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This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Women YouTube channel.

Maddie shares some of her personal experiences and insights that helped her overcome her struggle with body image.

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[Related: Finding Contentment in Who We Are and What We Do]

Video Highlights:

  • Maddie’s struggles started at a young age when she participated in gymnastics. One coach told her that she looked chubby and showed her how to get by without eating for hours.
  • In high school, Maddie gained a little weight and that triggered her unhealthy focus on her physique. She didn’t want to wear her graduation gown because it would make her look big and she went overboard to look good in her prom dress.
  • Over time, Maddie developed a fear that if she wasn’t constantly thinking about her weight, or how her body looked, she would become fat.
  • There were two events that really helped Maddie conquer her struggle. The first was when she went on a mission trip overseas. She decided to share her struggles with people on the trip and was honest about how she felt about herself. Confessing it to to others brought it out into the open and allowed her to start seeking help. The second event was a dance teacher who taught her to love her body and appreciate all that her body allows her to do.
  • Maddie did some things to help break the habits that fed her disorder. She stopped getting on the scale to weigh herself. She started focusing on helping and serving others.

Eating disorders can be destructive in our lives. They leave us feeling worthless, useless, and they force us to focus on ourselves instead of others. When we recognize and fully embrace our intrinsic value as creations of our loving God, we can begin overcoming the struggles that burden us like Maddie did.

[Related: The Human Identity | Bible Basics for New Believers #4]

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Share an experience you’ve had with eating disorders, whether in your own life or in the life of a friend or family member. How did the disorder disrupt your/their lives?
  4. Have you had any experience with someone making comments about you that proved to be destructive to you, even if it wasn’t about body image? Explain.
  5. On a scale of 1-10, how often do you think about your weight, your diet, and your exercise regiment? Would you suppose you think less, the same, or more than others about these things?
  6. What are some signs you can look for in your own life or in the life of someone else that might indicate an eating disorder?
  7. Read 1 John 1:5-7. Why is it important to share our struggles with others? What happens when we keep things a secret?
  8. Why did Maddie’s decision to help other people aid her in overcoming her struggle with body image? What would it look like in your life to choose to serve others, and how might that help you overcome your own struggles with body image or other challenges?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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