Tag Archives: body image

Face Time Podcast Episode 002: Striving for Perfection with Mary Carlisle Crehore

Today Mary Carlisle Crehore from the RUF campus ministry at the University of Texas is with me as my second Face Time podcast guest. She knows well the pressure to be perfect – the same goal so many teen and college girls are striving to attain. But Mary Carlisle can now reflect back on her years in high school and as a Vanderbilt University student to see the self-imposed standards she was living under for what they were. You will hear her talk honestly about the shame she carried, and the anxiety and fear that stole peace from her in the quest for perfection.

In case you missed the first episode with Martha Kate Stainsby on trying to be good enough as it relates to self-worth, body image and eating disorders you can listen to it: here. The idea behind each of these podcasts is to share the stories of young adult women who endured past struggled with various issues common to teen girls.

I hope for the parent listener and for the teenager, you will glean insight into the mindset (or the root) underneath these struggles as you listen to my guests discuss the lies they were believing about themselves and how they tried to secure an identity in false ways. And then as you hear how the reorienting truth of who Jesus is broke into their hearts, my prayer is you will feel better equipped and hope-filled to speak the gospel into the heart of your daughter or to yourself.

Thank you, Mary Carlisle, for sharing your story!

Show Notes:

  • To learn more about RUF, the college ministry Mary Carlisle was apart of as a college student and now as an intern go to: RUF.org
  • The favorite book referenced by Mary Carlisle is: Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters by Courtney Martin
  • Scripture references for further reflection: Zephaniah 3:17 and Psalm 139
Mary Carlisle is from Charlotte, NC, graduated from Vanderbilt University, and now lives in Austin, TX as an RUF Intern at the University of Texas. She spends her days being outdoors as much as possible, running perpetually 10 minutes late, dancing in the car, getting excited about puppies and hanging with students and pizza. Her life goals are to love God and people more than she loves herself and to love the parts of herself and others that she finds unlovable (which will probably take her whole life). She loves to sail and gather around tables with friends and eat delicious food.

Face Time Podcast Episode 001: Trying to Be Good Enough with Martha Kate Stainsby

In anticipation of my new book, Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World, debuting in just FOUR weeks I will be sharing four companion podcasts (one each week) over the next four weeks. While the book is not topical per se, there are specific teen issues addressed as they pertain to the book’s overarching theme on identity and worth.

Each of my podcast guests are young women in their 20’s who graciously share their perspective on teen struggles. For some this includes their own stories of seeking an identity in false sources, how Jesus set them free and helped them see their true worth in him. Like today, in my inaugural podcast episode 001 Martha Kate Stainsby joins me to discuss her past struggles with an eating disorder, body image and perfectionism. She shares with us what lies she believed to be true and the truth that brought her to a place of healing. Great insight for moms of teen girls, and for girls who may be struggling with similar issues.

I hope you’ll take the time to listen -when you’re in your car, your kitchen or taking a walk; just click the play button on the picture below.  If you find it helpful, would you share this podcast post on social media or with a friend? And then be sure to pre-order your copy of Face Time on Amazon here.

Show Notes:
Martha Kate is an eating disorder survivor & advocate. Martha Kate is a writer, who has written for various publications, including being a Huffington Post Contributor. She loves people and especially loves working with young women. Martha Kate resides in Waco, Texas where she lives with her husband Brett. Read her blog at www.leavingperfectionlearninggrace.com.

Moms, Do You Know How Your Daughter Sees Herself?

Dear Girl Moms,

Isn’t it fun when you are scrolling through Instagram and come across a picture with your daughter posted by one of her friends? Your eye is immediately drawn to her and I imagine like me, her smile makes you beam. You couldn’t love her anymore. To you, she is perfect.

Only that’s not at all how she see it.

Even if she “likes” the picture, on the inside she can’t believe her friend chose that one to post!  She scrutinizes every detail. Everyone else looks perfect, but not her. By comparison she is convinced she is fat, not as pretty or whatever else. And the longer she stares at the picture, the more down on herself she becomes.  In her mind, everyone perceives her in the same way she sees herself.

I’m telling you this because this is how it was for my daughter.

I had no idea she felt the way she did about her changing middle school body. It never entered my mind to even ask because at the time nothing about her demeanor let on to the deep dissatisfaction she felt. She was beautiful; still is.

A year or so later when she began trying to lose a little weight, I didn’t initially see anything wrong with her desire to eat healthier and to be more active, especially since her swim team season had ended. But as weight loss became noticeable and others began complimenting her on how good – how skinny – she looked it strengthened her resolve to keep going and her new found discipline became obsessive. (This is why I’ve learned to stop giving the “You look so skinny!” compliment to anyone.)

What started out as a little dieting quickly turned to sever food restrictions and major calorie counting. I feared anorexia setting in. But she couldn’t see it, at least not yet.

Months later an extremely low resting heart-rate scared her back into eating, but as is the case with many who battle eating disorders it can quickly swing from one extreme to another.  Nearly a year later bulimia had become a controlling secret.  Finally, she admitted needing help and from there it was a two year healing process.

Do the math and you see her high school years were dominated by a false sense of worth stemming from negative body image, comparison and an eating disorder.

Early in her treatment I struggled with my own worth – as a mom.  I felt like I had failed for not knowing the intense struggle going on inside her head and behind closed doors. It was especially hard to reconcile because we had (still do) a good relationship and talked freely about seemingly everything. But I now better understand the shame and guilt coinciding with an eating disorder which makes admitting the problem extremely hard. It is the reason far too many people suffer silently and even the ones being treated often hide behind a mask.

This is why my daughter and I both talk about eating disorders openly on social media and elsewhere. We want to be resources and encouragement to anyone living enslaved by an eating disorder or a false sense of worth from body comparisons and shaming. In fact, this part of my daughter’s story is also what has led to my upcoming book. Though not specifically about eating disorders, it is the reason why I felt it necessary to write a book for teen/college girls on identity and worth.

I hope to spare you moms the pain of walking this road with your daughter. I want to help your daughter know her worth secure in Christ.  So please don’t assume you know what she thinks when she sees herself in a picture. Start the conversation. Ask heart penetrating questions and always, always point her back to who Christ is for her. Her identity is only secure in him.

And if you do find yourself in my shoes, you are not a bad mom. Christ was perfect for you too. So, please don’t hide in shame or fear of what others will think. Reach out and let someone bear your burdens with you. And if I can be that friend, I will.

Growing in Grace Together,



I will be speaking at and participating in the National Eating Disorder Associaton Walk in Oklahoma City on April 29th. I would love for you to join me there or support this cause by making a donation through my personal page here.

For a list of past posts/additional resources on eating disorders click here.
Want to help with my Book Launch? Click here and let's connect!