Monday, November 19, 2012

About a Skinny Emily Wierenga

Beyond excited for you to read this guest post by gifted author, Emily Wierenga...
Maybe it’s one of the reasons I whisper hallelujah each time I find a boy in my womb growing long and limber, although I know eating disorders are just as real for them, 25 per cent real in fact, and we just don’t realize it…
That men sometimes hide in toilet bowls and candy wrappers and weigh scales, but 75 % of women struggle with disordered eating and I never really wanted to have a girl. I never really liked the color pink, and I still struggle with OCD and I joke that it’s like ADD only different acronyms but when the stress becomes high it’s truly debilitating.

Prayer is the only antidote and if I did have a girl, I fear I’d always be adjusting her pink ribbons. Or purple or whatever I would insist on her wearing, and I’m still thin. Too thin, my husband says, the one who saw me through my anorexic relapse. The one who prayed me through nights of insomnia, and days of only eating supper, the one who gave me the ultimatum on the side of the highway after I tried to drive us into traffic. It was him, or food, he said. He couldn’t do it anymore, and I chose him, and every day now, I choose him.

I have four boys now, two of my own, and I’m trying not to mess them up. I’m trying not to let my OCD or my dislike of cooking or my struggle with portion size affect them or their understanding of value. I’m trying to sit with them at mealtimes, and eat with them and place my hand lovingly on theirs and to remember that food is much simpler than it seems.

I’m 32, and I like a piece or two of dark chocolate just as much as the next person along with a glass of red wine (or two). But I catch myself looking in the mirror too long after I’ve had a shower, or sub-consciously feeling the bony parts of my arms.

I remind myself of my mum, in many ways, who’s re-teaching herself things like balance and moderation after eight years of brain cancer. I have to re-learn things too. I know I’m recovered in the same way that I’m being healed, in the same way that I’m saved even as I’m being perfected. And it’s all grace, they say, but I say it’s all God.

Because that’s what is growing inside of me now. God. All warm and dark and mysterious.

And I’m beginning to wear pink, because I’ve realized it brings out the blush in my cheeks. And I dream about her sometimes. A girl. With her chubby cheeks (yes, I said chubby, even though I still struggle with eating even though I just wrote a book on eating disorders) and her soft voice singing, as she toddles down the hall and her brothers laugh when they see her, laugh and dance with her to the music on the radio.

She’s wearing lots of ribbons. All kinds of colors. They look like freedom.

And I’m starting to believe the only kind of weight we need to fear is worry. It’s like chains, and it’s only in taking that first bite of chocolate or that first yoga class or that first step across that bridge that makes you shout the hallelujah, chains springing free and your skinny self, clapping for all the world to hear.

Emily Wierenga is giving away a free copy of her newly released book, today: Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder, with Dr. Gregory Jantz (

To WIN, please leave a comment talking about YOUR FAVORITE FOOD.

To order a copy of the book, please visit here. You can find Emily at her website where she writes about her love affair with her family and her faith.

I’m consistently moved every time I encounter Emily’s work. It’s abundantly clear she’s uniquely blessed to minister to women. I’m honored to call her friend. Thank  you, Emily, for all the ways you move us! ~ WPM




  1. oh wendy, what a blessing you are. sharing this all over the place. so much love, e.

  2. This sounds like an amazing book, from an amazing woman who has conquered much. :)

    My favorite I sound like I'm 12 if I say pizza? Probably. But it's the truth. :P

    1. Pizza = classic. We've got some great options around here too.

  3. Emily, you have a gift and you embody God's grace. I can totally picture your lovely face lit up by pink ribbons and a radiant smile. Why stop at just one, why not wear a handful of pink ribbons, all in different hues. Be bold and audacious. Make them your victory banner. *smile*

    BTW...I just have to comment on your hair, Wendy - it's like hair model hair. *sigh*


    1. I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts about Emily!

      And I had a good laugh about the kind hair remark. Must be from lack of washing. ;-)

  4. I would love to read this book. Thank you for sharing!
    My favorite food? Fish tacos.

    1. My husband loves those. I think I might have tried them with a friend in Chicago. Enjoyed if that's what they were...would ask Theresa, but she's not a blogger...not even a facebooker.

  5. Wow! How poignant. I'm in youth ministry with my husband and we've dealt with several young girls and yes, a boy!, who struggle so intensely with this. I'm raising a daughter and praying the Lord gives me the wisdom to teach her to be healthy and secure in who HE created her to be. Favorite food? Gosh. It'd have to be pizza. Cliche I know. :)

    1. I pray that prayer often.

      Have watched loved ones, have felt the intensity myself on's all close to my heart.

      Makes me so thankful for women like Emily and her ministry!

  6. Beautifully written - not sure if the comment is left here or on her blog, but I'm intrigued and would love to read a copy.

    1. I believe here, Nylse, but I'll make sure Emily knows who commented so you're all thrown into the hat.

      Completely agree about it being beautifully written. Everything I read of Emily's is communicated with this giftedness.

  7. I would love to read this book, too! My favorite food is potato soup. Or any soup really. :)

    1. What a unique answer--love it! All important question--cheese or no cheese?

  8. This post was inspiring. My heart breaks every time my ridiculously skinny ten year old assesses herself in the mirror. She's already figured out thin is a girl currency and I do everything in my power to remind her there are all other kinds of currency and ways of looking at things.

    1. The messages are everywhere. It drives me mad. Then I remember I'm the greatest message for my girls.

  9. Emily: You are gifted indeed. I so admire you for choosing your family. But you NEED to read my post today, a fun one called, I Love my Hips.

    My fave food is ice cream. Oh yes it IS a food!

  10. Thank you for sharing your story. It's a huge step in the healing process when you can express what you're going through.

    There's something really sad about a size 12 being considered fat.

    My favorite food: Chocolate (does that count?)

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