Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) Urges Commonwealth Club to Cancel Whole Foods CEO Appearance

A consortium of anti-sexual violence groups led by Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) has asked the Commonwealth Club of California to cancel the appearance of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, scheduled for May 1. Mackey is set to appear at the Cubberley Theatre in Palo Alto, in conversation with Dr. Dean Ornish.​

Read more on The Digital Journal.

Nikki DuBose Challenges Whole Foods

Former model turned author and activist Nikki DuBose, was in San Francisco to challenge Whole Foods Co-CEO John Mackey to stand up for child sexual abuse survivors and speak about her role in the Omnibus Child Victims Act in the state of New York.

Pick up Nikki’s book Washed Away: From Darkness to Light on Amazon.

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) – 1565

Listen to the podcast with Nikki and Bill Murray here.

Tonight’s special guest is Nikki DuBose from Los Angeles, a returning NAASCA family member who was abused as a child and later as a young professional model. Nikki works closely with Matt Sandusky at the ‘Peaceful Hearts Foundation,’ and will tell us about her new book, ‘Washed Away: From Darkness to Light.’ In her memoir, Nikki details how being sexually abused as a child led to a seventeen-year battle with serious mental health issues such as eating disorders, depression, self-harm, substance abuse and sexual addictions. She experienced a great deal of success, yet that prosperity came with a high price that often mirrored the sexual abuse from her youth. Among other things, Nikki advocates on her web site for better regulation of the modeling industry. Coming to a place of full healing has not been easy for Nikki, but she says, “I wholeheartedly believe that full recovery is possible. It starts with speaking out and reducing the shame and stigma that is so often attached to mental health issues.” She goes on, “Being an advocate is what allows me to wake up every day and feel truly alive. All of that pain that I lived with for so many years is now channeled into making a difference in society. Whatever issues you’re passionate about, use your voice and the resources you have; love yourself first and from there you can help to change the world.” We’re delighted to have Nikki as a card-carrying member of the NAASCA family!

Secret Islands and Misty Heavens of the Pacific Northwest

My journey continued as I made my way through the Pacific Northwest, where the air transpired into a deep, icy chill but the overwhelming beauty of the nature warmed my soul. I was surrounded by trees of all flavors; cranberry, amber, and evergreens resembled the make-believe winter villages I had come to adore as a child. My family liked to collect bits and pieces of a running train set every year, and it was set in an imaginary place, similar to the picturesque countrysides of Oregon and Washington.

I ended my exploration at the magical islands just south of Victoria, and here I feel at peace. When I look around, and gaze at the glorious spendlor that envelopes me, I can’t ever question that God exists. How wonderful He is, and how Blessed I am to be in the midst of serenity, here in my special place.

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Understanding How Perfect You Really Are!

Recovering from anorexia and bulimia IS a long and tricky road. There are so many days when I feel on top of the world and others when I feel like I want to throw in the towel.

Feelings and emotions are normal, however, and should be welcomed openly because they are signs that we are not numbing or stuffing them down with addictive behaviors.

Physically, we see our bodies grow and change into the way that they are supposed to be as we re-feed ourselves, and this can provoke many uncomfortable thoughts and behaviors.

Its ok! If you need to cry, scream, yell, write, call someone, whatever, please do so. Any form of healthy release is great and encouraged. Don’t expect others who have not gone through an eating disorder to understand how you feel because they just cannot. Instead stick to your doctors, therapists, 12 step support group friends, etc. Anything else is really just co-dependency.

One of the things that has really helped me during re-feeding and watching my body change as I gain weight during my anorexic recovery is constantly asking God (my Higher Power) to help me to see myself the way that He sees me. To understand that I am beautiful and wonderful in His sight. I have to break away from that child-like box that anorexia put me into and accept that I am growing into the beautiful 28 year old woman that I AM! It is a renewal of mind, body and spirit into this amazing creature that God has made. How dare I destroy that? I am a warrior, a Woman of the Most High God, and He has a big future for my life.

So I just really encourage you today that wherever you are in your life and road of recovery that you are NOT alone. Your feelings, thoughts, physical body and spirit are unique yes, but they are being shared with countless others who are also recovering. Do NOT GIVE UP!! Become the beautiful masterpiece you were designed to be so that you can achieve all that you have in your heart!! YOU DESERVE IT!!

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Twelve: Helping Others

We have now arrived at the twelfth and final step of the recovery program. Congratulations! Give yourself a huge hug and relish how far you have come to reach this point. Your recovery is the cornerstone of the success for the rest of your life.

Step twelve touches on what is single-handedly the most important part of daily recovery. Although all of the steps are essential for a healthy soul, mind and body, the twelfth step is crucial because it instills the importance of giving away what you have been given. After all, where would we be if recovery, support, and guidance had not been given to us by others all along the way?

Helping other people get their life back on track by sharing our experience, strength and hope can be done in the form of sponsoring up to the level of your recovery or by being an accountability partner.  Just being kind to others and allowing positivity and love to flow through your personality to the world around you enables all kinds of continual healing to take place. When we don’t pass on the knowledge that we have received, we run the assured risk of falling back on our own recovery and becoming selfish and proud.

The steps need to be repeated for the rest of our lives. We never become “too good” for program; rather, our success in life is dependant upon our daily surrender to God and being willing to work on ourselves. Recovery is a beautiful thing; how will you pass it on today?

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Our Mission
Isaiah 61:1-3

1. How have I passed through the pain and despair of enslavement to addiction and moved into healing and freedom?

2. Having had a “spiritual awakening” after being set free from my addiction, am I excited or hesitant to share my experience, strength, and hope with others who are struggling with addiction? Why?

Our Story
Mark 16:14-18

Describe the story of your spiritual awakening and how the first eleven steps have brought spiritual principals, truth, and healing into your life. Describe what you were like, what happened, and what you are like now.

Sharing Together
John 15:5-15

1. Am I connected to the vine? How do the Twelve Steps help me to “remain” in him?

2. Is my recovery attractive to other addictive/compulsive people because I am becoming more loving rather than condemning those who need my help?

3. What am I doing to reach out with Jesus’ love?

Listening First
Acts 8:26-40

1. What is my attitude about sharing my story of recovery? Am I reluctant to tell my story, or am I the type that wants to share too much, too soon, with too many people?

2. From either extreme, am I willing to wait for God’s timing for sharing recovery?

3. Do I see my story as valuable to God’s plan? Describe how.

Talking the Walk
1 Timothy 4:14-16

1. Paul encourages Timothy to “throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.” What changes in my life can others observe since I have been sober and working the Twelve Steps?

2. Paul wanted Timothy not only to teach others, but to be an example. When I share my story with others, am I preaching, or sharing my experience, strength, and hope.

3. Am I able to let the other person make his or her own decision by relinquishing control and letting God do his work?

Never Forget
Titus 3:1-5

What do I remember about my last drink or my last binge? Describe that last time, including actions, feelings, behaviors, and thoughts that led up to it and followed it:

The Narrow Road
1 Peter 4:1-4

1. Peter pointed out: “You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy-their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties” (1 Peter 4:1-2) the pains of recovery.

2. Does the approval or judgement of others keep me from sharing recovery? Do I fear negative rumors?

3. How can I work the Twelve Steps on this fear?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Eleven: God’s Will be Done

Step eleven of the twelve step program teaches us that recovery is a daily renewal of our minds, bodies and souls. Without surrendering to God’s Will for our lives it is impossible to have a successful and abstinent day. I tried to live my life in recovery my way for a long time until I finally became exhausted because I kept ending up in the same place: failure! I just said “Ok God You win I give up! Your Will be done not mine!” Now whenever I feel myself getting frustrated it is a warning sign that I am trying to live life on my terms, and so I have to 1. Stop and 2. Simply ask God for His help. Man what humble pie tastes like going down! But the rewards of humility and surrender surely are sweeter than trying to do things alone.
Prayer does not have to be fancy. God wants us to come simply as we are. I often pray “Father, your will be done, not my own. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.” God is a God of hearts.

What is your Step 11 Prayer that you can use throughout the day?

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook for the following questions.

A New Hiding Place
2 Samuel 22:1-33

1. How was addiction a hiding place from life for me? Compare this with having God as a hiding place.

2. Describe how I experience “conscious contact” with God:

Thirst for God:
Psalm 27: 1-6

1. What do I most seek from God?

2. What is difficult about trusting God with my requests?

Joy in God’s Presence
Psalm 65:1-4

1. What keeps me from accepting God’s forgiveness?

2. What scares me about knowledge of God’s will for me?

Finding God
Psalm 105:1-9

1. Is my life changing daily? Am I noticing when I am resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid today? Identify ways that I am changing:

2. Am I aware of others’ feelings, needs, and rights? What have I noticed today?

Powerful Secrets
Psalm 119: 1-11

1. What am I hiding in my heart–secrets of old behaviors and issues, or God’s Word?

2. List what I can thank God for today:

Patient Waiting
Isaiah 40: 28-31

1. How does impatience show itself in my attitude and behaviors?

2. Am I impatient about my progress in recovery? Do I expect myself to “get it” the first time? Do I expect perfection?

3. Why is it hard to “trust in the Lord”?

Friends of the Light
John 3:18-21

1. In what areas of my life am I still afraid to seek God’s will?

2. When I think I am hearing God’s will, whose power do I act on? Am I tempted to do God’s will in my own power?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Ten: Taking Daily Inventory

Step ten is the first step that I take daily in order to keep myself in check. When I find that my character or food plan might be getting a bit sloppy, I try to immediately surrender myself to God and ask for His help to renew my mind In Him and take account for exactly where I am going wrong. In doing so, I am able to get back on track much faster and have a fruitful day. In the past before I found strong recovery I just kind of floundered around mercilessly inside and felt very lost. My mind was weak because I had let the eating disorder and other problems control it for many years. Thank God for His Grace and the twelve steps of recovery to bring daily help in every single situation that can arise.

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Personal Boundaries
Genesis 31:45-55

1. In order to restore trust in relationships, what particular weaknesses do I need to set boundaries around?

2. Is there a trusted person to whom I can clearly define my commitments? Who? What commitments am I willing to make?

Repeated Forgiveness
Romans 5:3-5

1. Do certain behaviors and character defects that show up in my Step Ten inventory point to a pattern? Which ones? What is being revealed to me?

2. Am I having trouble admitting these promptly and forgiving myself?

3. Do I give myself grace? Why or why not?

Dealing with Anger
Ephesians 4:26-27

1. What is my first response when I am angry? Lashing out? Stuffing down? Avoidance and covering up?

2. How was anger dealt with in my family? How did my mother deal with anger? My father? Which pattern do I follow?

3. When I am angry, can I promptly admit it? Why or why not?

4. Do I have support people who can help me learn to deal with anger more appropriately? Am I willing to ask for assistance with this issue?

Spiritual Exercises
1 Timothy 4:7-8

1. As this continual inventory is important for spiritual fitness, where in my daily routine can I set aside time to make myself self-assessment part of every day?

2. Do I have any resistance to evaluating my defects daily? What are my objections? What do I fear?

3. An example of a simple, daily, personal inventory:

Where have I been selfish, dishonest, fearful, inconsiderate, or proud?

What have I done right today?

What do I need God's help with tomorrow?

What am I grateful for today?

Perseverance
2 Timothy 2:1-8

1. How do I see my recovery as a war against addiction and as a fight for my soul?

2. How do I see myself as an athlete in training for the marathon journey of recovery and serenity?

3. Am I working in every season and situation? planting seeds of recovery by applying the Twelve Steps to my life?

4. Where do I lose heart in fighting, training, and working through the Twelve Steps?

Looking in the Mirror
James 1:21-25

1. Have I been quick to recognize but not take action in a particular area of my life or defect of character? If so, I can take action without self-criticism by going back through Steps Six and Seven, then Eight and Nine on that particular area or defect.

2. On what area or defect do I need to take action today? This week? This month?

Recurrent Sins
1 John 1:!-10

1. Have I hoped for immediate release from my defects as I may have had from my addiction? Have I perhaps unknowingly hoped that by doing all this step work I could attain perfection? Write any thoughts and feelings that arise from reading this meditation:

2. Am I clear that I still need inventories to continue my spiritual growth? In other words, have I developed enough humility to accept that inventories will be a regular part of my journey?
Explain:

3. Am I sensing that my conscience is returning or developing so that I more easily recognize my faults? Am I humble enough to admit them more readily? Record any progress you've noticed in your conscience:

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step 9: Direct Amends

In step eight we took inventory of all of the people we had hurt and how it had affected us; and in step nine we lay out a plan of action with our trusted sponsor. We discuss how we can execute making amends with them except when it would be problematic for them or us. For example there might be past relationships that come to a point where it would be easier to “bury the hatchet” by not ever saying anything bad about them ever again rather than contacting the person directly because doing so would damage their current situation (eg marriage or work).

Step nine might sound like a harsh and frightening dose of reality if we are not prepared for it, but truly when are we ever really prepared for anything? I believe the best way to receive healing and to grow, is to face the fear and go through it rather than to run away from it. The pain of doing things we might not always want to do makes us stronger, wiser and better people for ourselves and for the world.

Truly though we never have to be afraid because God is always with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. And when we really meditate on that and trust in that, we can be confident to move forward in step nine and in anything that life brings our way.

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Long Awaited Healing
Genesis 33:1-11

1. Who are the people on my Step Eight list who strike the most intense fear in my heart when I think about making amends, face-to-face?

2. Do I have supportive people who help me gain willingness to take such a challenging step? Do I have an advisor or sponsor to work with me?

Keeping Promises
2 Samuel 9:1-9

1. How have my thoughts/opinions/ideas affected the decisions I have made?

2. Is there anyone to whom I owe amends due to forgetting, either on purpose or unintentionally, to fulfill a promise?

Covering the Past
Ezekiel 33:10-16

1. What forms of harm listed in Step Eight do I resist giving up in order to make amends with another?

2. What fears keep me from the life-giving process of Step Nine?

Making Peace
Matthew 5:23-26

1. What is my usual response or reaction to brokenness?

2. Does my amends list include people that have something against me? If so, do I have difficulty finding the courage to deal with them?

