Gentle Reminder: Stay on Your Path

The path to a peaceful, normal relationship with food can be long and twisting.

And many things can try to pull you away from it.

Maybe someone at work raves about losing weight on the latest diet and you consider joining them for yet another “quick fix” attempt.

Maybe you go clothes shopping and nothing fits well or looks right, and you decide your body is to blame.

Maybe someone snaps a photo of you and your Inner Bully has a field day pointing out all your “defects”.

There’s one thing, though, that’s perhaps more disheartening than anything else.

You’re feeling better about yourself because your eating is improving and you’re developing healthy self-compassion. Excited at beginning to feel in charge of your life you decide, even though you feel vulnerable, to share some of your therapy process with a friend or family member.

However, instead of being met with words of support and encouragement, what you hear is “well, it’s obviously not working, you haven’t lost any weight”.

In a heartbeat, they dismiss everything you’ve achieved.

In a split second, they threaten to undermine all the courageous work you’ve done: healing from negative experiences; connecting to your feelings; defining your personal boundaries; strengthening your self-esteem; tuning into your true needs and wants; dismantling your diet mentality and normalising your relationship with food.

They might as well have punched you right in the gut.

There will always be people who, rather than caring about what’s going on inside you, are only ever concerned about what’s outside of you.

Don’t let other people’s ignorance or insensitivity throw you off course.

You know how far you’ve come and you know where you’re going.

Trust yourself.

Stay on your path.

***

To help you stay on your path, here’s a reminder of the principles of intuitive eating.

Season’s Meetings: Shields Up!

It’s a good old-fashioned Christmas meet-up with family, friends and acquaintances.

So who’s here? There’s your aunt who tries to emotionally manipulate you. There’s that old family friend who always makes inappropriate remarks about your body. Over there’s your cousin who never fails to give you “helpful” diet tips. She’s talking to your mother who’s giving you “that look”.

And there’s you – mindlessly eating mince pies in an attempt to deal with the stress and misery.

Continue reading “Season’s Meetings: Shields Up!”

Expert Insight: Filling the Spaces of Your Life with Positive People

“Boundaries can be used in two ways – by limiting the actions of the people who have hurt you, and by including the people who’ve shown themselves to be trustworthy. In other words, boundaries prevent harm and allow benefit.

…When a friend proves trustworthy, see that friend again. Risk a little more. Notice when you are treated kindly. Pay attention when someone offers you trust. As you become more discriminating about the people you let in, the spaces of your life will fill up with positive people, and you’ll have less room for the harmful ones.”

– Anne Katherine, “Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day”

Often we think of boundaries as a means solely of keeping toxic people out. But, as Anne Katherine explains, they’re also how we let trustworthy people in.

But how do you know who to allow close and who to keep at a distance?

Continue reading “Expert Insight: Filling the Spaces of Your Life with Positive People”

Who Do You Trust?

I was horse mad as a child.

I was born and raised in Australia until the age of nine and, along with a modest collection of pony books and stickers, I had an imaginary horse I kept tethered in our backyard. Truth be told I had about fifteen imaginary horses – all with their own names – but that’s another story.

More than anything, I wanted to ride a real horse.

When I was about eight, I came across a brochure for a kids’ activity camp. I can’t remember how but it immediately caught my eye because there on the front cover was a photo of children smiling as they rode horses through the countryside.

Continue reading “Who Do You Trust?”

Food for Thought: Waking Up to Our Boundaries

“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”