Yesterday we visited with Tracy Steel of One Degree Ministries about self-image. Today we are taking a look at Tracy’s book “Images of His Beauty” and Tracy shares some advice and warning signs about eating disorders.
EB: Why did you write this Bible study and what is the main message you want young girls to learn from the book?
TS: Young women who struggle with their self-image or with an eating disorder need a resource that points them back to God. They need to fill their mind with His Truth while receiving treatment and help.I have seen Images of His Beauty do this, and provide hope and healing for many.
I want these precious girls to grasp that they significant, worthy, and are not “disordered”-they are a child of God, forgiven and loved.
I want them to embrace the following Biblical Truths:
God sees their pain and loves them.
God gives them true beauty, purpose, and worth simply because they are His daughters.
God desires for them to use their beauty to make a difference in the world around them.
Wondering if your daughter is engaging in eating disorder behaviors? Here are some warning signs to watch for:
Please remember that we all have seasons where we dislike our body, or tell others we feel fat, or have days where we aren’t that hungry. If you sense a change in your daughter’s behavior, try not to panic. Continue to observe her, be involved in her life, and keep the lines of communication between her and you open and grace based.
However, if your mommy intuition bells are ringing, and you notice that she is exhibiting multiple warning signs mentioned below, then seek the help of your doctor and a Christian Counselor.
Please note that the following list is only partial; you may reference the links below for further information:
Consistent trips to the bathroom after meal times
Compulsive desire to exercise
Hoarding large amounts of food
Increased use of laxatives or diet pills
Preoccupation with food and calories
Intense fear of gaining weight
Mood swings, depression, fatigue
Also, if I may add this in love: Fellow moms, I cannot stress this enough: your daughters will notice how YOU see yourself. Are you consumed with talking about your body, over exercising, counting calories etc.? Let’s pray for God to help us to remember that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and ask the Holy Spirit to help us care for our bodies in a way that glorifies God!
What is one bit of advice you’d give to a mother whose daughter is struggling with an eating disorder?
In the book of Acts we are introduced to the Apostle Paul’s companion, Barnabus. The name Barnabus means: son of encouragement. My one bit of advice is to be a Barnabus. Encourage your daughter by praying, listening, and walking with her through the ups and downs. Being faithful, and consistently loving and believing in her as she goes through treatment is a HUGE blessing.
Look to these web sites for great information:
I had the opportunity to read Tracy’s book recently and I loved it. Here’s my review I posted with Amazon:
“Tracy’s book “Images of His Beauty” addresses many of the common issues young women face like self image and self esteem, eating disorders, our identity, soul healing and being shaped into who God designed us to be. What I love about this book is how Tracy gets to the issue, and addresses it from many angles. I felt really challenged to explore my heart for answers to the questions she asked. I mentor a group of high school age girls and highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to look to Jesus for healing in her own life, or to help others with their own healing process.”
Tracy, thank you so much for sharing with us about this very important topic.