- look at your body and cringe
- avoid mirrors
- constantly compare yourself with other women
- put off activities you enjoy until you are thinner
- go into a tailspin after looking at social media
- believe your life will be better when you are thinner
It is painful spending every waking moment thinking about
- what to eat
- what not to eat
Of course, you want to do something about that!
And, I would love to help
Because I believe the time has come to
- stop blaming yourself—you don’t lack motivation or willpower
- realize that you haven’t failed
- recognize that you are not the problem—the problem is what is expected of us
- realize that your body is not good or bad, right or wrong, lovable or unlovable
- realize that changing the size or shape of our bodies does not guarantee anything other than a change in our size or shape
- understand that we have it backward—changing our size doesn’t change how we feel about our body. Only changing how we feel about our body can change how we feel about our body.
- realize that it is possible to feel proud, confident, and strong right now—you don’t have to wait until you meet some unattainable standard.
Changing times—Same Struggles
Thank goodness times have changed. When I first started helping women with their relationship with food and their bodies, it was hard to find references supporting the work I was doing, and few, if any women or their providers had heard of “non-diet” approaches or body acceptance or positivity.
Now most people have heard these terms, and a quick Google search will bring up numerous practitioners teaching mindful or attuned eating and sites devoted to body positivity.
And the pressures remain the same. We continue to get the message in subtle, and not-so-subtle ways, that there is a way our body should be, and if it is not that way, there is something “wrong” and we should “do something” about it. These messages most often evoke fear.
These messages are rampant, are deeply rooted in our history as women, and are often linked with safety in the brain, making them difficult to change.
So if you are struggling with your appearance, weight, or your relationship with food, please don’t be hard on yourself. And, if you are outside the “white/thin” standard of beauty, of course you would feel not good enough. Our culture enforces that assumption.
A Rose isn’t meant to be an Orchid
This seems obvious, doesn’t it? And yet how often do we as women try to be something we aren’t and never can be?
Just as a rose seed is destined to be a rose and not an orchid, you are destined to be who you were meant to be, not who or what someone else wants you to be or thinks you should be.
No matter how much a rose might be told she should be more like an orchid, a rose is going to be a rose. If I am disappointed with the rose because it is not an orchid and don’t take care of it, it will still be a rose, and it won’t be the healthy beautiful rose it could be with loving care.
In the same way, striving to be what you think others want you to be can lead you away from your self-care and prevent you from becoming all that you could and are meant to be—a role only you can play in this world. (Never Enough, pg. 328)
And, You get to choose
This is your life, and your body is your body. A major focus of my work has been encouraging women to tap into their own wisdom, rather than basing decisions on what might please others.
And so if you want to lose weight or place restrictions on your size or your eating, those are your choices to make. There is no “right” and “wrong” in this.
It is not for me or anyone else to make those choices—your body is your body, and you get to choose.
And when you make those choices, I hope you will do so from a place of love and a connection with your own internal wisdom and truth. I hope you will make them with the unconditional love of a four-legged friend.
I hope we, as women, will stop using our bodies to determine our worth.
I hope we will give up the idea that bodies are good or bad, right or wrong, lovable or unlovable.
I hope we will begin to recognize the legacy of fear of “not being good enough” that has been passed through the generations, as a way for women to stay safe.
I hope we will recognize the power these fears give to big businesses and to those wishing to maintain social hierarchies.
And, I hope we will realize these fears keep us competing with one another, rather than standing together as a united front against expectations that prevent us from celebrating our own unique beauty or the beauty of other women.
And that we will recognize how these same fears keep us quiet—fearful of putting ourselves out there and as a result, maintaining the status quo while keeping our rights and privileges in jeopardy.
My vision is for each of us, as women, to work on our own beliefs about our bodies.
For our bodies to become our home, our source of life and opportunity. What would we be without a body?
I wonder what might be possible if we each took it upon ourselves to shine a light of self-acceptance on our bodies and the bodies of those around us.
I know I’d like to live in the glow of that light. How about you?
What would be different?
What would your life be like living in a glow of self-acceptance? What would be different?
What would you do with all the time you now spend worrying about your weight, what you eat, or how people see you?
What gifts and talents would you share with the world that you are waiting to share when you are “good enough”?
Who are you meant to be? What is your purpose—your North Star—your destiny?
And if you find any or all of that hard to imagine, you are certainly not alone! I know from my own journey as well as from sharing the journeys of my clients, that what I have written is easier said than done. It is one of the reasons I wrote the book, Never Enough.
And isn’t it time to start?
Because isn’t this your time to bloom?
Check out the Resource page for books and podcasts to support your journey.