“The moment I let go of it was the moment I got more than I could handle.
The moment I jumped off of it was the moment I touched down.”
I recently met with a client, who, despite stopping all eating disorder behaviors, was still stuck in a negative loop of thinking about how much she hated her body.
“It’s like all day, every day all that I think about how much I want to lose weight. I absolutely despise my body, I can’t do intuitive eating!”
I asked her how long it had been since her last binge or restriction and she said it had been a few months.
“Still, she said, I don’t think that I’m cut out for this. It isn’t working, I want to lose weight even though I know that cutting back on my food doesn’t work.”
In all my years of working with people with eating disorders using intuitive eating, this seems to be the biggest stumbling block. Even though the eating disorder essentially disappears, the poor body image makes people think that they can’t do it or that they are somehow doing intuitive eating wrong…they aren’t.
The collateral damage caused by lifetime of dieting/restricting/bingeing. etc. takes time to clean up. If you are upset by the way your body looks, that is normal and exactly where you should be. It’s not your thoughts or feelings that determine your recovery, but your behaviors. It’s normal and ok to be unhappy with your body – it’s the way that we are conditioned, unfortunately. “Doing” intuitive eating has little to do with how you feel about your body and whether you like it or not, it is about respecting your own hunger and fullness cues and eating what your body is asking for.
And then you’ll find, over time, that the letting go of the feeling that you “should” be feeling better about it turns to acceptance, which maybe someday even turns into appreciation – and that day will sneak up on you, because you’ll be too busy living your life to notice.
“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”