How to Make Peace with Your Body by Adopting Healthier Eating, Thinking, and Movement Habits that Stick
A big part of creating an amazing life is being happy with yourself, and that means being happy with your body. What’s painfully obvious, though, is that oh so many people (especially women) are anything but happy with their bodies. In fact, many are in a constant struggle with their weight, they have a negative body image, and they feel trapped and unhappy.
I knew this was a problem in our society; in fact, it’s a struggle I’ve been in most of my life and one I still dance with today. I didn’t fully comprehend the extent of the madness.
A few weeks back, I sent out a survey to the B&C community. “Making peace with my body and achieving a healthy weight” was hands-down the number one wish of the women who participated in the survey. It stood above having more money, a better job, better relationships, and other significant life issues.
We eat the way we eat because we are afraid to feel what we feel.” – Geneen Roth, author of When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy
You have a lot more in common with others than you realized.
I knew I wasn’t alone, but I had no idea that I had so much company in this struggle.
Still, it makes you think: how does one get out of this “club” and into the “club” of people who are at peace with their bodies? How does one join the happy ranks of people who once struggled but have been able to reach a healthier weight and stronger fitness levels, as well as the benefit from fewer health complications that come with carrying around extra pounds?
I’m not saying I have THE answer. I KNOW there is no ONE answer. And, I’m definitely not saying there’s a quick fix. In my opinion, those charlatans who make quick-fix claims are among the biggest creeps on the planet. Preying on people’s vulnerabilities and manipulating them for a profit infuriates me, and that’s putting it politely.
By the way, I want to be upfront and transparent with you: I’m not a nutritionist or health professional (and I never claimed to be). I am NOT at my ideal weight.
Who I am is a person knee-deep in the struggle myself, and what follows is what I’m learning about myself along this long journey to loving myself and my body.
I’ve lost as much as 80 lbs in a single 14-month stretch in my life and gained that much back again. I’ve lost 40 lbs and gained them back at least a half dozen times in my life. I can muster up willpower for a while, but it doesn’t last.
I’ve struggled with feeling lousy about my body and my weight since I was in my early teens and, now decades later, I’m still struggling, though I’m choosing to love myself a LOT more as I work towards healing my eating and body image issues.
Creating lasting change requires going deep within your core. That’s what I’m writing about here.
[clickToTweet tweet=” Creating lasting change requires going deep within your core.” quote=” Making a big change requires going deep within your core.” theme=”style1″]
Your body is the piece of the universe you’ve been given, the place where love and joy and grief happen, where happiness unfolds. Do you really want to keep believing that it’s a horrible, ugly, lumpy thing? Do you really want to keep punching yourself like that?” – Geneen Roth, author of Feeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Compulsive Eating
What Would Ending Your Struggle with Overeating, Reaching a Healthier Weight, and Making Peace with Your Body Mean to You?
What would your life be like if you no longer struggled with your weight and body image?
Does the idea of having a healthy, happy relationship with yourself and your body sound like heaven? It does to me!
When you think about it, it’s rather sad that so many of us are in a war with our minds over our bodies. We’ve become addicted to making unhealthy choices (for reasons numbering too high to discuss fully here), and we’ve nearly lost our faith in our ability to change.
We don’t trust ourselves around food. We don’t like the reflection we see in the mirror. We cringe every time we enter a store dressing room to try on new clothes. We may even dread seeing the doctor because we don’t want to face the consequences our overeating and sedentary life habits are having on our health. (As if hiding from the doc could make those consequences go away!)
In some ways we’re delusional. In other ways, we’re just demoralized. And, yet at other times we’re so exasperated and desperate, we don’t know which way to turn.
No matter what we weigh, those of us who are compulsive eaters have anorexia of the soul. We refuse to take in what sustains us. We live lives of deprivation. And when we can’t stand it any longer, we binge.” – Geneen Roth
It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way
You may feel demoralized, but please, don’t give up on yourself!
