If you See Symptoms
If you see symptoms of an eating disorder in your child, Dr. Dena Cabrera, staff psychologist at the Rosewood Institute in Arizona, recommends tak- ing these steps:
• Learn all you can about eating disorders.
• Obtain treatment for your child only from healthcare professionals and
facilities that specialize in eating disorders. Don’t expect your child to acknowledge the problem or embrace your help. Participate in family therapy
as recommended by treatment providers. Be patient.
• Maintain a supportive, confident, hopeful posture. Express honest affection verbally and physically. Talk with your child about personal issues
other than food and weight.
• Be clear and consistent about decisions, but don’t become your child’s
policeman. If you see a change in your child’s weight or behaviour, call his
counsellor or physician. Have your child replace food that was binged on
and clean up messes in the bathroom or kitchen.
• Expect your child to be with the family during mealtimes, but don’t demand he eat. Don’t let the eating disorder dominate the family’s eating
schedule. Don’t let the child shop or cook for the family.
• Don’t waste time trying to pinpoint the cause of the eating disorder or assigning blame. Families neither cause nor cure eating disorders. Pray and
trust God for the outcome. FT –EW
were astounded I was still alive, and my
mother was telling me I was a miracle.
factor is the willingness of the perso
tering the program.
And this realization God had saved me
twice – once on the cross, and once in that
hospital room – gave me the love I needed
to get better. Perfect love has no fear. And
as a result of knowing God was pursuing
me, and desiring me (all I’d ever wanted
from my parents), I found the courage to
pick up my fork and eat.
The Road to Recovery
If your child or loved one has no
ceived some sort of vision of eternal w
as little Lisa or I did, it can be har
any sort of recovery plan to stick. A
famous psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-said, “People are like stained-glass
dows. They sparkle and shine when
sun is out, but when the darkness se
their true beauty is revealed only if t
is a light from within.”
The little girl mentioned at the beginning
of this article (I changed her name for privacy) recovered physically from anorexia
after attending Remuda Ranch in Arizona,
but it wasn’t until meeting a female pastor
who kept her accountable through memorized Scripture that she began to heal
mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Because, again, it’s not about the f
Food is just a tool. It’s about the
within. It’s about the eating disorder
viding a substitute for identity, and u
person’s sense of identity is stronger
their desire for power, he or she will b
able – or more importantly, unwilling
My own recovery began in the hospital
in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. There was no eating disorder program, just a plate of food
and God’s voice saying I had a purpose
far greater than any eating disorder could
God definitely uses such institutions,
treatment programs and therapy. He can
use anything – nothing is beyond Him.
emILy wIerenGa is a wife, mother o
boys and caregiver of two more, artist
author of Chasing Silhouettes: How to
a Loved One Battling an Eating Dis
(Ampelon, 2012). Find more in
chasingsilhouettes.com. Her next
will be Mom in the Mirror: Body Im
Beauty, and Life After Pregn