Mary, gentle mother,
you who have known nothing but total communion
with the God of our beginning,
and our end,
we ask you to take us under your mantle.
We pray the words you said to all of us
through St. Luke the Evangelist:
The hungry he has filled with good things.
Mary, teach us how to be hungry
as you knew how to be,
so that we may be filled,
as you are, with good things.
In your precious son’s holy name, we pray.
If you’ve been searching for a Catholic diet plan, Catholic spiritual weight loss program, or just been growing increasingly desperate for relief from emotional eating and compulsive food behaviors and want to lean on your Catholic faith as your path to a new way of eating with peace and joy, check out my course Filled with Good: Theology of the Body for Food Addicts.
Catholic In Recovery, Webinar for Catholics Healing from Disordered Eating, and Theology of the Body for Food Addicts
Here’s the video version of the update:
Bullet point summary
->New haircut! ->New job! I get to work with @catholicinrecovery to share God’s good news for food addicts! ->17Nov 7:30pm Eastern I’m giving a CIR webinar: holiday self-care plan for food addicts FILLED WITH GOOD: THEOLOGY OF THE BODY FOR FOOD ADDICTS! ->Computer in the shop=providential course launch delay ->FWG launching 5Jan2023; webinar cohort starts 12Jan 7:30pm Eastern. Sign up for updates at bio link ->FOOD ADDICTS: watch this space for pop-up free binge trigger processing tool demo QUESTION! ->What do you need today to help you detach from food & body image obsession?
[Barely edited transcript of video above for those who don’t want to watch the whole thing.]
Folks. I’m back. It’s a Erin McCole Cupp. I’m filled with good. And so are you. And I have missed interacting with you guys.
My computer was literally in the shop, which put the release of filled with good on hold, but computer’s back and it’s working.
So here’s an update on what you’ve missed.
I joined on the content team for Catholic in Recovery. You can visit them at catholicinrecovery.com.
It is an organization that unites 12 step recovery from addiction with the sacramental understanding of God’s mercy in the Catholic Church. And I’m really, really on fire for the work I get to do for them.
You’ll get to see blog posts from me as well as eventually a video series specifically for food addicts in 12 Step Recovery that uses the principles of Catholic spirituality.
You can also just be for people who are 12 step curious. Uou should be able to get that on their forthcoming platform called CIR+. You can find out more about that at catholicinrecovery.com.
Also on that note November 17th, mark your calendars, with Catholic in Recovery, I’m going to be leading a live event webinar specifically for food addicts focusing on issues of self-care through the holidays.
So that we can not just treat ourselves but treat ourselves well.
On to Filled With Food: the stuff that’s, that’s mine that I’m working on.
I have the delay in the October launch. I have reworked the launch trajectory.
We’re looking at a January 5th 2023 release date for a cohort that starts meeting on January 12th.
For our live webinars, we’re going to meet for six weeks and then do a follow up three weeks after that.
So we will be starting our year filled with good and then using those tools getting into the beginning of Lent.
So I think the timing for that is actually: God had that in mind.
In the meantime, I’m going to be making some blog posts and videos that will provide you with validation from my experience as someone who has struggled and still struggles with compulsive food behaviors.
You’ll also get to see some behind the scenes stuff of my working on the course, including body image issues, because here I am on video as somebody who has a lot of body image insecurity.
So I’m looking forward to sharing those tools and that work with you.
You’ll also keep an eye out because I’m going to be doing pop up lives on all of my socials in the coming weeks, especially leading up to the release, of Filled With Good, where you will get to see me work through my eating triggers live, using the tools that I offer in Filled With Good.
So a schedule is on the way for where you’ll find me popping up on socials each day of the week.
I’ll also be offering all sorts of freebies and discounts.
So mark your calendars.
January 5th, we’re also going to do the intro webinar that you would pay for January 12th as part of the Filled With Good Package.
I’m actually going to do that live on January 5th for free for so you can kind of see what you’re getting into.
I know I’m missing something and that’s where you come in.
If you are someone who struggles with food and body image, what is your biggest pain point today?
Where are you hurting the most?
Can you pick just one area?
I’m here to tell you that there’s hope and healing, but for me, first, I needed to heal the lie that my pain isn’t getting seen, heard and believed.
Because until I experienced having my pain received and mattering to someone, there was no diet, restriction, or spiritual weight loss plan that was going to break through the hold that food had on me.
So what’s your pain today?
What’s inside of you that’s crying out to be heard?
Because I know the Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I know that now I’ve experienced it myself.
And the amazing thing about my recovery is that through it and through sharing it with others, I experience the spirit of the Lord being upon me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives.
