Breaking free from dieting – making peace with your body
Every person has an ideal weight. An ideal expression that the body finds because you are at peace with yourself. Anyone who has made a resolution to get in shape again this year would be well advised to read this article. Because diets and sports are of course beneficial. But what happens when the diet, the fasting period is over? And why? The question of why is explored in this article in a special, holistic way and I will give you many an option to befriend your own body.
Too much or too little
We were all born with an ideal appearance imprinted in our genes. In many cases it resembles the construction manual of a puzzle: on the cover we see exactly how it should be. But reality breaks it down into several thousand individual pieces. And at some point we lose a piece. Or the joy of putting the jigsaw together. Too difficult, too much.
The ideal figure of ourselves can deviate from the cultural norm. In Western countries, right is defined by the so-called BMI, the body mass index. This number supposedly indicates whether someone is normal, overweight, or underweight.
I myself was once told by a wise woman that I should lose weight. In a way that did not hurt me. That is a miracle in itself, given my sensitivity. But even more miraculous was the explanation she gave me when I apologized for my muffin top: You can have anything, that is not a problem. The muffin just doesn’t suit you’ she said.
Ich hatte vergessen, dass der Ausdruck unseres Selbst sich im Schlimmsten Fall körperlich abbildet. Das heißt, wenn man sich selber nicht Luft macht, Raum gibt, wenn man eingeengt wird, leidet, oder seinen Weg nicht findet, dann spielt das Leben Krisen-Interventions-Team. Was beinahe gemein erscheint, bösartig (böses Fett, böser Bauch), ist tatsächlich das Gegenteil. Es ist ein Akt der Nächstenliebe, ein Signal. ein Hilfeschrei.
Dr. Anita Johnston, who I greatly admire for her work on eating disorders, summed it up: the food is not the problem, it’s like the red herring, the carrot in front of your nose. To free yourself from eating disorders, it’s important to recognize what they stand for. And then to learn the skills you need to develop.
But how does one find the right signals out of the many? How do you recognize your own body image, the right one, separate from social constraints and norms?
STEP 1 – Acceptance
The key to just about anything. As with everything in life, step 1 is acceptance: accept yourself as you are comes before know yourself. Whatever image is reflected in your mirror right now is okay. Good and right. Accept yourself. There’s a difference between describing yourself as plump. Or too plump. The first states a fact, the latter judges.
In my book Schilda the Fortune Turtle Anna and Gustav learn to follow their heart. They start with baby steps towards their respective dreams. A fairytale for the younger ones, a magical adventurous journey to yourself for grown-ups.Available from Amazon and Kobo.
STEP 2 – Mindfulness
Then start listening to the subtle signals of your body: when are you full, when are you hungry. Also start a “diet” that suits your self. Whether that’s a D’Adamo blood type diet or a metabolic diet, vegan food or Paleo, is not so important. What’s more important is that the diet is right for your type. All diets are an aid, similar to a crutch. If you have not known what is good for you for so long, you will need a crutch while you learn to listen to your body.
STEP 3 – Do something your soul craves every day
Very often, an iceberg of problems lies beneath a disturbed body image. If you poke at it, you awaken a monster. The burden of a thousand problems can be so overwhelming that you immediately resort to chocolate or chips. Or stop eating (again).
But doing the one thing that brings you joy saves you. Five minutes, or an hour. A walk. Reading a poem. Writing. Tennis. Squash. Or a vacation photo. A bunch of flowers. Chopping wood. Painting. Digging in the ground. Building snowmen.
But I can’t have that. I can’ t do that now! Yes, you can. There is one thing that works. It is one that is so in tune with the soul that it can be done anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances. And be it ‘only’ as a daydream. We know from dr. Joe Dispenza’s research that the brain cannot indiscriminate whether an event is real or dreamed.
And if you forgot about your five minute routine for a day, days, weeks or months? That’s okay too, just start again. Whenever you can, however you can.
STEP 4 – Enjoy the new things
A lot of new things come into life, and you also have to learn some new things: setting boundaries, saying no, being enough for yourself. Or even learn that love is unconditional. There are many new opportunities coming up, and that can be nerve-racking and exhausting.
Therefore, it is important to take good care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is often the root of being overweight or underweight. And even if you can’t immediately change everything that bothers you, you can still dare to make many small changes: get off one stop earlier and walk. Or ask for another office if colleagues are annoying. Look for a job. Shape your life, create it.
NOTE: The color prange promotes creativity and a glass of water (or many) help to courage and inner guidance.
STEP 5: Visualise
You can visualize your dream weight. This way you reach the goal faster and it is fun. This visualization also promotes contact with our True Self. Because the visualization succeeds only if one imagines the true body image, not if one wants to force oneself into something, to force oneself to do something.
And the feedback is an immediate one. The right image fills with joy, lightness and light.
STEP 6: Strengths
If the self-image does not fit into the common fashion scheme, it takes good self-worth and also some support to still feel beautiful and comfortable. Children who think they see flaws in themselves should learn what unconditional love means. They may have experienced it, but not recognized it. Define together what unconditional love means, what everyone in the family needs to feel accepted and comfortable. Make the list for yourself as well.
Self-worth, as well as self-respect and self-acceptance, have not been cultivated much in recent years. Rather, it was either to stand out from the crowd – you can see that in the many shows in which people show, prove, represent themselves at any cost – or it was to merge with the masses – you can see that in the eternally same media coverage, and the common the (against us) mentality. Both sides are part of the same experience, both are extremes.
STEP 7: Persevere
Change happens and will last if you stick with being yourself. The beauty of this way of “losing weight” is that it creates a very special feeling of being alive: more freedom, more responsibility and more joie de vivre.