From Taker to Giver
Luke 19:1-10

1. List financial amends that you owe. Name the people and amounts:

2. Am I willing to go to any lengths to offer amends? What risks are involved?

Unfinished Business
Philemon 1:13-16

1. How far will I go to restore a relationship with another person, with God, and with myself?

2. Do I have any unfinished business left on my list? List these categories:

Money owed to people/jobs/businesses:

Any laws broken:

Broken; painful relationships:

3. Am I waiting for the certainty of forgiveness before I make amends? Am I willing to take the risk? Explain:

A Servant’s Heart
1 Peter 2:18-25

1. What am I afraid will happen when I attempt to make amends?

2. Do I fear that painful consequences will cause me suffering if I make amends? If so what is the worst that could happen?

3. Do I trust God’s will for me if I follow the challenge of Step Nine?

4. Which of the Twelve Steps do I need to focus on before I make these fearsome amends?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

Dont Wallow in the Spilled Milk: Forgive!

One of my sponsees asked how she could be free of all of the people and situations that had hurt her in her past.
This is a common question and something we all have to go through again and again for the rest of our lives. Unless we learn to forgive every time someone offends us we run the risk of holding onto unhealthy resentments that do nothing but hold us hostage in our addictions and keep us from receiving God’s Best Plan.
Let’s say for example you are holding onto resentments from a past relationship.
1. Past Relationship: The fact that you are Aware that you are resentful of your childhood bullies is the first step because it allows you to Accept you have those feelings and then be able to take the spiritual Action you need to be free of it…
3 A’s of Recovery
AWARENESS
ACCEPTANCE
ACTION

Ask yourself “Can I forgive this person/these people”..
If you find yourself saying “No! they hurt ME! I am still messed up inside and hurting because of them”… then just remember this…
When Jesus died for US He payed the ultimate price. He was and is Perfect and Blameless and took ALL of OUR sins and Never ever complained. In fact He did it out of the Purest and Highest Love and Loves us Unconditionally all of the Time. He Forgives us over and over again when we ask Him to sincerely and He is always waiting for us with open and Loving Arms; never judging. Surely we can forgive others just as God Forgives us.
If you still have a hard time feeling like you can forgive remember that you ARE SO MUCH MORE than your feelings and then ask God to help you forgive them. Pray and repent and get down on your knees. Write it out and pour your heart out to Him or maybe say a simple prayer. If you need to ask God to help you forgive them because you know that apart from Him you can do nothing then by all means do it.
But remember that forgiveness is not for the other person it is for YOU. You do not want to waste your life over broken memories and not receive God’s Promises. You do not want to be living off “spilled milk” and find yourself in your eighties one day still bent out of shape because of all of the injustices the world caused you.
After all what have you done to hurt others consciously and unconsciously knowing it…
Ponder that and write it down.

Glory Dance Day

And in these quiet places
in the secret moments of our hearts
a garden blossoms
Long awaited
it is the arrival of hope
faith and love
cultivated by a prism of miracles
Tiny angels dance around
in sweet succulent honeydew
to announce the presence
of victories’ glorious overdue.

©2013 Nikki DuBose

 

Dinner the Gerson Way

(Note: 6/6/2014 I am no longer doing the Gerson Therapy however I highly recommend it to anyone seeking a natural alternative to medicine). 

As a result of healing from bulimia and anorexia for seventeen years, I sought many nutritional programs on the road to recovery. The Gerson Therapy came when I was at my wits-end with a swollen liver and kidneys. After I felt God leading me to this radical yet simplistic approach to eating and health, I was set completely free of my pain within a month.

All recipes are taken straight from the powerful book I recommend, Healing The Gerson Way (Second Ed.) Thank you to The Gerson Institute and Charlotte Gerson for whom without none of this revolutionary healing would be possible.

Please read Healing The Gerson Way for more information. Knowledge is power! I use one serving of each ingredient and all are certified organic.

First Course

Tomato and Zucchini Salad

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

tomato
zucchini
green onion
beet
lettuce

Dressing:
flaxseed oil
yogurt
lemon juice

(Please Note: For the yogurt I use a Goats Milk yogurt).

Chop the tomato and zucchini into chunks.Tomato Zucchini Salad Gerson Therapy

Slice the green onion and add. Finely grate the raw beet (or chop cooked beet into chunks) and mix into the salad. Lay on a bed of lettuce. Pour over dressing.

thenikkidubose.com Tomato and Zucchini Salad Gerson_Therapy Nikki_DuBose All RIghts Reserved 2013

Second Course:

Tangy Tomato Soup

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves 2-4

1 lb. tomatoes
1 carrot
1 stick celery
1 onion
1 red bell pepper
little orange juice
yogurt

thenikkidubose.com Tangy Tomato Soup Gerson_Therapy Nikki _DuBose 2013 All RIghts Reserved Foodspirations

Chop tomatoes/carrot/celery and onion. Seed pepper and chop. Put all into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; turn down the heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. Puree (with electric blender or food mill). Add the orange juice. Reheat gently. Add a swirl of yogurt before serving.

thenikkidubose.com Nikki_DuBose Gerson_Therapy Tangy_Tomato_Soup 2
Third Course

Baked Potatoes

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Baked potatoes should be thoroughly washed; not scraped or peeled. Bake in low oven at 300°F (149°C) for 2 or 2-1/2 hours or; alternatively bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F (177°C).

Fourth Course

Glazed Carrots with Herbs and Lemon

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 2

1 lb. carrots
1 tsp. sugar
a little water
1 tsp.lemon juice
mint
rosemary
parsley
flaxseed oil

thenikkidubose.com Nikki_DuBose 2013 All Rights Reserved Gerson_Therapy Glazed Carrots with Herbs and Lemon

Gently cool the carrots whole. When beginning to soften remove from pan and cut into 2-inch sticks. Return to the saucepan with the sugar and a little water. Heat until the sugar is dissolved; the water has been absorbed and the carrots are cooked. Add the lemon juice and herbs and heat for an additional two minutes. Place on a warm serving dish and serve immediately.

thenikkidubose.com Nikki_DuBose 2013 All Rights Reserved Foodspirations Gerson_Therapy Glazed Carrots with Herbs and Lemon (2)

So there we have our beautiful dinner of healing foods straight from the Gerson Therapy.

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Eight: Reflecting on Who We Had Hurt

Step Eight requires tremendous doses of humility and courage as we ponder over the courses of our lives who we have hurt while living in our addictions. Sometimes we have mistreated others and were not even aware that we had done so. As we begin to meditate on those who had been affected by our irresponsibility we quickly find that we can list a slew of of people we had hurt.

This was a tough step for me the first couple of times I went through early recovery and now I really try not to hurt others. I may not always be where I need to be but with God’s help thank God I am not where I used to be! Take heart and know that although your healing journey may seem difficult or like a long road to walk on, that it is a path filled with healing and with healing comes many blessings and happiness. And we all deserve to be happy! Most importantly we all need to learn how to treat other people with kindness and love so this is a very important step to accomplish but with God’s help you can do it one day at a time.

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Making Restitution
Exodus 22:10-15

1. How have I failed to respect the property of others.

2. Have I been so harmed or condemned by others that I have avoided responsibility for myself. By whom and when.

3. What excuses have I used for not looking at my behaviors.

Unintentional Sins
Leviticus 4:1-28

1. In what areas have I unintentionally harmed others with my words/moods/self-pity/depression/anger/or fears.

2. In what ways have I acted thoughtlessly without regard for others’ needs or feelings. When; To Whom;

Scapegoats
Leviticus 16:20-22

1. Have I been putting off making a list because I am afraid of some responses. Whose.

2. Have I held on to shame about a certain incident or relationships. What am I willing to do to let go so that I can become willing to make amends.

3. Is there someone I am having trouble forgiving who blocks my willingness. Who.

Overcoming Loneliness
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

1. How have I allowed isolation due to shame and guilt to keep me from supportive relationships.

2. What is the role of shame and guilt in my isolation.

3. Am I willing to forgive myself for the hurt I have caused others. Write a prayer of willingness to forgive and ask for God’s grace to heal these relationships.

Forgiven to Forgive
Matthew 18:23-35

1. Are there people on my list that I am having trouble forgiving for their part in our relationship. Who and Why.

2. What keeps me from letting others off the hook. Fear/Resentment/Caretaking.

3. What blocks me from forgiving others for the wrongs done to me.

a. Fear of what others would think of me. (Pride).

b. Fear of letting others see my hurts.

c. Fear of conflict. Protecting others feelings to avoid conflict.

The Fruit of Forgiveness
2 Corinthians 2:5-8

1. Is there anyone on my list whose behavior I do not approve. Who. Why.

2. Am I willing to let go of judgement and disapproval to open myself to working this step.

3. Have I been so afraid of rejection that I have delayed willingness to make amends. Who could reject me and why.

Reaping Goodness
Galatians 6:7-10

1. What “crop” did I sow while practicing my addiction.

2. Describe the correlation between healthy living and acceptance of the consequences for my addiction/behavior:

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Seven: Humility and Asking God to Remove our Defects

Step Six was all about getting ready for God to remove our defects in order that He may help us to be all that He has created us to be. Step Seven now is simply and humbly coming before God in prayer and asking Him to remove every shortcoming that stands in the way between us and our God-Given Purpose.

Being a humble person is so important because without it it is pretty impossible to recognize our defects and to be people that can ask God to help us. I daily come to God in prayer in the morning and all throughout the day and ask God for His help now because I know that I know that I know that without Him I can do nothing. Within myself I am weak addicted and a total mess but In Christ I am strong confident courageous and an overcomer. I am set free from every attack that satan tries to bring against me because God is with me and for me.

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Clearing the Mess
Isaiah 57:12-19

1. Have I developed enough humility from my experiences in addiction to see that I need to let God work in my heart. Is there any doubt that self-reliance has kept God out.

2. Describe the difference between humiliation and humility.

Giving up Control
Jeremiah 18:1-6

1. Have I ever demanded to have circumstances changed for my benefit. When.

2. Have I ever become impatient with God’s timing in the process of changing my heart and character.

3. What keeps me from letting go so that God can shape my life better than I could ever imagine or create myself.

Pride Born of Hurt
Luke 11:5-13

1.Is it hard for me to ask anyone even God for help. What keeps me from sharing.

2. What experiences in my family of origin have brought about this self-sufficiency.

3. Have I held back from asking God for what I need because I am projecting my disappointments onto Him. Do I trust Him.

4. Am I willing to give up self-sufficiency and pride to persistently ask for God’s help in removing my shortcomings.

A Humble Heart
Luke 18:10-14

1. Have I ever compared my faults/problems/sins to blatant sins of others such as robbery/murder/adultery to justify avoiding deeper work on my own character defects. What does this do for me.

2. Have I ever justified myself because I attend church/sing in the choir/do service work. Do I judge others for their lack of participation or involvement.

3. After self-examination in Steps Four through Six have I been struggling with self-hatred and shame.

4. Do I realize that the “secret sins” of pride/judgement/comparison are just as serious as the more blatant ones.

5. Have addiction and adversities humbled me enough to open the door to God’s forgiveness.

Declared Not Guilty
Romans 3:23-28

1. Steps Six and Seven re one path to acceptance of this verse: all of us have fallen short not only of our own ideals but also of God’s glory. Have I been trying to “measure up” and show God that I can “be good” by doing good works. How have I tried to show him that I am okay.

2. Can I now trust in faith that Jesus will not only make up for my weaknesses but will also begin to remove shortcomings as I surrender humbly to his will. If not why.

Into the Open
Philippians 2:5-9

1. Have I disguised my addiction by covering it up with a good image. Have I hidden behind a good reputation.

2. Do I still fear that others will find out about my addiction. Will my pride be hurt if someone knows the extent of it. Am I willing to share it if it will help others.

3. Can I release to God my self-centered fears of being known and of losing my image. If so write a prayer to God expressing your desire to do so.

Eyes of Love
1 John 5:11-15

1. God already sees us as we will be when his work is done. Am I aware of any blocks that keep me from asking him into my heart to do that work. What are they.

2. Is my confidence in God’s willingness to remove my shortcomings renewed. How and why.

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

God Loves You

I was so Blessed to receive this jewel of a devotional in my inbox this morning from a dear friend. What a great reminder is to to know that God loves us and delights in us just the way we are! It makes me feel released of stress and gives me a healthy dose of confidence to meditate on the Truth that my worth comes from Whose I am…God’s Child! 🙂 I hope you enjoy this devotional as much as I do.

God Bless,
Nikki

“… that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:23)

Have you ever seen a first-time father hold his new baby? It seems that the two connect immediately—and in some deep and unexplainable way. It’s as if the father instantly falls in love with his child. Even the baby seems to recognize and respond to his familiar, reassuring voice. The delight between the two is evident. Even as that baby grows, the father’s delight in his child can deepen, encompassing the child’s personality, gifts, talents, and even quirks.

Now, if a human father can take such delight in his children, imagine how God must delight in us!

Even though Jesus says it clearly in today’s Gospel reading, we can still find it hard to accept: God loves us “even as he has loved” Jesus. Can God really delight in us, with all of our sins, weaknesses, and failings, as much as he loved his only-begotten Son?

Since we know it is true—because Jesus tells us it is—let’s try to imagine it. Picture yourself sitting next to Jesus, enjoying the warm conversation of two close friends. Now imagine Jesus saying something like “You know, my Father really loves you. He’s as crazy about you as he is about me.” You nod politely, but in your heart you just can’t believe it—not even though Jesus himself said it.

Just then, God walks in and greets you with a huge smile. You lock eyes, and like the baby and the dad, you feel a love and familiarity that enfolds you. You immediately know that he delights in you, and that knowledge fills your heart with elation.

