Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Little Voice in Your Head: The Stinkin' Thinkin' Challenge, Week 1

Before I dive into this subject, I thought I'd share a funny clip with you.  Pay special attention from 3:20 to 3:35.  Enjoy.

Funny huh? My personal favorite was the Weed, California joke.  But anyway, time to get serious.

Let's talk about the "little voices in your head" and what they mean to us.

I was watching a documentary on youtube about a young girl in a group treatment facility for anorexia.  I was fascinated by a statement one of the girls made: 
There’s someone who lives in your head, but she’s moved the real you out of your brain and just sort of left a tiny bit of it and she controls your brain and everything you do.
First, this quote answers your question:  Why is she watching videos about anorexia?  She's fat.  I watched them because  1) I envy these girls for their appearance of discipline to simply not eat and/or to exercise excessively (I said I envy the discipline, not the disorder) and 2) because I wanted to understand the mentality of someone who was dangerously thin, yet still thought they were fat.

I have found that in my case, the mentality of the obese and the anorexic is shockingly similar.  I have often felt that I was under the control of an "alternate" me.  No, not disassociation or demon possession, but a fracture between the outside me and the inside me.

The outside me is the one people see; the people pleaser, the chameleon fueled by the fleeting strength of the false bravado of someone without a care or need.  The real me, the inside me, is the me I one I want to see when I look in the mirror and I'm shocked when I don't. She is strong and healthy, has friends and is free to express needs

Then there's "HER": the mediator between the inside me and the outside me.  "HER" is the taskmaster who yells in my head:

"unworthy of love" 
"fat, ugly, lazy, disgusting slob!"
"Only a two pound weight loss, that's not good enough!  YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!"
"Who do you think you are?!"
"You might as well give up and eat. EAT! EAT! EAT!"

"HER" propels me toward junk food like a junkie toward crack, all the while soothing me with the lie of, "It will get better.  This is the last time you'll have to do this."

In all this, the real me gets lost; locked deeper and deeper into a prison cell--a limited space with no prospect of escape (much less thriving).

So, how can we heal?  First, it cannot be done alone (I don't care what the self-help books say).  There are steps we can take, but we must have help, support, and accountability.  We need help to completely change our minds.

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]."  (Amplified Version)

III John 1:2 says - Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers. (Amplified Version)

Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions.  Our spirit and soul must be well and balanced in order for our bodies to be well and balanced.  Only when we use God's Word to begin to think of ourselves the way He thinks of us, can we really be free from the taskmaster that destroys our mind, crushes our will, and mangles our emotions.  This changes aren't instant.  They happen one day at a time, one thought at a time.

Rodney Holmstrom, the National Encourager Coach for Celebrate Recovery set up a "Stinkin' Thinkin'" challenge earlier this year.  I would like us all to participate in it.  All you need is index cards or pieces of paper and a pen.

Write on Side 1 of your card/paper:   "Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12

Write on Side 2: I am a child of God!!!

Read over this several times a day for the next week, and let God speak to your heart.  Please feel free to share any insights, questions, or prayer requests you may have in the comments.  Let's do this!
(Good body image begins with a good state of mind.  Warped thinking produces a warped body image.)

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