We have a love/hate relationship in this culture with food and our bodies. How do we heal this?
I wouldn't be surprised if that title itself just pissed you off, right? I get comments about this all the time when I talk about self love and weight, but here is the deal, my Goddess sisters: You can't hate your way to thinness! Even if you did hate your way there, where would you be when you got there? Insecure? Miserable? In a constant struggle with self esteem, looking at the scale to tell you if you are having a good day? Perhaps feeling like total crap when the scale shows you the wrong number? I thought so.
The other thing that often happens is a weight rebound. We can only withhold from ourselves for so long...then we binge. And what kind of life is that? Why do we do this to ourselves? Well, don't blame yourself or shame yourself if you are doing this. There is no judgment here. It is so prevalent in our culture at this time that it has become the norm, I'm afraid.
I want you to see yourself the way that I see you: perfect, whole, complete, lovable and beautiful just the way you are with imperfections or excess weight. The problem with carrying around all this hate is that it is a major distraction from living for so many. We hide from life or say that one day when I'm thin enough I will do this or that thing that I want to do. It's our internal glass ceiling. And it hurts. Dare I say it is the next wave of true feminism—to love ourselves and our bodies fully?
So how do we break through? We break through by realizing we are focusing on the wrong thing. Our weight is not our key to happiness; happiness is our key to happiness. "Oh, thanks," you say, "that's helpful!" Well, wait a minute, think about it for a minute. What do you think about food? Are you in a love/hate relationship with it? What do you think about your body? Are you in a love/hate relationship with it, too? What would you like instead?
Buckminster Fuller said, "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
How about making food and body hatred obsolete, my friends? Can we collectively agree that we will do that now?
Here is how you can love your way thin in 3 steps.
1. Give up the idea that you are wrong and everyting you do is wrong.
Woah, that's revolutionary! Yes? So many women are out there feeling wrong, judged, and critical of every damn thing they put in their mouths. How about just giving that up for a moment and feel into loving everything you put into your mouth—whatever decision you choose to make?
"Oh, but Sandy," you say, "then I'll just go hog wild and pig out on crap!"
Ok, maybe at first, but what I see happen often is a little different (especially if you are working to heal erroneous, negative, and limiting beliefs under the surface at the same time.) What I see happen often is a release of negativity and self criticism that is actually a fuel to binge eating.
Think about that for a moment. You eat something and you say, "Oh hell, I did it again, I ate the "wrong" thing...oh, to hell with it...," and keep going. It's kind of a "why bother" type negative cycle and it will sabotage you every time.
2. Give up the idea that your body is all wrong and requires major fixing.
No, it doesn't. Stop that. The more you mess with your nature size, the bigger you are going to get, I can promise you that. It's biochemical, too. Food restriction to get thinner than your own natural body size is a sure way to gain weight. Love who you see in the mirror and do it now. Love is a conscious choice my friends, and not just available to some guru or saint somewhere.
I recommend drawing a giant lipstick heart on your bathroom mirror and saying "I love you" everytime you see yourself.
3. Give up the idea that there is one diet that fits all.
Nope. Not true. I recommend instead finding a way to slow down when you eat and begin to recognize your own body signals. We are a fast paced culture that doesn't value awareness often. Even a few good minutes with yourself can be all it takes to tune in and check in. So many times we eat when we are not hungry or what doesn't truly serve us because we are stressed. It is a habit to overeat or eat foods that don't really make us feel good in the long run because we are used to rushing through our lives and our emotions.
Your emotions are your key to happiness. Shoving them down is the key to unhappiness. Yes, even the sad, mad, "bad" feelings...feel it all and live it all. I believe that emotions are meant to be like water, just flowing through us. It is when they get "stuck" that all the trouble arrises.