“No book is just one chapter, no chapter tells the whole story, no mistakes define who we are. Keep turning the pages that are left to be turned.”
May is my birthday month and I intend to truly celebrate as I bask in the light of my many blessings. I didn’t get to this exact place in time easily. It’s been a rocky road with many detours and lessons learned. There were dark days and deep holes, regretful lapses in judgment.
Birthdays inspire me to not only reflect on what was but to set the intention for what is yet to come. They remind me of how I always wanted to be older…in 3rd grade I wanted to be in 6th, in 9th I couldn’t wait to be in 12th. That desire to be someone other than who I was shaped how I felt about my body. What manifested were fluctuating weights and a steadfast obsession with the size of my thighs, which led to my 20+ year relationship with disordered eating behaviors that included calorie restricting, emotionally triggered over-eating and consistent purging.
Only now can I know that every experience and re-framed belief served to teach me the most important lesson of all – that there is a place deep within me where I am always safe, as long as I connect to it.
The greatest gift is the discovery that what’s missing when we persistently try to lose weight and fail at it, is a deep connection to ourselves. We try so hard to change our bodies that we lose sight of the fact that true and lasting change can’t happen until we transform our thinking. I want to point out that there is a difference between change and transformation. Change requires a doing and un-doing. Goodness knows we all have too much on our to-do lists already. Change implies doing something outside of ourselves. Transformation is about setting an intention and committing to our vision of it. It is more of an internal shift. Transformation is about being the change.
I came to my work in an effort to embrace the lesson learned, share all I could and pay it forward. I developed the “7 Steps to Stop Fearing What Food Will Do To You” so there could be a sustainable blueprint to lead you to your goals and intentions.
- Feel the Love…start each day with gratitude for all that is right in your life
- Relax…find ways to manage your stress so that you can respond in kind, rather than react.
- Eat when you are hungry, stop when you’ve had enough. Honor your hunger, don’t resist or deny it. Yet, when you find yourself eating to feed another need, recognize the power of the pause. What are you really hungry for????
- Eat Mindfully. When we pay attention, engage our senses, we can honor satiety and fullness. When you eat, eat and do so with your whole self.
- Do something everyday that makes you feel alive. Move in an effort to honor your body rather than to punish it because of something you ate.
- Make sure you surround yourself with what truly nourishes you – you’ll discover that what you are hungry for is not to be found in the kitchen. It’s the relationships we cultivate, our hobbies and career choices, our spirituality and physicality that feed our basic needs.
Being the change allows me to fully experience self kindness, the wisdom of a life well lived, as well as the courage and desire to question who I will be 20 and even 30 years from now. I know there are no guarantees but I can make the choices that will create a life full of love, laughter and serenity.
Who will you see in the mirror on your next birthday and the years to come?