Guest Blogging.

Below are links to guest bloggers (and their respective blog post) I have had. If you’re keen to write something for me, let me know! You can leave a comment on this post and we’ll chat about it.

Anonymous (friend, ED sufferer)

Catherine (friend)

Keturah (teacher)

Tyler (fellow blogger, ED sufferer)

 

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10 thoughts on “Guest Blogging.

  1. Hi, we’ve exchanged comments a few times, and you mentioned being interested in hearing my story. A few weeks ago, I wrote a draft to my own blog that I haven’t published yet. Part of the reason I haven’t published it is that I’d like to tweak some details; part of the reason is that I’m not sure yet how much of my story I am ready for some close family and friends to hear. Much of my battle has been private, and instead of being really intense over a short period of time, it’s been sporadic over many years, with virtually no noticeable changes in my body! In fact, I weigh less now, in my mid-30’s as a mommy of 2, than I did as a college student, and I am very “unrestricted” with food and hardly exercise. I think I’m riding on some interestingly high metabolism… I like to think of myself as being in a healthy place, but I can see how the evil one still tries to whisper in my ear, to take me away from what God wants me to believe about myself! Anyhow, here is my blog draft. It is long, but I’d love to get some feedback. My neighbor/friend has read it (she has also had a long battle with ED), but that’s it so far:

