Post-It Phrase of the Day: "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
Megan wrote, “I am a recent High School graduate working on my final Girl Scout Project before I leave for college this coming fall. Struggling with an eating disorder throughout all of my middle and high school years prevented me from developing hobbies, joining clubs, trying out for teams, making friends, going to school dances, going to friends’ birthday parties, going on dates, attending sleepovers, socializing, attending family parties, participating in holiday gatherings, and essentially, living life. I would like nothing more than to prevent even one person from going down the same dangerous path I did only a five years ago. If there was anything I could do to prove to young girls that they are beautiful, important, unique, special, and loved just as they are, I would do it. And so that it was what I have been trying to do for the past month and a half for my Girl Scout Project. Each week, I have been meeting with the teenage girls at my church to discuss all of the stresses and pressures that teenage girls face day to day. These girls range from age 12-16. Girls are often never given the opportunity to discuss the stresses in their own lives in a safe and non judgmental environment, and when they are given the opportunity, they often refuse to speak, unable or afraid to express themselves. I wanted to give these girls the opportunity. Our discussions have included the topics of self worth, the meaning of self esteem, confidence, the dangers of dieting/eating disorders/falsehood of the media, finding a passion, establishing healthy connections and abandoning the detrimental ones, and above all else, the true meaning of beauty. I introduced the girls to Operation Beautiful – the very organization that has brought me much comfort, support, and encouragement while dealing with my own struggles. My mom bought me the Operation Beautiful book three years ago, and I have read it cover to cover multiple times. With money donated from the Youth fund at my church, I have been able to purchase 18 copies of the book, one for each of the girls I have worked with. I have also provided each girl with their own stack of post-it notes, a journal to express their thoughts and and concerns throughout the weeks and years to come, and numerous reference sites and handouts that will be useful to them as they grow and mature into young women. The girls have really taken to the project, and the response has been amazing. The reactions and comments I have received from the girls I have worked with have been amazing. Two girls said that they see themselves differently, more positively, than before. Many others said that they see girls their age in a new light. Others have simply said that they have needed the opportunity to talk. Through their responses, these girls have given me the strength to get through meals out with friends and family this summer. Through focusing on them, I have slowly begun to help myself. College is terrifying, filled with food and friends, but I am working to get to a place where I am strong enough to face it all. It’s a constant battle, but one that I am continuing to fight.”
The new Operation Beautiful book is available for pre-order. Operation Beautiful: One Note at a Time is targeted to 8 – 14 year old girls and addresses topics like friendships, bullying, love, life, puberty, parents, finding a passion, and healthy living. If you’re older, check out the original Operation Beautiful book!