I've heard from many people that say they have to be careful when it comes to trying to eat healthy food or recording food as they can be overcome with guilt (if they make an unhealthy choice) or they can get completely obsessed with trying to be healthy or they can even feel panic attacks because of the emotional roller coaster it can cause.
I've been there.
In my early twenties, I gained some weight from being on the birth control pill. I compensated by trying to be healthy in every way and it felt like an obsession. I felt horribly any time I ate something unhealthy. And I'd monitor my thighs, stomach and butt daily for any changes. But back then, I was in it to boost my self image or my worth by getting back to the weight I was used to. Really, the motivation was more about just being thin and beautiful and desirable instead of nourishing and caring for my body. It was miserable.
I think that we as women so easily connect FOOD with our SELF-WORTH.
It's true that the amount and types of foods we eat are SOOO connected with how we look. And how we look is often SOOO connected to our ability to feel valued, confident, desirable, and capable of attracting and impressing others. Sad that caring for your body is connected to such a mess.
Thinking food is connected to our worth is one of the saddest, sickest cycles in a woman's brain. When our worth/ego/identity is on the line because we just ate a donut (or 2 or 3) or just noticed some flab or saw how big our legs looked in the mirror, then we can feel grumpy, irritable, unhappy, and feel less worth. And yes, we can blame media. Or we can blame the way we were raised. Or we can blame the way some men treat women. OR, we can decide we're better than to be victims to that and we can decide to stop the cycle of having our food choices or body size connected to our worth.
True worth is NEVER ever based on outside circumstances to begin with. Period. True worth is realizing that you already have worth - just as you are. There is nothing you can change or do or eat or not eat that can bring you more worth. Nothing. All you have to do it realize that worth is already within you, and just OWN IT....and act like it.
Flabs. Scars. Big thighs. Bony butt. Flabby arms. Whatever you've got....you have worth RIGHT NOW. Every single one of you. Yes, YOU, TOO!!!! ALL OF YOU!!! And changing your body will not give you any ounce of more worth than you have right now. So please, please, please do not seek worth in how healthy you are eating or how much you weigh or what size of pants you wear. Do all you can to surrender that idea and put it to rest.
Do not try to be healthy because you WANT more worth. Be healthy out of respect because you ALREADY HAVE worth, just as you are.
Be healthy not to become whole or to gain more worth, be healthy and nourish your physical body out of RESPECT and GRATITUDE for the body that you already have. HONOR yourself. NOURISH yourself. Take care of your body as an expression of LOVE for the world, love for your family, and for the amazing body and life that you have. You cannot be your best self if you are not caring for your body and making time to do that first. (And yes, that may require that you make some HUGE lifestyle or career changes to make that time available. But that's sometimes what it takes.)
When you can approach your journey to health with a feeling of worthiness, you don't hate yourself through the process. The experience of being healthy doesn't have to feel depriving, but something you seriously prefer. The idea is that you can go from thinking, "I can't have that. I will likely gain some weight or feel guilty if I eat that." to... "I don't WANT that unless it's good for me. I am honoring my body."
What do you guys think? Does this hit home at all? Have you seen your worth tied to the foods you eat (or don't eat)? Also, if you've worked through this, what helped you to realize that what you eat is not connected to your worth?
Also, just a sampling of posts I've written about how to own your own worth...
-Vulnerability Step 1
-Vulnerability Step 2
-Vulnerability Step 3
-How To Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
-The Skinny on Being Skinny
-Not Cute Days
-Best Beauty Secret in the World
P.S. Does anyone recognize these neon signs? Old school Park Slope.
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