Contributor: Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, Founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 30 books on behavioral and mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and others.
All your life you’ve heard the expression “It’s never too late.” You need to believe that now. The New Year brings about a time of reflection and also goal setting. Achieving a life of health and balance is within your reach. For those struggling with disordered eating, now is the time to begin your journey.
In the past, you have spent a good deal of time focusing on how your body looks from the outside. Now it’s time to look at your body from the inside. What is happening to you on the inside affects how you look on the outside. Your relationship with food has not brought you to the point of vibrant health.
Instead, it is robbing you of your well being, little by little.
Concerned with the Means and the Ends
Before, you were concerned only with the end result, attaining some sort of desired result. Now you need to be concerned with the means you are using to that end and the damage it is causing. To be thin is not necessarily to be healthy.
To put on weight is not necessarily to be fat. Vibrant health is what you are striving for—both physically and mentally.
There’s a whole new world out there, waiting for you to discover it. It’s a world where laughter and love are possible and where tears and grief are too. It’s a world of both sunshine and rain. Both are needed for you to grow.
Learning How to Love Yourself Again
Over the next year, you have the wonderful job of learning how to love yourself again. All this time, you’ve been searching for two elusive things—love and acceptance. Before, you counted on others or food to provide them for you. In your new reality of vibrant health, you can provide those things for yourself.
When you accept yourself, others will follow. People you meet will take their lead from you in how you want to be treated. If you present them with a person worthy of your own love and acceptance, they will be more willing to give you their love and acceptance in return.
Before, relationships may have seemed to you like jumping off a cliff. They may still feel that way. But this time, you will be fully anchored to your own sense of self. If you fall, you’ll have the rope of your own self-acceptance upon which to climb back up.
Steps Forward and Back
Your new reality will not be without risk or relapse. As with any new skill, there will be the inevitable backward step.
This need not be a signal for a full retreat. Pick yourself up and go forward again.
After you’ve done that, take a look back at where you’ve been and really ask yourself if that’s where you want to end up. Then turn yourself back around and continue forward.
Believing in the Promise
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declare the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
Believe God’s promise this year. Believe in His ability to bring you back from the captivity of food, weight, and body image. Believe in your future of vibrant health. Believe in His love. Trust in God and in yourself, and hold onto it tightly this year.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What does your pathway to vibrant health inside and out look like to you? What are some ways that you will work toward achieving this in the new year?
Excerpts taken from Dr. Gregory Jantz’s Hope, Help & Healing for Eating Disorders (2010). WaterBrook Press.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 5th, 2014
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com