Making peace with your body while returning to a healthier weight and more fit physique is not a pipedream. It is within your grasp.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Make peace with your body while returning to a healthier weight.” quote=”Making peace with your body while you return to a healthier weight is not a pipedream.” theme=”style1″]
Achieving the healthier weight and fit body you desire will require you to adopt some new thinking, eating, and movement habits. Believe it or not, the mindset will matter most. Depending on where you are now, it may require a total overhaul of all three habit areas.
Again, I’m not a nutritionist, or fitness or health professional. It’s VERY important to me that you understand that I’m in the trenches with you on this and am reaching out in love and support. I can say, “I feel your pain,” because the pain you’re feeling now is the same pain I feel, too. Only I might not feel it quite as intensely as you are right now because I’ve started practicing the techniques and principles I’m about to discuss.
Maybe we got to this point in our lives by taking different routes, but we ended up in virtually the same place.
Everything I’m mentioning in this post is stuff I KNOW helps me, and I’m hopeful you’ll find a nugget or two that will offer relief for you. too.
If you try to lose weight by shaming, depriving and fearing yourself, you will end up shamed, deprived, and afraid. Kindness comes first. Always.” -Geneen Roth, author of Breaking Free from Emotional Eating
Envision What Your Life Would Look and Feel Like if You Gave Up the Struggle
You may be thinking, “Whoa, did she just really say to give up the struggle? Does that mean just give in and give up?” Yes and no. I mean give up the idea that what you’ve done in the past predicts what you can accomplish in the future.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Today is a new day; give it the opportunity to be a fresh start for you.” quote=”Today is a new day; give it the opportunity to be a fresh start for you.” theme=”style1″]
Giving up the struggle means stop being mean to your body for being in whatever condition it is in right now. What good do harsh self-criticism and bullying ever bring about? Nothing good … not ever!
“Give up the struggle” does NOT mean give up on yourself. I know you’ve started up this hill before, perhaps many times. You expect that it’s going to be hard and involve a painful struggle. Deep down, you may also believe that you’ll fail, because let’s face it, you’ve tried and failed before.
What you need now more than anything else is to believe it is possible to make peace with your body and your current weight, while working towards loving it into a state of better health and fitness.
Struggle is NOT the way: surrender IS the way.
Surrender to the idea that what you’re really facing is the journey of coming back to self-love through acts of radical self-care. That, my friend, can be a beautiful journey.
Do You Know Your Why?
Change happens when you understand what you want to change so deeply that there is no reason to do anything but act in your own best interest. -Geneen Roth
Why do you want this? And, more specifically what is “this?” Is it coming to peace with your body AND achieving a healthy weight, or is it something else?
Take a moment right now to write down all your why’s.
Next, explore the many ways you’ll profit from pursuing this journey.
What are the benefits you’ll reap from having a more positive body image? Make a list.
Are you willing to begin with the most important first step, which is to begin loving yourself right now, no matter what you look like, regardless of what the scale reads?
You can’t hedge on saying “yes” to that last question. Where you are now is the starting point for everything. You can’t go back in time, and you can’t go forward in time. Time travel is not yet real. As Eckhart Tolle says, all the power is always now.
So, are you willing to start loving your body more right now, just as you are?
I didn’t ask if you knew how to start loving yourself and your body, I just asked if you’re willing.
If you can say “yes, I’m willing,” then I recommend you check out Louise Hay’s book Love Your Body … it’s a wonderful starting point for this journey.
What Will Be Different in Your Life Once You Lose Weight and Become More Fit?
Will everything be magically better? Unlikely.
People who’ve successfully ended their battle with food and weight will tell you that while it changed their lives in many positive ways, the actual number on the scale was NOT what matters most. What matters most is they found a way to love themselves, and for many, it’s the first time they’ve ever experienced this level of self-care.
Weight loss does not make people happy. Or peaceful. Being thin does not address the emptiness that has no shape or weight or name. Even a wildly successful diet is a colossal failure because inside the new body is the same sinking heart.” – Geneen Roth
How much do you want this?
Don’t you hate that question? I do! It suggests that it’s a lack of desire that’s been keeping me back all these years. I know you want it, and so do I. We want it a lot.