Go ahead and bask in your Father’s love today. Let it fill you with the courage you need to face your day. Let his love propel you to take up the battle against sin. Preserve this feeling of God’s perfect love for you throughout the day, and watch to see the effect it has on everything you do.

“Father, I am amazed that you could love me as much as you love your Jesus. Help me continue to enjoy the depth and the breadth of your love today, so that I can grow in my love for you.”

Acts 22:30; 23:6-11; Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11

Pea Salad with Turkey Bacon

I just adore this fresh take on the classic pea salad! I opted for turkey bacon instead of the regular bacon, and instead of normal sour cream I used sour cream with chives. For the cubed cheese I substituted applewood smoked cheddar to add some interesting flavor. Enjoy!

I got this recipe from The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook 15th Ed., just like my mom used to use 🙂

PREP: 20 MINUTES
CHILL: 4 TO 24 HOURS
MAKES: 6 TO 8 SIDE DISH SERVINGS

1 16-OUNCE PACKAGE FROZEN PEAS
4 OUNCES CHEDDAR CHEESE CUT INTO 1/2 -INCH CUBES
1/2 CUP CHOPPED CELERY
1/2 CUP MAYONNAISE
1/2 CUP DAIRY SOUR CREAM
1 SMALL RED ONION FINELY CHOPPED
1 TEASPOON SNIPPED FRESH DILL OR 1/4 TEASPOON DRIED DILLWEED (OPTIONAL)
1/4 TEASPOON SALT
1/4 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER
2 SLICES BACON CRISP-COOKED; DRAINED; AND CRUMBLED.

Place the peas in a colander and run under cold water just until thawed but still cold: drain well.
In a medium bowl stir together peas, cheese, and celery. In a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, dill (if desired), salt, and pepper; Add to pea mixture. Stir to combine.
Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
Just before serving top with bacon.

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

My Story: Domestic Violence and How YOU can Use Your Voice

As a survivor of childhood, adult, family and domestic abuse, I am passionate about raising awareness not only on a political level, but for each and every person who is still suffering in their own hell and afraid to get help.

You don’t have to be a victim any longer. No matter what situation you are in, or how powerful your abuser claims to be, the second YOU decide to get out and get help, your hell will be over. Seek out help, and seek it out NOW, before it’s too late.

Think nothing will happen to you? Ok, fair enough, I understand. Here’s a little bit of my story, and about my mom.

My mother used to think that nothing REALLY dangerous would happen to her; She thought she was invincible.

Last year when she mixed alcoholism and an abusive relationship together, her life came to an end. I begged her for months to stop this relationship with her abuser. Her bruises became more and more evident as time went on all over her body. Her abuser was also her enabler and also knew that the more that he kept her knocked-out drunk, the more that she would stay with him. This relationship only lasted for a few months. The beatings and the drinking spiraled out of control, until one day in August 2012, domestic violence and alcohol took both their lives in a car accident.

Still think that nothing will happen to you if you stay in an abusive relationship? Think again. Keep playing with fire and you WILL get burned, and maybe to death. Why don’t you love yourself enough right NOW to get the help available in your area?

Use your right and voice to help put a stop to domestic violence. One out of every four women in the United States are victims of domestic violence. Tell the Senate to reauthorize #VAWA & its critical protections tomorrow.

Visit Girls Inc. to find out more information about how you can take action now!

The Hope Diary: Step Five, Trusting Another

After going through my Step Four Inventory the first time in 2010, I was scared to death to actually share it with another person. I had read in my recovery book early in my program that I had to confess my deepest, darkest secrets to God and to a trusted sponsor, pastor or unbiased friend.

At that time I remember thinking: “HUH? How humiliating! Wasn’t it good enough to give it to God in prayer and trust that He was Healing me? Why would I tell my shameful past to another person? Besides, they would just hurt me like everyone else…right? How in the WORLD could I truly trust blindly someone else. I knew it, here was the catch. I knew this recovery program was too good to be true, everything always is. No one and nothing is ever to be trusted. There is always fine print.” And I thought like this for about, oh, a good six months or so the first time I went through Steps 4 and attempted to go through Step 5. And I backtracked in my recovery and slipped into old habits because of FEAR. Do you know what fear really stands for? F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real.

I was so afraid of the false scenarios I spent more time making up in my mind about sharing my mess with my sponsor than actually DOING it for the healing that I needed to get, that I ended up having a relapse. Now, relapse can be a part of recovery, but do you see what I am saying that if we just learn to take hold of the fearful thoughts and know that God is with us and for us, and just DO the things that are being asked of us, surrender and get the help we need, we would see so much victory in our recovery and lives.

Fast forward, three years later, strong in recovery, Praise the Lord I did regain victory over the relapse and did end up completing Steps 4 and 5 (a few times). I had gotten a wonderful sponsor and life coach who really worked and worked with me and never gave up. I would never be where I am without my sponsor and without working with her and continually taking inventory and telling her about my messes. I believe that we generally give up too easily in life and we can give up on others too soon also. You never know what you can do for another person’s life if you just keep praying for them, working with them, and helping them in any way you can.

In the Catholic religion, confession is very similar to step five, you know, going and releasing your sins to the priest and being relieved of your burdens. Well in recovery, your past and the things underlying your addiction truly have to be inventoried and shared with God and another person because if not, they continued to get buried. Our secrets, pains, traumas, defects and past fuel our addiction if we do not get healing for them. This is what I consider to be the most critical step of any 12 step program.

So as I continue in sharing from the Life Recovery Workbook, here are the questions from Step Five.

“Overcoming Denial
Genesis 38:1-30

1. What am I avoiding in Step Four by delaying Step Five?

2. What is the exact nature of my wrongs as listed in Step Four?

3. What interferes with my being honest about myself?

Unending Love
Hosea 11:8-11

1. How do I react/respond to the truth that God does not give up on me?

2. What keeps me from being truthful with God?

3. What makes me think that I can hide anything from God?

The Plumb Line
Amos 7:7-8

1. Have my morals and values been in line with God’s? Explain.

2. Have I had morals and values without being able to apply them to my life? Explain:

3. What has kept me from staying in line with God’s and my own morals and values?

4. Am I ready to surrender to God’s moral “plumb line” and share my Step Four Inventory? If not, why am I hesitating?

Feelings of Shame
John 8:3-11

1. What scares me about sharing “the exact nature of (my) wrongs” with another human being?

2. Who is my fear related to in my past? How did this fear develop?

3. Has there ever been a time in my life when I felt the fear and took action anyway?

4. Have I set the appointment for completing Step Five by sharing my Step Four Inventory? My commitment to myself:

Date: Time:

Receiving Forgiveness
Matthew 5:23-24

1. Why would God want reconciliation before praise when we bring gifts to him?

2. Does anyone have anything against you that needs to be reconciled? Who and why?

3. What would be the impact on your life if you opened yourself up to forgiveness of others and from others?

Freedom through Confession
James 5:16

1. Lack of confession and openness with others results in a self-constructed prison. Do you know what that is like? Describe it here.

2. How can confession result in such profound healing?

3. Reflect it here on God’s command to be open not just to Him but also with each other.

Escaping Self-Deception
Lamentations 3:40

1. As you examine yourself, can you admit to some self-deception in the past?

2. Does anyone have the freedom to speak truth into your life on a regular basis? Who?

3. Ask three or four trusted friends to write five words describing your strengths and five words describing your weaknesses. Record them here and examine them to discover areas you can work on within your small group of trusted fellow strugglers.”

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for letting me reprint the above questions to help further the recovery process for those still suffering.

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

One Year Later: Remembering Nana

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose supermodel read me 2013 Nana January 31

One year ago today, Nana passed away while I was shooting in the Dominican Republic with a very sweet crew. I never thought that in just a few months I would lose my mom and my mom’s mom. I have all the Faith in God that His Ways are Higher and that they are in a better place. We love and miss you Nana and Mommy. Here are some photos I took the day Nana passed away when I was in Punta Cana. She was one of the most influential people in my life and her passing has greatly affected me. She will forever live in my heart and soul. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

January 31 4 Nikki DuBose thenikkidubose.com Nana Punta Cana Nikki DuBose supermodel writer editor in chief SQUA.RE SQUARE LUXURY

Nikki DuBose thenikkidubose.com Nana read me Punta Cana Janurary 31 3

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose nana 7

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose supermodel read me Nana Punta Cana 2

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose supermodel writer editor in chief SQUA.RE SQUARE LUXURY Nikki DuBose nana

The Hope Diary: Step Four, Coming Clean of My Deepest, Darkest Secrets.

Now that I had one, admitted I was powerless over my addiction, the biggest step towards recovery I could ever take in my life, I then had two, allowed that God could restore me to sanity.

As I have discussed in my earlier Hope Diary entries, this was a journey that took a couple of years to walk down. I was constantly battling with myself, thinking that I was my own god and my pride is what kept me bound to my eating disorders during that time.

Third, I had to finally give in to God and just say, “Lord, Your Will be done, not my own.” I learned that every time I found myself in a tempting situation to give into my addiction, I would surrender to God and pray that prayer. Many times I have failed and slipped into the addiction like a bad habit, and on those times I know better that as a Child of God I do not have to listen to the lies of the devil that I am a failure. I get right back up, learn from my mistakes, and do my very best to not repeat them from that moment on. I see myself as a victorious person now, not as a broken person like I did most of my life. That victim mentality is what used to hold me back and bind me in my addictions. It doesn’t serve me anymore.

The fourth step is one that I see many people afraid to take. It is where we take “a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” (Life Recovery Workbook). We go through our entire life, even our deepest, darkest secrets. We list all of the people, places and things that we have fears, resentments, angers and sadness against. We look at our own character and evaluate our defects. What about ourselves do not add up? Are we selfish? Angry? Corrupt? Do we use people? Steal? Lie? Cheat? We go by a recovery program workbook and disclose our information with a trusted sponsor, friend, pastor, or someone that we feel we can go to in total anonymity and confidence. We understand that what we share will never be revealed to anyone else and that this is to help mold us into better human beings. We also take a look at our strengths, because it is not healthy to just mark our weaknesses. We seek to become stronger and wiser as a result of this process, even if it is temporarily painful.

If you feel that you would like to get started with your Step Four Inventory, but are unsure as to where to go to begin, I have provided The Life Recovery Workbook Inventory to help get you started. There was a great quote that was shared with me from the AABB that says, “We are only as sick as our secrets”. When I heard that, I realized that a lot of the shame and guilt that I was trying to bury all of these years was dying to be set free. Once I began to share my deepest secrets with my sponsor, I received God’s forgiveness and was truly able to allow for healing to start flowing through my body, starting from the innermost parts of my soul. I had never experienced such Grace and rawness before. It was as if I was free to be the person that God had created me to be! What a glorious concept. No more hiding!

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook for the following questions:

Coming Out of Hiding
Genesis 3:6-13

1. When and in what ways have I led a “double-life”, looking good on the outside while full of shame about my addiction inside?

2. By hiding my problems with image management, how has my shame taken root and grown in my heart? Am I fearful to admit what is there?

3. Am I ready to deal with “the dirt”, to wash the inside so I can live free? What holds me back?

Facing the Sadness
Nehemiah 8:7-10

1. What painful memories keep me from going forward in writing a Fourth Step inventory? Describe them.

2; What have I been afraid of facing?

3. What role has shame from past mistakes played in keeping me from starting and completing an inventory?

4. Does pride tell me that I don’t need an inventory? Have I told myself that others who are in more dire straits than I am are the ones who really need it?

Confession
Nehemiah 9:1-3

1. What behaviors over my lifetime have been offensive to God?

2. What destructive habits need to be identified and confessed to God?

3. What blocks and resistances do I have to being honest with God about my wrongdoings?

4. What consequences from past wrong choices am I living with today?

Family Influence
Nehemiah 9:34-38

1. Are there people in my family of origin whom I have blamed for my life situations and resulting addiction? If so, who?

2. What resentments do I carry toward them, even if unrelated to addiction?

3. What truly brought me into the bondage of addiction and dependency (what is my responsibility, my part in it)?

Finger-Pointing
Matthew 7:1-5

1. Is it easier to look at the faults and shortcomings of other people in my life, past and present (such as bosses, coworkers, classmates, church members, pastors), than to recognize my own?

2. What is the “log” in my eye, the blind spot that has caused me trouble and given rise to pride, finger-pointing, and eventually to addiction?

3. Where and when have I stepped on people’s toes and invited retaliation? Have I been proud, blaming, or tearful?

Constructive Sorrow
2 Corinthians 7:8-11

1. In what ways have I avoided facing my sorrow about how my addiction has impacted my life and the lives of others?

2. Am I willing to set aside time to grieve and allow humility to grow in me? When? What is my commitment to myself, my growth, and my recovery?

3. Am I bent on self-condemnation? Am I now willing to let God’s mercy go with me as I examine my faults and their impact on others?

God’s Mercy
Revelation 20:11-15

1. Taking a moral inventory of ourselves here on earth will help to prepare us for the life to come. Is anything standing in the way of my taking action, such as pride or fear?

2. As I trust God in Step Three, am I able to let go of pride and fear in Step Four and allow His Will to be expressed through me? If so, write out a prayer of trust and willingness to complete Step Four.

3. Write down a list and description of resentments, fears, wrongdoings, and character flaws such as pride, jealousy, domination of others, self-centered needs/wants, etc. (Use extra space if necessary.)

Fears:

Resentments:

Wrongdoings (i.e., what actions have I committed which oppose my own and God’s morals and values?):

Character Flaws (remember that honesty and humility are character strengths that we are building here, so be as thorough and honest as possible to move toward long-term recovery):

Where have I acted out of pride, vanity, or a sense of superiority?

Where and when have I tried to dominate others (e.g., at work, home, marriage)?

What makes me jealous, envious, or covetous (wealth, good fortune, successful kids, functional families, jobs, and/or positions of others)?

