Posts Tagged self care

“Fattening Relationships”

 We thrive in a mutually healing and gratifying experience. When that dynamic is unbalanced or missing, we can be left achingly hungry. Sometimes we may expect too much from someone and other times, we may not seek enough. If a relationship has become tedious or unhappy, we are faced with another opportunity to heal.

Using food as an analgesic can numb the pain but also blind us to the beauty in life. Without realizing it, we put food between ourselves and certain toxic relationships among family members, collogues and friends. Sometimes, we believe we can’t live without someone even when we no longer like being with that person. Other times, our reasons for coming together no longer support staying together.

Acts of self-healing are possible at any time. We open to healing every time we make a healthy food choice, rest when we are tired, tell the truth or correct our course and act bravely on our own behalf.

“A Binge Is A Binge….”

untitled.png emotinal eatingThere is a wide spectrum of unhealthy eating among women. Removing most of the cheese from a slice of pizza is not quite the same thing as purging the entire contents of your stomach after a meal, but the two behaviors may be related.

Going on a very low calorie diet for a month to “look decent” in last year’s bathing suit is not the same thing as developing a total aversion to food, but they can also be related. Some women consider having an order of French fries with their lunch a binge and others may binge by consuming an unimaginable large quantity of sweets throughout one evening. The truth is a  “binge” is a binge.

Compulsive, obsessive and addictive eating behaviors are all symptoms of something that needs our attention and needs to heal. Besides compromising our health and well-being to lesser and greater degrees, we still put ourselves at risk with routinely unhealthy eating patterns. It is important to find out what the real problem is and be open to appropriate medical and psychological interventions when needed.

The issues we face in feeding ourselves can be giant clues about what we need to learn in our lives. They are to be explored, not avoided. Resolving issues we think are weight-related can help us to be emotionally and spiritually fit enough to live deliberately joyful lives.

 

I Would Be Happy If I Could Only lose Weight….”

410950321Diets fail because they are an offspring of control. They are disguised attempts at manipulating our external environment to achieve a change that must come from deep within ourselves. Following someone else’s rules and setting arbitrary limits about everything we put into our mouth cannot possibly harness the power of our own healing.

Most “diets” come to predictable ends. They are subject to boredom, disillusionment, impatience and lack of joy. They keep us hooked for a while on achieving an outcome that may have been unrealistic from the start. Any diet based on the common belief “I would be happy if I could only lose weight” leaves us feeling miserable, if not a little brokenhearted.

Even when we lose weight, if we still think about ourselves in the same, old ways our food issues continue to be a domineering force in our lives. We still think that “thinner is better.” We still talk about losing “five more pounds” even after we reach a more satisfactory weight range. We still stand in front of the mirror trying to decide if we are still fat.

Succeeding on a new diet or healing your relationship with food can both result in achieving an ideal weight. Whether the amount of weight lost is the same or quite different, it is only by their permanent outcomes can you tell them apart. When you go off the diet, if everything returns to the way it was and nothing else in your life has changed except the number on the scale, it’s very unlikely that number will remain where it is.

When you heal your relationship with food, your life is transformed. Weight loss is easily maintained because you have gained insight about your old behaviors and reframed your thinking about food and hunger.  Inspiration comes from the desire to be healthy, not wanting a smaller body. You have learned how to live a more satisfying life with a more enlightened relationship with yourself.

Just Where Is the Dysfunction in “Dysfunctional Eating?”

shutterstock_165652964Our body weight does not define the degree of dysfunction in our eating. Anytime we use food to ease our despair rather than nourish our bodies and support our well-being, our eating is dysfunctional.

It may appear more obvious that someone needing to lose one-hundred pounds suffers with eating and food issues more than someone needing to lose fifteen, but body weight hardly defines the degree of despair we hold about our lives.

When food and despair become entwined, we lose sight of feeding ourselves and try to feed the despair, instead. Feeding despair is often a driving force behind our misuse of food and becoming entrapped in harmful eating patterns. Eating is “dysfunctional” when it leaves us on the other side of good health and loving our lives.

Using food in an effort to hide anguish from ourselves or others does not eliminate ease  pain or heal it. Understanding and accepting our vulnerabilities and difficulties as valid and endearing aspects of who we are is the foundation for true healing. Everyone comes face- to- face with all kinds of seemingly external obstacles that stand in the way of self-discovery. If yours are about your relationship with food, these obstacles are your calls for healing your life. They represent the turmoil within to know and accept everything about yourself, even the parts you don’t yet understand.

It may be sobering to admit the psychological, emotional and spiritual burdens that our body and food issues can impose on our lives. For some of us, decisions about food and eating are so layered and complicated that they become a source of on-going tension that never lets up. We become so caught up in the daily struggle that we don’t fully grasp that our lives don’t have to be this way. Before we know it, tomorrow is already upon us and the struggle begins again. A different paradigm for thinking about food can free you from thoughts about being or becoming fat, and all the other related issues that have taken a stranglehold on your life. What Part of You Is Hungry?

 

Before During and After: Successful Weight Loss After 40

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The problem with “Before and After” photos do not take into account the step by step process of committing to health, day by day, to achieve an outcome we’ve longed for. Maybe by including “During” in these images (the many ways we keep investing in our health) our “After” photo would truly be our very own “picture of health…”

 

One fallacy the weight loss industry continues to promote is that our lives will change once we lose 10, 20, or 120 pounds. One thing I know for sure from years of working with women who struggle with issues related to eating, food and weight: Changing our lives comes first. Sustained weight loss follows. Take time to define what good health means to you – what you are willing to do and what you are willing to change- to live the life you want. What one change can you make right now to live the life you want?