Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Weightless: Making Peace with Your Body

I first learned about popular writer and journalist, wife and mom, Kate Wicker because of her renown in the blogging world.  I was really struck by one of her posts which included a letter from a woman whose daughter was struggling with an eating disorder asking for tips on what the mother could do to help her get better.  Kate wrote back some suggestions for this mother as to how she could help her daughter.  Where does Kate Wicker get her insight into the confusing world of eating disorders, diets, weight loss, exercise, binging, purging, and calorie counting? 
For a number of years, Kate suffered from anorexia and bulimia.  She knows firsthand how the pursuit for skinniness can wreak havoc inside your body, mind, and soul.  In Weightless: Making Peace with Your Body, Kate shares some of the intimate details of her own struggle with body image, calorie counting, excessive exercise, binge eating, as well as describes where the desire to keep her weight down originated and what happened when she got the help she needed. 
This book isn’t just for women or men who have struggled with an eating disorder.  It’s for every person who has ever been less than satisfied with his/her physical appearance.  It’s for anyone who has ever wished he/she was skinnier, taller, more muscular, had a better complexion, fewer freckles, no wrinkles, darker skin, lighter hair, a smaller nose, more voluptuous lips, longer eyelashes…
Kate read quite a bit about eating disorders when she was recovering and she quickly discovered that most of what she read dealt with the emotional and physical symptoms of the illness and how to become healthier in those two areas, but an important element was missing.      
What about the spiritual suffering that is involved?  How does someone heal that aspect of their lives?  These are two of the questions which inspired Kate to pray about (and then write about) the spiritual aspects of returning to health. 
There are countless resources, books, magazine articles, and websites devoted to beauty, fashion, exercise, as well as those that help people to identify, address, and treat eating disorders, but Kate found there was a definite lack of resources that included Scriptural support for every person to have a healthy body image.  Kate reminds us of many passages from Scripture in which each of God’s children are precious, loved, lovable, and even beautiful.  For example, she reminds us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” according to Psalm 139 (which happens to be one of my favorites to return to when feeling unlovable for any reason).    
Kate talks about how she came to have a better body image herself, and how she encourages her daughters to see themselves as beautiful in God’s eyes.  It is only through a deeper relationship with the Lord that lasting peace and true acceptance of yourself and others is possible.  Kate came to this realization a while ago and has been inspiring others by living it and passing a healthier legacy down to her daughters.    
I don’t know about you, but I have an ongoing need to be reminded that I am made in the Lord’s image and always beautiful in God’s sight, because I certainly have days, sometimes even weeks or months, when that feels anything but true.  This book is a great place to start to heal, love, and be loved in mind, body, and spirit.   
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Weightless - Making peace with your body. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.
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