This is the blog post where I wrap up the theme for the month – in this case hope and hopelessness – and link to an older post from the archives.
There’s just one problem.
It’s the first day of my holiday and I’m currently sitting in the kitchen of a gorgeous little cottage in the Cotswolds. The countryside is unbelievably beautiful. The weather is perfect. The only sounds I can hear are the gentle hum of the fridge, birds chirping in the courtyard outside and the tap-tap-tap of my fingers hitting the keyboard.
Why is this a problem? Well, I’ve come down with a severe case of lazyitis (must be the change of water, I think) and I’m struggling to write the post I was planning to write which, I recall, was something about feelings. Continue reading “Gentle Reminder: Something about Feelings”
You’re having a conversation with a close friend. There’s something exciting going on in your life and you’re dying to fill them in. As you talk, you’re brimming with energy and enthusiasm about your venture. When you finish, rather than sharing in your excitement your friend says flatly:
“What’s the point?”
Slightly stunned, you ask them to explain what they mean.
“Well”, they say, “it’s just that you’ll never do it. You’ll never achieve that. You might as well give up”.
How do you feel?
Continue reading “What’s the Point?”
“There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if only we can come to our senses and feel it”. – Elizabeth A. Behnke
How could someone allow themselves to put on so much weight? Why can’t they just come to their senses? This – and much worse – is often what people who aren’t thin fear others are thinking about them. To be fair, it sometimes is what people think if they’ve never had any kind of overeating issue themselves.
I know from personal experience how easy it is to put on a lot of weight without even knowing. Hard as it might be for some people to believe, it’s not difficult to put on 5 stone or more without really noticing.
Continue reading “Food for Thought: Coming to Our Senses”
You reach for food to soothe yourself, to comfort yourself, to make everything better just for a moment.
But what happens when that moment is over?
The discomfort kicks in.
You feel over-full. You feel sick. You hate yourself.
What was intended to be comforting has to turned into a maelstrom of physical and emotional discomfort.
Why have I done this to myself yet again, you ask. Why?
Continue reading “Gentle Reminder: The Discomfort of Comfort”
“One gender-related theme that stood out was related to caretaking. Every woman in the study, but none of the men, reported putting others before themselves…
Tina was a compulsive eater who used food as a way to practise self-care. During the second interview, she began to realise how taking care of others led her to eat: “I had no down time. I had no time for myself and I think I was using food more than I had been to take the edge off and medicate myself, reward myself, treat myself”.
– Patricia Goodspeed Grant, “Social and Emotional Origins of Comfort Eating”*
Continue reading “Expert Insight: The Self-Care Gender Gap”
Self-care – that old chestnut. Right now, it feels like we can’t move for people telling us we should care about ourselves.
It’s great in theory, but what about in practice?
Many of us yearn for healthy self-esteem. We think “if I lose weight that will make me feel better about myself” but, while it might make us feel better physically, it doesn’t increase how much we care about ourselves.
Continue reading “How Do You Prove to Yourself That You Care?”
“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be”.
– Kristen Neff
That self-critical voice has such authority, doesn’t it? We think “if I just strive to be the person it tells me I should be, then one day I’ll be OK”.
But that day will never come.
The day will never come when that negative voice in our head says “well done, you’re worthy, now you deserve to look after yourself”. Its sole motivation is to make us feel not good enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not successful enough, not enough, not enough, not enough…
Continue reading “Food for Thought: Unlocking Self-Compassion”