What’s in the Way?

Be kind to yourself.

Love yourself.

Be yourself.

How often do we see stuff like this on social media? Perhaps we’ve heard words like these from a well-meaning friend when we’re struggling. Maybe we’ve said them ourselves to try to encourage people we care about.

I know I have.

Yes, we should all be kind to ourselves, love ourselves and be ourselves.

It’s good advice.

It’s great advice.

But for many it’s just not that simple.

For some us, because of our experiences and the beliefs we hold as a result, advice like this can feel trite and hollow.

How can you be kind to yourself if you think your needs are immaterial?

How can you love yourself if you feel worthless?

How can you be yourself if you believe you’re not good enough?

While we may desperately want to, we can’t get there.

Because there’s something in the way.

The road to self-acceptance and liberation can feel like trying to roll a heavy boulder up a hill in a rainstorm. The harder we push, the more our saturated shoes sink deeper into the sticky mud.

And that’s where the work is.

Not in forcing ourselves to love and care about ourselves – but in understanding why that’s so damn difficult.

The work is in the mud, the rain and the struggle.

Where life is messy, confusing and difficult.

But with the challenge of exploring what’s in the way comes the possibility of finally meeting ourselves – of discovering that, perhaps, the picture we’ve been given of ourselves doesn’t match who we truly are.

There’s no shame in the struggle and we’re not alone in it by any means.

Let’s not add to our pain by feeling bad because we don’t feel good about ourselves.

Instead, let’s do the work and reflect on our unique roadblocks to happiness.

We can’t force ourselves to be kind to ourselves, to love ourselves and to be ourselves.

But we can work out what’s in the way.

 

Personal Note: Slowing Down

“Let’s loosen up some time and take a break to recalibrate our life. We need no endless overthinking, though. Let’s just connect the dots, set the scene and steam ahead.” – Erik Pevernagie. 

Apologies for the radio silence, folks, I hope you’re all doing OK. I know it’s been a while since I’ve published a post. September has turned out to be an exceptionally busy month for me, in what has been an extraordinarily busy year.

I make the mistake sometimes of thinking I can do it all. Weirdly, I’m often surprised to find out I can’t. I’d assumed I could keep up with my writing schedule this month as well as everything else but it turns out something had to give, and it was my blog that missed out.

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Summer Rewind: Why Do We Need To Let Other People Own Their Feelings?

This post from 2018 explores why we often take responsibility for other people’s feelings, and the subsequent impact on us and our eating behaviour.

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You’re about to send an email and you’re re-reading it for the tenth time to make absolutely sure there’s nothing in it that could be misconstrued and cause offence.   Then you check it another ten times after you’ve sent it – just in case…

You bump into a friend in the street.  As you walk away, you replay the conversation over and over in your head trying to work out if you said anything “wrong”.  You’re still rerunning the conversation in your head as you lie in bed that night…

A work colleague seems a bit off with you.  You instantly rack your brain to recall your most recent interactions with them.  You spend the day desperately trying to work out what you did to upset them so you can apologise and make things right…

Sound familiar?

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Summer Rewind: What’s The Big Deal About Exercise?

 

Here’s another post from the archives, this time exploring how it’s possible to find the same autonomy with movement, as it is with food. Hard to believe, I know, but true.

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“I’m just one of those people who hates exercise”. That’s what I used to say. And I believed it. Man, did I hate exercise. I felt angry (and guilty and ashamed) at the mention of the word and, I have to confess, I’m worried some of you may stop reading this post for the very same reason, but I hope not.

In the past, if a slim person said to me “I’m just going to the gym” I’d think “why the hell are you doing that? You’re already thin! You don’t need to go to the gym”. It was my assumption you only exercised to lose weight. It didn’t occur to me that people might exercise because they enjoyed it.

After all, what was enjoyable about exercise? Nothing. All that pain and sweating and discomfort. It felt like punishment.

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Summer Rewind: What Did You Learn About Food Growing Up?

As I’m now on holiday for two weeks, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few posts you might have missed the first time. The aim of this one from July 2018 is to help you uncover any beliefs about food from childhood that may be having a negative impact on your eating today – a crucial step in the process to heal your relationship with food.

Happy August, everyone. Stay safe.

With very best wishes

Julie

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Twitter & Other News

Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know I’m not great at posting regularly on social media (I take my hat off to anyone who does – I just can’t seem to find the time!).

Nevertheless, that hasn’t deterred me from opening a Twitter account.

So please come and join me on Twitter – I’m sure you’ll inspire me to be less inept at social media (although I’m not promising anything).

Also, I’ve been published in the Eastern Daily Press this week. The EDP printed a version of my most recent blog post on Tuesday. The online article has been posted today and you can read it here:

Why the Government is Getting It Wrong on Obesity and Coronavirus”.

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