Spring Clean THIS !
The vibrant buzz around cleansing, detoxing, cleaning out the old and making room for the new is always a welcome energy in Spring ! Its a time to recommit to those New Years resolutions, to get rid of the winter blues and welcome the new life by shedding what doesn't " fit" anymore… In the health world, it is a time to rid the body of toxins, to start a new food plan/diet and to get back to that exercise regime…
But what if, instead of focusing soley on what we want to shift on the OUTSIDE, we started to look INSIDE- at the stories and perceptions that create the same habits we get into every year…or month…or day….or hour. What if we took a close look at the belief systems, the unwritten rules that dictate the shape of our lives and investigate how well, or NOT WELL they are working in creating a life full of joy, presence and self-love…not just in Spring but ALL YEAR LONG !
We ALL have rules and assumptions that guide our every day perceptions. If we don't uncover what they are, we continue to feed them- and they continue to control our loves.
An assumption that fed my eating disorder for years was " If I look like 'this' ( a supermodel ) I will be LOVEABLE"…and "If I don't Im UNLOVABLE". This core belief became a pattern that affected my behaviours daily. With that rule behind my happiness, I was ever searching for love, and my "body" was never good enough. I was not conscious of this hard, self destructive schema and did not realize that it was the SOURCE of the pain I inflicted on myself every day…. Waking up at 5 am to go to the gym for 2 hours before a day of high school, starving myself until I couldn't anymore, binging and purging if I did eat anything, hiding food, pretending to eat, and ending the day with 4 hours of rigorous dance lessons…all the while feeling " not enough" . This silent belief system fed the negative self talk from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. Some common thought patterns that entered my mindset daily were : You arn't doing enough, You should eat less, You're a bad person, You blew it, You aren't trying hard enough, You are defective ( too fat, wrong shape, not tall enough, too flat, too pear shaped, too muscular, not muscular enough)…and on and on.
Living at the mercy of a belief system, a pattern of rules that determine happiness or create misery is like being in prison. There is no freedom possible when the same distorted perceptions are creating the same toxic behaviours, with the same negative consequences and continuous self sabotage day after day, as gross or subtle as it may be. The pattern may show up in a relationship ending time and time again, or a lack of prosperity, a sense of feeling "alone" in the world or an eating disorder… When you are stuck in a belief system it is natural to hope things will be different tomorrow, to make a solid oath to do things differently, and to just " try harder". When you are only looking on the surface at what is going on you never really get to the source of the problem.
If you are struggling with disordered eating and you continue to focus on your weight, your shape, and your beauty, you continue to feed the lie that has you stuck. To get to the source of the distorted belief pattern, you MUST give up the DIET mentality. You must let go of the rules you have around body image, shape and beauty. You must embrace the possibility that by letting go of this obsession with WEIGHT,you will heal…for good.
INITIAL STEPS TO CLEANSE YOUR DISORDERED EATING SCHEMA :
1. Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks daily- eat something every 3 hours to start.
2. Let go of any and all "diet tricks" for good.
3. Throw away the scale.
4. Write down any negative self talk and look at the "rules" you have set in place.
5. Look in front of the mirror and tell yourself you LOVE YOU- do it until you believe it.
Letting go of a belief system takes time, patience and most of all love. Trust you are exactly where you are meant to be, that the next right step will present itself. Stay open and smile to the set backs. It is not a perfect path. Its ok to make mistakes. Awareness comes at the perfect time, in the perfect way. Your job is only to be open and to commit to living a life free of restriction, free of rules. TRUST YOURSELF.
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