Strong desire isn’t the issue, and it has never been the real issue for me. Knowing how to make this journey and believing I’m capable of doing it are the real issues on the table.
If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering if it’s possible. You fear you can’t do it. You hesitate to raise your hopes afraid you’ll fall once again. You are afraid to commit to yet another weight loss journey publicly, scared the world laugh at you (or pity you) as you fail again. You’re so tired of the ups and downs of this. You’re so sick of the shame and the guilt you feel. You’re disgusted with yourself for spending so much of your life preoccupied with your love/hate relationship with food.
You’re wondering if you can get up the nerve to try again in the face of so many past failures.
The simple fact is you must. I must. It’s the only way to achieve what we want. For the moment, suspend any disbelief you have. You’re not pursuing a diet this time. You’re pursuing an all-out change in your lifestyle that begins deep within you. Know that others have made this switch, which means you can do it, too.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Ending your struggle with overeating is a decision you’ll never regret.” quote=”Ending the struggle with overeating and learning to love yourself and your body is a decision you’ll never regret.” theme=”style1″]
Are you willing to practice new thinking patterns and adopt new habits that might feel uncomfortable at first … or are you still thinking this can happen with the same old mindset and habits that brought you to this point in your life?
The process of practicing self-love in the form of nurturing self-talk, healthy eating, and regular exercise will change your life. A lower BMI may result, which will be great, too, but the most important changes happen while you build new life-affirming new habits along the journey.
Well, we’re done with the fundamentals. Now it’s time to proceed to the “three keys.”
Key Number One: Know Your Triggers and Identify Your “Old” Fall-Back Behaviors
Your first “to do” for loving and caring for your body is to identify WHEN you typically start to mistreat your body (the triggers) and what behavior you usually engage in (the specific self-destructive patterns that you see recurring in your life). Then, it’s time to create action items for how you intend to behave differently in the future. I’m about to give you some help compiling that list shortly, so relax. I won’t leave you on your own for this.
Here’s an overview of how to get started identifying your triggers and making a plan to respond differently in the future:
- Make a thorough list of the times, situations, and feelings that trip you up most often.
- Then, make a list of the unhealthy eating choices you tend to make when faced with those difficult times, situations, and feelings.
- Finally, make a list of the new body-friendly habits you can exchange out for the old ones. (Again, I’ll be offering suggestions for these shortly.)
Here’s the Basic Model:
When This Happens (Trigger) _________________
Instead of Doing This (Behavior I Want to Stop) _________________
I’ll Now Do This (Behavior I Want to Adopt) ______________________
I know this sounds over-simplified, but this is the reality of change. It’s not as complicated as we make it out to be, it’s the follow-through that requires the heavy lifting.
You may be wondering, “Why aren’t you providing a specific map for me here?” That’s an excellent question.
No one can make this map for you because only you know what you are and aren’t willing to do to get to your destination. You’ll have to make some trade-offs. Choose the route that makes the most sense for you.
That having been said, it’s good to have a sneak peak at a variety of options for trading unwanted behavior for wanted behavior. Below are 8 typical overeating triggers and ideas for what you could do differently when they show up in your life.
8 common triggers and new, healthier response ideas
1. I’m dwelling on a situation or person that has me feeling uncomfortable and when I’m uncomfortable, I overeat. I choose not to go there this time; instead, I’ll spend 20 minutes in quiet meditation.
2. I’m bored and when I’m bored, I often overeat. Instead I’ll spend 20 minutes journaling about why it’s important to make healthier food choices in my life … not focusing on a list of what I “should” do, but rather focusing on what I really want my life to be like and why weighing less and being more fit fits into that improved version of my life. (I personally like to have special journals devoted to this subject. Check out my favorite journals at this end of this post).
3. When I go to this restaurant, I always have a high-calorie, high-fat dish (be specific). It’s time to break the unhealthy “I always do this” pattern and replace it with a new, healthier “I now do this” pattern. Now when I go to this restaurant, I either choose to order something healthier or cut the portion of my usual serving by at least 1/3rd.