    Musings While Reading “Life Without Ed”
    Posted on August 19, 2012
    I’m reading this book that a friend loaned to me, “Life Without Ed”, by Jenni Schaefer. ”Ed” is an acronym for “Eating Disorder”. I shared recently with this friend my history with eating disorders. I’ve never met the weight criteria for an official disorder, I’ve never seen a therapist, I’ve never made enough ripples in the water because of any disordered thinking to make my family or friends really concerned. Yet, as I read the book, I know I’ve heard “Ed’s rules” before: ”you must always be the thinnest person in any given place at any given time”, or “your ‘skinny’ jeans must always fit your body loosely”, and “you must always eat less than the people you are dining with on any occasion”. The author goes on to tell what “Ed” would say if I broke the rules: ”If you don’t do what I am saying, you will never be successful…you will never realize your full potential.” Ms. Schaefer really hit the nail on the head with this statement: “If I listen to Ed and do what he says, he tells me, ‘You are so special. You are doing what ‘normal’ people can’t do. You are a success. If you keep listening to me, your life will be wonderful. You will always be in control.’” I’ve never thought about personifying something like an eating disorder. As a Christian, though, it is clear for me to see that the words of “Ed” are the twisted, deceiving words of the Evil One himself, Satan.
    Since the beginning, Satan has been twisting words, starting in the Garden of Eden. ”Did God really say…?”, he said to Eve. It is even more interesting as I consider all of this together that the very first lie, the first deception, the first attempt to make a human believe something other than God’s truth was directed at Eve, when she was alone. Oh, the voices and thoughts a woman encounters on her own! We love to think about the strength of a woman, but who among us has never experienced self-doubt, a desire to please others, second-guessing herself, wondering if maybe just this once…?
    I suppose the first time Satan, disguised as “Ed” as proposed by Ms. Schaefer, whispered in my ear was when I was a teenager. He first showed up when I started playing team sports for my high school. ”Look at so-and-so. She’s so lean and naturally thin. She doesn’t poof out in the middle like you. She can wear anything and look perfect. Oh, and look at her, too, and her and her and her and her….”. I have never been overweight in my life. The most I’ve ever weighed was when I was pregnant in my late 20′s and then my early 30′s, and people still told me I looked smaller than they would expect for my stage of pregnancy. There is a certain vulnerability about the teenage years, when we are trying to figure out who we are supposed to be, and who we will become in our adult years. We listen to a multitude of voices, some good, some not so good, before we come close to figuring it all out. Thankfully, most of the voices I listened to were full of sound advice, unconditional love, affirmations of beauty and worth, and statements of confidence in my ability to succeed and thrive beyond high school and college. But as I look back, I see more and more clearly the attempts by the Evil One to make me doubt those good voices and to follow his dark path.
    “He” kept trying throughout high school. He convinced me to skip breakfast, or to just grab something really small that I could eat in the car on the way to school. Somehow, he made me believe that fat was my worst enemy. If I could adhere to a nearly fat-free diet, I would be on my way to my ideal physique. He made me feel guilty, mad, sad, and unattractive if my stomach bulged out in any way. The flatter, the better. ”If all those pretty, popular girls can look that way, surely you can, too,” he would tell me. ”You have more will power and self-discipline. You can do this. They will be able to tell that you’re working so hard and then they’ll admire you and notice you.” All this for people I wasn’t particularly close to? What about my true, dear friends? What words did they have? Always, they spoke words of truth: that I was a beautiful, kind, strong, intelligent, athletic young woman. In the best ways possible, they tried to remind me that I didn’t have to count calories or fat grams to be loved by them. They showed me pictures of muscular, yet lean, healthy athletes who were a more proper ideal for which to aim. They did everything good friends should do. They tried humor, they tried to just let me be, and I think maybe they knew deep down that I would see through the lies sooner than later. My parents were confused at worst–I had so much going for me academically, athletically, and personally–why would I find dissatisfaction in my appearance? Of course I wasn’t “fat”, they would say. As I said before, my outward appearance never gave anyone cause for alarm. My battle with “Ed” was more mental than physical.
    This isn’t to say there were no physical effects. I remember the week, yes I said week, when I lost five pounds. Starting out around 108 and going down to 103 (I’m 5′ 3″) in one week was one of Ed’s biggest triumphs. ”See,” he said, “I told you that you could do it. It took some hard work, but you’re clearly in it for the win. You must actually really want this. Next week at school someone is bound to notice that you’re looking leaner. Maybe it will be when you can wear that fitted shirt and not be poofy. Maybe it will be when you’re at practice after school and you’ll look more like them. Remember, if they can look like that, so can you. You want it more than they do, right?” Isn’t it crazy to think that I was so led astray by the Deceiver? I actually believed that life would be better overall if I just weighed less and took up less space. I bought into his lies that I should eat as little as possible all morning and afternoon and then try to be the best field hockey player, or runner, or tennis player I could be. It didn’t occur to me at the time how much I was shooting myself in the foot by denying myself hundreds (thousands?) of calories each day. Looking back now, I wonder–if I’d been fueling myself properly, how many goals might I have scored in field hockey? How many more opponents might I have stopped if I hadn’t been hungry? In track, how many more times could I have run a sub-six minute mile? Could I have made it past the regional meets, and gone to States, or even New Englands? In tennis, would my serve have been as weak if I’d been eating better? Might I have had the confidence, the strength, the guts, to win more matches if I hadn’t been so wrapped up in this fake dream of looking smaller?
    Oh, it all sounds so ridiculous now! There are regrets, and there is also amazement that I did as well as I did! By some miracle, I can’t remember ever feeling truly weak from hunger while playing sports, but I know I was under-nourishing myself. I wasn’t eating to win. At least, I wasn’t eating to win at my sports events, I was eating to win at Ed’s twisted game, that he had made me think was more important than the other things I was trying to do. If not more important, he made me believe that they were pretty equal.
    In her book, Ms. Schaefer describes her relationship with Ed as a marriage. I was never married to Ed, but we had a couple of fairly close years together, on and off again. He followed me to college, where I had more time, more privacy, more pressure to be closer to him. I had a messed up relationship with this way of thinking, but I had still never had anything close to a real life boyfriend. There were always guys I admired from afar, or guys I might get to say a word in passing to, but there were no growing friendships, no dates, no reciprocal interest. That takes its toll after a certain amount of time. In the void left by a Mr. Right I hadn’t yet discovered, Ed tried to get a stronger grip. Although I had all but stopped restricting calories and counting fat grams, Ed tried a new tactic. At one point early in my college career, he said, “You’re really letting yourself go. You’re over 110. That’s the most you’ve ever weighed. You weigh more than your mom, for crying out loud. Have you seen the things you’ve been eating? Don’t you feel totally gross? You know, there’s a way to have your cake and eat it too…” That’s when I started purging. Maybe I’d gone out to eat with friends and felt overly full. Enter the almost always empty library bathroom. A few minutes there, and dinner would be gone. I would feel clean, empty, alive again. The sluggishness that comes from fullness would disappear, and I would feel wiry and lean again. Deep down, I knew that anything that required complete solitude, and that left me with a sinking feeling of shame and sadness, couldn’t be good for me, but Ed kept talking me into it. ”Just this one time, you can do it. Remember how much better you felt last time? You don’t want to get fat, do you?”
    As with my years of restricting my diet, purging did not alter my weight or my appearance. It only messed with my mind and wasted my time. But I was able to eat food that made me feel happy, and also enjoy the feeling of self-denial and self-discipline that came from purging. At least, that’s what I thought was happening. The Evil One is so tricky. He knows exactly what our weak spots are, and how to tangle up our thoughts so we believe things that keep us from our ultimate purpose. He knows how to get us to forget or discount the truths we know from God. ”You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” ”He created man in his own image.” ”I love you.” ”Do not worry about what you will eat.” The One who deceives tells us over and over till we believe it, that it couldn’t be that bad. ”Don’t you want to be healthy? Don’t you want to be strong? Don’t you want to be the best ‘you’ possible?” Of course, his ideas of those things lead to illness, emptiness, and even death. He always lets us down. He makes big promises, but they never live up to their hype. He’ll say, “If you weigh ‘x’, you’ll be just right. People will notice you. Maybe you’ll even catch the eye of that dream guy. He’ll see how hard you work, how strong you are, how seriously you take your fitness.” It’s just not true. You know what happened? I was so busy thinking about what I was eating, figuring out how much I had to work out to burn it off, wondering if I’d be purging again in the library, and worrying about what that blasted scale said at the gym, that I didn’t have any time to let any guys notice me, much less talk to me or develop a friendship with me! I was in a great college, getting great grades, but I was buying into these lies about myself and about life.
    Being with “Ed” never brings true joy. There are triumphs, like when the scale has good news, or those clothes are a little looser, or someone comments on how little you ate. That’s not joy, and I knew it. I knew there had to be more to everything than this. I had friends both at college and back home, I had the most loving and wonderful parents a girl could ask for, but there was no joy. Can a person be surrounded by others and feel so alone? Can there be every reason for happiness but no joy? Yes. I was there. I cried. I wrote. I prayed like I’d never prayed before. I just wept at the very feet of Jesus, pleading for real joy again. If this whole thing with “Ed” wasn’t going to work out, then something or someone else would have to take his place.
    What if I told you that I met someone who I thought I knew all about already? And what if I told you that this individual told me the most beautiful, truthful, honest, lovely things about myself that I’d ever heard? What if I told you that I also happened to meet lots of other people who had known this amazing person longer than me, and who had nothing but good things to say about him? His name is Jesus. Maybe you think you already know him. Maybe you think you don’t want to know him any more than you do. Well, let me say, that if you are/were willing to hang around with “Ed” and listen to what he had to say about you and your life, you need to give Jesus another shot, if you are starting to tune out.
    I can’t begin to tell you all the glorious things Jesus thinks about us. The Bible is chock full of God’s loving words towards us. When we have a relationship with “Ed”, our self-denial, self-discipline are driven by self-hatred and self-punishment. Do you see a theme here? ”Self” is in all those ideas. When we have a relationship with Jesus, everything we do is driven by love. Love from God, and love for God. God loves us because He created us. He was so overflowing with love that He created humans, so that they might receive His love and be in a relationship with Him. He wanted to walk, talk, and live right with them. But even from the start, there was a Deceiver who wanted people to break away from God. He had nothing but death in store, but he made people think that they could have something better than what they already had. (What could be better than walking and talking with their Creator, who provided for their every need, loved them heart and soul, and gave them a literal paradise in which to live?) Because those first people, and every single person since then, made choices that took them away from God, there was a permanent rift between God and Man (by Man I mean all people). The relationship couldn’t be the same, because God exists only in perfection.
    God knew from the get-go that each and every one of us would fall short of perfection. God alone can achieve and maintain perfection! Instead of punishing us, or letting us punish ourselves, he put the punishment on His own son, Jesus. Maybe you’ve heard this story before. Have you heard it in your heart before? I grew up hearing, believing, and thinking I really understood this story. I realize now that it didn’t truly take root in my heart and mind until my second year of college. That was when I started to really consider the personal implications of what Jesus had done. Yes, he died and rose again for the sins of mankind. But what I needed to realize and learn for myself, every day, forever, was that he died and rose again for the sins of me. I fell short of God’s definition of perfection. He was offended by my selfishness, greed, anger, discontent, complaining, envy, and all the rest of it. That means he was offended by my relationship with “Ed”. By believing “Ed’s” lies, I was forgetting about what God wanted me to believe. I had to choose, either Jesus or “Ed”. Choosing “Ed” meant choosing a demanding, unforgiving, cruel, relentless, restless liar, who would eventually lead me to destruction or death if I followed him closely enough. Choosing Jesus meant choosing a compassionate, forgiving, loving, kind, rest-giving, truth-speaking savior, who would eventually lead me to perfection and an eternal life of joy if I followed him closely. By God’s grace, I chose well.

