Any woman repenting from an eating disorder needs help from those closest to her. As God transforms her mind and thinking, it is necessary for family members (mothers especially) to know how to give the right kind of "support" and reinforce biblical attitudes (and right behaviors). Martha demonstrated how an anorexic counselee would be instructed to keep a "self-talk" log, contrasting sinful, obsessive and self-oriented thoughts with biblical replacements which focus on loving God and others. For example, an eating-disordered girl will typically fret, "Everyone is watching me! Why can't they leave me alone?!" The "put-on" thought to replace this might be, "Everyone is not watching me, and those that are, love me very much. I don't blame them for being worried."
Naturally, mealtimes are very tension-fraught in households where someone is battling an eating disorder. One question Martha often fields from concerned mothers is, "What should we do if our daughter just sits and stares at her food?" Discomfort often leads parents to excuse, ignore, or over-react (crying; begging) to their daughters' willful starvation. Instead, Martha counsels parents to remain calm, speak to her very calmly and give her hope. They might express something along the lines of, "I know this is very hard for you but the Lord will help you, and I want you to pick up your fork and take a bite of potatoes. Ask the Lord to help you. We are going to pray for you right now and then we are going to continue to eat our meal." Then, she counsels, turn the focus of dinner conversation to something else - the matter has been dealt with compassionately, biblically, and lovingly - but without dwelling on it or focusing excessive attention on the young woman or her battle.
While Martha made many good points and gave helpful advice on giving homework, making agendas and how to approach the Gospel with the counselee, I particularly liked this discussion of parental involvement and thought it was especially practical. An eating disorder, like any other type of addiction (life-dominating sin), affects every member of the family. I especially like her suggestion of praying and bringing God into what is so clearly a spiritual battle - right there at the dinner table. Having "fought" this lonely battle privately for years, I can tell you that having a compassionate, godly parent offering hope during the scariest moment would have made a world of difference. A loving family praying over a frightened young woman as she faces her fear is far more effective than "talk therapy" and secular "coping strategies". The Bible has much to say about dealing with fear, and the fact that God is FOR us and not against. Reinforcing these truths is the best "support" a young woman could receive.