Where and when have I demanded that my wants and/or needs come before those of others, especially those of my spouse, children, or coworkers?

4. After careful self-examination, am I more convinced than ever that I need a Savior every day, not just for salvation, but to walk in freedom from addiction and sin? If so, write out a prayer to God that expresses your complete dependence upon Him for salvation and freedom.

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

How Yoga Has Helped Me Heal From My Eating Disorders

I am all for medicine and traditional therapies to help on the road to recovery for eating disorders, but there is something to be said for the ancient art of yoga, the tried and true Eastern practice that originally hails from India over 5,000 years ago.

Combining both Western and Eastern practices has been my method for the past two and a half years since I started overcoming my disorders. Yoga helped me reconnect to my inner self and has allowed me to focus on my body and the things that it really wants, instead of being ruled by my impulses. Before I practiced yoga as part of therapy, I lived as an addicted person who lived largely ruled by compulsive decisions. I am now able to listen and live intuitively on what is good for me. The art of yoga has greatly helped me get back to the basics of loving my body and myself.

Just how does yoga help to heal anorexia, bulimia and other eating problems? Read this great article by Velvet Mangan on yoga, meditation, and eating disorder recovery to find out! Velvet is an eating disorder specialist in Los Angeles, California.

God Bless,
Nikki

Be Informed: Do You Know the Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder?

The term “eating disorder” is used loosely nowadays in the media and amongst young people. But if you or someone you know may be suffering from any degree of a real struggle with body image or an eating disorder, it can be life threatening.

The earlier an eating disorder is recognized and treated, the more likely the sufferer can go on to lead a normal, healthy life and even help others. Don’t wait seventeen years like I did to seek treatment. It was a mistake that nearly killed me, and to this day I struggle with emotional and physical side effects related to my disorder having gone on so long untreated.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, there are clear and important clues to look for to know if you or someone you know may be at risk for bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, or other types of eating disorders.

“Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.

Symptoms

Resistance to maintaining body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height.

Intense fear of weight gain or being “fat,” even though underweight.

Disturbance in the experience of body weight or shape, undue influence of weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of low body weight.

Loss of menstrual periods in girls and women post-puberty.

Eating disorders experts have found that prompt intensive treatment significantly improves the chances of recovery. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the warning signs of anorexia nervosa.

Warning Signs

Dramatic weight loss.

Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, fat grams, and dieting.

Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food (e.g. no carbohydrates, etc.).

Frequent comments about feeling “fat” or overweight despite weight loss.

Anxiety about gaining weight or being “fat.”

Denial of hunger.

Development of food rituals (e.g. eating foods in certain orders, excessive chewing, rearranging food on a plate).

Consistent excuses to avoid mealtimes or situations involving food.

Excessive, rigid exercise regimen–despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury, the need to “burn off” calories taken in.

Withdrawal from usual friends and activities.

In general, behaviors and attitudes indicating that weight loss, dieting, and control of food are becoming primary concerns.

Health Consequences of Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa involves self-starvation.; The body is denied the essential nutrients it needs to function normally, so it is forced to slow down all of its processes to conserve energy. This “slowing down” can have serious medical consequences:

Abnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure, which mean that the heart muscle is changing. The risk for heart failure rises as heart rate and blood pressure levels sink lower and lower.

Reduction of bone density (osteoporosis), which results in dry, brittle bones.

Muscle loss and weakness.

Severe dehydration, which can result in kidney failure.

Fainting, fatigue, and overall weakness.

Dry hair and skin, hair loss is common.

Growth of a downy layer of hair called lanugo all over the body, including the face, in an effort to keep the body warm.

About Anorexia Nervosa

Approximately 90-95% of anorexia nervosa sufferers are girls and women.

Between 0.5–1% of American women suffer from anorexia nervosa.

Anorexia nervosa is one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in young women.

Between 5-20% of individuals struggling with anorexia nervosa will die. The probabilities of death increases within that range depending on the length of the condition.

Anorexia nervosa has one of the highest death rates of any mental health condition.

Anorexia nervosa typically appears in early to mid-adolescence.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating.

Symptoms

Regular intake of large amounts of food accompanied by a sense of loss of control over eating behavior.

Regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, fasting, and/or obsessive or compulsive exercise.

Extreme concern with body weight and shape.

The chance for recovery increases the earlier bulimia nervosa is detected. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the warning signs of bulimia nervosa.

Warning Signs of Bulimia Nervosa

Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or finding wrappers and containers indicating the consumption of large amounts of food.

Evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting, presence of wrappers or packages of laxatives or diuretics.

Excessive, rigid exercise regimen–despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury, the compulsive need to “burn off” calories taken in.

Unusual swelling of the cheeks or jaw area.

Calluses on the back of the hands and knuckles from self-induced vomiting.

Discoloration or staining of the teeth.

Creation of lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge-and-purge sessions.

Withdrawal from usual friends and activities.

In general, behaviors and attitudes indicating that weight loss, dieting, and control of food are becoming primary concerns.

Continued exercise despite injury; overuse injuries.

Health Consequences of Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa can be extremely harmful to the body. The recurrent binge-and-purge cycles can damage the entire digestive system and purging behaviors can lead to electrolyte and chemical imbalances in the body that affect the heart and other major organ functions. Some of the health consequences of bulimia nervosa include:

Electrolyte imbalances that can lead to irregular heartbeats and possibly heart failure and death.

Electrolyte imbalance is caused by dehydration and loss of potassium and sodium from the body as a result of purging behaviors.

Inflammation and possible rupture of the esophagus from frequent vomiting.

Tooth decay and staining from stomach acids released during frequent vomiting.

Chronic irregular bowel movements and constipation as a result of laxative abuse.

Gastric rupture is an uncommon but possible side effect of binge eating.

About Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa affects 1-2% of adolescent and young adult women.

Approximately 80% of bulimia nervosa patients are female.

People struggling with bulimia nervosa usually appear to be of average body weight.

Many people struggling with bulimia nervosa recognize that their behaviors are unusual and perhaps dangerous to their health.

Bulimia nervosa is frequently associated with symptoms of depression and changes in social adjustment.

Risk of death from suicide or medical complications is markedly increased for eating disorders.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder not otherwise specified and is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating.

Symptoms

Frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food in short periods of time.

Feeling out of control over eating behavior during the episode.

Feeling depressed, guilty, or disgusted by the behavior.

There are also several behavioral indicators of BED including eating when not hungry, eating alone because of embarrassment over quantities consumed, eating until uncomfortably full.

Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder

The health risks of BED are most commonly those associated with clinical obesity. Some of the potential health consequences of binge eating disorder include:

High blood pressure

High cholesterol levels

Heart disease

Diabetes mellitus

Gallbladder disease

Musculoskeletal problems

About Binge Eating Disorder

The prevalence of BED is estimated to be approximately 1-5% of the general population.

Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men–estimates indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female, 40% are male.

People who struggle with binge eating disorder can be of normal or heavier than average weight.

BED is often associated with symptoms of depression.

People struggling with binge eating disorder often express distress, shame, and guilt over their eating behaviors.

People with binge eating disorder report a lower quality of life than non-binge eating disorder.

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) previously known as Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)

Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. They are serious disorders and can have life-threatening consequences. The same is true for a category of eating disorders known as Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder, or OSFED, which used to be classified as Eating Disorders not Otherwise Specified or EDNOS. These serious eating disorders can include any combination of signs and symptoms typical of anorexia and bulimia, so it may be helpful to first look at anorexia and bulimia.
Symptoms associated with anorexia nervosa include:

Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for height, body type, age, and activity level.

Intense fear of weight gain or being “fat”

Feeling “fat” or overweight despite dramatic weight loss

Loss of menstrual periods

Extreme concern with body weight and shape

Symptoms associated with bulimia nervosa include:

Repeated episodes of binging and purging

Feeling out of control during a binge and eating beyond the point of comfortable fullness

Purging after a binge, (typically by self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, diet pills and/or diuretics, excessive exercise, or fasting)

Frequent dieting

Extreme concern with body weight and shape

The following are some common examples of eating disorders not otherwise specified, but your experience may be different. If you are concerned about your eating and exercise habits and your thoughts and emotions concerning food, activity and body image, we urge you to consult an ED expert.

Examples of OSFED (EDNOS)

Menstruation is still occurring despite meeting all other criteria for anorexia nervosa.

All conditions are present to qualify for anorexia nervosa except the individual’s current weight is in the normal range or above.

Purging or other compensatory behaviors are not occurring at a frequency less than the strict criteria for bulimia nervosa

Purging without Binging—sometimes known as purging disorder

Chewing and spitting out large amounts of food but not swallowing

The commonality in all of these conditions is the serious emotional and psychological suffering and/or serious problems in areas of work, school or relationships. If something does not seem right, but your experience does not fall into a clear category, you still deserve attention.

Diabulimia

Diabulimia is an eating disorder which may affect those with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabulimia is the reduction of insulin intake to lose weight. Diabulimia is considered a dual diagnosis disorder: where one has diabetes as well as an eating disorder. While diabulimia is generally associated with use of insulin, an individual with diabetes may also suffer from another eating disorder as well.

Health Risks of Diabulimia

High glucose levels

Glucose in the urine

Exhaustion

Thirst

Inability to think clearly

Severe dehydration

Muscle loss

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (unsafe levels of ketones in the blood)

High Cholesterol

Bacterial skin infections

Yeast infections

Menstrual disruption

Staph infections

Retinopathy

Neuropathy

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Atherosclerosis (a fattening of the arterial walls)

Steatohepatitis (a type of liver disease)

Stroke

Coma

Death

Possible signs of Diabulimia can include:

Hemoglobin level of 9.0 or higher on a continuous basis.

Unexplained weight loss.

Persistent thirst/frequent urination.

Preoccupation with body image.

Blood sugar records that do not match Hemoglobin A1c results.

Depression, mood swings and/or fatigue.

Secrecy about blood sugars, shots and or eating.

Repeated bladder and yeast infections.

Low sodium/potassium.

Increased appetite especially in sugary foods.

Cancelled doctors’ appointments.

Orthorexia Nervosa

By Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LD/N

Those who have an “unhealthy obsession” with otherwise healthy eating may be suffering from “orthorexia nervosa,” a term which literally means “fixation on righteous eating.” Orthorexia starts out as an innocent attempt to eat more healthfully, but orthorexics become fixated on food quality and purity. They become consumed with what and how much to eat, and how to deal with “slip-ups.” An iron-clad will is needed to maintain this rigid eating style. Every day is a chance to eat right, be “good,” rise above others in dietary prowess, and self-punish if temptation wins (usually through stricter eating, fasts and exercise). Self-esteem becomes wrapped up in the purity of orthorexics’ diet and they sometimes feel superior to others, especially in regard to food intake.
Eventually food choices become so restrictive, in both variety and calories, that health suffers – an ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to healthy eating. Eventually, the obsession with healthy eating can crowd out other activities and interests, impair relationships, and become physically dangerous.

Is Orthorexia An Eating Disorder?

Orthorexia is a term coined by Steven Bratman, MD to describe his own experience with food and eating. It is not an officially recognized disorder, but is similar to other eating disorders – those with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa obsess about calories and weight while orthorexics obsess about healthy eating (not about being “thin” and losing weight).

Why Does Someone Get Orthorexia?
Orthorexia appears to be motivated by health, but there are underlying motivations, which can include safety from poor health, compulsion for complete control, escape from fears, wanting to be thin, improving self-esteem, searching for spirituality through food, and using food to create an identity.

Do I Have Orthorexia?

Consider the following questions. The more questions you respond “yes” to, the more likely you are dealing with orthorexia.
Do you wish that occasionally you could just eat and not worry about food quality?
Do you ever wish you could spend less time on food and more time living and loving?
Does it seem beyond your ability to eat a meal prepared with love by someone else – one single meal – and not try to control what is served?
Are you constantly looking for ways foods are unhealthy for you?
Do love, joy, play and creativity take a back seat to following the perfect diet?
Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
Do you feel in control when you stick to the “correct” diet?
Have you put yourself on a nutritional pedestal and wonder how others can possibly eat the foods they eat?

So What’s The Big Deal?

The diet of orthorexics can actually be unhealthy, with nutritional deficits specific to the diet they have imposed upon themselves. These nutritional issues may not always be apparent. Social problems are more obvious. Orthorexics may be socially isolated, often because they plan their life around food. They may have little room in life for anything other than thinking about and planning food intake. Orthorexics lose the ability to eat intuitively – to know when they are hungry, how much they need, and when they are full. Instead of eating naturally they are destined to keep “falling off the wagon,” resulting in a feeling of failure familiar to followers of any diet.

When Orthorexia Becomes All Consuming

Dr. Bratman, who recovered from orthorexia, states “I pursued wellness through healthy eating for years, but gradually I began to sense that something was going wrong. The poetry of my life was disappearing. My ability to carry on normal conversations was hindered by intrusive thoughts of food. The need to obtain meals free of meat, fat, and artificial chemicals had put nearly all social forms of eating beyond my reach. I was lonely and obsessed. … I found it terribly difficult to free myself. I had been seduced by righteous eating. The problem of my life’s meaning had been transferred inexorably to food, and I could not reclaim it.” (Source: www.orthorexia.com)

Are You Telling Me it is Unhealthy to Follow a Healthy Diet?
Following a healthy diet does not mean you are orthorexic, and nothing is wrong with eating healthfully. Unless, however, 1) it is taking up an inordinate amount of time and attention in your life; 2) deviating from that diet is met with guilt and self-loathing; and/or 3) it is used to avoid life issues and leaves you separate and alone.

What Is The Treatment for Orthorexia?