Tip for when you dine out and feel like you can’t trust your best intentions to stop when you’re full: Ask for a to-go box when your entree is served, and place a portion of your meal in the to-go box. Or, if you don’t trust yourself with the to-go box because you’ll just eat it an hour after you’re home, immediately discard and/or damage the portion of the food you don’t want to eat (examples: give it to a dinner companion who might enjoy it or make it inedible by pouring large amounts of salt on it).
4. Someone is unhappy with me or not giving me the love I crave, so I eat. Feeling slighted, unworthy, lonely, or unloved in any anyway is not a good excuse to be mean to your body. Instead of “eating” to distract yourself from your uncomfortable feelings, offer yourself the love you long to receive. Instead of punishing your body because you’re going through some unsettling emotions, choose to be kind to your body. Deliberately focus on self-talk about what a miracle your body is and make a mental gratitude list for all the many things your body does for you.
5. I’m sad, maybe even depressed and when I get this way I figure, “What’s the point? I might as well use food to comfort me, it really doesn’t matter anyway.” The most important thing you can do here is making a change in your physical state while practicing mindfulness. In other words … get up and move and pay attention to what you’re doing. Get up and clean out a closet and focus your attention on the beauty of taking something that was once messy and creating order from it. Go out and take a walk and pay close attention to every little thing you see. Move and then pay attention to your new surroundings. Movement works miracles, as does staying present in the now.
6. I’m so hungry but I know I’ve already eaten more calories than my body should need today. Before you eat, listen to at least 4 upbeat songs that make you extremely happy … and dance to them! Get up and dance. I’m not kidding. Give yourself time to reset your attention from food to something that feels good and that doesn’t involve food. Afterward, if you’re still hungry, eat. Just make choices that you won’t regret tomorrow.
7. I’ve overeaten so I might as well keep overeating. That makes about as much sense as having one flat tire so you slash the other three so they’re a matched set. Yet, I’ve been there … so I KNOW I’ve succumbed to overeating using this warped reasoning. Here’s a tip for dealing with this behavior: you’ve done something that you’re not proud of (overeaten), so now do three things that will make you proud of yourself. Clean the kitchen floor. Go say hi to the new neighbor. Vacuum the family room. Basically, do ANYTHING you’ve been putting off doing that you know will help you feel good.
8. I have a craving and it’s incredibly intense, so I’ll just give into it now and do better next time. Why oh why can’t our cravings be for broccoli instead of brownies or chips? Part of it is physiological (you may have gotten hooked on the simple carbs and delicious but not-so-good-for-you fats). Part of it is psychological: you’ve just developed a habit of making choices that are easy in the short-run but are hard to live with in the long-run. You tell yourself you won’t be satisfied until you give into your urgent desire. Oh, the great lies we tell ourselves! Of course you don’t have to give into that urge. Just because you usually do, doesn’t mean you have to now. Remember, a craving is not a command … you do not have to give into it.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Change requires a willingness to call “BS” on our “BS excuses.” ” quote=”Change requires a willingness to call “BS” on our “BS excuses.” ” theme=”style1″]
Adopting and sustaining new habits is the best way to replace old habits.
As you can see, there’s a pattern to the “new habits” I’ve suggested above. They each involve one or more of the following behaviors:
- Change your state – get out of your head and move your body
- Change your mindset – focus staying present. Mindfulness creates miracles.
- Change your focus – Put an end to your knee-jerk reactions by allowing intense emotions and cravings to dissipate naturally. Your mind cannot hold two thoughts simultaneously. Plant uplifting thoughts in your mind instead of focusing on the thoughts that are brining you down.
Affirmation: ‘As I build on my relationship with healthy food, my obsessive relationship with unhealthy food will begin to dissolve.’ Today choose one healthy food that you’ve never eaten before, and willingly give it a chance. Build on the new, and the old will pass away.” – Marianne Williamson, author of A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever
Key Number Two: Like the Boy Scouts, Be Prepared
There’s one thing I know about myself: if it’s too hard to do something, I don’t do it. Your “too hard” and my “too hard” may vary in degree of difficulty, but it’s human nature to avoid “too hard.”
