“Between all of the diet pills and throwing up, we somehow managed to convince ourselves that we were gaining control over our lives and our bodies. The truth is we were becoming slaves to our insecurities … Because we pinned our self-worth on our looks, our hearts were never at rest. Why did we put ourselves through this? Why would anyone? Only one thing could motivate someone to such extremes: the desire for love” (Pure Womanhood by Crystalina Evert).
This is the second topic covered in Crystalina Evert’s booklet entitled Pure Womanhood. (For my post covering her first topic, click here!) Many people struggle with eating disorders. When the unrealistic is used to define the norm on magazine covers and on television, people begin to think that they are supposed to be able to meet such standards. I wish I could say that I was shocked by the statistics I found on National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.’s website, but I was not. (I strongly encourage you however, to take a look at these numbers and to pray for those afflicted with these addictions.) Living on a college campus in a girls dormitory, I hear comments concerning weight, eating habits, and exercise on a daily basis.
I also consider myself to be someone that has struggled with an eating disorder. My senior year of high school and my freshman year of college, I really wrestled with self-image as well as my love of food. As you can imagine, at the time, the two did not go well together. I am not a skinny girl, however, I am not a big girl either. I am the normal weight for my height. I never took diet pills and I never forced myself to throw up, but I would sometimes eat only one meal a day followed by more than the average amount the next day. Needless to say, it was not healthy, and ironically was actually counterproductive in terms of the goal I was trying to accomplish.
Why did I do this? For exactly the same reason that Crystalina gave in the quote above. I wanted to be loved; to be considered beautiful by men so that they would consider loving me. But ladies (and men), learn from my example! This is not the way to go! True love and true beauty are not rooted in physical appearances. A man (or woman) who will truly love you, will love you because of who you are, because of your compassionate heart, your strong spirit, and your quick mind. I know that it is a daily struggle to not compare yourself to your peers or to the (photoshopped!) women on the magazine covers, but you must fight! If you find that you are getting down on yourself, do as Crystalina suggests in Pure Womanhood and offer it up to God. Remember that He, the source of all that is good and beautiful, loves you. If He thinks that you are beautiful, then it is true. Remember to worship only Him, do not bow down to earthly idols.
PS. For those of you who read my first post regarding Pure Womanhood, here is the second part to Jason and Crystalina’s talk on “Romance without Regret!” Enjoy!