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Love Yourself at Any Size

love self-compassion story weight May 09, 2022

My heart is racing. I listen closely for sounds of footsteps outside my closed pantry door. My cheeks feel hot. I can't let anyone know I'm here. How would I explain what I am doing?  What would my family think? My heart beats so hard that I swear it will burst any moment.

There I was, experiencing an overwhelming emotional breakdown, hiding inside my  kitchen pantry with the door closed. My chest feels tight and I am consumed with feelings of shame while I devour a bag of my favorite chocolate chips. 

I take a deep breath. I have to stop. Someone will surely find me and I don't know what to say. I carefully fold up top of the bag of the remaining chocolate chips. My face still hot and my heart still racing, I look for a place to hide the evidence. If I just sit it up on that top shelf behind the appliances...

This sounds like the story of some emotionally tortured person haunted by their relationship with food.

Can you relate to this? Have you ever found yourself sneaking into the refrigerator late at night? Are there times in your life where you felt like a treat or certain food was a scarce? Did you try to eliminate it for so long that when you finally gave in you felt a need to hoard it? 

I know what this is like because this is my story. I would love to tell you this was me 30 or 40 years ago and that I've overcome my unhealthy relationship with food. However, since I was young, I have had this food scarcity mindset. As an adult, AN ADULT, I have found myself hiding in a closet, pantry, or car, trying to out eat the shame that sits in my core. 

Sometimes that I've been great at managing my food cravings. I have distracted myself and using my best coping tools to overcome the urge to hoard.  But then other times I find myself dazed and filled with guilt and shame with what I have eaten.

I restrict and binge or may even punish myself. It feels torturous. 

(*The following are examples of my own journey and are not meant to exemplify anyone else's journey's with food or the companies I mention. We are all on our own journey.*)

I was a Weight Watchers member and leader for nearly 10 years. When I stopped following the Weight Watchers program I ate a real slice of cheese.  I seriously cried.

Tears filled my eyes when I ate a peanut butter sandwich with real peanut butter (instead of the powdery stuff mixed with water) with normal homemade strawberry freezer jam. I had missed those foods so much. For 10 years I had barely eaten a bite.

I then moved to a restrictive OA/Bright Line Eating program where all flour and sugars, some nuts, all dried fruits, and all processed foods are eliminated. 

And then one day I made some homemade sourdough bread and caved. I ate almost the entire loaf of bread. By myself. With butter. And it was delicious.

Fast forward to last year. I am finally facing the decades of my unhealthy perspective of food. Working through the demons that have haunted me for so long means allowing myself to eat what my body wants and love myself for what I look like today.

I still look back and mourn at my former self in a smaller body. I see pictures of myself and remember how unhappy I was even at my smallest. There were parts of me that I was embarrassed about even then. All those years I thought losing weight would help me love myself more. 

I have been so grateful that now I am really learn to love myself. I know that learning to love myself in a larger sized body means I am finally healing my relationship with food. I am finally changing the dialogue in my head that tells me I have more worth and value the smaller I become. I am embracing who I truly am at any size. 

I still have work to do as I unpack the decades long lies I believed about myself. Thanks to my fantastic coaches, mentors, and cheerleaders, I'm closer to feeling inner peace than I ever have been before. 

I'm challenging my automatic thoughts, digging deep into the pain, and opening up my inner wounds to allow them time to heal. It's uncomfortable but so worth it.

Peace inside yourself means developing peace in your environment and your relationship with the wonderful foods God has given you to feed and nourish you. No matter your journey, there is support and love for you to help you through it.

Reach out and we can chat about the best resources for you in your journey!

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