When I wrote this post in August, it struck a cord with many women (and men): How To Make Peace with Your Body. And in this never ending motivation I have to bring you information that is going to help transform your life and relationship with food, I wanted to share some more with you.
As you know, for a long time I didn't have the best relationship with food. In fact, as many as 80% of women (and about 50% men) I consult feel that food is their enemy. So knowing that, I'm sure that if you are a reader of my blog that you may very well be one such person who is at war with food. Or perhaps, if not at war, you have the occasional battle with food. I want to help you make LOVE to your food, not war! But first and foremost, you must think about this:
It's not about food at all. Your fight with food has everything to do with the love you have for yourself.
And if you toss all your preconceived notions about fats, calories, measurements, portion sizes out the door, you will attain your most incredible health ever and make peace with food. So how do you make peace with food and quit being the food police? You put these strategies I'm about to share with you into practice.
1. Write down all the things about yourself - everything you've done or said or thought - that you think are unforgivable. Be specific, be all-inclusive. Now take a look, are they all that bad? Now, say to yourself, "I forgive you" after each one of the items you've written down. Notice what happens. Now do this with all the people that you want to forgive. If you don't want to forgive someone, that's okay, come back to it another day.
Forgiveness is very healing. It opens the door for joy and love to enter your heart. I relate this to food with my clients all the time by advising them to never have food guilt. If you eat something you wish you hadn't, be done with it the next day. What's the alternative? You beat yourself up about that extra piece of pizza and then end up stressing yourself out leading to negative emotions which are unhealthy for you!
2. Be brave, be powerful and don't be afraid to say NO. Being brave and powerful is knowing that you don't have to hide anything from anyone. Be YOU - creative, outrageous, honest, sensual, demanding, scared-shitless and admitting to it and saying no when you really mean it.
3. Stick to it. When the going gets rough, get tough. I've heard many woman tell me they are "leavers". Meaning, when the going gets tough, they get going! Now obviously if you are in an abusive relationship ie. your mother is constantly putting your down and being verbally abusive or your spouse is physically abusive - these are reasons to consider leaving that relationship behind. However, if you bail as soon as conflict occurs or tough times, then learn how to stay, work it out and be committed. Being good in relationships is not really a skill we are born with. We're not perfect, we will make mistakes, but do your best.
The same applies to food. You are on a health-kick, eating good food and then you have a night out of complete and utter glutton and decide "what's the use, I may as well continue this path now that I've screwed everything up" - sound familiar? Or on the flip side, you struggle with restriction and you are making incredible progress and have a day of very little eating and figure you might as well throw in the towel.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard women tell me this - they decide they've already goofed so they might as well ditch all their efforts. Don't be a leaver! Stick to it. Pick yourself back up the next day and continue on, my dear. Just like in point 1, forgive yourself.
4. Release the need to judge. This applies to both yourself and others. It's interesting that the most critical people who complain about others constantly are 100 times worse with themselves. This is a habit you need to release in order to make peace with yourself and food. Write down all the judgements you have in one day. You might notice you have an opinion about everything and everyone. Yes, this is human nature, but you are not doing yourself any good by judging.
Think about how you feel when you are judged? Does it seem fair? Pay close attention to the emotional sensations when a friend judges you or a parent. How does this make you feel? Now relate this back to yourself. Do you judge everything you eat? Do you judge and critisize your body constantly?
My lovely, you are your own best cheerleader. There will always be critics in the world, so you've got to take care of number one always, YOU. This is a great article on how to love your body more by doing a full body scan naked: http://www.joyoushealth.ca/2010/03/04/love-your-nakedness-heres-how/. This might be tough at first, but it will get easier. I promise.
Now it may seem funny that these tips will help you make peace with food, but try them out and let me know what you think. Much of the inspiration for this post came from Geneen Roths' book Breaking Free from Emotional Eating.
Joy to you!