Healthy eating and exercising are not bad.
In fact, those are ways to take care of what God has given us. We cross the line when our thoughts, hearts, actions, and lives become centered on the next meal, exercise, and overall appearance. When you begin manipulating food and exercise to punish or reward, you may need to reflect on what’s going on inside of you. We read in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” We do not have to be bound by the image in the mirror. We do not have to be bound by the comparisons we make with other people. We can begin to experience freedom in our everyday lives without distraction. Christ provides freedom from the bondage we face in this world, including food and body image issues.
Sure, dessert or a long walk or run is a gift for yourself, but if you are really honest, how much of this is affecting your heart and mind? Deep down, how much of your attitude towards food and exercise directly affects the thoughts about what you see in the mirror and, ultimately, who you are?
- Easy frustration or quick temper
- Jealousy or possessiveness (indicates a sense of ownership rather than partnership)
- Getting “carried away”, even in little or positive things (lack of control over impulses)
- Lies, excuses, cover-ups: “I didn’t mean it! I was drunk: it wasn’t me! It was the alcohol.”
- What happens when you say “No.”? If it is disregarded or discounted, take warning!
- Parent/Child relationship (you have rules and consequences for breaking them)
- History: Has he abused before? Does he use force to solve his problems?
- Pushing blame/lack of responsibility: “I wouldn’t have had to do that if you hadn’t…” “You brought this on yourself. You made me mad.”
- Giving orders/making demands versus making requests or seeking your opinion.
- “I’m sorry, but…” The “but” undoes whatever came before it!
- Church/Faith/Religion: how is the language of “headship & submission” used? If being the “head” means “I get my way over yours” there is a potential problem!
- Family Patterns: What is his parents’ relationship like? How do his siblings relate to their significant others and children? How does he treat his mother?
- F.O.G.: Does he use Fear, Obligation, or Guilt to get his way? (‘You owe me! Look at all I do/provide for you!”)
- H.A.L.T.: Who is he when he is Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired? These are not valid excuses for lashing out!
Two Laws of Relationship:
- You ALWAYS have the right to say what happens to your body. Nobody can tell you that “You have to take it”.
- You are ALWAYS responsible for how you use your body. “You made me do it” is a lie.
All too often it seems that a counseling center will exist as its own entity. Avenues Counseling desires to partner with churches and para-church organizations throughout the St. Louis area to help encourage and support them as they carry out their vision.
Check out our website for more information about this distinctive way Avenues is impacting the community.