I started down this path of coaching with the intention of helping women heal their relationship with food and weight, which is ultimately and always a reflection of one’s relationship to life itself. When I was stuck beyond stuckness in that particular realm of hell, I promised myself that if I ever found a way through, I would dedicate myself to helping others.
The underlying theme of my work with all of my clients is returning home to oneself, to one’s inner wisdom.
Self-abandonment is certainly not limited to food craziness but if you’re a woman in this culture without any history of food or body “issues”, you’re sort of like a unicorn. I believe you might be out there but I haven’t run into too many of you yet.
I keep talking with women-powerful, smart, capable, beautiful women-who tell me this desire to lose ten pounds spins like a broken record in the back of her mind, nagging and whining. She hasn’t gone swimming in years because she’d have to put on a bathing suit.
Or maybe she eats “clean” all day without a problem and then finds herself in the kitchen at two in the morning eating bowl after bowl of sugar cereal. She is consumed by thoughts of what she will eat next and what she will avoid and when and where and how. She can’t bring herself to wear shorts, even when it’s 90 degrees because she is convinced that everyone would be repulsed by her legs.
She keeps the running tally in her mind—was she “good” today? Better make up for those cookies. Maybe she’s a sugar addict? Maybe she should go Paleo or vegan or do a juice cleanse…starting tomorrow.
It gets more subtle too—comparing herself to every woman’s ass in line ahead of her at Starbucks, alternating envy and relief. The persistent belief that something is wrong with her: shouldn’t have eaten that, shouldn’t wear that, shouldn’t be hungry.
Does this sound familiar?
You want to eat like a normal person. You want to feel vibrant and sexy and alive. You want to trust yourself around food. You don’t want to live in fear of work potlucks and dinner parties. You want to feel at home in your body. You want to stop working so fucking hard.
I want to tell you something.
Real freedom is possible. Self-trust with food is possible. Being at home and awake in your body is yours for the claiming. It is as near at hand as a change in perspective. Your freedom is now.
And, like everything true, there’s a paradox here. It’s not that it takes a whole lot of work to heal your relationship to food but it does require a radical commitment to loving awareness and a sweeping dose of grace.
I know you want a forever solution. I know you want me to just tell you exactly what to eat and when along with some guarantees that you won’t gain weight.
But friends, the truth is that food and body obsession are not the problem here. In fact, they are the solution.
Obsession with food and preoccupation with your body are the solution to a problem. They are not the problem itself.
We can talk more about this, I promise.
For now, suffice it to say that the problem is self-abandonment. The problem is that you believe there is something wrong with you, something unlovely, something to cover up.
In other words, it’s a spiritual problem. And there’s good and bad news about that.
Let’s get the bad news over with. You can lose weight. You can lock in the “perfect” way to eat. You can get all the best clothes and find the best guy or gal and maybe they’ll come out with a magic eraser that takes care of cellulite. All those food and weight problems: solved.
But if you don’t address the real problem, the spiritual and emotional roots, all of those things won’t give you what you want.
At no place in time has it ever been true that inner freedom and aliveness and self-trust come from getting things right externally.
The outer follows the inner, always and always.
Which brings us to the really great news. And it is really great news: when you draw upon the larger forces of love and grace (and you need not be religious or even particularly spiritual in order to do this)and presence, you harness a healing power greater than anything you can imagine.
That power lives within and without and it is ever-present and accessible.
Stay with me here, it’s about to get more woo and more true.
Here’s a place to make a beginning. All I can tell you is that this prayer was the catalyst for some deep healing on my own path. We can talk practical; we can talk strategy. The place to start though, is inside. The time to start is now.
I am so grateful to be entirely free of all unhealthy thoughts about food and my body. I am so grateful to be entirely free of food and body obsession. I am so grateful to be entirely free. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I can hear you “I’m the farthest thing from free around food. I hate my body! This is what you got for me—are you kidding?”
To which I say: try it. Give it an honest shot. Say it in the morning as soon as your feet hit the ground. Say it before you eat, even and especially if you are eating three pieces of chocolate cake. Say it in the shower and when you are sitting at a red light.
It’s not an affirmation and it’s not a lie. It’s actually the truest true thing. We are already free, already whole, and healed. When we practice remembering our wholeness, even for a few seconds, something in us becomes very alert. We begin to remember ourselves.
It’s more than enough to make a beginning.
****This is the first in a series of posts…I have lots to say on this subject. If you want to follow along, please sign up for my newsletter so we can stay connected.
If you have a particular question that you’d like to see addressed, I always love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.