“Finding Balance with Food is a 12-week study that equips colleges, churches, and counselors to lead a successful group toward greater health and freedom from eating issues,” said Angela Janutolo, the leader of Finding Balance with Food and a counselor at AU’s Counseling Services.
The program was designed by Constance Rhodes, who spoke last year at Anderson University. “During her time here, counseling services staff had the opportunity to talk with her about some of her work with disordered eating, and she shared the curriculum for Finding Balance with Food with us,” said Janutolo.
Rhodes helps young women face their struggles and emphasizes that people’s worth is found in Jesus Christ. Many young adults struggle with finding their intrinsic value, so Rhodes guided AU’s Counseling Services to her program.
[Photo: Constance Rhodes is the founder of Finding Balance with Food.]
Finding Balance with Food has nine members and meets weekly for one semester. Group members work through a workbook individually, but come together to share what they have learned or what was significant to them from the assigned chapters.
Each meeting consists of discussing the highs and lows for the week, then watching a video segment from Rhodes. After the video, the group addresses the video and questions from that week’s chapter in their textbook, Life Inside the Thin Cage. To end the meeting, the group does a creative activity and ends in prayer.
“Ultimately it’s a fair amount of work because it’s enough to really think about, but it’s never overwhelming,” said AU student Becca Porter. Students in the small group learn to be comfortable and confident with themselves, others, and God through Finding Balance with Food.
Janutolo and others in Counseling Services saw a need for a program like Finding Balance with Food on AU’s campus. “Learning to find comfort in the Lord and develop an understanding that our value as individuals is not in how we look, what we do, or what other people think about us, but is firmly rooted in the Lord is an important process,” said Janutolo.
Porter looks forward to Finding Balance with Food meetings because she gains positive reinforcement and encouragement every week. “I am still in the process of gaining so much good knowledge and truth from this group,” said Porter. “As I talk to other friends who struggle in this area, I keep being able to bring up various truths that I’ve learned.”
— Haley Burger is a sophomore from Stockwell, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in marketing. Burger is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.