It’s kinda had a life of its own…
In summer 2007, Travis Stewart, a therapist for Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating Disorders, contacted Constance Rhodes, founder of FINDINGbalance, and author of the book Life Inside the Thin Cage, to invite her to speak at a conference that Remuda was hosting. Over the next few months, the conversation flowed from planning a conference, to dreaming about changing the world.
We smile, but it’s the truth…
See, both Travis and Constance had spent several years working with disordered eaters, whether in an inpatient treatment setting at Remuda, at classes hosted by FINDINGbalance, or through presentations out on the road. And while every person’s story was unique, some common themes kept emerging:
It didn’t matter if a person was overweight, underweight, or in between. They might be pretty or plain; young or old. Many looked completely ‘normal’ on the outside – the right hair, shoes, clothes, makeup – but they were dying on the inside. And we knew we had to reach them.
So, Travis and Constance started talking about how to take this message to the masses. How to reach the woman in Middle America who just pigged out on doughnuts and doesn’t know why. Or the soccer mom who constantly complains about her body and doesn’t realize the message she’s sending her three year-old daughter. We wanted to connect with the teen girl who is drowning in insecurity, not to mention the dads, brothers and boyfriends who often contribute to a girl’s negative self-image without even realizing it.
When it came to naming this campaign, True seemed a simple yet appropriate choice. Scripture tells us, “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” John 8:32. Freedom sounds good to us, and so with our title in place, we moved to defining what lies we wanted most to battle. Three words seemed to sum up everything: “Identity,” “Beauty,” and “Impact.”
We realized that if women could embrace their true God given identity, it would change their perspective on beauty, and thus alter the kind of lives they lead, and the kind of impact they make in the world.
And the True Campaign was born.
Our first step was to create a video that features real women, not actors, getting honest about their struggles with eating and body image. More than a half-million women viewed this video in 2008 through Women of Faith conferences and other venues. Other video shorts like the “Katy” series are designed to get conversation going, and keep it going. And this site is here to provide encouragement, hope and resources directly to you.
On the practical side, in late 2008/early 2009 we launched true:shift, a tangible program whereby you are challenged to "shift" $32 a month from something diet/appearance related toward sponsoring a child in a small village we've adopted in El Gade, Kenya. We will take a trip there in early 2011, and those who sponsor will get first dibs on coming with us.
In 2010 the campaign itself shifted to being run solely by FINDINGbalance from their Franklin, TN office, and expanded by adding a weekly True Sisterhood podcast. Look in the next year or two for the True Tour to hit the country, giving feet to our mission and allowing us to connect with other change agents like you.
In the months and years to come we look forward to having even more resources here on the site, more activities out on the road, and more ways for you to plug in. Together, we can make a difference. Won’t you join us?
*The True Campaign is a ministry of FINDINGbalance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit health and wellness organization with an emphasis on eating and body image issues.