You see, “hard” just means difficult, while “too hard” means either not possible or not worth it. If we don’t think we can do something, or we think the pain outweighs the potential gain, we won’t do it.
The irony is that as you grow stronger and more confident in your ability to change, you often find yourself doing what you once considered “too hard.” I mention this now so you won’t get discouraged along your journey. With each step forward you take, your view of how to achieve the goals you set for yourself will become clearer and clearer. Often, what seems impossible now is just an illusion.
Staying out of the “too hard” zone
Here is a handful of things you can do to avoid jumping into the “too hard” zone where you might feel demoralized and give up. It all boils down to making your life easier by being prepared for this journey on which you’re embarking:
- Do your homework – know what’s healthy to eat and what’s not. Favor food with lower sugar content, higher fiber, and healthy fats. As a general rule, if the food comes in a box or has been highly processed, it’s probably not your friend; if it’s grown in the ground, it’s probably a pretty good option. When it comes to meats, lean is better than high-fat, and most fish offer nutritional advantages. Going vegetarian now and then is a body-friendly eating strategy, too.
Tip: If you don’t know the basics of healthy eating, educate yourself. Consider talking to your doctor and get a referral to a nutritionist. One session with a qualified nutritionist may clear up misconceptions you’ve had about food your entire life, and so it’s worth the effort.
- Have healthy food options within reach. Again, if it’s “too hard” to eat healthily, you won’t. Make it easy. Do a weekly stock up and prep day. It takes longer to clean and prep vegetables and fruits than it does to eat a candy bar or order pizza. Face that reality. Make the decision to do a little prep ahead of time so it’s easier to eat healthy throughout your week.
- Make drinking a glass of water your “go to” move when the munchies first show up. When your tummy starts to rumble or cravings strike, immediately down a glass of water and make a commitment to wait 20 minutes before eating anything. Food cravings often come and go if we’ll let them, but we overeaters seldom give them the time to pass. Often what we think are hunger signals are in fact just a sign that you’re dehydrated. Give water a chance to work its magic before you turn to food.
- Snack the healthy way. You don’t have to starve yourself; in fact, that seldom works in the long-run. You probably already know that. Eating every 3-5 hours works best for most people, so allow yourself to have healthy snacks. To promote satiety, consider pairing a protein with a fruit or vegetable when snacking, or choose a high-fiber snack. Also, 100-200 calorie snacks are best. Below are some ideas.
- An apple + a tablespoon of almond butter
- 12 walnut halves + 20 grapes
- A half cup of hummus + veggies
- 12 almonds + a peach
- Celery stuffed with peanut butter
- An ounce of cheese + sweet peppers
- Almond-stuffed olives
- Mixed berries + basil + whipped cream cheese on multigrain toast
- Baked sweet potato chips (lots of fiber!)
- Blackberries + pistachios
- Baba Ganoush and pita points
- Hard-boiled egg + peppered cucumber sticks
- Frozen grapes + brie
- Blueberry smoothie with kale and chia seed*
- Laughing cow cheese wedge + carrot sticks
- Salsa + 10 organic corn chips
- String cheese + a plum
- Plain Greek yogurt + cinnamon + a dash of raw honey
- Goat cheese bruschetta
- Cherry tomatoes + feta + olive oil + basil
- Half a smashed avocado with pepper on multigrain toast
*For healthy smoothie and juice recipies, check out Kris Carr’s book, Crazy Sexy Juice: 100+ Simple Juice, Smoothie & Elixir Recipes to Super-charge Your Health
Key Number Three: To Change Both Your Mindset and Behavior, Immerse Yourself in Learning and Inspiration
When I mention “inspiration,” I don’t just mean empty rah-rah rhetoric that sounds great on the days leading up to a diet, works well for about week or so, then leaves you high and dry when the going gets tough.
