“Boundaries are the lines we draw that mark off our autonomy and that of other people, that protect our privacy and that of others. Boundaries allow for intimate connection without dissolving or losing one’s sense of self.”
– Amy Bloom
I love this definition of boundaries by Amy Bloom – psychotherapist, author, screenwriter and probably my new shero.
Boundaries make it safe for us to engage with others, without compromising our independence. They separate us from each other, while at the same time allowing us to be close. Rather than a barrier to relationship, boundaries give us the means to connect authentically.
But what if we don’t know where they are?
Continue reading “Food for Thought: Waking Up to Our Boundaries” →
As I was showing her into the room for the start of our session last week, a client asked “how are you?”. I launched into an extensive account of what was going on in my life, including my concerns about my cat’s digestive issues and my feelings about Brexit. Half an hour later, she got to talk about her stuff.
Of course, this didn’t happen.
Although I strive to be authentic and transparent in my responses to clients, it would be highly inappropriate and unethical for me to talk about myself in this way.
I simply replied “I’m fine, thanks”. Continue reading “What Mask Do You Wear?” →
“And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun,
the near and the dear ones, the old and the young…”
– John Lennon, “Merry Christmas (War is Over)”
Ah, Christmas – an enchanting season of celebration and wonderment…and hectic shopping trips and online deliveries, endless food preparation and overeating, feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
Wait, let’s try that again.
Continue reading “How Can You Make Sure You Have Fun this Christmas?” →
“A final message Ellen wanted to share was about the fat shaming she endured from the medical profession. Over the past few years of feeling unwell she sought out medical intervention and no one offered any support or suggestions beyond weight loss. Ellen’s dying wish was that women of size make her death matter by advocating strongly for their health and not accepting that fat is the only relevant health issue.”
This is an excerpt from the obituary of Ellen Bennett who died on May 11th this year, aged 64. Shortly before, Ellen had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer and was given just a few days to live. According to her family, she was “an unforgettable character” who enjoyed careers in politics, film and TV.
Continue reading “Why Must Fat Shaming Stop?” →
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…
Continue reading “Why Do We Feel Responsible for Other People’s Feelings?” →
Trigger warning: abuse, trauma.
Let’s say you’ve managed to heal your relationship with food and have found autonomy.
You’ve been eating in tune with your body for a while – you’re eating when you’re hungry, you’re eating exactly what you feel like, and you’re stopping when you’re satisfied. In addition, you’re getting better at acknowledging your feelings and you’re finding ways to meet your emotional needs directly. Now that you’re no longer overeating, you’re really beginning to work with your metabolism and, whaddaya know, you’re starting to lose some weight.
Or is it?
Continue reading “How Can Fear Make Us Fat?” →