Society pushes healthy eating and thinness, so it is easy for many to not realize how problematic this behavior can become. Even more difficult is that the person doing the healthy eating can hide behind the thought that they are simply eating well (and that others are not). Further complicating treatment is the fact that motivation behind orthorexia is multi-faceted. First, the orthorexic must admit there is a problem, then identify what caused the obsession. She or he must also become more flexible and less dogmatic about eating. Working through underlying emotional issues will make the transition to normal eating easier.
While orthorexia is not a condition your doctor will diagnose, recovery can require professional help. A practitioner skilled at treating eating disorders is the best choice. This handout can be used to help the professional understand orthorexia.

Recovery

Recovered orthorexics will still eat healthfully, but there will be a different understanding of what healthy eating is. They will realize that food will not make them a better person and that basing their self-esteem on the quality of their diet is irrational. Their identity will shift from “the person who eats health food” to a broader definition of who they are – a person who loves, who works, who is fun. They will find that while food is important, it is one small aspect of life, and that often other things are more important!”

 

How to not spend a lifetime cutting down the weeds

Ever notice how weeds grow and they never really seem to go away? Like no matter how much you try to chop them down there are always some there and even with a thick hackett saw plus weed killer plus, plus, plus, they just are still always lingering there?

Food addictions, dangerous diets, and the love and hate affair with our bodies are, in effect, the same way. We can spend our ENTIRE lives unhealthily obsessing over the wrong weeds to get rid of: the weight, the thighs, the fat here and there, the butt, the “I will be happy when I just get rid of” syndrome.

It’s really supposed to be simple. Or is it? Wait it is, I promise. You see, having a torrid, hot, dangerous love affair with food never really is ever about…the food.

I mean, I spent years and years hurting myself and over indulging myself then immediately torturing my mind, body and spirit all for the sake of getting rid of food. Once the food was out of my body, by means of purging and dangerous diets, I still hated and even more, myself. So what is at the center of all of our food problems? The food and the way we treat it, becomes an expression of how much we love ourselves.

Food, in it’s essentiality, is a God-Given, beautiful, healthful, nutritious and delicious substance that for most of us in the world, comes easily and bountifully. However, for an estimated 925 million, or for 13.1 percent of the world’s population, there is not enough food or no food, and there is a crisis of hunger.

So, dang. How much food had I selfishly wasted and used as a drug to mindlessly cover up my underlying mental and emotional problems for 17 years? The facts really are that eating disorders, obsessive diets, hating your thighs, arms, stomach and gossiping about your and other people’s problems all day long are just distractions from the deep issues that need to be addressed. Because if you TRULY Love YOURSELF for who YOU ARE, you will be happy if you are pregnant, a size 0 or 28, single or married, overweight or underweight or at any weight. Your body is God-Given and it is truly a gift from Him to be alive and breathing.

Get your mind off your negative thoughts and the next time you want to think about doing something that you know will be harmful, whether it be mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually with food, Stop. Think. Instead, think loving, happy thoughts about yourself. Live in the NOW; ask yourself what is really going on in your life that is making you feel bad and turn to the food for comfort/destruction.

When you are in an uncomfortable situation and maybe you really cannot leave or get out of being around people that make you feel stressed or agitated, flip it around and use it as an opportunity to come up higher and be KIND to them. They probably won’t expect it and this is learning to love like Jesus did. God loves everyone, and the more we turn our focus to Him and learn to love all people, places and things in all situations, the more of a Blessing we will be to others and in return, be to ourself. Look for ways to be a Blessing to the world around you; it will take the selfish motives off yourself.

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Three: Turning my life and will over to God.

Oh boy. You mean as if this recovery process wasn’t hard enough, I now had to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understood Him? For me, God was always taught as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Personal Savior when I was in the second grade. I went out into the hallway with my sweet, devoted teacher Mrs. Hammock and right there and then I gave my life to Christ. However, if I had become saved and supposedly received some sort of Holy “immunity” against all evils and afflictions, why the heck had I developed a chronic and serious eating disorder that same year? Wasn’t God supposed to shield me from that?

In fact, come to think of it, about that time is when I remember starting to encounter all sorts of terrible abuses, issues, traumas, deaths, and they never stopped. If God was with me, He sure as heck didn’t care to give me an all access pass to life, liberty and the right to happiness. No, I wallowed for a long time in my own self pity and that my dear friends, is what kept me in my own unhappiness and addictions.

Once I really hit rock bottom in 2010 emotionally and decided to recommit my life to Christ, seek professional therapy for my past, and get help for my eating disorder, for the first time in my life, then I saw what God could do for me. But I had to turn my life over to Him every day. I have a disease of addiction that tells me that I don’t have a disease. It’s a constant release of pride, selfishness, jealousy and fantasy in exchange for living in the now moment, humility, powerlessness and realism. It’s understanding that truly only God can restore me to sanity and without turning over my addiction and those tempting moments over to Him, I will forever be living in denial and relapse; a deadly fantasy.

So, for today’s recovery on Step three, here are some very thought provoking questions for you to meditate on. I encourage you to take the time every day to go over these and answer honestly, it’s one of the best ways you can love yourself into wholeness. These questions are reprinted from the Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop, pages 25-28.

Trusting God
Numbers 23:18-24

1. What in my life has taught me not to trust God?

2. What have I done to cause others not to trust me?

3. What keeps me from surrendering to God?

Free to Choose
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
1.What is it about my understanding of God that blocks me from deciding to turn my life and my will over to His care?

2. How does fear affect my choices?

Giving up control
Psalm 61:1-8

1. Where did I get the illusion that I can control other people or my circumstances, job or life?

2. What stops me from giving up my life, so that I can find the life God intends for me?

Redeeming the Past
Isaiah 54:4-8

1. How do I hold God the Redeemer at arm’s length? Why?

2. What fears have the most power in my life?

3. How is shame connected to fear in me?

Submission and Rest
Matthew 11:27-30

1. Why do I think that I am able to handle my addictions/dependencies on my own with no help from outside myself?

2. How ready am I to be taught?

3. What characteristics interfere with my being taught by Jesus or another person?

Discovering God
Acts 17:22-28

1. How does my life reflect my image of God at any given moment?

2. How do I define the word surrender?

3. What is the difference between “my will” and “my life”?

Single-Minded Devotion
James 4:7-10

1. What does resistance look like in my life?

2. What do I have to face in myself when I draw close to God?

3. How is addiction connected to my resistance to God’s direction in my life?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Two: Only God Can Restore me to Sanity

Step two of the twelve step program was one that did not come so easily for me. I mean, I was raised a Christian and I had always believed in God. However after all of the addiction, abuse, and disordered eating behaviors I experienced for many years, I became angry and bitter towards the idea of God and religion so I turned away from Him and lived my life on my own terms. I spent most of my teenage and twenties examining other religions and spiritual concepts, believing that I could control my life without any consequences.

Without a solid spiritual foundation, and after spiraling deeper into my destructive behaviors, I found myself flat on my face in despair without any way out and no one to help me. None of my alternative spiritual principles could help me out of my mess, and I was confronted with the unshakable truth that God was the only one who could save and strengthen me. I had a big pride pill to swallow, and many character defects to dig out, but man, how much pain and suffering did I hand over to Jesus, the one who had died for me, when I made the decision to stop hurting myself and give it all to Him instead in exchange for a beautiful life. The biggest difference now in regards to God is that I seek a personal relationship with Him, instead of abusing religion. I don’t belong to any religious organization, and if you ask me, God loves everyone!

I had many questions to reflect on as I humbled myself in the recovery process and allowed Him to take away my power. After all, did I create the universe? No. Did I create myself? No. Had I ever been successful in stopping my eating disorders and addictions on my own? No!! So, I had to humble myself and accept that only God could bring about the changes in me that I so badly needed.

But you know, I surprised myself with the issues that came about with step two. I believed in God, but I fell many times in recovery with my pride! I realized that one of the reasons why I had struggled with my disorders and addictions for so long was because I had tried to be my own god! I thought that I could worship my body instead of God and still have a meaningful relationship with Him! It does not work! When I put myself first instead of the One Who Created me, I fell to my own sin and devices repeatedly.

There are countless examples in the Bible of leaders who tried to take the place of God and fell terribly.
Take for example King Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel Chapter 4, we see how the king thought he was the greatest and worshipped himself. He looked at his successes and called the glories for himself. He forgot to be humble and remember that God is the creator and ruler of all and that He gives power and success “to anyone He chooses” (Daniel 4:32). God took everything away from King Nebuchadnezzar and spent a time period with the cattle in the fields, eating and living with them until he humbled himself and acknowledged that God was the only one with power and might.

I lived the same way as King Nebuchadnezzar for most of my life…in pride, selfishness, and thinking that I was my own god! Because of my choices however, I also lived in addictions, pain, and an endless cycle of eating disorders that I could not get out of on my own. God allowed me to live in my own filth until I humbled myself and said, “Ok God, I admit it!! You are the only way, truth and light, Please help me!!” At that moment, my whole life began to change. I started to live according to what He wanted, and not unto my own destructive habits. I started to slowly become free.

Let’s take a look at the corresponding questions on Step two from the Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop.

Persistent Seeking
Job 14:1-6

1. How has life seemed unfair to me in the areas of family?

Trauma/abuse?

Addiction?

2. What are my objections to trusting God fully with my addiction and my life?

3. What emotions and questions do I need to be honest with God about?

4. Am I willing to work through the pain and unfairness of my life in order to find God and be freed from addiction? What holds me back?

Grandiose Thinking
Daniel 4:19-33

1. When in my addiction, in what ways did I display the belief that I was only accountable to myself?

2. How have I tried to have power over the events, outcomes, and people in my life?

3. In what ways did I show that I forgot that God is ultimately in control?

4. How have I avoided acceptance of God’s power over my life?

Internal Bondage
Mark 5:1-13

1. What self-destructive behaviors have I inflicted on myself due to addiction? List and describe them.

2. How has my addiction kept me from living my own life while finding myself more comfortable in “caves” of isolation, anger/rage, or silent judgement?

3. Have I begun to drop my insanity of living alone and being trapped in addiction? Am I ready to have Jesus visit me in my “caves” and cleanse me? If so, write out a prayer to Him here:

Healing Faith
Luke 8:43-48

1. How have I tried to control my problems in my own power?

2. What were the results?

3. Is there any other way that I would like to try to control and manage it?

4. Am I ready to do my part, as this woman courageously did, by reaching out for recovery in faith that Jesus’ Power will be there? Write a statement of readiness to God.

Restoration
Luke 15: 11-24

1. How have my compulsions and addictions led me to compromise my values, convictions, and principles?

2. How have my compulsions and addictions dehumanized me and brought me to shame?

3. In light of how my addictions and dependencies have degraded me, am I now open to a deeper level of believing that the power and forgiveness of God will restore me to sanity?

Coming to Believe
Romans 1:18-20

1. How have my experiences shown me that my way of living is not a satisfying or productive way to live?

2. How have I seen God’s power at work in other people’s lives?

3. What are the signs that I am on the path and in the process of being restored to sanity?

Hope in Faith
Hebrews 11:1-10

1. Am I becoming able to believe that God can help me live sanely? How?

2. Can I now believe that as I reach out for God’s Strength and surrender to Him, God’s Nature is to be present and ready to help and support sane choices? Why or why not?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step One, I am Powerless!

The Hope Diary: Step One, I am Powerless!
October 30, 2012

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I have been spending the evening quietly reflecting the past couple of days and how so many people in Jersey City and NYC around me are without power, submerged in water, scared, alone and helpless. I am extremely thankful that by the very Grace of God, my home was one of the only to not be affected with loss of anything, and I am definitely counting my Blessings.

The running theme right now of helplessness around the East Coast reminds me of Step One of my Twelve Step program for recovering from an eating disorder. Step One states that when we finally come to the realization that we have a true problem that is destroying our lives and many times, the lives of others, we say that we are “powerless.”

It took me 19 years to admit to myself and to others that I was powerless. Even after going for help 17 years into my bulimia and anorexia, I still did not admit that I was powerless. I sought help mostly for the wrong reasons; to please others and to make myself look better. I wanted everyone to think that I was again…perfect. That even though I had had an eating disorder for so many years that I could, in fact, pick myself right up and get help and be recovered immediately.

How absurd it was to pridefully seek help, and never really admit my powerlessness. The outcome of this was I went around and around my problems for much longer than needed, with results far more atrocious than the past.

True admittance of my powerlessness came when I found myself with nowhere to look than up at God for my life and my answers. Hopefully you will be smarter than I was and learn from my and others’ mistakes and seek help before you have to just about kill yourself to get there.

My Twelve Step Program defines powerlessness as such, “Step One: We admitted that we were powerlessness, that our lives had become unmanageable.” My unmanageable life, emotions, finances, and relationships all became sure-fire signals that my addiction had taken over and that I was powerless over myself. It was a sad realization but one that truly set me on the path to God, self-discovery, recovery, and ultimately, saving my life.

If you are thinking that maybe you have a problem with food, anorexia, bulimia, taking laxatives, over-exercising, or binge-eating, here are some questions and correlating Bible verses taken from The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop that are truly valuable in helping you get on the way to recovery.

Genesis 16:1-15
No-Win Situations

1). What feelings do I experience as I acknowledge people in my life who have power ( such as supervisors, spouse, religious leaders, and sponsors)?

2). What do I try to escape from?

3). How do I escape my feelings such as anger, boredom, fatigue, or loneliness?

4). When things do not go my way, or when I am in a no-win situation, what is my reaction (with relationships, work, promotions, kids who question or rebel, traffic, drivers in front of me, people talking on cell phones in public places, financial difficulties, people who hurt or disappoint me, or God, who seems to be silent)?

5. If I could, how would I change my response?

Dangerous Self-Deception
Judges 16:1-31

1). What is the longest time I have been able to stop addictive behaviors or using addictive substances?

2). What are some of the reasons I use for starting my behaviors or substance abuse again?

3). What are the things I think I can control? How do I lie to myself, and about what?

4). What is so scary about telling the truth?

5). As I explore powerlessness, what blind spots have I discovered?

6). What are the results of pride in my life?

