When the cycle of "dieting then overeating, then promising to start over tomorrow" seems to have you in it's grip, there's something I want you to do...
I want you to begin to forgive yourself.
This truly is the first step in getting off the diet roller coaster.
Forgiveness. It's a simple word with a big meaning. And it can go a really really long way in helping you start to change some of things you do around food.
Forgive yourself for putting your body through the endless diets, food restriction phases, times of overeating, and nights where you indulged waaaay more than you ever planned to.
Forgive yourself for constantly hating, criticizing, and berating your body. For looking in the mirror and telling the reflection she's fat, ugly, and could really stand to lose another 10, 15, 20-plus pounds.
Forgive yourself for not being where you want to be -- for not quite "getting it" yet. For promising you'll start over Monday and by Wednesday, you're elbow deep in a bag of chips.
Forgive yourself for finishing off the tub of ice cream when you swore up and down you wouldn't eat before bed. For feeling a deep depth of despair about not being able to control what you are desperately trying to manage: your weight.
It's easy to think criticism, hatred, and rigidity will force you to stay on a diet.
We believe that despising our bodies, criticizing our weight, and imposing hard and fast rules will make us change. But the reality is none of this has ever brought us lasting change. Forgiveness is the first step towards that lasting change.
Forgive yourself because, no matter what you did, it's the only way you knew how to take care of yourself in the moment.
You do the best you can in the situation, with the only tools you know how to use to cope. And that's okay. Forgive yourself for not knowing any better. You'll get there.
Learning how to heal your relationship with food and eating is like learning a new language. You don't just take one Spanish class and master it immediately.
At first it's awkward. You are trying out new words and forget a lot of information. You think you've got it down and then you're thrown for a loop with a new situation. But the more you keep practicing, the better you get.
And so it is with this "food" journey. You begin where you are and learn as you go. You learn, and then you may forget, but you still keep practicing.
And the first thing you must learn is forgiveness.
Of yourself. Of your body. Of all the things you wish you did but didn't do. Of where you think you should be, but aren't.
If you are constantly criticizing your actions and hating your behaviors, you're judging yourself. When there's judgment, there's no room for learning. You miss whatever the lesson is trying to teach you. It is these lessons that often serve as our biggest opportunities to see where and how we need to change.
Start by softening, being easier on yourself, and forgiving yourself. It's the first step towards finding freedom in your eating.
What can you forgive yourself for today?
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