on. and i would've been really sad if i'd known that the person who'd gone a little overboard with the lemon was beating him/herself up inside.

matthew 7:12 tells us to do unto others as we would have others do to ourselves.

of course, this means treating others with the respect and love with which we hope to be treated. but i also think that we can infer from this verse that that we should be as vulnerable and as receiving of love and care from others as we hope they'll be with us.

in other words, if i want people to feel comfortable to be themselves with me, to let their guard down and not worry about inconveniencing me or making a mistake or dumping their problems on me, then i should be my imperfect, disorganized (but working on it), occasionally emotional self with others, knowing that my authenticity in the context of our relationship is as much of a gift to them as theirs is a gift to me.

i am not saying that we should mistreat others and expect them to mistreat us back and call it all even. what i am saying is that "apologizers" need to be better discerners of what is mistreatment and what is just being human. there's nothing more healthy than admitting our wrongs and expressing our regret for them. but there's nothing more unhealthy than thinking everything we do is wrong and magnifying the effects of our smallest decisions and thinking we're horrible when the people around us never got past sensory perception of those decisions in the first place.

i am not saying that we shouldn't try to meet others' needs. what i am saying is that "apologizers" need to strive for a more realistic perspective on what others' needs actually are. outside of extenuating circumstances, i can't think of anyone who genuinely needs the person with whom they're spending time to never make a 5 minute phone call or run back to the car to grab a jacket or make one more trip to the produce section to grab something they forgot or act really silly when they're feeling silly or just simply say that they're sad. if anything, the people who love us need for us to be comfortable and confident enough in their love that we'll do any and more of the above without thinking.

when i write blog posts, i'm usually talking through things that, by the grace of God, i've already processed. i can only think of a few times i've ever written "on the fly" to process through something and hope i can make some sense of it as i type. but, just so everyone knows, i had no idea what this post was going to say until i said it. God came through. He spoke into my emptiness and i typed.

a few minutes ago i took a break from writing to change my laundry. as i was walking down the hall to the laundry room, my heart and mind felt lighter. i felt allowed to stop treading on eggshells and trying to be perfect. i felt allowed to be the my truest self in the context of striving for Christ's likeness in relationships. i felt like i could stop thinking a million miles a minute and just do unto others as i'd have them do unto me. it feels good.