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.

What’s the Cost of Comparing Ourselves to Others?

“In 1995, TV was first introduced to Fiji showing many imported US shows.
In 1998, only 3 years later, 11.9% of the teenage girls were hanging over
the toilet bowl with bulimia, a previously unknown behaviour”. 

– Susie Orbach, “Fat is a Feminist Issue”

I haven’t forgotten this shocking fact since I first read it many, many years ago.

Until teenage girls in Fiji started to compare their bodies with women on American television, the eating disorder bulimia nervosa didn’t exist in their country. As the unfavourable comparisons began, so did the mental health condition.

We live in a world where we’re invited to compare ourselves to others almost constantly.

Continue reading “What’s the Cost of Comparing Ourselves to Others?”

Food for Thought: To Be Nobody But Yourself

“To be nobody but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

– e.e. cummings

In a world that says we must compare, correct and conform, this e.e. cummings quote – written decades ago – has, surely, never been more relevant.

There’s so much pressure for us to look the same, act the same, be the same.

Sometimes it’s hard to assert our uniqueness because we risk rejection.

But there’s such power in being nobody but ourselves.

Continue reading “Food for Thought: To Be Nobody But Yourself”

Expert Insight: A Gentler Way of Dealing with Yourself

“Change happens the way a plant grows: slowly, without force, and with the essential nutrients of love and patience and a willingness to remain constant through periods of stasis.

If change is what you want, you need to find a gentler way of dealing with yourself and others.”

– Geneen Roth, “Breaking Free from Emotional Eating”

Continue reading “Expert Insight: A Gentler Way of Dealing with Yourself”

Expert Insight: Looking the Wrong Way

“Body image is quite independent of physical appearance. Someone with high self-esteem tends to view her body favourably, regardless of how she actually looks.  

The weak connection between body image and physical appearance means that changing your looks won’t guarantee a lasting improvement in self-esteem…you need to get past your appearance and focus on your other personal strengths as well.”

– Rita Freedman, “Bodylove”.

It may come as a surprise that body image really has nothing to do with how you look.

Continue reading “Expert Insight: Looking the Wrong Way”

Can You Forgive Yourself?

I saw a quote the other day that stopped me in my tracks:

“When you keep criticizing your kids, they don’t stop loving you, they stop loving themselves”.

Its stark simplicity hit me hard.

It’s absolutely true. If children are criticised relentlessly, they don’t start hating their parents, they start hating themselves.

Continue reading “Can You Forgive Yourself?”