A Humble Beginning
2 Kings 5: 1-5

1). What is the difference between humiliation and humility in my life?

2). How do I regard myself as being a little more important than other people?

3). What makes me think I am in control of anything?

4). How do I try to influence or control God or his representatives?

5). When have I places expectations on other people or God?

6). When have my attitudes shown that I believe I know better than God?

7. Why is it difficult for me to follow another’s instructions?

Hope Amidst Suffering
Job 6:2-13

1). What kind of people do I hang around with and trust– people who criticize, or people who encourage truth?

2). What emotions can I identify with when I am at the bottom?

3). What have I done in the past to tidelands with pains or sadness?

Like Little Children
Mark 10:13-16

1). What happened in the past that still provokes fear in me today?

2). When do I feel the most cared for?

3). What do I see in my life that reveals God’s care for me?

A Time to Choose
Acts 9:1-9

1). When I continue to pursue my own agenda without asking God for direction, what happens in my life?

2). Are there areas of my life in which God may have to use extreme measures before I will listen for direction? Which areas?

3). What will it take for me to listen to God?

The Paradox of Powerlessness
2 Corinthians 4:7-10

1). These are examples of when I have demonstrated acceptance of my own powerlessness and God’s Powerfulness.

2). How do I respond to trouble?

3). How do I respond to being perplexed?

4). What do I do when it seems that God or someone else has abandoned me?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

“Six Tips on How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You” by Karla Downing

Christian Relationship Help: Six Tips on How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You by Karla Downing

“Forgiveness is a commandment for Christians (Matthew 6:14-15); yet, there is a lot of misunderstanding on how to forgive. This Christian relationship help gives you six tips on how to forgive someone who has hurt you:

1. Understand that it is a process.The first step is to commit to that process. Some people erroneously suggest that someone should forgive right away when they find out about a major offense. This isn’t possible. Before you can forgive, you have to know what you are forgiving. It takes time to figure out what has happened and how it has affected your life.

2. Reflect on the facts of the situation, your reactions, and how it is affecting you. You have to count the cost in order to forgive by first recognizing how you have been affected by the offense. This way you know what you are forgiving.

3. Understand what the offender did and why it was done.This is putting yourself into the shoes of the other person. It gives you a perspective that can help you to be empathetic. Hurt people hurt people. This doesn’t mean you excuse the wrong or not hold the person appropriately accountable; it only means that you try to understand the problems the other person had that would have caused him/her to do what was done.

4. Choose to let go of the right to get revenge.You turn the person over to God and allow him to judge in his way and time (Romans 12:19). This can include allowing the person to face the legal, relational, financial and situational consequences of his/her actions; however, you need to let go of your bitterness and resentment and not take pleasure in the person’s pain and demise.

5. Treat the person with dignity and respect.You want to love your enemies and offer them a cup of cold water, as Jesus suggested (Romans 12:20); yet, you can still set boundaries to protect yourself. This requires that you take a step of faith and treat the person well. When you do it, it will help you to maintain the forgiveness and allow God to work in the person’s life.

6. Choose to no longer be defined by the offense.This is where you integrate the offense into your life as another thing that has happened that you have walked through that God has used to shape and mold you. Your identity is not: “The spouse who was abandoned,” The parent who lost his child,” or “The unloved child.” You have a different perspective that involves acceptance, forgiveness, and faith and a self-image that includes how you have been refined through your life experiences and how God is using it for good.

This Christian relationship help offers you these six tips on how to forgive someone who has hurt you. These tips will enable you to move on from the offense in a way that sets you free and pleases God.”

God Bless,
Nikki

Fall Time Fun Back at Alstede Farms, NJ

Bunnies, cows, pigs, oh my!! I was in hog-heaven this Columbus Day weekend at Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ. Not only was the scenery surrounding the Fall-Festival breath taking, but the “scene” inside the park wasn’t half-bad either! From kiddies to pumpkin fudge (who knew?), animals galore to more Pick-Your-Own activities than you could shake a honey flavored stick at!!

I don’t know about you, but fall time is my absolute favorite time of the year. The beautiful colors on the leaves changing signal that the Holidays are a-comin’ and that the layers on my clothes will be a wrappin’!! I am so thankful for the beautiful seasons that God has created, but fall and winter have always been my favorite! You can be sure I will be blogging much more during this time as it brings back my childhood memories with my family, and I love to create that here on my website.

The Hope Diary: I’ve Found Something Better

I loved acting in school plays. I remember playing in “Peter Rabbit” when I was around nine and loving the feeling of being on stage. After the performance our family had a huge dinner and I gorged myself with all of the fixings and chocolate cake, then ran to the bathroom to cry my eyes out and threw up everything that my tiny hands could possibly manage to get out. I felt ashamed and horrified of my body. I felt judged by everyone in the audience and by my family. I wanted to be perfect; I wanted to be loved and accepted.

What seemed innocent and a “quick-fix” to appease my saddened emotions as a child, turned into a journey into hell for seventeen years that just about killed me. Let me tell you, I became SO attached to my addiction, I would have rather died with it, than gotten help. Me, need help? NEVER!! The perfect never need any help!! For we ARE perfect and we just don’t need anyone telling us how to do ANYTHING…right?

Not so! Thankfully in recovery, I have learned that no one is perfect except for God, and that I was made perfect and beautiful in His sight! When I was up there on stage playing “Cottontail” in the school play, I was a character, in more ways than one. I was a rabbit, and I was also playing the in-control, charismatic, perfect girl that I wanted the audience to see. In every day life growing up and in my early and mid-twenties, I tortured myself trying to hide the absolute mess I was inside and portray a “Barbie-doll” on the outside. I really thought that my worth and value was determined by how I looked and how much I could accomplish. My “best” was my beauty, and that scale slid drastically day to day. What a hell-hole to live in!

What an incredible release and power I have from the bondage of addiction to know that my worth and value is NOT based on the weight on the scale, the height, size or shape of my body, how I look, or how others judge me. My worth and value is based on the love of God and how He has molded me into His Image!! I know that I am a Child of Him, and with Him and through Him I can do ANYTHING in this life! I never have to feel down on myself again because I know where my self-worth lies. It lies in my God. I gladly trade the self-hatred and criticism ANYDAY for acceptance and loving my imperfectness knowing that it is God Himself who wants me this way! Who am I to argue with Him? I am but a little child learning in the road of life, and when that spirit of pride wants to argue and try to know more than God, it is the very thing that can cause me to fall right back into the addictive behaviors again.

Bye, Bye eating disorder, I’ve Found Something Better!!

MIA Magazine Cover- October 2012

 

Photographer: Juan Lu Real
Mua: Leo Pereira
Shot in Spain

Thank you God!
Mom, this is dedicated to you, Nana and all the family in Heaven.

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Recovery in the Midst of Mortality

Alright, so, yes, I have come out to say that I have suffered for the majority of my life with an eating disorder. But, let me clarify, this is NOT in any way, shape, or form to promote or encourage anyone out there to have or to “wonder” what it is like to have an eating disorder because simply, they WILL. KILL. YOU. They ARE, Point, Blank and simple, an ADDICTION, like every other addictive substance, i.e., alcohol, drugs, etc. They fill the void of deeper emotional and mental issues that need to be taken care of by doctors and therapists, and GOD!! If I had only known then what I know now that I needed Jesus, to fill the hurts that I was using food and later other drugs and alcohol to fill, what a LOT of hurt and pain I would have saved my mind and body from going through. But you know what? I am so THANKFUL that I went through it all, and so GRATEFUL to God that I got help for it at such a young age so that I can hopefully be a voice to help people all over the world.

Because if I am just another face on a magazine cover, pretending that I look this way naturally, or that “I do not have do anything to look like this, or that my life is perfect, then that would be a TOTAL SHAM, not doing YOU ANY service, and my life would be unfulfilled for God. I am a lover and a helper, not a faker and a user. I know that with eating disorders the biggest cause of keeping them is to not speak about them…they are the great big elephants in the room, that people will go to bed with and die with. They are the “magic slimming pills” that I am so sure many people who are reading this want to chop my head off for sharing because their disease HATES the fact that I am trying to shed some much-needed light into the wounded souls of sufferers. But if you keep silent about them, you will keep silent all the way to the grave.

When I first thought about sharing this with the world, of course I was more scared than I have ever been in my life, but then I remembered that God says in Romans 8:31,

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”

So, I know I have nothing to fear knowing that God is with me and my sole purpose is to offer my experience, strength, and hope (my ESH) to countless others who suffer all over the world.

Today I would like to share on Food, Addictions, and Mortality

My mom passed away on August 25, 2012 in an automobile accident and she struggled most of her life with many addictions. In the final few months of her life, the whole family had gotten together to help her get cleaned up in a recovery home and while there, I genuinely saw her as I had never seen her before. She was happy, stable, clear-minded, hopeful and radiant. She and I spent what would be, unbeknownst to both of us, the happiest and final two weeks of her life together. I felt hopeful and serene that everything was going to be alright. I had placed the situation in God’s Hands, and I trusted Him, no matter what the outcome.

Three weeks after I left her, she died. What I have experienced is something like I could never write down in a billion books. I don’t even know the depth of my own sorrow for her.


Photo is of me and my brother spreading some of my mom’s ashes in the Mount Pleasant River.

Addictions kill if left untreated. If you think that a food addiction will not kill you, please think again. I remember growing up that before my mom developed her other addictions she had had a terrible time with bulimia. She openly shared about her bulimia with me and some of the family before she passed away while she was staying in the recovery home. I know that my mom was trying to connect and help me in any way she could with my disease. You see, at the root of any addiction, is an addictive behavior, which tries to cover deeper emotional issues. It is the emotional and mental issues that need to be dealt with properly, but you cannot do that until you stop the addictive behaviors. If you stop one addictive behavior it is likely that you can pick up another easily, just like I have and just like my mom did.

I have had my fair share of addictions in my past. If it wasn’t for the food, it was smoking or the other. Until I sought help two and a half years ago I was a total mess! The food has far and between been my biggest problem, and when my mom passed away it made me face my own mortality. It was tough enough to go to her funeral and know that she died way too young at 45 years old, but myself, at 27, well, I wasn’t too far behind! If we have suffered with the same problems then it made life and dying all too real and that reality stung colder than the iciest, black winter night on my naked soul.

How do we cope with an eating disorder especially when faced with our own mortality? How do we deal with our addictions when going through life and the loss of a loved one? One Day at a Time. By accepting every day that we have a life-threatening illness that, if left untreated, will lead to our untimely death, and that we are powerless over our disease. We must turn it over to the care of God as we understand Him, and seek to do His Will in our life, not our own. The 12 Step Program has been my one of my lifelines as well as journaling my thoughts, reaching out for support, and being that support system for others. One of the greatest enemies addictions have is a life lived for helping others. Getting out of self and living for a life of selflessness is Step 12 of the 12 Step Program. Once I adopted these behaviors and ways of life, I saw my Spirit rise to a whole new level. I no longer lived to eat, I ate to live. I lived to serve God and found myself asking God, “What can I do for You today? Who can I help and encourage today through You?”

With these new-founded ways of life, I have learned that even in the midst of my mom’s death and facing the reality of my own, I have a guide on how to get through it calmly and with a stable Spirit. I do not have to go through life another day depressed and defeated. However long God has me here on this Earth, I will live it with confidence, Faith and to the fullest, knowing that He has an incredible journey left for me to fulfill and help others through the lessons I have learned.

One Day at a Time, you can defeat your disease with God.
God Bless,
<3 Nikki DuBose

In Memory of my mom, Sandra Theresa Cargile

A funny thing happens when you put your life out on the internet. Irony kind of shakes it’s fist at you and the worst openly invites itself in for supper.
On August 25, 2012, my mom, Sandra Theresa Pierce Cargile, known to most as Sandy Cargile, was killed in a drunk-driving accident on her way back home with an acquaintance in South Carolina. I will spare the details because my brother and I are requesting full respect and privacy at this time.

We have created, however, a Facebook page in her honor.

My brother and I have received an outpour of love and support during this time and we just want to say thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts. Even in the midst of this unspeakable tragedy and beyond difficult time, we are reminded of God’s never-ending Love and Comfort during the world’s trials and tribulations. God always provides unlimited comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding.

Psalm 46:1-2
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

We love you mom,
Gone too soon.
Heaven is a place we will all know forever.
Until we meet again,
Here in our hearts we hold you close.

January 22, 1967- August 25, 2012

Desiree Lucille Dopson, Heaven’s Angels Have Gained You

Desiree, Desiree, Our sweetest Desiree
Heaven knows no time or space
You hold the keys to our
Heart
Desiree, Desiree, Our sweet Desiree,
God is holding the beauty of your face.

When the clouds of Breath roll on
You will see we can’t go on
Without you,
Our sweet Desiree,

Desiree, Desiree, Our Sweet Desiree,
God is holding the beauty of your face.

Our Sweet Lord
This we pray
Take these endless tears away
Our nighttime cries
They just won’t go away

Desiree, Desiree, Our Sweet Desiree,
God is holding the beauty of your face.

©2012 Nikki DuBose

August 14, 2012

Rest in Eternal Peace with Our Heavenly Father, Desiree Lucille Dopson. September 24, 1968 – August 10, 2012. Heaven gained an angel, and I cannot wait to see you one day.
I love you and miss you. Thank you for all of the love and joy you brought into mine and so many across the world. Forever missed and never forgotten, only celebrated.

The South of France, Where I go to Rest my Soul.

Out of all the places I have visited, none have compared like the South of France. From the dreamy lavender fields and Midsummer Night’s Dream-like air of Provence, to the way that every aspect of nature looks like it it carved out of a painting, my soul is truly refreshed when I come and stay here. The quality of the food, the smell of the fresh, uninterrupted air, and the rare, precious quiet time I have in the countryside is something that I encourage all of you to treasure wherever you may have it! Here is a peak of the way I see life in the many cities on the Provence region.

