When you’re suffering, sometimes the process of healing can seem like a huge mountain to climb, especially when you’re still mired in the dysfunctional behaviours and there seems to be very little if any progress.
Today I’m going to teach you about something that isn’t rocket science.
But applying it could create internal change on a cosmic level!
Here it is:
Take care of the little things, consistently. The big things will take care of themselves
Your peace with your body and food will come at a point in the future when you’ve navigated thousands and thousands of split-seconds and made hundreds of choices. They all add up to that time in the future where your healing has come together.
All you need to do now is take the very next teeny tiny baby step in the direction of peace with food and your body.
Yes, but How… and What?
The first important thing is to have a sense of what peace with food and your body looks and feels like. You need to have a sense of where you’re going before you can figure out how to get there, right? It’s also really helpful to get in touch with why you want this for yourself. What does it mean to you? What really matters to you in your heart of hearts?
This can be a little tricky if you have no memory of it to draw upon. In the second module of my free mini e-course What to Pack for Your Peaceful Eating Journey, I take you step-by-step through creating this picture for yourself. You can access this module here (and if you like it, sign up to get the whole thing👌).
Once you have a sense of who you are or could be when you’re at peace with your body and food, you can ask yourself:
What would [your name]-at-peace-with-her-body-and-food say/ do? How would she eat? What would she choose right now? How would she respond in this situation?
I believe it helps to speak of yourself in the third person here. The first person can be overly identified with the disordered eating behaviours, so the guidance might flow more readily if you ask in the third person.
Here’s an example:
Say you see a photo of yourself you don’t like. You have an automatic and visceral reaction to it: repulsion.
Step 1: Notice, name and accept
Notice your reaction. ‘Ah, I’m feeling repulsed.’
Name your reaction: ‘This is a conditioned response.’
It’s a conditioned response because you learned it. You were not born being repulsed by a photo of yourself. Somewhere along the way, you learned from people and culture around you that your body was wrong the way it was and that other (smaller, younger, lighter-skinned, able) bodies have a higher value than yours. Reminding yourself that this is a conditioned response gives you some separation from the thoughts as mental events that arise, but that are not you.
Accept your reaction: see if you can accept that both the feelings and the thoughts you’re experiencing are here, now. You don’t have to like them to accept them, neither do you need to challenge them to accept that they are arising at this moment.
Step 2: Connect with what matters most to you
This is where you draw on your picture of life at peace with your body. Ask yourself what it is about having this that matters to you? What matters most to you, in your heart of hearts?
For almost every one of my clients, what matters most to them are things like: freedom, peace, love, acceptance, kindness, generosity, gratitude, justice, fairness, joy, health, making the most of their limited time in this one precious life, connecting and spending time with people they love.
Step 3: Take one baby-step in alignment with what matters most to you
What creates intentional change is doing something different. Who knew? I don’t mean to be facetious. It’s an obvious statement – I think the problem is that we might think we’re doing something different (like trying a new diet, or photoshopping the picture) but those seemingly different actions are in alignment with fear, rather than with what matters most to you. Does this make sense?
Here are some actions for the scenario based on these values.
- Intentionally look at the photo with kindness. Look at it in a neutral way. Describe what you’re seeing objectively (without any words that indicate what you like or don’t like).
- Remember the context of the photo: is there anything that the photo is a proxy for? Did it happen when you were having fun with people you care about?
- Take a deep breath and move on.
- Put a hand on the body part that is causing the most distress in the photo and say something kind, accepting and appreciative to it: like, ‘Even though I don’t like this photo, thank you, tummy, for digesting food that keeps me alive; thank you legs, for carrying me each and every day.’
- Remind yourself: photos vary hugely – there are so many variables that can affect how a photo turns out.
- Say out loud (or out loud in your head🙃!) ‘all bodies are worthy bodies, mine included!’
- Remind yourself: ‘I refuse to be held hostage by beauty culture BS.’ And then DO something enjoyable or nourishing.
- Next time you’re hungry, make sure you eat exactly what you want!
- And even if you’re not hungry and feel like having something, have exactly what you want!
Get the idea?
Need help from an expert?
If you’ve had enough of being on and off a diet, feeling ashamed of your body and how you eat, binge eating or emotional overeating — you’ve come to the right place.
I’ll help you discover how to let go of all the food rules, trust your own body and reclaim your innate worthiness — so you can live your life unapologetically and focus on what really matters to you.