The other day I was at a Panera Bread. I was waiting for my chai tea latte when a family came in with two young and beautiful daughters.
The older daughter-perhaps eleven ordered a bagel and was done. Then the Dad turned to his daughter who was perhaps eight or nine and asked her what she wanted.
She said nothing.
He kept asking.
He kept telling her gently”You have to eat something? What do you want?”
Finally after tears, and both parents talking to her, she ordered food.
Then I remembered.
As she sat eating later on, I looked over at her. This tiny, young and beautiful girl, so small and innocent.
I remembered the reason I would have said the same thing as she did, when I was twelve. . . and I had an eating disorder.
I was so saddened because even at that young age, she does not know she is beautiful and perfect just the way she is.
My heart ached for her.
I decided then and there, these are the people I want to fight for. These are the people I want to help.
The women, the girls, who have no idea of their value, dignity and worth.
The ones vigorously fighting against themselves because they feel they will never be enough.
They have bought into the lie that being thin will solve all of their life problems.
I see the girls and I see the damage that has been wrecked on their lives. I know firsthand the damage and the everlasting scars.
The ones that never go away, the feelings that never go away.
Having an eating disorder is never fully conquered, the scars remain and sometimes they tear back open.
It is a struggle for the rest of your life. Scars that you carry but ones that serve a purpose. To make a difference. To change things for the next group of girls. The next generation of girls who do not know how beautiful and utterly perfect they are.