As National Eating Disorder Awareness Week wraps up, we are honored to feature an insightful blog from Mercy Nutrition and Fitness Manager, Rachel. As a registered and licensed dietitian, Rachel understands the role food plays in overall health and wellness. Through her work in the community and in our Monroe Mercy home, Rachel brings encouragement and hope and helps others find freedom in Christ!
I recently read a blog post titled A Screwtape Letter for the Unappreciated Mom. If you are unfamiliar with CS Lewis’ a book Screwtape Letters, it is a series of fictitious letters between Screwtape, a senior demon, and his nephew, Wormwood, a demon-in-training. Screwtape is teaching Wormwood how to tempt his human, the “patient”, away from thoughts of God into ungodly actions. It was so insightful and even chilling to see how in tune with our weaknesses our enemy can be!
The blog post inspired me to write a Screwtape Letter of my own for that girl that feels so alone in her negative thoughts about her body, constantly comparing, and distracted from her purpose. This letter isn’t meant to make us feel powerless but to put into perspective just how powerful we are.
My Dear Wormwood,
I’m happy to hear you’ve been making progress with her. She feels undesirable, unnoticed and a bit powerless? What a fine job you’ve done. We’re headed in the right direction. With her constant focus on unrealistic expectations that make her feel less than, we already have an advantage.
I do have a few tips. First, aim your best efforts at her worth.
As you know, we can’t do much with a woman who knows her worth. Luckily for us, a woman immersed in the lies of our world is an easy target. We must convince her the way others view her is the most important. Help her focus on how often men pay attention to her and how they respond to her. She’s likely to believe she’s a commodity, disposable, and good for one thing- use. Convince her the way a man looks at her is the measure of her worth. If they don’t pay attention, she’ll feel deprived and unwanted. If they pay extra attention, looking at her body without respect, she’ll get false affirmation. That’s a good place for her to be. Wormwood, we know the attention and affection a man can bring her pales in comparison to what her heart really needs right now. If she even gets a taste of her maker’s true love and desire for her, we’ve lost footing. So keep the desire for temporary satisfaction of male attention at the forefront of her mind.
When she gets with her friends, shift her focus on the size of her body compared to their bodies. Remind her smaller is better. If her friend is seemingly smaller than her, you’ve got an opportunity to distract and taunt her. She’s been down this road, Wormwood. She chooses to go down it all the time and you’ll have very little work to do after you point her in the right direction.
Also, we know how shameful she gets about what she eats, especially if she ate enough that day or even enjoyed food. Wormwood, know that we cannot make her feel shame, she has to choose it. But oh she will, because she knows this shame very well. Remind her of the workout she skipped. She’ll begin to feel the weight on her body and she’ll be thinking of only herself. Remember, she feels guiltless about obsessive thoughts about herself. She doesn’t know how destructive it is, which is good for us.
When anyone compliments her physical appearance, magnify this compliment. Help her to desire more compliments from people to overshadow the truth and worth she already has. This way she’ll think she has to work for it. Or even take the opportunity to twist what they say in her mind. Tell her they’re lying, they have an ulterior motive, or they’re only complimenting because they feel obligated. She cannot know she’s worthy of compliments and that these compliments can truly be an expression of genuine love for her.
On that note, keep her thoughts on herself. Keep her thinking she’s alone in this struggle. It is possible for us to convince her she is the only one and no one understands her struggle. Tell her no one understands her version of depression or self-hate because it is too serious. Isolation is key. As soon as she starts talking to people she trusts about this, we lose footing. We both know vulnerability brings her power, but leading her to believe it makes her weak is where we want her. The more she keeps it to herself, the more power she gives us. If we encourage her to be closed off and unapproachable about this matter then that will keep the others from opening up too. You know what happens when one of them opens up about this. Do everything you can to keep her silenced.
I need to tell you something about truth, Wormwood. It’s our kryptonite. We know the truth well because we twist it all the time. You’ve been trained to tell her the opposite of what her soul truly needs. Do you know what happens when she starts to value truth over what you say? She starts believing it and you can guarantee some of the lies you’ve been telling her for years will be completely powerless. That’s when you find new lies to tell her.
She’s so much more powerful than she knows, Wormwood, but she cannot know that. As long as we convince her she’s powerless, we’ve got the power.
Your Malevolent Uncle,
It’s obvious the enemy loves to twist the way we see things, isn’t it? The truth in Romans 12:2 – the fact that I can actually renew my mind, and transform the way that I think through God’s truth – has been life-changing for me. Before working for Mercy, I never understood the power or even necessity of speaking scripture-based truth out loud over my life. It was exactly what I was missing in my journey towards freedom, and I’m so thankful for this life-changing tool. I’ve come to realize, more often than not, I don’t “feel” like doing it, but in those moments when I don’t feel like it – that’s when I need it the most.
Below you’ll find a few links to Mercy Multiplied’s Freedom Tools. They are an excellent resource if you’d like to experience transformation through renewing your mind, implementing truth into your life, and better understanding your authority in Christ. No one else can do this for you. Claim this truth over your life, speak it out loud, and experience the power in Christ that was yours all along.
Click here to learn the signs and symptoms of eating disorders and discover FREE resources!
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, Mercy can help. Our program is completely free of charge to the girls we serve. Call 615-831-6987 for more details, or click here to learn more.