You can find peace with your body image even though nothing has changed physically in your body. Through my own recovery experience and from hundreds of conversations with clients, I have learned that integrity is the secret to happiness. Integrity means that your words and actions are in alignment. Integrity is the secret to feeling peaceful and content in your body; in your relationships; in your career; etc.
Doing what you say you will do, not just for others, but most importantly, for yourself. If you feel controlled by food and loathe your body, you do not have integrity with yourself. You take pride in caring for others and honouring your commitments outwardly at all costs.
We’re so afraid of the potential of losing someone’s approval and respect that we’ll do anything, even, compromise our own basic-needs for self- respect, rest or consideration.
Yes, from the outside we appear to be these amazing people who have it all together. We are super beings who can do it all. From the inside however we feel totally fraudulent, a complete sham. This creates anxiety and when we feel anxious, we beat up on our bodies by overeating, restricting, binging, or purging. This is not very helpful and certainly not a way of feeling integrity within you.
We believe we will finally be able to feel safe and secure in the world if we have the approval of others. However, needing the approval of others, only reinforces our chronic insecurity. If you are giving someone else the power to decide whether you are worthy and acceptable, you are at their mercy. You had better hope that they truly want and know what’s best for you even if that means that they don’t always get what they want.
We have to be able to authentically validate and accept ourselves. We have to have a solid sense of ourselves as competent, capable, worthwhile, special and deserving of dignity and respect. If you do not believe that about yourself, then you will not be able to trust that are entitled to that from others.
So, what does this all have to do with body image? Well, back to integrity, when your words and actions are in alignment you are at peace.
Witnessing yourself following through on commitment to yourself means that you say to yourself: “I’m going to exercise three times this week and slowly reduce the amount of processed and refined carbs I have in my diet each day.”
In this way you will immediately begin to experience an inner silence, peace and develop a strong sense of trust in yourself. You will be someone who will put their needs first; someone who will not put themselves in situations where they feel disrespected or compromised.
Take a few minutes now and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Where in my role as a friend do I say one thing and do another – even in my own mind?
2. What about my role as a parent? Employee? Volunteer? Partner?
3. What about in my role in my relationship with myself? Where here do I say one thing and do another? Even in such small ways as saying you’ll do the dishes and then leaving them in the sink overnight?
4. What could I do in each of these areas of my life to have a stronger sense of integrity; of trust in myself to do what I say and say what I do?
5. What might prevent me from taking action on these things?
Once you have stood back and looked at what is triggering your anxiety, you will be able to start planning on stabilizing your integrity.
When you are able to do this, you will feel far less anxious overall and your judgments about your body will practically cease and…..here’s the best part… your need to use food to cope by overeating, binging, purging, or restricting will stop.
For over 15 years, personal change-agent Michelle Morand has been helping people of all ages and all walks of life stop using food to cope. A recovered compulsive eater, her personal story, and her professional caring and gentle approach, continually inspires those who struggle with eating disorders.
Through her company, The CEDRIC Centre for Counselling, inc., she provides face-to-face, email, and telephone coaching to people around the globe. Products include a variety of downloadable audio and video selections, print and downloadable workbooks, live workshops and a web-based group counselling program.
Author of Food is not the Problem: Deal With What Is! Michelle is a skilled educator and lecturer and frequently appears at live health shows, on radio and TV, and in print media.
Visit The CEDRIC Centre website and sign up for the free newsletter at http://www.cedriccentre.com