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Eating disorders are a tough one to beat because, well, you just got to eat. Drugs, alcohol, substance abuse, sex, relationships, etc — all these things have an element of an outside force being a part of the equation. With food, you just have yourself.
I'm bowing to all of you who have struggled or are struggling with an eating disorder. I know how hard it is to overcome. It took me nearly a decade to complete that vicious cycle of binging, purging, overeating, starving, hating myself for even doing it and not giving my body the proper nourishment and nurturing that it needed as a temple that holds the spirit of my soul. Here are some ways that may help you on your journey of healing and re-establishing your relationship with food.
1. Seek help.
If you’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t do it on your own, seek help. Whether help comes in the form of a counselor, teacher, guide, mentor, attending group meetings, checking into a rehab center — whatever you need, go get it. Don’t feel ashamed that you need extra support in your healing. We all do sometimes. Feel proud and courageous that you're actually stepping out of self-sabotaging patterns and are finally ready to step into a new world, a new reality in which you can live your life.
2. Be patient.
In my opinion and through my own experience, eating disorders take the longest to heal. Depending on the degree of the infiltration of the relationship with food to your psyche, your emotions, your trauma from the past, your conditionings and programmings from society — it’s going to take some time. Be patient, gentle, understanding and compassionate to and for yourself.
If you’ve made the commitment to heal, but have “bad weeks” of old, default unconscious patterns, as opposed to “good weeks” of new, healthy, conscious behavior, just keep going. Don’t hate yourself for falling off the bike. Love yourself and get back on.
3. Eat on schedule.
As best as you can, eat meals on schedule. No snacking throughout the course of the day, as this will be confusing to your mind and body as you implement a new way of putting food into your system. Put food on your plate, sit down and eat your meal. Don’t stand up and walk around, picking from this and that. Organize your food to be a singular, one-time experience of chewing, digesting, tasting and absorbing. Serve your body greens, vegetables, fruits, fresh juice, delicious nourishment for your organs, blood, skin, hair, mind, brain and heart.
4. Special treats.
Allow yourself one day a week to treat yourself to sweets or whatever else you want to eat that day. Don’t punish yourself with complete abstinence from your favorite food, even if it may or may not be the “healthiest.” Life is all about balance. Once the body-mind understands that it can still have anything it desires, just in moderation, it will calm and pacify the urges of your previous eating habits. Soon you'll be able to manage and have a hold on what once had a hold on you.
5. Food is love.
Ask yourself why you have this relationship with food in the first place. Why do you eat when you get sad? Why do you have to have seconds before you even finish your first plate? Why do you eat so fast? Do you chew your food down enough to properly digest? Do you eat when you get bored? Do you eat from a place of obsession or grounding? Do you eat to enjoy the gift and blessing of having food to eat?
I hope one day you truly come to the conclusion that food is love. If I can heal my relationship with food, so can you.
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