I bet you are thinking those three things don’t go together. Well let me tell you a story. For me until a few years ago, they definitely didn’t go together. For many years that sentence would have read “I’m a Nutritionist, I’m fat & I hate my body”. Add to that my very loud & insistent inner critic (Lexie the Lizard) who was telling me things like this:
You’re a failure
You aren’t good enough
You’ll never lose the weight
You can’t be a fat nutritionist
Everybody thinks you don’t know what you’re doing
You can’t go out wearing that
No one will love you while you’re fat
Lexie had been telling me all those things more for at least 30 years so it’s not surprising that I believed her. By the way Lexie is a lizard because our inner critic lives in the ancient part of our brain which is called the reptilian brain but that's a story for another blog. Back to my story. With all that criticism my self-esteem was at an all time low. I was always trying to lose weight. Like most people things would go great for a few weeks with low calorie, low taste food, high deprivation & massive exercise regime. I would be dreaming of tasty food & lots of chocolate. Then the old habits would start to creep in because the plan wasn’t sustainable.
Once I started studying nutrition things changed a bit & I became obsessed with making sure that everything was healthy. I had a huge list of rules to follow & spent hours in the supermarket checking ingredients & food labels. I counted everything every meal & every day - it was exhausting & all the pleasure of food was gone.
I joined a gym, got myself a Fitbit & weighed myself up to 6 times a day hoping for a lower number. Now I really had it all under control. In fact it was so under control that all the pleasure had gone from eating & I hated all that exercise. Life wasn’t fun but I did lose a lot of weight. I should have been happy & full of self-confidence but I still didn’t love my body though & Lexie was still saying nasty things to me.
Around this time I discovered the Institute for the Psychology of Eating & their Certified Coach course. Eating Psychology is about why we eat the way we do rather than fousing so much on what we eat. I knew it was just what I needed
to help both myself & my clients. I soon learned that my previous approach of tight control & deprivation was actually punishing myself & I realised that Lexie was actually a bully. I would never have allowed her to say any of those things to anybody else so why was it OK to say them to me. We all know the best way to deal with a bully is to stand up to them so I started challenging her when she said those nasty things. It didn’t take long to figure out that most of what she said was simply not true & I my self-esteem & confidence began to build.
I let go of controlling my food intake & followed my intuition to tell me what my body really needed. The bathroom scales were relocated to the garage to break that cycle of continuous weighing. I would no longer choose to allow that little machine control how I might feel depending on the number it showed me.
This was all a step in the right direction but I still wasn’t ready to love my body.
That was when I discovered Taryn Brumfitt, the Body Image Movement & the life changing Embrace documentary. The film turned my beliefs about my body on their head. One of Taryn’s favourite quotes is “My body is not an ornament, it is the vehicle to my dreams”. I began to realise that the way my body looked or what size it was had never changed my personality, I was still the same person inside. I have far more to offer this world that a perfect body. Try asking your friends to describe you. I can almost guarantee they will talk about how caring you are or how you make them laugh. The way you treat people is far more important to them than what you look like.
#I have embraced & you can too. I am here to help you learn to love your body just as it is right now. You have far more important things to do in your life than worry about what you body looks like, having fun springs to mind. If you would like some help with this contact me for an 'Embrace Your Body Discovery Call'. Find out how I can help you love your life & your body. This is available by phone or Skype depending on where you are in the world. I'd love to hear from you so that together we can change you life just like mine has been changed.
Pam Bailey is a Feel Good Facilitator, Helping Women Feel Good Every Day
Nutritionist, Eating Psychology Coach, Life Coach & Heal Your Life Workshop Facilitator.
She is an International Keynote speaker & workshop leader & also provides private coaching via Skype & in person.
For more information contact Pam on 0452 464 818 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org