“You look really fat today . . .You’re pretty ugly too.”
“What’s the matter with you that you can’t fit into your pants?”
“Don’t go out of the house today, you’re embarrassing.”
“You should really start another diet, why don’t you try that juice fast again?”
“Screw it. Eat! Eat! Eat! You’ll feel better.”
“Can’t sleep tonight? Food will help you go back to sleep, just eat something.”
“Today is a great day for a trip to the grocery store; you know it’s your favorite place.”
“That (whole) cake looks amazing, buy it and bring it home. You can pretend that you’ll buying it for a friend’s party so people won’t judge you for sticking a fork in it and eating it all yourself.”
“Hey, did you notice your roommate buys and eats food you won’t buy for me? Eat your roommate’s food, just one bite. Snag it in the middle of the night, no one is watching then.”
“You should take some more laxatives tonight; it’ll help flush out that all the crap you just ate. Be ashamed of yourself.”
These were the voices inside my head 10 years ago.
That was me, living in a struggle of egocentricity and grappling with the voice of fear. It was war, a daily, hourly, and sometimes minute-by-minute, struggle to choose peace, joy, and balance over chaos, misery and shame.
Ten years it took me, 10 years of my life, to learn real-food nutrition, enroll personal and professional support systems, and read book upon book, all trying to find out exactly what was wrong with me.
And I’d do it all over again, just so I could land where I am today.
Ten years ago, I thought I was alone. Now I know there are others out there, right now, experiencing a similar if not the same self-induced hell. I know, because my coaching practice is full of them. I have found many golden nuggets while on my journey to achieve peace with food and with myself.
If I could place a phone call to myself as I was 10 years ago, and tell that junior me anything, here’s what I’d say. Maybe, just maybe, it can help you now.
Food is your friend. Friends aren’t classified as ‘bad’ and ‘good,’ they just are. They come in different colors, tastes and flavors. You can choose to partake of the one that nourishes you most in that moment. Do not pay too much attention to calories, fat, and sugar. They are only the bad guys because you made them so. Ten years from now, you will know a positive and loving relationship with butter. Enjoy it today.
You don’t need to eat all the food you see. There will be more food tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. Practice telling yourself, out loud if you must, “There will always be more food for later. There will always be more food for later.” Ten years from now, you’ll know that abundance with joy is favorable over abundance with anxiety.
Savor your food. Ten years from now, you will know that the 39th bite never tastes as sweet as the first.
Avoid judgment. It is a waste of energy to think of how every bite is putting on 10 pounds while judging the skinniest girl in the room. You’re missing the love that is this moment. Ten years from now, you will know to direct your energy from the fear-based emotions to the positive, uplifting ones.
Sit up straight and breathe from your belly. Good posture will help you digest properly and stay present with your environment instead of getting lost in the food. Ten years from now, you will know that your breath is a powerful healing tool.
Go to bed stuffed with love, not food. You feel like crap when you overeat, physically and emotionally. In the moment of your strongest urges, try to remember this. Ten years from now, it is the very lesson that will stop you from overeating.
Maintain your perspective. The mind chatters. The body is centered and grounded. Ten years from now, you will know to tune into the right channel.
I understand you may or may not be ready to hear these words, I mean really hear these words. However, know that you are on your path to healing your relationship with yourself and with food. Your one, fearless choice for change, is best gift you can ever give yourself. And remember to breathe.
I love you.
Your 10-years older self,
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Renee Picard/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Ava R at flickr