Let Your Heart Speak on What You Eat
By Andrea Wachter
At this point in the mindful eating journey you might find that you have two voices in your head. There is the new healthy voice that you have been cultivating through Andrea’s mindful practices and the old one that still wants to bring you down. Now is the time to begin deciphering which voice to listen to. This week, Andrea encourages us to hear the right voice by telling us “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” and “Speak Your Part from Your Heart”.
Don’t Believe Everything You Think
In a recent session with a client, we both had the beautiful opportunity to witness that it is our thoughts that bring us misery, not our bodies! This precious woman was simply convinced that her body was her problem. She sat in my office in tears about how much she hated her body, how convinced she was that weight loss would bring her happiness and how “fat” she felt (despite my frequent reminders that “fat” is not a feeling!) I even whipped out my handy dandy emotions list along with a gentle reminder that “fat” was not on it and encouraged her to go deeper. She remained truly convinced that her body was the problem.
A week later, this very same woman, with the very same body, returned to my office and reported how much better she was doing. She told me about a few sweet events that took place during the week and how good she was feeling about some new opportunities in her life.
These two consecutive sessions revealed to her that, as convincing as it can seem that changing her body will surely be her key to happiness, it is not so. Of course treating our bodies with love and kindness will certainly help us feel better overall, but changing our size will not magically change our life; changing our thinking will.
Speak Your Part from Your Heart
Another essential piece of the of recovery puzzle is learning how to speak, rather than stuff, our truth. For many people, overeating, restricting and body obsessing are ways of avoiding our truth; so learning the language of respectful, clear communication is a big part of healing.
For me this was no easy deal given that I had a black belt in people-pleasing. I came to realize though, that I had a choice: I could stuff my truth down (or attempt to anyway) with cookies, ice cream and restricting, or I could learn how to say what I’m feeling and ask for what I’m needing. (Gulp!) I also had to learn how to receive feedback without crumbling or retaliating, and how to accept the humanness and imperfection in us all, myself included. No easy task, I know, but neither is over- and under-eating!
I also learned that it’s okay to be scared to speak up and to do it anyway. And that I could get help learning the language of safe, respectful communication. A friend of mine often says, “If speaking your truth with someone is a deal breaker, it wasn’t a very good deal in the first place!”
So see if you can learn and practice the language of healthy communication. There are a ton of books and blogs on this important topic and just like any language, the more you practice, the better you become and the more rewarding it is when you meet others who speak fluently too!
For more on mindful eating, check out The Center for Mindful Eating.
This blog was originally published on recoverywarriors.com
Andrea Wachter is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and co-author of Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Breaking the “I Feel Fat” Spell as well as The Don’t Diet, Live-It Workbook. She is also author of the upcoming book, Getting Over Overeating for Teens. Andrea is an inspirational counselor, author and speaker who uses professional expertise, humor and personal recovery to help others. For more information on her books, blogs and other services, please visit www.innersolutions.net.