Back in the day I was a self-proclaimed self-help junkie, always searching for ways to relieve myself, not only of my food and body struggles, but by the accompanying anxiety, guilt and shame. Part of the solution was, as it often is, staring me right in the face for many of those horrible years. The receptivity of my mind is somewhat questionable but looking back I can’t help but wish that someone had just spelled these things out to me (possibly adding a little drumming in while at it).
Just as I suspected (and at the time, feared) starting to unravel the complexities of my battle with food came down to a number of rather, at least in theory, simple practices. Individually, they all pack a powerful punch but together build a solid foundation for creating a positive relationship with food and body. This is a compilation of what I have found to be the the most powerful mindset shifts when it comes to doing just that.
Know that you are worth it
We all question our worthiness from time to time but developing and sense of deservedness is imperative when it comes to food and body. Believing that you are entitled to feel completely free around food and accept your body as it is in any given moment is essential to healing from the inside out.
This does not mean pouring your heart out to anyone who will listen (if that doesn’t, in fact, make you feel better, then go ahead). However being honest with yourself is crucial to finding freedom around food and body. Plastering the reality with false truths will only have you going around in circles wondering when you’ll feel better instead of facing what needs to be done or felt to move forward.
Know that hating on yourself will get you nowhere in the long run. Even if it feels strange, this is the time to start being kind to yourself. If kindness feels too far fetched, try acceptance (which by the way does not mean giving up). With kindness comes forgiveness and compassion and truth be told, you’re going to be needing some of that to get through the inevitable setbacks. Bump in the road got you down? Be kind to yourself and move on.
Flexibility is key when it comes to finding out what is right for you (and yours). If you haven’t experimented a little then how are you supposed to make informed decisions about what feels and does your body and mind good? When you feel yourself growing rigid you’re losing ground. Flexibility means giving up a certain amount of control which can be seriously daunting but aided to a certain degree, which brings me to my next point:
Constant second guessing yourself only postpones and complicates your efforts to make peace with food. You don’t have to get all woo woo (but you have my support if that makes it easier) and trust in the Universe but you do have to trust and know that if you continually take (even the smallest) steps towards healing your relationship with food and body you will eventually end up at some version of where you want to be.
I waited for my life to begin for 15 years. I waited on the weight, on the right circumstances, on the day that I would feel ok in the world. When I was in recovery I waited for it to be over, to be “done” with the mess of it. If I hadn’t realized this one simple thing while I was waiting I would be waiting still. The single most important thing that I wish someone would have told me: you are never going to be done, fixed, perfect or whatever you want to call it. There will never be a day when you wake up and say, “I have life completely figured out” (and if you do you have a serious case of denial going on) and that’s ok. So stop waiting, every moment spent hating yourself or obsessing is a moment wasted.
Remember your “Why”
You’re allowed to fumble in the dark, to feel out of control and to hurt but I strongly suggest you hold on to your “why” at all times. What will ultimately keep you going is reminding yourself of your “why”. My “whys” include but are not limited to: being a healthy role model for my daughter, being able to improvise and go on adventures without having to think about or plan my food, being a more present wife and being able to fully appreciate and be there for friends and family. Good stuff, right? Your turn!
This is the last post of The Starting Monday Series, a blog series dedicated to keeping you from starting a new diet on Monday morning only to end up knee deep in brownie batter come Wednesday night and getting you on the path to true Food Freedom & Body Peace. Thank you for reading!