“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
“If shame made people thin, there wouldn’t be a fat person in this country, trust me.” ~Kate Harding
Have you berated yourself for enjoying a food that you’ve labeled as “bad” and perhaps even called yourself “bad” because you ate it?
Have you forced yourself to wear pants that are too tight and not allowed yourself to feel more physically comfortable by refusing to buy ones that fit?
Have you needed to use food and then afterwards told yourself that you shouldn’t have, that there was no good reason for it, that you’re just gluttonous — or worse?
Bombarded with “shoulds” and shaming by diet and fashion advertisers and well-intentioned health professionals, it’s understandable that we might judge ourselves so harshly. But are the condescending and critical comments about our eating and weight really true? In the long run, has all this shaming and “shoulding” been helpful or harmful? Is it really true that if we just hate ourselves enough, then we’ll finally take better care of ourselves, lose weight, and get healthy?
What is true? What is true for you? For your body?
This month of Valentine’s Day, and every day of your precious life, why not consider the power of love? Instead of reacting with cruelty by berating, denying, and shaming yourself when your pants don’t fit or you’ve eaten emotionally, consider responding with the kindness you would show a dear friend. Consider, perhaps, using compassion and tending to what’s physically or emotionally uncomfortable. Consider buying a new pair of pants that fit more comfortably or talking with someone you trust about the issue or feelings that prompted an overeating episode.
Turning away from fear and shame-promoting messages, and turning toward truth with courage and compassion, ask yourself, “What is true?” Tune out the meanness. Tune into yourself. Listen. What’s needed now? Your heart knows.
Affirming Statement: “I respond with love.”
Nutrition therapists Amy Tuttle, RD, LCSW and Karin Kratina, RD, PhD provide no-diet articles and resources including “Stay Attuned: The E-zine for Nourishing Connections” at their Nourishing Connections website. www.nourishingconnections.com