How many times do you wrestle with yourself, hating your body because you’re overweight? Perhaps like so many women, you have been pining away, wishing for a thinner version of you.
Don’t torture yourself anymore. Before you face another stand off against your mirror, and swear through gritted teeth that all your problems stem from being fat, I want you to know that your body is not the problem and overeating and food is not the source of your body misery.
There are powerful unseen forces at work in our thin-is-in, beauty in a bottle culture, that are continually trying to push you to resent your body and rip your confidence to shreds.
Have you been trying to wage war on your dimpled thighs, your arm jiggles, your rounded tummy or your ample behind?
You’re not alone. Many women mistakenly believe that their bodies are the root of the problem and it’s their size that stands between them and their future happiness, so they plot and plan and do everything they can to deprive themselves of food.
I learned from personal experience that taking the route of deprivation is a huge mistake that can tear down even the most confident woman.
Back in June of 2006, I read a book that completely rattled my ideas about my body and my relationship to food. In an instant, it caused me to see myself differently, with more compassion for my body than I ever had before.
Food is not the issue
In her book “Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationships with Food through Myths, Metaphors & Storytelling” Anita Johnston, Ph.D. explains why food is not the real culprit behind your challenges with your body.
She explains why it is so seductively easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your weight is the problem. She says that food is not the issue. It’s the Red Herring. A red herring is a term used to describe something that’s designed to confuse or divert attention from something else. The whole obsession with dieting is an illusion that’s been distracting you from looking at what’s really making you want to eat when you’re not hungry.
It’s no wonder that you’ve probably faced so much pain and shame with dieting. You’ve been on a wild goose chase. It’s like heading east, looking for a sunset. As long as you focus on blaming yourself for eating that whole bag of Cheetos or overeating at dinner, you won’t have the awareness necessary to look beyond and find out why you’re overeating in that moment.
The problem is unless you handle the stress in your life, it will get out of hand, fooling you into believing that you’re deprived and hungry all the time.
Tia is a woman who has taken on the responsibility of being the primary caregiver for both of her aging parents. With all the added expenses, money has been tight and she’s been living on savings. She was a participant who joined one of my coaching calls because she was frustrated with herself for bingeing on snack foods that she didn’t even like.
Before I led her through a stress relief method called tapping, she said, “I’m trying to get out of this victim mindset, but I’m really struggling.”
After about 10 minutes of showing her how she could use tapping to calm herself down and think more clearly, she had a complete change of heart and realized that her binges were not the problem.
They were her body’s way of telling her that she needed to pay attention and make some changes. Her overeating was a reminder to her that she had forgotten to make herself more of a priority in her own life. And she realized that she could break the cycle of bingeing and beating up on herself by setting boundaries with others and treating herself with more compassion and self-respect.
Is that also the case for you? Do you feel like a goner once the bag, box or carton is opened? Is it impossible to stop eating? It’s not the pasta, pizza or pancakes that’s the problem. It’s that compelling urge to eat when you’re not hungry that’s telling you something is not right. Stop blaming yourself for having those urges. Challenge yourself to go deeper.
Your binges are your body’s way of crying out for help. I want to teach you how you can live peacefully surrounded by all the foods you love. Imagine not feeling compelled to eat everything that’s not nailed down.
Think about how proud you would feel if you were able to stop eating before you got too full. Imagine the thrill of being in control and mastering your appetite enough to eat some chips or have a meal and put the rest away?
Just like Tia, I’ll teach you how to listen to the messages of your body and tap into self-compassion so that you can break free of compulsive eating and, discover the freedom, joy and power that comes from mastering food and your life.
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