So there is a full complete rest still waiting for the people of God. Christ has already entered there. He is resting from his work, just as God did after the creation. Let us do our best to go into that place of rest, too, being careful not to disobey God as the children of Israel did, thus failing to get in. (Hebrews 4:9-11)

In my action-packed life, I thank God for the opportunities to rest and relax!!

Peace, Love and Light,
God Bless the World,
Nikki DuBose

My Reflection In the Mirror

My nine and a half year old niece *Colette loves to sit with me in the bathroom and watch me fix my hair in the mornings and put on my makeup. The other day we were spending time together while I was doing just that, and I frequently stopped to dance around the room with my hairbrush and sing songs on the iPad that she knows almost every word to. We just laughed and laughed until a hour and a half had passed and she was half silly and I had half of my hair and makeup on still, ha ha! These are precious memories and ones that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
After we had finished our mini concert in our jammies, Colette became pretty quiet and started to stare down at the floor. “Are you ok, Colette?” I asked. She didn’t really answer even though I knew she had understood what I was saying, and instead she went over to the weight scale that was over by the sink and promptly put her two feet firmly on the face of it. I carefully but discreetly watched as her face fell and she immediately became disheartened. Again, I repeated to her to tell me what was wrong, this time in French to make sure she understood. “Qu’est-ce que c’est ?”, I asked her beautiful, tiny face. After one enormous huff of a breath, Colette pointed to her belly and implied that she was overweight, and by her face, that she felt horrible about her body and appearance because of the number on the scale. I was shocked! A nine and a half year old child!! A child, so concerned about her weight and appearance already! What in the world is happening to our society?
Right away I took her and looked her straight and lovingly into her saddened eyes. “Colette, you. Are. Beautiful. Jolie. Do you know?” Obviously my French is terrible, but I could see in her expression that she understood because she peaked through with a microscopic smile. “Bon, now I want you to come to the mirror, look straight into it at yourself, all of you, and repeat after me, I. Am. Beautiful. Just. The. Way. I. Am.” Well, my first attempt failed. She could not even look at herself, let alone repeat the words. This was a total learning experience for me, and I was just so heartbroken that this incredibly gorgeous, inside and out, talented, bright, sweet, charming, gracious child was deep down full of intense self-esteem issues because of a number on a scale. And where in the world did she pick this up? How did she even know to go and weigh herself and what these numbers mean? Ooh, I was just so infuriated!! And then subsequently all of the feelings that I had as a child came flooding back to me all at once. I had the same emotions, fears and knowledge of myself and body at her age and had already developed serious, serious body and food issues at the age of eight! Eight! Imagine, the psychological effects and damages that society can have on a child, with all of the messages it sends on what it is to be acceptable. This is plum ridiculous!
I gently repeated it to Colette over and over until she said it to herself in the mirror. “I. Am. Beautiful. Just. The. Way. I. Am.” And you know what? She finally had a smile on her face, and she had a face of confidence where she could at least say it and look at herself in the mirror at the same time!
It is so important the words that we speak to children, and the words that they say to themselves and how they see themselves. Growing up, I did not really have any encouragement directly at home. Abused in my childhood in many ways from some family members, I had zero self confidence and in fact I hated myself from as early as the age of eight years old, when all of the abuse started to take on a more serious turn. There is so much power in our thoughts, our mind, our actions, and the words we say to ourselves and others. Just the kindest and most gentle sentence can help to change someone’s life. I often wonder what would have happened if instead of constantly hearing words of discouragement and disapproval, I would have been raised in an environment of positive reinforcement, encouragement, kindness and concern for my well-being, as every human being deserves to hear and know from childhood.

me, age 4.

Believe it or not, I struggled for seventeen years of my young life with body issues, self esteem, weight control, and loving myself, the real myself; and in fact, I don’t think I ever even knew who I really was because I never started my life with any kind of a healthy foundation on which to grown on or to have guidance from. When you are eight years old and start having deep-psychological food issues and base your worth and value on how you feel when you look in your kid jeans in the morning, there is a serious, life-altering mindset that takes place; And child, it’s not pretty.
Needless to say, when Colette started to talk negatively about herself in the bathroom and play the “blame game” with her body and the weight scale, I knew that I could not and would not let her leave there without trying to get her to see herself and speak to herself loving, caring words the way that God sees and loves all of us. It is important to share with you all how I was treated as a child and the problems I went through, but it is much more important and exciting to shout from the rooftops what God has done for my life! God took a messed up, broken, abused and helpless woman who had a hurting, angry little girl still living on the inside of her; a victim of her own perfectionism. He took me, when I had finally had enough of living like a victim and decided I wanted to live a victorious life, and in fact, He came running with open Arms to me, picked me up, carried me, and gave me a totally New Life that could only be found In Him! When I surrendered every single area of my life to God, it was not easy, it was very challenging, in fact, but I began to see myself the way that God saw me, as I first learned from His Word. In the Bible, there are four key adjectives that are used to describe how we are seen in God’s eyes, and although there are many more I want to share the following with you, and invite you to repeat these powerful phrases in front of the mirror, and to yourself throughout the day whenever you need a “pick-me-up.”

I am created in the Image of God. In the Book of Genesis 1:27 it says that, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Well, this verse really changed a lot for me. If I am created in the very image of God, and God is supposed to be All-Seeing, All-Knowing, All-Capable, All-Powerful, Always in Control, just PERFECT, then right here and now I should understand that I should NEVER, EVER, EVER say another bad thing about myself ever again! If I know that I am created in God’s very image and He did so ON PURPOSE because He loves me, and He has an amazing future for my life, then speaking and thinking bad things about myself would be just like slapping Him in the face, never-the-mind all of the damaging effects it would continue to do to myself. So the next time you feel like you are ugly or not worthy just the way you are, that is total crap and hurtful to God because He. Made. You. Unique. And. Precious. In. His. Sight.

I am accepted. Ephesians 1: 3-8 says, “I have been chosen by God and adopted as His Child.” Wow! You mean all of this time I did not have to have feelings of abandonment, loneliness, unworthiness and shame for not having my family there for me? NO! As children, we tend to idolize our parents, and see them as being perfect and incapable of making mistakes. When we become adults, we tend to blame all of our problems on our parents and our childhood, but what we really should be doing is accepting the fact that all our parents really did was give us life, bring us into this world, and raise us the best that they knew how to with the resources they had. The only One perfect is God, therefore, we have to learn to forgive our parents, even if we never even had any, even if they mistreated us, even if they left us as children. Why? Because we are not perfect either, and we can never point the finger because that is being hypocritical and God is not a hypocrite. When we understand what God says above in Ephesians 1:3-8 then it takes all of the pressure off ourselves having to constantly live in regret for not having the “perfect” childhood that maybe we would have liked to have. For we can discover that having a personal relationship with Christ gives us something far beyond and better: a Loving Father Who is with us Eternally and Who has a Home for us on Earth and in Heaven, and Who will never Leave us Nor Forsake us. So it does not matter what your childhood was like, the next time you feel sad about your family, feel comfort in knowing, “I. Am. Accepted!”

I am secure. 1 John 5:18 states, “I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.” Safety is critical to a child’s wellbeing mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. How many times have you seen a child act out in anger or frustration or how many times have you done this yourself, all the while knowing that the root of the action was fear? Fear is a joy-killer because it is not something that is valid, but it is something that we tend to believe. Fear is the opposite of faith, and when we live in fear, we can act out in all kinds of negative emotions on ourselves and to other people, places, and things. Deep rooted fears of gaining weight, past traumas, fears of not getting approval from others, etc., can be a main cause of eating disorders that start in children, and can develop into more severe problems if left untreated. Perfectionism and People Pleasing are very common “disorders” that, myself included, hundreds of millions of people struggle with, and it all really stems from childhood, the lack of feeling accepted and secure, and trying to make up for it all as adults by doing way too much for the sake of everyone else, when on the inside you are dying. God gives you unlimited security, safety and rest in His Arms, when you begin to study His Word little by little you will find that you do not ever have to feel afraid to take another step in this life and beyond alone. You are valuable and you have unbreakable security bank in the Kingdom of God. When fear starts to creep up on you, you pray, “Devil, shut up! I know who I am and what I have with God. God is with me always and I will not fear. I am secure. You cannot touch me, fear.”

I am significant. 1 Corinthians 3:16 clearly says, “I am God’s Temple.” Our body is God’s Holy Temple, and how dare we disrespect, destroy or disregard what God made! Whatever size, weight or shape your body is, you need to embrace or love that! The number on the scale should be left there, and should not follow you throughout your day, determining your value and significance. Your significance is found in Jesus, and what He says about you, that you are HIS Temple, His Body, and You are FREE to love your body! So you should not go by the world’s standards of “measuring up” and obtaining worthiness from a certain dress or pants size because you are important enough in God’s eyes just the way you are!

So throw away all of your worries, take deep breaths and release them, go and look in the mirror, and I mean really look in the mirror. Now see yourself the way that God sees you.

Perfect.
Accepted.
Secure.
Significant.

Aaahhh. Now say, “I. Am. Beautiful. Just. The. Way. I. Am.”

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

Modern Day Hero: Tiffany Teate: How She Dedicates Her life to Young People Lost in The Sex Trafficking Industry

Meet Tiffany Teate. She’s your normal 22 year old, intelligent, healthy young woman who just recently graduated from college by day, and is helping to save children from the sex slave industry by night. She is a shining example that when you want to help in any way you can, God will use you to do just that in greater ways than you can imagine. Here’s her story for our August 2012 “Modern Day Hero”.
1. Hi Tiffany, Please tell us about yourself, and the wonderful work you are doing helping others get set free from human sex trafficking.

“I am 22 years old, recently graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a bachelors degree in Psychology and Dance. I was born in Florida but raised in South Carolina. Growing up in the south, I learned that women were expected to behave in a certain way. I was not kean on this but played the ‘southern belle’ game with a twist. I participated in pageants and won. I was very active in serving my community and lead several youth communities. I did this not to succomb to the wealthy white old men who ran things but to have a platform, to gain a voice. I saw many corrupt leaders at a young age and I wanted to be different. I also saw women misuse their role or platform in the community. It enraged me that there was a lack of virtue in the women that young girls were looking up to. The sacredness of a woman’s body and heart have always been something precious to me. I think that is why at 17 when I heard about young girls who were being sold for sex, enslaved, and beaten at times I fell apart. I felt too young to do anything at the time except for talking about it and telling people about human trafficking. I made a vow to myself that I would devote the rest of my life to the restoration of women who have either been involved in trafficking, sexual abuse, or have never heard they are precious and beautiful in the site of their Creator. I think that God is a God of healing and restoration- I believe with Him that it is possible for there to be an end to this multi-billion dollar industry of human trafficking.”

2. How did you get started to get involved in helping to stop human sex-trafficking?

“I met the founder of Redeem the Shadows at a human trafficking awareness convention in Palm Beach in 2010. I expressed my desire to get involved, and some ideas of how to raise awareness in the local community. (Florida is the number two state for human trafficking). I did not think to hear back from him but several months later while living in Australia, he emailed me and asked if I wanted to go on a tour of the united states raising funds for Redeem the Shadows and awareness of the Sex Trade. The majority of America had no idea then in 2010 that the issue even existed, especially that it was happening in the US. We have come a long way in the past two years. Accepting the invitation to tour would mean that I would have to turn down the offer of an Australian dance company that I had just auditioned for and that I would have to drop out of college. It was not a difficult decision to make however, God made it very clear to me that this is why I was created and he would provide the way. I returned to the states, and two months later hit the road for tour.”

3. How do you help these young people to get out of it?

“The actual rescue of the girls (and sometimes boys) has to be done by police or federal agents. However ANYONE can play a part in assisting in the rescue process by being trained to identify victims, and reporting them to the human trafficking hotline. There are obstacles in the rescue process because the pimps strip the victim of their identity both legally and psychologically. They replace their driver’s license with one that has a different name and age, or if they are imported they take their passports and create new ones. They are usually drugged and brainwashed to believe their pimp is actually looking out for them. This makes it very difficult for police to identify victims, build a case, and then have the permission to take the girls out of the pimps’ hands. The rescue process looks very different in Europe in and in Asia. Their legal processes are not as regimented but more dangerous. What’s worse is the police are sometimes the customers of the pimps. Redeem the Shadows, the nonprofit I work with, works to post the hotline help number in places where prostitution is apparent. By raising awareness in the community- it educates people to identify victims and get them to the police. We work with a rehabilitation center that is the only one of its kind in the state of Florida, specifically created to restore victims human trafficking. Wings of Shelter is the rehabilitation center that is assisting us in creating more homes for victims in Florida and hopefully in the United States. They have incredulous success with the youth that have come to their home. We believe it is because they share the love of Christ with them, which is why Redeem the Shadows has partnered with them.”


4. How do you help yourself to stay safe during the process?

“As I said before, my involvement is in the awareness and the aftermath. The rescue is executed via law enforcement. However- during tour, and awareness demonstrations- it is a daily issue to keep ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually safe. The last- being the most difficult, as we have learned: when you are doing work for the Kingdom, the enemy will try to nastily intervene. We have also learned that while working for the Lord- we have protection and favor. When we are on tour- we hold each other accountable to stay in the Word both individually and as a team and to let our words to each other be uplifting always, never letting Satan have a foothold. During a demonstration at a shopping mall, we (the three girls on the team) wore signs around our neck that said “For Sale” and our rate per hour. We had tape around our mouths symbolizing that we had no voice, or choice in the matter. Our eye makeup was smudged and hair tangled to show we were mistreated and unkept. The reaction we received from the public was disarming. People, especially Americans- simply do not want to believe that children are sold for sex. I know it is tough to swallow but we can not ignore it. Edmund Burke was correct in saying that evil prevails when good people are silent. Some people stared and walked away, angry; Some laughed. Some said we should leave; some simply denied it was not true, and did not believe the statistics we put on the posters such as the average age of a child prostitute or that it happened in the United States. Eventually we were asked to leave by the police and when we did not move quick enough, we were chased by cops and escorted out of the premises. These instances take a toll on us-we want to fight for what is right but we want to do it in a manner that glorifies Christ. We will not break laws or be disrespectful but some people simply can not handle truth.
The founder, Noel Thomas, had the chance to go undercover at a brothel in Texas posing as a John (a buyer). What he saw was devastating, girls who could not have been 18 in a neglected state- just waiting for the next man to use her. Noel was able to gather information and contribute to a case that the police were in the process of assembling. He put himself at risk-but knew the Lord wanted him there.”

