(If you haven’t read Part I, I encourage you to start there and come on back when you’re done.)
In the first segment of this 3-part article we addressed what it can be like when we have a stressful relationship with food and we’re away from home and our familiar foods and secure access to them. I gave you some clear steps to follow to aid you to feel more balanced and relaxed while you’re out and about.
In this segment, we’re going to address one of the other key elements of traveling. It is so incredibly obvious and yet, like many obvious things, we often don’t think about it and consider its potential impact on us physically and emotionally. This “obvious” thing I’m talking about is the change that occurs in your daily routine when you’re traveling and how this affects your body and emotions. This change directly impacts your primary coping strategy: Food and Bad Body Thoughts.
Life is beautiful. It is complex and it has many twists and turns, but it has a quality of freedom and the opportunity for constant self-creationism that, with the right mindset, allows each of us to feel exuberant, passionate, alive and fulfilled whether we are accepting a Nobel prize, giving birth, beginning or ending a relationship, washing the dishes or stuck in rush-hour traffic. But what about someone who doesn’t have the “right” mindset? What about someone who, however it came to be, doesn’t see the world as their oyster of creation but instead sees themselves as undeserving of what they desire; who sees themselves as “not good enough”? How do they navigate the stress of accepting an award, having a child, ending a relationship or that inevitable traffic jam?
Mostly likely they’ve developed patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving called “coping strategies” that allow them to feel some degree of safety and security in their world. Coping strategies take many forms. One primary coping strategy that many people in our society develop is a preoccupation with appearance and with their relationship with food, either in a restricting or overeating way.
All weight problems are simply a reflection of a lack of balance within. That’s all. Emotionally and physically you’re out of balance. Your priorities are skewed and they need to be tweaked so that you really embody the belief that your needs and your health are the most important things in your world.
Now, rather than feeling “outed” by this statement and that everyone you meet is going to “know” you’re out of balance, could you allow yourself instead to just accept the truth of it? Instead of trying to protect yourself from the truth of your lack of balance, how about asking the question: “What’s the fastest, most effective and lasting solution to this problem?”
Love your Self
Recently a client asked me what Self-respect meant to me. She also shared her own definition and it got me thinking that my readers might benefit from considering this question and exploring their own definitions. Have a read of my off the cuff answer to my client and then please take a moment to share your own defniniton. How do you demonstrate self-respect? or…How would you like to see yourself demonstrating it? Michelle
Self-respect for me means respecting myself above all else.
It means honoring my values and principles before anyone and anything else. It means trusting myself to say and do only what feels true and honoring. It means listening to and respecting that precious little voice inside when it feels a little fearful, reluctant or unsettled; trusting that there is a legitimate reason for me to be feeling that way and if I just get quiet and listen I’ll figure out what it is that isn’t feeling good and also, what it is that I need to do to honor myself.
Sometimes respecting myself can make other people angry, frustrated, disappointed, and hurt because they want to be able to dictate what I do and/or because they believe that I am responsible for their happiness in that moment. As long as I don’t put more weight on their needs or their perception of me; as long as I don’t get caught up in feeling like I need their approval or that they shouldn’t be angry with me I can easily stay solid and true to myself, honor my truth about what I need, feel, want etc.. In most cases that person will ultimately see their own responsibility in the situation and apologize for putting the responsibility on me, or at least change their behaviour in the future. In the rare cases where that doesn’t happen, it’s a blessing because clearly that person is only interested in being right and having what they want, regardless of the cost to me or to our friendship. Those are good people to have distance from.
The more life experience I have in staying true to myself despite, at times, very strong pressure not to, the more I see that it has always been me who is in charge of my relationships and whether they are fulfilling or draining. It has always been me who allows someone to take advantage of me or not. It has always been me and my choices creating that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach that used to lead me to focus negatively on food and body image. And now, it is me who gets clear on what I truly think and feel before speaking. It is me who doesn’t commit to anything unless I feel truly peaceful about it and like I’m not compromising my needs or values to meet someone else’s needs or gain their approval. It’s me who puts my self-care first and makes time and energy each day for self-reflection and inner connection, regardless of how many other things and people would like my time.
Self-respect means knowing that you are equal to every other being on the planet. You are just as deserving of respect and dignity and success and happiness and love and appreciation as anyone else. And the only thing that prevents anyone from knowing that and from living from that space of deservedness and self-acceptance is that they continue to look to others for permission to feel equal and happy and deserving. Once you stop looking outside of yourself and just reassure yourself from within that you are good enough you will feel self-respect; you will find the solid ground that can never leave you regardless of what is going on around you.
What does self-respect mean to you? Leave a comment and let us know.
If you’ve been planning to sign up or thinking you’d really like to come, now’s the time to call. To reserve your space at our Transformative Weekend Workshop Friday and Saturday event (July 24th and 25th) call Michelle @ 250-383-0797 or email @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Your life is waiting. Transform your relationship with food and with yourself now! So register now at
Transformative Weekend Workshop!
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Healthful boundaries are a fundamental piece of creating balance in our lives. The things which we allow and don’t allow to happen around us, and to us, tell people a lot about our self-esteem and how we regard ourselves and ultimately, what they can get away with in their relationship with us!
In other words, if you have good self-esteem, you have strong and healthful boundaries. You feel capable of asking for what you need and letting people know clearly and directly when your needs are unmet. This lets the people in relationships with you know that you expect honesty and integrity from others, and you are willing to bring this to the table yourself. You wouldn’t be able or willing to tolerate dishonesty or lack of responsibility in any relationship. Someone who isn’t ready for honesty or directness in their communications with others, or who wants to be able to blame others for their behavior, wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with you because you would be constantly challenging them to take responsibility for their actions. So the clearer you are in your boundaries and what you expect and are willing to accept from others, the more you draw healthful, balanced, responsible people to you: people who have the same goals for honesty and integrity in their relationships as you do.
What are Boundaries
Excerpted from Food is Not the Problem: Deal With What Is!
Take time to reflect today on how boundaries with others has affected you and see where you can take a stand. You might find some of the focus on food will ease a little in the process!
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Excerpted from Food is Not the Problem: Deal With What Is!
When we actively begin the process of letting go of our old core beliefs, we frequently feel awkward, uncomfortable, phony, forced and inauthentic. I implore you: don’t judge this as an indication that you are doing something wrong or that you are doomed to fail at this recovery process. These feelings of discomfort and unfamiliarity are not bad, wrong, or in any other way inappropriate. The thoughts and behaviours you are asking of yourself are simply so very different from your “norm,” that is, from what you are accustomed to, that they naturally feel strange. And as human beings who have been schooled in all-or-nothing thinking, we have been trained to judge anything which differs from our regular experiences as wrong.
This is simply not accurate. If you continue allowing yourself to think this way, you run the risk of not witnessing and experiencing all the benefits of the changes which are taking place. You are judging your experience in the moment as bad or wrong because it feels strange or different from what you are accustomed to. If you find yourself heading down this path, I encourage you to remember that you have begun this process of change because you want things to be different – because you recognize that you have a need for a change in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours around certain things. This being the case, how much sense does it make to judge yourself as failing in your process because things are feeling different, when that is what you initially desired? (more…)