I am looking forward to sharing and experiencing this acceptance and this freedom with you
5 things I said I would never do as a scapegoat family trauma survivor trying to break the cycle
and how I overshot on every single one
I promised I would never make my kids responsible for a disproportionate amount of the housekeeping. Yes, I gave them chores, but the chores that were more triggering to me (namely, dishes and bathroom cleaning), I kept overwhelmingly to myself. I also cleaned up after messes they made way longer than I should have for their developmental ages.
As a result… I’ve continued my own scapegoat role to a certain extent in my current family, and I’ve trained some humans to be someone’s really crappy future roommates
I promised I would never overshare. I’d never spousify my kids by sharing with them too much of my own childhood trauma and the difficulties that was causing me in my relationships. I’d definitely never use it as an excuse to hurt them. Now, I have apologized to them on occasion by saying, “I’m sorry. This is a way I learned to behave from my own [mother/father] here, and I should not be acting this way, AND it’s not your fault.”
However, I didn’t learn how to model developmentally appropriate emotional connection in relationships in time for them to pick up a good example from me, so I accidentally taught them instead that we don’t talk about our emotional lives. That sucks.
On apologies, I promised I would never NOT apologize to my kids. If I did something wrong, I would own up to it and tell them it wasn’t their fault.
Noble plan, but again, having been a well-trained family scapegoat, I overshot. I apologized to them for things that THEY did, and I made myself the family toilet in this family, too, perpetuating the dynamic that, as long as there’s someone else to do the apologizing, most people can avoid that kind of discomfort.
I promised I’d never make my kids touch anyone. I told them from a very young age, “You don’t have to hug me if you don’t want to. You don’t have to let anyone touch you if you don’t want to be touched.” Hooray for bodily autonomy, right?
Again, I overshot. I didn’t model asking for healthy touch, and so now there’s a disconnect not just emotionally but physically as humans in need of healthy touch.
On that note…
I promised I’d guard my children’s Theology of the Body-based dignity and safety. I’d never sexualize my children the way I had been as a child. I wouldn’t leave explicit material out for my kids to pick up. I wouldn’t make constant dirty jokes, especially not at their expense. I wouldn’t even expose them to the relational chaos so poorly modeled on soap operas. How did I overshoot this one?
I accidentally made sexuality a taboo topic, something we can’t talk about around mom, and for all my Theology of the Body fangirling, I have no idea how to undo that knot.
I went into parenting all hyped up to break the cycle.
Most days, I feel like all I did was tap on the brakes.
A young adult edition of the best-selling classic about the Holocaust and finding meaning in suffering, with a photo insert, a glossary of terms, a chronology of Frankl’s life, and supplementary letters and speeches
Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is a classic work of Holocaust literature that has riveted generations of readers. Like Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl and Elie Wiesel’s Night, Frankl’s masterpiece is a timeless examination of life in the Nazi death camps. At the same time, Frankl’s universal lessons for coping with suffering and finding one’s purpose in life offer an unforgettable message for readers seeking solace and guidance. This young adult edition features the entirety of Frankl’s Holocaust memoir and an abridged version of his writing on psychology, supplemented with photographs, a map of the concentration camps, a glossary of terms, a selection of Frankl’s letters and speeches, and a timeline of his life and of important events in the Holocaust. These supplementary materials vividly bring Frankl’s story to life, serving as valuable teaching and learning tools. A foreword by renowned novelist John Boyne provides a stirring testament to the lasting power of Frankl’s moral vision.
Not sure how I ended up with the young adult adaptation from the library, but maybe that was God protecting me. Either way, this was a pretty transformative read. Logotherapy, or the value of finding meaning in one’s life as the key to mental health, is a concept I’ve wanted to explore for quite some time, and this was at last my opportunity. In addition to his description of life (and death) in concentration camps, Frankl makes strong arguments for promoting “mental hygiene” among self and others by searching for the meanings of our prayers, works, joys, and sufferings. 6/5
“Low contact is for when things are going badly, but you hope that with boundaries, perhaps a relationship is achievable. No contact is actually a loving response. It is for when you accept that the other person is unwilling or unable to change, and therefore, there is no hope for a healthy relationship because it will never happen. No contact IS biblical, but the Christian response is to come to this conclusion in prayer. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is an excellent help.” What does the Bible say about going no contact?
Scroller, beware: I’m not sure if Christopher West originated this quote or not, but I’ve heard him say on his podcast with his lovely wife Wendy that “The devil doesn’t have his own clay.” I try to use social media, especially Insta, to spread good news. Alas, IG also has a problem with pro-eating disorder accounts.
