As you know, I coach women to learn to love the bodies they’re in now and break the guilt/shame cycle of food. I personally don’t have much body image issues anymore and I don’t feel guilt for eating any type of food. I’m SO kind, patient, and loving with myself when it comes to food, exercise, and my body. I am at absolute peace. But the funny thing is that as a coach, I’M STILL NOT PERFECT.
My type A shines through a lot, I still set unrealistic goals, and I’m still really hard on myself in OTHER aspects of life.
If I sleep in or take too long of a nap… LAZY.
If I don’t keep up with laundry or cleaning… LAZY.
If I don’t get 22 out of the 25 things on my to-do list done… PIECE OF SHIT (I literally say this to myself sometimes).
You get the picture.
That’s the thing about eating disorders, 99% of the time it’s not really about the food or your body. Often times there is a deep seeded belief that you as a person, are not good enough. This transfers into every other aspect of life once you heal from disordered eating/poor body image.
Basically in the society we live in now, we always feel pressure to stand out. Since we were kids, the ones with high grades, the ones who do best at sports, and the ones who play instruments best are honored. We are rewarded when we shine above the “average” kids. So do you think we grow up and magically that programming disappears? HA.
And how do you think as women we try to be above average? By pursuing unachievable looks. Interesting huh?
This is where self-compassion comes into play. I recently watched a TEDxTALK about this. I’ve been putting it into practice the past 3 days and WOW - do I feel so much different. (I’ll link the video in the bottom of the blog).
HERE’S THE MAIN POINTS I LEARNED:
- We believe we NEED to be critical of ourselves in order to get motivated, or we will become lazy and undisciplined.
- When we are critical, we actually turn OFF our motivation. (We activate our fight or flight nervous system which sends a signal to our body that says WE ARE UNDER ATTACK. We secrete lots of cortisol and our body basically shuts down, which is highly UN-motivating).
- Self-compassion = relating to ourselves kindly, accepting our flaws, and allowing ourselves to be human.
- As mammals, we are programmed to react better to warmth, soft voice, and gentle touch. We instinctually become motivated from ENCOURAGEMENT, COMFORT, AND KINDNESS.
So here's how I've applied this. I’m 37 weeks pregnant, the other night I slept 11 hours, woke up at 7:30 AM, went back to bed at 8:30 AM, then woke up again around noon. (Literally my biggest pet peeve besides a dirty kitchen is sleeping in). Needless to say I was LIVID when I woke up. But I decided to change the self-talk to this: “You are doing so great taking care of yourself. I’m really proud of you for putting the baby first. Keep listening to your body”. And guess what? I actually went from feeling ashamed to feeling PROUD of myself. I felt happy and ready to take on the day again.
To wrap this up, the way you talk to yourself can either make or break you during recovery. You are your biggest motivator. Being compassionate when you talk to yourself will help you make FAR more progress than being critical. Try applying this the next time you criticize yourself. Even if you are extremely mean, you can always turn it around and correct it. Sounds simple, but it works, promise!
LEAVE ME A COMMENT OR DM ME OF YOUR SUCCESSES WITH IMPLEMENTING MORE SELF COMPASSION IN YOUR LIFE! I KNOW THIS SMALL CHANGE CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.