Saturday Symposium: Dealing with the Tough Stuff

We’re so glad to see the weekend again. Where we live, winter is trying to hold on just a bit longer before it makes its exit. The upside of it all is that we have more daylight hours.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week comes to an end today, and we wanted to share with you another excellent blog we found recently. ED Bites is written by Carrie Arnold, a science writer who once suffered from anorexia. Carrie writes about the latest scientific research on eating disorders and offers significant insights that set ED Bites miles apart from other blogs on this topic. We were especially impressed by her post A prevention picture is (not) worth 1000 words, in which she discusses ways that eating disorder awareness advocates often miss the bigger picture and even propagate misinformation:

We avoid the hard issues: people who are dying because they can’t access care, people who are having to crowd-fund live-saving medical treatment because there aren’t enough beds, treatment centers who kick people out for having the bad fortune to struggle during treatment. People who don’t get diagnosed because they don’t “look like” who we think would have an eating disorder. People who receive abysmal treatment, families who are torn apart, providers who should know better. The fact that treatment costs a literal fortune. The fact that physicians have nearly no training in EDs, and psychologists who are still learning the old tripe that EDs are about controlling mothers.

If you’re interested in helping, supporting, and advocating for eating disorder sufferers, you’ll not want to miss this post or the others she has published this week.

Now, here’s our new “Saturday Symposium” question.

How this works: It’s very simple. We ask a multi-part question related to a topic we’ve blogged about during the past week or are considering blogging about in the near future, and you, our readers, share your responses in the comments section. Feel free to be open, reflective, and vulnerable…and to challenge us. But as always, be mindful of the comment policy that ends each of our posts. Usually, we respond fairly quickly to each comment, but in order to give you time to think, come back, add more later if you want, and discuss with other readers, we will wait until after Monday to respond to comments on Saturday Symposium questions.

This week’s Saturday Symposium question: This week, in honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we published two reflections discussing our experiences with eating disorders. In Battling the Regenerating Hydra, Lindsey offered a support person’s perspective; in Encountering the Mirror of Erised, Sarah shared firsthand experience of an eating disorder. Sarah has also discussed how eating together is sacred, and Lindsey has reflected about how going out on dinner dates together can bring refreshment. When we are able to live our lives richly connected to other people in partnership and other forms community, God can transform the truly tough places in our past into wellsprings of life. What forms of community has God provided you as you have sought to transform the truly tough places in your life? How have you received support from others? How have you learned to give support to others? Have you faced any stigma as you sought support for difficult things in your life? How has God shown you who can be trusted to know about the tough stuff?

We look forward to reading your responses. If you’re concerned about having your comment publicly associated with your name, please consider using the Contact Us page to submit your comment. We can post it under a pseudonym (i.e. John says, “your comment”) or summarize your comment in our own words (i.e. One person observed…). Participating in this kind of public dialogue can be risky, and we want to do what we can to protect you even if that means we preserve your anonymity. Have a wonderful weekend!


Sarah and Lindsey

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