  2. Hello, allow me to introduce myself; I’m a text researcher with Q2A Bill Smith working on a book about eating disorders for Gale, an American reference book publisher. We’d love to be able to include your blog entry, “How Thinspiration Sites Hurt Us: recovering eating disorder teen speaks out” in this book. Is there an email address at which I could send you more information about this?

    with kind regards,
    jill

    PS: here’s the site for the book series. http://www.gale.cengage.com/servlet/BrowseSeriesServlet?cf=ps&region=9&imprint=070&titleCode=GPDDL&page=1

    • Hi Jill,

      My email address is becmc3@hotmail.com, feel free to send me an email.

      I think that you may need to contact Melinda Tankard Reist for that one, as I wrote it specifically for her blog page but as long as you first get her permission, I’m quite happy to hear more details abuot this.

      Thanks,

      Bek.

  3. I would be interested in writing a post about the way eating-disorded people view eds verses the way outsiders view them. Let me know(:

  4. I am a 16 year old girl currently recovering from bulimia nervosa and i’d be interested to write something on encouraging others to seek help as well as informing those who have a friend with an eating disorder what it is like and how a they can help their friend who has an eating disorder as i think this is really important. 🙂

  5. Like most of you guys I have suffered and recovered from an eating disorder and once again like alot of you reading this I too have my own blog, http://taylorstruth.webs.com/apps/blog/
    I would love for people to write some of there stories on there and share their knowleadge and experiences. I am also on facebook and would love to get more followers to my page Taylors Truth which i am currently posting recovery stories about all sorts of situations in life. Would LOVE for all you guys to get involed(:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Taylors-Truth/326575464107355?ref=hl

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