5. Do you tell them about the love of God in this process?

“Yes. There are a number of great non profit organizations that are raising awareness, as well as funds for the rescue and the rehabilitation of victims but I chose to work with Redeem the Shadows because I strongly believe that this atrocity can not be mended without the Power and Healing of Christ. As hard as it is not to want to avenge this injustice with the pimps, Redeem the Shadows also has a desire for the redemption of the Johns, and the Pimps. They are also people that are lost and loved by God- we want to share that Love of Christ with the offenders. We pray that God will prepare us for this- to soften our hearts towards them and give us opportunities to share. This was difficult at first for me. When I hear the stories of the young girls, their torment and pain- honestly my reaction is to hurt whoever caused it. The Lord is patient with me, and reminds me they are His, too.”

6. Please tell us one of the most touching stories so far you have encountered.

“As I am involved with the awareness aspect of this fight against trafficking, I use my gift of dance to share, or show rather- the story of a young girl sold into slavery. I think that God gave us the ability to dance when words are not enough. That is why I began dancing- When I met the lord, I fell in Love and he left me speechless. All I could do was dance. Redeem the Shadows created a worldwide event to raise awareness on November 11, 2011 (11.11.11). I decided to choreograph a show that told the story of a young girl tricked into the trade. It was emotionally daunting to perform, getting into the character of a girl who’s body is sold and used is difficult- I can not imagine the reality. Afterward, i had several people tell me that they had heard about the issue- but it was not until they saw the dance they realized the extent of the pain. I also had a young girl come up to me and confess she was sexually abused but wanted to help other girls who also have been abused. I was completely humbled to see a girl who had been violated react in such a loving way. I think dancing brings words to life, sometimes people have to see it to believe it.”

7. Please tell us any way that we can avoid being a victim, any advice for parents, or to find out any information.

“I once read an interview of a Pimp that shared his tactics for spotting his next girl. He would look for a young girl who stared at the ground while she walked and when he approached her to tell her she had pretty eyes. She would not look him in the eye. Essentially, he looked for a girl who lacked confidence and did not think she was worthy of attention; These are the easiest to convince that the Pimp could be something for her. I was shocked when I read this. I realized then, If we were empowering our girls with encouragement, and the love of Christ- I think a Pimp would find it difficult to find his next girl. So Parents, let your children know they are loved, and worthy of it. So when they walk- they walk tall. A helpful link to report suspicious behavior, identify, or for facts is www.stophumantrafficking.org

8. Do you have a website or link online where we can find out more about you?

“yes, www.tiffanyteate.blogspot.com

Hey Girls and Boys!! Wanna Be a True *SuperModel*? Here’s the Real Deal Inside!!

Beauty Blogging and Photo Booth Funning…

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose Beauty Blog Fun July 2012 4

Little Girls and Boys Everywhere Rejoice!! We are all Model Citizens of the World!! You don’ t have to be a “supermodel” of the fashion industry’s standards to be a star in your own right! You have to first realize that within YOU lies the secret to being the wonderful and amazing humble Diva that you already are! God made you already a true beauty unlike any other so when you wake up every day you can say, “I am a SUPERMODEL!”

What are the characteristics of a true SuperModel meaning YOU, an everyday SuperModel? Well first things first, a true model is a role model which means you set a good example for others around you from the inside out. After all, when you are acting beautifully you are inspiring others and lifting them up instead of acting proud and snobby. So, let’s look at a few of the key ingredients to shake up the mixing pot of your inner SuperModel, shall we? OK!!

*The number one most important ingredient you need every day is God. Without God, you have nothing, and everything you do, is for Him! After all, He made you truly beautiful, inside and out, and He wants nothing more than for you to spread your kindness, talents and gifts to the world for all to see. It is extremely important in your life to remember to always give God the honor, glory and praise for all that you do!! Think about this, how are you even breathing this very moment…it is all God! So the first sign of a true “SuperModel You” is giving God back all of the credit He deserves. He loves you! He has an amazing and hopeful plan for your life!! I know that I personally would not be anywhere at all in any area of my life without God, and I owe everything for the rest of my life to Him. I love you Jesus!! Thank you God, for saving me!

*The second key factor in determining a SuperModel is humility. My oh my, how long I have gone around the humility train and failed, and will always have to take a ride again and again. We are all human and fail! What matters is that we have a heart that desires to reach up higher and become better because God sees the hearts of people. No judgements on this panel folks!! We will never be perfect in this lifetime and that is what is so wonderful about living in the presence of God. What is humility to you? The Bible describes humility in Philippians 2:3-11, saying:

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

Come on now, if Jesus can be humble and be a servant, then surely we all can be humble and put others before ourselves, even and especially when we don’t feel like it. That’s the toughie!! When we don’t feel like it! Yet, this is what will make you a Super Duper Role Model so beautiful, everyone will want to be shiny like you, and won’t the world be a much better place to live??

*Third, I am just gonna be so bold as to say that your persistence in life is extremely important as to determining your level of SuperModel. Unfortunately too many people give up on things way too early and this is not how we are bred to live. We are made as Conquerors in the eyes of God!! Victors! Romans 8:37-39 says:

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Every time you go through rough and tough trials in life, see it not as something to stop you, but as things to prepare you for the greater victories down the road. All it takes is a slight refocusing of your mentality. Think of your favorite Disney hero. Did they quit when the going got tough? NO!! Why in the world would you, thank you? Alright now, let’s proceed, my little warriors and warriorettes.

*The fourth determining role in a SuperModel is someone who truly Loves themselves. You have got to learn to deeply love yourself!! Man, I spent the majority of my life trying to please everybody in the world, to the point that I never gave myself first priority behind God. I mean, A LA DUH! What the heck? No wonder I had so many screwed up problems that later in life I realized I kept bringing them on myself! I did not love myself!! I was so overworked and trying to people please everyone on the face of the planet and way out in Mars, Venus and Pluto too, that I had realized that when I sat down one night to watch a movie by myself at home, I did not even know what that felt like. HOW SAD! Love yourself! Take time to get to know yourself and when you really and honestly can say that you are whole within yourself and are well balanced, then you are able to go out into the world and help others. Until then, you can help all you want but will only be hurting yourself because you will be taking away precious time and energy from depleting life source. In 1 Peter 5:8, The Bible says:

“Be sober, (be well balanced) be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion (in fierce hunger), walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

Whoa!! No thanks, buddy. You gotta keep your SuperModel Strength!! Be balanced, love yourself first after God, then you will have more time for other people.

*Finally, but not indefinitely, Confidence is so important for a “SuperModel You.” And you are listening to someone who, as I wrote one-time in one of my other articles, was one of the shyest and most un-confident teens you could EVER imagine. In fact, in my sophomore year of high school because I was SO quiet all of the time, my economics teacher announced in front of the entire class, “I don’t know what I would do if I had a room full of Nikkis.” Well now. Lord help me. Confidence is something that comes with time and patience. It is not something that you can buy on a shelf, but you CAN know where your confidence comes from, and you CAN “fake it until you can make it” kind of thing. First, your confidence, comes from God. In the Psalms, David knew where his confidence came from, as we see in Psalm 71:5:

“For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.”

Wow! Thank you God, for your never ending confidence!! You see, With Him, your confidence jar will NEVER EVER run out! Second, even when you do not feel confident, you can FAKE being confident, and eventually your inner confidence will shine through. I am the queen of this, let me tell you honey! Especially being in the modeling and entertainment industry, it is all about “faking it ‘till you can make it! If I went every day by the way I felt I might NEVER get out of bed and into that gym, writing chair, endless casting room, runway stage, etc., And that’s just the business world I am speaking of. The real times I have needed confidence that only comes from God is in my every day trials and tribulations. And my goodness, seems like since the day I came out of my momma I have been sliding down the one way track of trials. But you know what? I know who I am and where I come from, because I have had to learn to equip myself with this deep unshakable confidence that only comes from God. Thank you Jesus!

Well my beautiful SuperModels of the World, God Bless you and see you soon!!

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

The “IT LIST” on SQUA.RE

I am so Honored to announce that now I am a Contributing Editor for the “IT LIST” on SQUA.RE!! http://squa.re/category/community/
SQUA.RE is fresh and unique because it is the first All-Encompassing online platform dedicated to luxury. Coming onboard to SQUA.RE with a writer, editor, and supermodel’s eye, I also want to broadcast soon people across the world who are doing something for others…because isn’t that REALLY what the world should be about.
This month so far we have John Mayer and Lovecat Magazine editors Prince and Jacob joining Musician Olivier Bassil and SQUA.RE Editorial Director Adnan Z. Manjal.
Stay tuned with me for this exciting new addition to my ever growing family 🙂

Peace, Love and Light
XOXO
God Bless the World
Nikki DuBose

The World’s Trash is God’s Treasure!

I am inspired today by this quote from pastor Joyce Meyer, “Who the world would throw away, God will pick up, choose and use to do GREAT things.”  If you do not know Joyce Meyer, she had a terrible first half of her life filled with all kinds of abuse, torment, neglect and wrongdoings, like most of us have. I know in my own life for many years I experienced a terrible beginning, however, only through the Grace of God, I was able to totally turn my life around and receive a Healing of a brand new life. A life of forgiveness, restoration, peace, abundance, self-love and kindness, humility and self-control. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, (King James Version) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

So, if you are feeling like trash today, understand that what are the world’s standards of trash, are God’s standards of beauty. God loves to take anything broken and use it for His Glory. First, to heal and restore you, to give you a New life found only in salvation through the Blood of Christ, and second, to use your mended past to help OTHER people get set free from their “garbage.”

I think I have more trash bags than I know what to do with from my past, and I always have plenty of bags to take out every morning.  But thank God, that He sent His son Jesus to save me totally and Give me a clean, shiny, new body, soul, mind, and emotional state where I am forgiven and renewed!!  And You have that treasure too! How beautiful it is!

Every day, let’s choose at least one person to lift higher!  With our words, actions, anything.  Choose today to be a Blessing to others!!

Proverbs 18:4 says, “Your words can be like Life Giving Water.” People are thirsty, so be the water of life and encouragement that we so all need 😀

Here is a little poem I wrote, entitled:

YOU SURROUND ME

I’ve felt you all my life, and in the whispering night

Your Spirit came to me

It spoke with love so sweet

It Made my soul feel complete

Before I even saw your face

Surround me with your breath

I want to smell you

Surround me with your Arms

I want to feel Protected

Surround me with your Love

Your Eternal Love

It’s all I need

For the rest of my life

*************************

Peace, Love and Light

God Bless,

<3 Nikki DuBose

 

Sky & Sand Editorial, Space Magazine with Oscar Munar, Ibiza

Editorial: “Sky & Sand”

Space Magazine, June 2012

Ph: Oscar Munar

Shot in: Ibiza

Styling: Katia Gregori

Hair and MUA: Luiz Mantei

XOXO

God Bless the World

Nikki DuBose









Alfonso Vidal-Quadras Skin Beauty Series

Photograher: Alfonso Vidal-Quadras

Shot in Spain

XOXO

God Bless the World

Nikki DuBose







Lander Larranaga

Photographer: Lander Larranaga

Shot in: Spain

XOXO

God Bless the World

Nikki DuBose










Mariposa

I saw my butterfly

Laced with pink and purples

Defined by lace.

I saw my butterfly

Soaring over the mountains

I felt your Grace.

Mariposa awoke me in the night,

“Put on your fancy clothes

And tennis shoes

For we are about to take flight.

Jump on my back and hold on

Never let me go.”

Sparkling seas and butterscotch fields

Were lit on fire

By me and my Mariposa

As we sailed in the night.

And I danced

And I cried

And I laughed

And we danced

Me and my Mariposa.

©2012 Nikki DuBose

Letting go

“As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don’t try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Now is not the time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break.”
— Julia Butterfly Hill.

How do you know in life when to let go? Life is full of having to let go of people, places, jobs, memories, habits, things, and ourselves. Often we are afraid to let go and cling to the familiar for fear of the unknown new future. Life is a cycle. Things are constantly reborn and passed away. It is only through the cycle of birth and death that life can continue; so if you cannot let go, you will never know what new cycle is awaiting for your life.
If something or someone has served their purpose and you are at a crossroad in your life, it is a good idea to cut ties, thank God for all that that experience taught you and brought to your life, and release in love and light.
The process of letting go can be enormously painful, but in the end it is more painful and suffocating to block yourself from moving forward in life. You never know what is waiting for you just around the corner.

Just
Let
Go.

God Bless,

<3 Nikki DuBose

Cover: Clara Magazine (Spain) June 2012 with Photographer Antia Pagant

NikkiDuBoseClaraCoverJune2012

Photographer: Antia Pagant

Cover of Clara, June 2012, Spain.

Shot in Sant Pol De Mar, Spain.

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

Editorial with Antia Pagant: Clara Magazine June 2012

Photographer: Antia Pagant

Shot in Sant Pol De Mar, Spain.

XOXO

God Bless the World

Nikki DuBose












Beauty “How To” For Day Time Makeup

Photographer: Patricia Gallego

Published in the June 2012 issue of AR Magazine, Spain.

Shot in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

I loved being in that place. Such a vibrant culture, serene beaches, and some of the kindest and most humble people I have ever met.

XOXO

God Bless the World

Nikki DuBose