No, I’m talking a sustained immersion in the why’s and how’s of both mindset and behavior change required to put a permanent end to the self-destructive habits that have left you feeling bad about yourself, your body, and the number on the scale.
Make no mistake – NOTHING about what I’m presenting here has ANYTHING to do with dieting!
[clickToTweet tweet=”This is about long-term, sustained behavior change. This is transformation.” quote=”This is about long-term, sustained behavior change. This is about true transformation.” theme=”style1″]
I’m sorry if you were looking for a new magic diet and are disappointed with what you’re reading here. Actually, I’m not sorry. There is no magic diet that will give you what you truly need; that’s why I’m not offering one here.
Habits formed over years will not be released over a few weeks. You need a mindset makeover to achieve a significant life transformation. You need to be ready and willing to sit with unpleasant emotions, emotions you may have choked down before with a burger and milkshake.
You not only need your “Why do I really, really, really want this?” clearly identified, you also need to continue to engage your mind and heart fully with the messages that will give you the drive required to make this transition.
Below is a handful of activities that can help. Others’ who’ve made this trek successfully swear by these tactics and strategies that help you maintain focus, clarity, energy, and dedication to your body and mind transformation.
1 Journaling. I’ve already mentioned journaling as an activity that can be a helpful alternative to habitual unhealthy action. Frankly, journaling is one of the best ways to bring hidden beliefs to the surface. Journaling is also a great way to release the difficult emotions that inevitably surface when embarking on a journey that’s taking you miles outside of your comfort zone.
I like using attractive, inspirational journals and notebooks, as I prefer to write out my journal entries by hand. I consider my journaling to be a sacred healing ritual.
There’s a glorious calm that enters my life when I slow down and immerse myself in beauty, that’s why I like beautiful notebooks. Eating has never been calm and beautiful for me. Most of my overeating happens so quickly, and then regret follows even more quickly. I know “rushing” is not helpful in my body transformation goals, so I apply slow-moving mindful awareness wherever I can, and that applies to my private journaling.
That’s just my preference, though. If you want to keep your journal on your notepad on your phone, fine. If you want to keep a journal on your laptop, that’s fine too. Whatever works for you, do that.
Also, if you want to document your journey through a blog or journal on social media, that’s up to you. Making your journey more visible offers the potential for more accountability and support … there are lots of folks who do this nowadays. It can sometimes backfire though, as body shamers and naysayers come out of the woodwork (just wanted to give you a heads-up that this could be a possibility if you go this route).
If you’re interested in creating a blog of your experience, or you just want to derive inspiration from reading others’ blogs, you’ll want to check this out:
Side Note: I also have a less-detailed, less-frequent journaling practice that I do online. It’s also a place where I offer insights and inspirational posts. I figure if I’m trying to help myself, why not try to help others, too. We’re always better when we’re supporting each other.
Feel free to join me on Facebook at The Road to My Lighter Life.
When we can slow down and really enjoy our food, our life takes on a much deeper quality,” Hanh writes. “When I eat in this way, not only am I physically nourished, I am also spiritually nourished.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, co-author of Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
2. Learn healthy eating and exercise strategies. I just mentioned a list of 100 bloggers writing about healthier eating, exercise, and weight loss. This is the tip of the iceberg; there are many great sources for learning about healthy eating.
Make sure you check in with you doctor before beginning any massive change in your diet or exercise regimen. You may have issues unique to you that would impact your specific course of action. Recall that I also strongly recommend sitting down with a qualified nutritionist to get your specific questions answered and to map out a healthy eating game plan that fits your needs and lifestyle.
In addition, you may want to check out the following books, tools, and sources that are getting rave reviews (from me and thousands of others!). Naturally, use good judgment before following ANYONE’S advice.
- Mini Habits for Weight Loss: Stop Dieting. Form New Habits. Change Your Lifestyle Without Suffering. (Volume 2)
- My Fitness Pal – free calorie tracker app. There’s a premium upgrade that can do more including tracking physical activity,
- Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker, Silver/Black, Small (US Version) – Recall I mentioned a 14-month period when I lost 80+ lbs? During those months, I wore a Fitbit every day. I loved it. It reminded me that I needed to move more, and I did. It definitely helped.
