There was a time in my life when the food I consumed and the amount of exercise I preformed determined if it was a good day or a bad day.
My food and exercise was the deciding factor on whether I was acceptable or unworthy. Straying from the rigid confines of these self imposed rules and regulations some would even call a “healthy lifestyle” meant anxiety, panic and an intense feeling of guilt, shame and self-hate.
This period of my life was called an eating disorder and although most of the individuals I encounter with some level of codependency to food and exercise do not fit the clinical definition of an eating disorder sufferer, I can say without a doubt that this way of living (or not living) is incredibly disempowering and robs you of so much more than just a delicious filet mignon dinner.
When Did Self Love Become “Don’t eat bread at lunch”?
As a society that spends close to $60 Billion dollars a year on weight loss products, it is easy to see that we have bought into the false sense of empowerment tied to shrinking the size our body. But if you look under all the shiny bells and whistles of any weight loss product or program, what they are really selling is the hope and fantasy of feeling empowered enough to not only love and accept yourself, but also the possibility of being loved and accepted by everyone else as well.
Living an empowered life has NOTHING to do with what percentage carbohydrates (or any of the other macronutrients for that matter) are occupying your dinner plate.
The quality of your life begins with the THOUGHTS that occupy your mind NOT the FOOD you put in your mouth or the amount of steps logged in your activity tracker.
Basing your self-acceptance and self-worth on how well you adhere to the “eating clean” diet or hitting your daily step quota is just another way you give your power away.
The power to ask for what you need even if you think you don’t deserve it.
The power to say how you really feel when someone you care about mistreats you.
The power to completely and fearlessly love another living being.
The power to believe that you have just as much worth and value as someone you think is more attractive than you.
The power to believe that you have a gift and that gift is needed by the world.
The thing is, you don’t have to have a clinically diagnosed eating disorder be one of the millions of people that give their power over to the diet and fitness industry. The minute you believe that you would be happier, more lovable and more successful if you could just change the shape or size of your body, your power has been lost.
The first step in reclaiming your power from food and exercise is challenging messages you hear on a daily basis telling you that you are not enough and then changing the thoughts that personalize these messages.
Stay tuned for next weeks post on how to take this essential first step and why it’s so important.