Paralyzing Obsession with Body Image…Defeated.
There were many years where my obsession with the way I looked took over my life, corrupting my relationships and destroying my ability to "connect" with myself and the world around me in a healthy way. At nine years old in my pink ballet tights ready to go on stage, comparing myself to the dancer with smaller legs, longer hair…and a sense of confidence I admired. At 13, waking up and falling asleep in self loathing because I had gained 15 pounds in 2 weeks and the boy I liked had cheated on me with someone who "was skinnier, more attractive, and prettier than I". Then at 19, finding exercise bulimia and purging -being at my lowest weight…still hating myself- I should be better.… Then at 23 - binging, purging, had lost my period for months at a time….hating my thighs, wishing I had better tone in my arms, a flatter stomach, smarter, stronger, taller…and on and on it went….
It didn't matter WHAT I looked like..it was never about that…I didn't FEEL good enough…I was never ENOUGH.
Sure outside influences and media supported unhealthy, unrealistic, and unattainable ideals…but what it came down to,was the THINKING I had grown up with and the loneliness I was experiencing as a result of the lack of connection with the world. My mantra's were: "I could do better. I would try harder.Im not good enough. I won't be loved."
This kind of black and white thinking was the only thing I knew…
It was exaughsting never being enough, and never "measuring up".
But then- I woke up.
There was a gift that was brought to me…words of wisdom at that time I will never forget…" you must surrender to body you were given- the gift of this precious temple that is only yours. When you stop trying to control it, you will find your true self".
SURRENDER. I wanted that. I needed that. I was ready- finally.
…..This snapped me out of my delusional mind and brought me back to reality- to the reality that where I was living in my body obsession -was a PRISION . That as long as I DECIDED to stay in that place, was as long as I would be cut off from the world - for good. That regardless of outside influences and media illusion- I had to decide what kind of life I wanted to live. I had to bring in the compassion that had been missing from my life,and I had to begin the process of loving myself- all of myself.
I had to get honest.
I had to quit blaming the world around me.
I had to make a decision that I wanted to get WELL- regardless of my weight and shape…that I was WORTH living for and that it was my CHOICE. Most importantly, I had to let go of what I wanted to look like and trust that what I WAS, was good enough. This was a process- and I was now fully IN IT!
WHAT NEXT? ….
1. I made a commitment to work with someone who had fully recovered and had the tools I needed to be there also.
2. I re-committed daily, hourly and sometimes by the minute to freedom around weight and shape- this meant talking about my thoughts and using CBT process to shift the distorted views.
3. I threw away the scale- this is HUGE. Just- throw away the scale.
4. I committed to a food diary- nope, not a diet, not even a food plan at this point- but a food diary. This is where I clocked how I was feeling and what was going on at eating episodes- and shared this with my mentor…changed everything!
5. I started practicing yoga and simple mindfulness techniques THROUGHOUT my day. I learned how to pair this with my thinking so that I could actually get back into my body using these techniques.
6. I changed the way I spoke to myself. Now phrases like " sweetie, be gentle, you are doing great", were common in my day.
7. I let go of perfectionism and acknowledged how far I had come, every day.
8. I learned to understand what I was EATING for…and what was EATING me. I no longer needed to punish myself with food- or lack thereof.
9.I looked in the mirror daily and said, " I love you Shelley Ugyan"..until I believed it.
10. I took my inner child out to PLAY- galleries, movies, beach walks…I made an effort to BE in life and LOVE myself for doing it.
And I asked myself daily…
" What must I give more death to today in order to generate more life? What do I know should die but I am hesitant to allow to do so? What must die in me in order for me to love? What not-beauty do I fear? Of what use is the power of the not-beauty in me today? What should die today? What should live? What life am I afraid to give birth to? If not now…when?" - Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I have fully recovered from Problematic Eating.
I have been completely FREE of the obsession for 10 years.
I followed some basic steps and showed up on days when I didn't have the willingness. I am ready to share that with you. You too can recover- FULLY- FOR LIFE! Please join us, if you are ready to heal. Our next online journey together begins in August and we would love to have you.
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You deserve to live the juiciest life possible- don't settle.
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