- The Yoga Bible For Beginners: 30 Essential Illustrated Poses For Better Health, Stress Relief and Weight Loss
- Join Pinterest and explore Healthy Eating and Exercise boards. You’ll find thousands of ideas there. Spending just 30 minutes a week on this will help you become more knowledgeable and help you stay inspired. One important caveat: Steer clear of absurd diets and quick fixes and promises that appear to be too good to be true. This isn’t your first dance; you know what I’m talking about!
The problem is not in the food… The problem lies in the mind. It lies in our lack of awareness of the messages coming in from our body… Mindful eating helps us learn to hear what our body is telling us about hunger and satisfaction. It helps us become aware of who in the body/heart/ mind complex is hungry, and how and what is best to nourish it.” – Jan Chozen Bays, author of Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food (Includes CD)
3. Learn healthier THINKING strategies. It’s time to get to the core of what’s really eating at you and weighing you down. Below are some phenomenal resources that will help you do just that. If any of these are speaking to you and your specific issues, I urge you to explore them further. Listen to your intuition. (Confession: You’ve seen me quote Geneen Roth a number of times in this article. She is MY personal favorite author, coach, and speaker on this subject of healing your relationship with your body and food … but I adore all of the following authors for many other reasons.)
- Stop Eating Your Heart Out: Digital Workbook: The 21-Day Program to Free Yourself from Emotional Eating
- Never Binge Again: Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin Person. Stop Overeating and Binge Eating and Stick to the Food Plan of Your Choice!
- The Emotional Eating Workbook: A Proven-Effective, Step-by-Step Guide to End Your Battle with Food and Satisfy Your Soul
4. Get inspired by others who have been in your shoes and made successful changes. I love to read body and mindset transformation stories. I like to see how real-world people made the changes they wanted to see, and especially how they commit to maintaining the new healthier weight and outlook. My favorite site is The Weigh We Were, which features hundreds of true stories of people who’ve made lasting life changes (I usually just follow their posts through social media).
There’s no shortage of success stories out there, so when you’re feeling low and need a boost, spend some time learning how other people kept their commitment to living a healthier, happier life. They’ll inspire you for sure!
A Few Final Thoughts …
Wow … this article required a considerable time commitment from you, and you’ve held in there like a champ.
Truth is, I could go on and on and on about this subject. It touches me very deeply … it’s touched nearly every woman and some men in my family in my generation and the generation before me. Thankfully, I’m happy to report, the next generation is faring far better, although sadly, there are a few struggles there, too.
No matter how developed you are in any other area of your life, no matter what you say you believe, no matter how sophisticated or enlightened you think you are, how you eat tells all.” – Geneen Roth, author of Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything, When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy, and Feeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Compulsive Eating
Your interest in transforming your relationship with food and improving your relationship with your body runs deep. Your desire is your soul calling you to lead a better, healthier, joy-filled life. Trust that you deserve this because you do.
I hope you’ll consider this moment right now as a springboard to jumping into the self-loving, less stressed, happier life that is your birthright.
If there’s one final piece of advice that’s worth offering it’s this: just start. Just do one little thing that makes you feel good about yourself. When you’re ready, take the next step. If you’ll do that, you WILL change your life.
One More Quote
If your ‘weighty thinking’ does not change, then even if you lose weight you’ll retain an overwhelming subconscious urge to gain it back. It’s less important how quickly you lose weight, and more important how holistically you lose weight; you want your mind, your emotions, and your body to all ‘lose weight.’ Weight that disappears from your body but not from your soul is simply recycling outward for a while but is almost certain to return. It’s self-defeating, therefore, to struggle to drop excess weight unless you are also willing to drop the thought-forms that initially produced it and now hold it in place.” – Marianne Williamson author of A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever
Wait! Here Are a Few More Resources I Love and Thought You Might Love, Too
I mentioned how much I like journaling. Sometimes I use journals with prompts. Sometimes I like a blank page for my thoughts. Below are some options of each type.