Catholic Mom’s Louisa Ann Irene Ikena has an inspiring piece for those of us who think that trauma has made our lives shorter and less worth living: 100: My Betty White Decision.
That said, there’s so much overlap between eating disorders and trauma survival that this article feels at home here, too: The Unacknowledged Trauma Epidemic and the long-term public health repercussions of sexual abuse.
The idea that so many people give up social media for Lent can lead to surprising adventures in ministry.
A letter from Erin to the small but mighty Heard Mentality Community:
Lent 2022 was a time of discovery. I started out with big plans and thought that they were plans directly from the heart of God because there were all sorts of “just in time” signs. The biggest was that I got an email about how people give up social media for Lent the Monday before Ash Wednesday—all right after I had decided to encourage people to give up isolation for Lent—all right after I’d been learning more and more about how to use Google Classroom. So I started Heard Mentality and tried to launch a community on Google Classroom.
I do think it was a direction from God, but it didn’t lead where I assumed it would.
As Lent progressed, I felt more “in the weeds” as we’d say when I was waiting tables: too many orders going through my head, too many plates piled on too many trays for me to reasonably carry, and here I was, trying to promote mental health while playing fast & loose with my own.
Again, it was all a direction from God but not the kind I’d expected.
I found myself without the time I needed to create the content to promote the community to grow the platform to serve the people. I thought that I had a job: create a broad, soft place for people to land once I reached them. Alas, I was getting nowhere fast, and the message I was trying to craft was itself falling by the wayside.
So this brand new Heard Mentality community got neglected.
I went seeking counsel from others in ministry. What should I do? How could I manage my time in creating this place for people to land and still keep my own serenity so that I’d be a useful messenger? The answer repeatedly was that I was just doing way too much. I had a metaphorical counter full of raw pies, their crusts wilting in the frenzied heat of all my activity.
And why would I keep making new pies instead of finishing one, just one, I’d already started?
Because when something is finished, it’s available for criticism.
I was hiding from my critics by not giving anyone anything about which to complain. Now, looking back on this with some self-compassion, I get it. As a developmental trauma survivor, I’ve had to deal with a serious affirmation deficit. Trying to avoid more criticisms against my best efforts? Completely understandable. That said, there aren’t many ways we can actually die from disappointment. As long as I’m surrounding myself with enough people who use the truth for the purpose of showering me with love (building each other up through both positive and difficult feedback) instead of for the purpose of making themselves feel a false-better by making me feel less-than, then I have the emotional support to face whatever disappointment may come my way, whether through content creation failures or just the relational failures that are part of being a fallen human.
It was during Passiontide 2022 that I received some very important messages that gave me the direction I believe I need to move forward and get back to creating things that aren’t just there for criticism but are also there to share God’s healing love with those looking for it:
This is something heard often in the content creation world. Don’t make your message too broad. It’s easier to reach and cultivate a small audience who is looking for a specific message than it is to reach everyone with everything in a world as informationally noisy as ours. The smaller the message, the sharper the arrow to hit your target. Etcetera. I thought “I’m on a mission to heal trauma with truth” was a small enough message. Um, given how big the trauma in my own life has been, why would I think that’s a small message!?! I spun my wheels a lot, because I was going in too many directions. Yeah, I picked up a generous bucket of skills along the way (took an SEO class for a possible job for which I didn’t even get an interview, learned Google Classroom for a community that I didn’t have time to build, am picking up Adobe Premier for videos I haven’t been able to produce by my original self-imposed deadline…), but what was it all for if it was spent not getting the results I wanted on the schedule I wanted?
It wasn’t all for nothing.
In my creative pursuits as well as just relationships in general, I’ve been living through the story that says, if I made a mistake, it was a waste of time. However, one day during my social media benchmarking time, I came across a TikTok that I’ve since lost, in which the viewer is encouraged to imagine God whispering to her, “It wasn’t all for nothing.” It wasn’t? I didn’t get that job, but now I know SEO tactics to use to reach more people in my ministry. I learned Google Classroom, but I also learned its limitations so that I can make better informed decisions as to what platforms I want to use in the future for community-building. I still have a lot to learn in Premier, but those are not the last videos I plan to create.
Failure-based disappointment and freeze-based regret are equally painful. One is not less painful than the other.
That said, only the first one of those teaches new skills, especially the skill of resilience.
I’m afraid. Once I have that course out of beta mode, it could flop. All that time & energy & creativity wasted (my trauma will say). Whatever happens, it won’t be all for nothing. This, Heard Mentality, was not all for nothing. I thank you for your sense of adventure in answering this invitation at the start of Lent 2022. If you don’t already, please say in touch either on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Clubhouse, or even good old email.