We’ve been gone for so long that I thought I would give some background on what we’re about. In a word….ACCEPTANCE. Self-acceptance in every way. Acceptance of your own looks, your body, your thought processes…just everything.
We, especially as women, have been taught not to accept ourselves. We’re too fat. We’re too ugly. Our ears aren’t just right. We eat the wrong things. We weigh too much. We are too vocal, we’re not vocal enough. We’re not tall enough or short enough. Our feet are too big or too small. We don’t clean house well enough. We don’t make good enough grades. IT’S NEVER FREAKIN’ ENOUGH!!!!
Now hear me out. I said acceptance, not settling. If you wish something about you was different, then by all means, change it. But before you do any changing, accept yourself for who you are at that moment.
One of my favorite illustrations is in the book Overcoming Overeating by Hirschmann and Munter. I’m paraphrasing but it asks you to imagine you live on a planet where your weight would never change no matter what you did. One day something happens and whatever weight you are when this happens, you stay that weight forever. No changing it no matter what you try. It asks that you think about what you might consider doing that you haven’t done before because of your weight…what are some risks you would take? I’ve thought about this many times and there are a few things I would do (and some I’ve actually done, with reluctance). I would wear shorts in public. I would dance more. I would be the social butterfly that my inner self really is. Lastly, I would eat GREAT FOOD and drink GREAT DRINKS!
If you do this little exercise, I would love to see what you come up with.
Going back to my previous statement about accepting and not settling…I have accepted myself today, at this moment. If I could never change I’d be ok with it. A change I’ve been affecting for, let me see, this is my second week of doing it, is Intuitive Eating/Demand Feeding. For about 5 years I have told everyone that this is the way to live and I’ve touted it’s benefits without really living it for myself. I knew in my heart and mind that this is what my body wanted but my ED got in the way of the thought processes and actually doing it.
The basic premise of IE is to eat when you’re hungry, eat what you want and stop when you’re full. There are different authors who go into other principles such as eating undistracted or carrying a food bag but I would say the main gist of it is to eat when hungry, eat what you want and stop when full.
Last week, my therapist suggested I start working a food plan. I got with my EDA sponsor who is also a nutritionist and asked her if she would be able to help me with this. Within two days of first talking about a food plan, I was in panic attack mode. I was desperately searching for someone to hear me! (thank you AGR!) Simply the words food plan sent me soaring into space! I had no idea how badly it would affect me. All I could think about was the old days when I had to keep a food journal, eat so many of each food group and get in certain amounts of foods. I was panicking!!! (even my husband who is ED’d saw my frustration and was worried about me)
I got a hold of my therapist and told her I needed a session right away and she saw within a couple of days (she’s always booked solid). We talked and she understood where I was coming from and apologized for suggesting it. She knows about my wanting to use the IE method and is very supportive of it. After I spoke to her, I spoke to my sponsor and she agreed that she would not discuss food issues with me anymore – only the issues underlying what causes me to turn to food. Whew! What a relief.
The thing I’ve noticed in actually living IE is that the first thing you need to do to be able to initiate the process is to accept yourself. You need to accept you for who you really are. You need to accept that you, no one else, no weight loss group, no diet guru, no pill, knows you better than you do. You need to trust and accept that your body knows when you’re hungry and when you’re full and, on top of that, it knows what it wants to eat.
Scary huh? We’ve depended on other people to decide our worth, our way of dressing, our way of acting, our way of being AND OUR WAY OF EATING. We’ve let other dictate who we are and have lost our own individuality!
So to end this post, I would say that we need to tell ourselves at least once a day that WE ARE ENOUGH. We were always enough. We’ll always be enough. Changes may be made and that’s ok too – if it’s what WE want. We don’t have to have validation from anyone else.
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