Gentle Reminder: Dreamers Who Do

When I meet clients for the first time, I usually end the assessment by asking how they’d like their relationship with food to be.

“Just normal” is the almost universal response.

They then explain they don’t want to think about food all the time, they just want to eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’ve had enough. They don’t want to binge or overeat. They don’t want to obsess about food from the second they wake up until their frazzled heads hit the pillow at night.

It’s a lovely goal.

It’s an achievable goal.

I used to dream about having a “just normal” relationship with food. At the height of my eating distress, when I felt alone and desperate in my dysfunction, I’d look at people who ate normally and think “they’re so lucky, it’s so simple for them”.

Working through my issues with food I came to realise it is simple.

Eat when you’re hungry.
Eat exactly what you feel like.
Stop eating when you’re satisfied.

It just takes a lot of practice.

Dismissing negative thoughts that say “you’ll never do this”.
Understanding what your body is saying to you.
Not judging yourself and what you’re eating.
Resisting the urge to detach from your feelings.
Staying with yourself emotionally so you build resilience.
Reaching out when you’re in need, rather than struggling alone.
Seeing food as just food, not a way of coping with life.
Not giving up on yourself.

It all takes practice.

And the best time to practise is now.

Not when life gets easier or when you’re feeling better.

Now.

We all deserve a peaceful relationship with food.

It’s not enough just to dream about it.

As Sarah Ban Breathnach says, “the world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do”.

***

For a reminder about why there’s no better time than now, read this 2018 post “What Are You Waiting For?”.

23 thoughts on “Gentle Reminder: Dreamers Who Do

    1. You’re very kind, Lol. I actually find it quite difficult to walk the line between encouraging autonomy (after all, my practice is called eatonomy!) and giving practical advice. I’m happy as long as people find it useful. Great to hear from you, hope all is well with you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not unusual for clients to say they have no “off” switch and don’t know when they’re full. It’s usually the case that that they’re not in tune enough with their hunger – mainly due to overeating (whether that’s grazing a lot or binge eating). If you’re eating when you’re not really hungry, your body can’t give you the signal to stop eating because it didn’t tell you to start in the first place. They usually find that when they begin eating according to their hunger, it’s easier for them to hear the cue from their body that they’re satisfied.

      If they’re eating for emotional reasons, however, they’ll override the signal that they’ve had enough and keep eating until they’re too full to avoid difficult feelings surfacing. It’s then a case of learning to sit with those feelings, to develop emotional resilience, and learn to soothe themselves in other ways that don’t involve food.

      Finally, I would say the biggest reason for overeating is telling ourselves we shouldn’t be eating whatever it is we’re eating. That triggers a rebellious part within us that will motivate us to overeat – because we don’t like being told what to do, not even by ourselves! Sorry about the long response but I hope that answers your question – many thanks for asking it.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s frustrating isn’t it, Melinda? I’m sorry to hear about your experience. If my eating ever becomes unsettled it’s usually a sign that there’s something in my life that’s making me unhappy and I’m not acknowledging my feelings about it. Often we can slip back into old beliefs that it’s wrong for us to having feelings or emotional needs but, of course, we all do. Even if I’m powerless to change what’s happening, it still useful for me to take some time to recognise what I’m feeling. The same may not be true for you but I hope that helps. Many thanks for sharing your experience, I hope your eating settles down soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you for sharing!!.. “There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” – Douglas H. Everett

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Dreamers who do”, I like that. You’re so right, it is simple when you boil it down but much harder in practice. And yet, it’s impossible if the day we start to do it is “soon”. It’s like the tomorrow that never comes. If not now, when?  ♥
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “If not now, when?” – exactly, Caz. Doing anything takes practice but it’s so worth it if it’s something we really want to achieve. Hope you’re having a good week. It is, of course, lovely to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

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