When I look back at my life with disordered eating and body image, it’s hard to remember how difficult and challenging it all was. I remember most strongly comparing myself to every woman I saw. I remember wanting so badly to “just starve myself to make everything better.” I remember exercising on and off and feeling ashamed of everything I did, said, and ate. I also remember being so afraid of everyone! My friends used to notice I would pull away (literally) every time they would touch me. I had no idea I was doing this!
Although my clients remind me of the pain that goes with feeling this way, it’s been a long time since I felt those things myself.
Words may not explain how deeply sad I am that I used to experience those feelings of shame about who I was as well as how deeply sad I am that so many women are caught in that same cycle of shame and guilt.
It doesn’t have to be that way! You can feel good about yourself! I have seen it over and over and I have done It myself. I also know that many of you have made progress toward loving yourself more and more fully. It feels pretty good, doesn’t it?
I like to spend time thinking up ways to help you feel truly good about yourself. I’m not talking about the I’ll-diet-and-lose-weight type of (temporary) good. I’m talking about the I AM GOOD NO MATTER HOW MESSY, SAD, SCARED, HURT, FAT, THIN, DIFFICULT I AM! I’m talking about the deep knowing of value and worthiness that leads to a life fully lived. Again, I’m not talking about a perfect life. I’m talking about knowing you are worthy no matter what messes you make.
The most difficult part of this path to personal growth and change (i.e. accepting your body exactly as it is without any need to change it by dieting or restricting that leads to binges and self-hate) is facing your emotions.
It’s the thing that most of my clients fear. They are convinced that the emotions will overwhelm them.
If you feel that way too, that’s okay! I get it. You were taught to think this is true. It’s just a common thing culturally and in most families.
Avoiding your emotions is why you use food and your body hatred to cope. You can’t skip the emotions part, but you can do it slowly. I have never actually seen anyone die or get overwhelmed with emotions the way they feared. But that doesn’t mean the fear isn’t real. Listen to the fear. What does it need?
For example, when I say “eat whatever you want from this day forward; there is no such thing as good food or bad food.” What do you feel? That’s the fear! Listen to it. There is a reason it’s there. You may not be very good (yet) at knowing your fear or what it needs, but you can get good at it.
I have a tool to help you. I know most of you probably like tools and steps. I get that and so I create them! All of the steps toward healing work and they work to help you do the emotional part. Why not start with Step One. Eat What You Want: eat whatever you want from this day forward; there is no such thing as good food or bad food.
If the thought of that terrifies you, consider my Battle of the Binge Self-Study Program. You can learn more about it here: http://battleofthebinge.com/
You don’t have to do this alone. Let me help you.
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