Humbled, Grateful & Slightly Terrified–Eat with Joy: Redeeming God’s Gift of Food–Now Available for Pre-order!

I’m humbled, grateful, excited, and slightly terrified to see that my book is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com:

I did not write a book on “redeeming God’s gift of food” and on “eating with joy” because eating and food is uncomplicated for me–quite the opposite. My story was never one of eating disorder such that would make a good after school special (The Best Little Girl in the World, anyone!?), but it was a story common to many American women and girls–that constant, nagging, calorie-tally in the head. The sense that ‘everything else’ would come together if I could just lose a little more weight, or tighten that flabby area, or get my sweet tooth under control. It even had Christian overtones: Christians should stay thin and lovely, Christians shouldn’t be ‘gluttons.’ Meanwhile, conflicting notions of dietary “righteousness” abound: local, organic, vegan, Nourishing Traditions, macrobiotic, freegan…

Food and eating–even and especially in this Land of Plenty–are complicated, touching on family, finance, community, faith, justice, creation care, and more. Even so, I think God invites us eat with joy. 

{Really looking forward to hearing what you think of it!}

Tracey Gold’s ‘Starving Secrets’

Remember Tracey Gold from Growing Pains? A recovered anorexic, she’s now hosting a new Lifetime channel reality show: ‘Starving Secrets.’

Even this People magazine photograph portrays Gold’s anorexic body as glamorous.

The show, still in its first season, follows women with serious eating disorders, and gives them the opportunity to a enter into a treatment program. Critics of the show point out that it follows in the genre of made-for-TV movies like The Best Little Girl in the World, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, and For the Love of Nancy–which probably fueled more eating disorders than they discouraged.

I remember watching The Best Little Girl in the World in health class in 8th grade. It starred Jennifer Jason Leigh and generally made anorexia seem alluring and glamorous, if a bit frightening. It, and media like it, have been thinspiration–unintentionally functioning as eating-disorder inspiration. For girls and women struggling to find their story–to make meaning of their lives, an eating disorder can provide a macabre but compelling narrative.

On the other hand, some point out, insurance companies in the US provide such wimpy coverage to mental illnesses in general and eating disorders in particular (a 30-day per year inpatient cap, for example) that, for some people, participating in a ‘reality’ show represents a viable shot at obtaining treatment.

What’s your take? Do shows like ‘Starving Secrets’ do more harm than good? Do they really help anyone? Or is it just more sordid television?

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