Years ago, I had no interest in proper nutrition or fueling my body for good health.
I didn’t care how different foods made me feel, and I especially didn’t worry about ingesting boatloads of artificial ingredients.
I only cared about being thin.
I only cared about getting the weight off (one more time).
I hated my body for betraying me over and over again; like an enemy I had no control over.
I was afraid of most real food for its potential to make me fat.
I spent my life searching for the perfect diet, steeling myself to stick to it, “failing” at it–once again proving to myself how useless and undeserving I was, and starting all over again.
With that I went from being a kid just out of elementary school, who never had any issues with weight gain or food, and landed three decades later clinically obese.
Where did I go wrong?
As a kid, I felt like I didn’t fit in; like something was wrong with me. So I did what any logical person would do to correct this—I lost weight. All the ads in the magazines and on TV couldn’t be wrong … could they?
WOW—on so many levels, wow. Such a seemingly innocent decision that turned into decades of pain, and ultimately took a huge toll on me, physically and spiritually.
Physically, from eating so much processed diet “food” I was not getting the nutrients my body needed. Between that and the constant stress of yo-yo dieting, I developed stomach and skin problems. And as my weight continued to go up, I became more uncomfortable moving around in my body.
But the more profound issue: I hated myself. I was awash with complete self-loathing every day, and with every bite I did or did not take.
Unfortunately, many people share this sentiment. It seems to be commonplace and acceptable in our society to shower our own selves with hate.
You know what is not acceptable in our society, maybe even against the law? Bullying, and physical and verbal abuse to others. Yet many of us inflict these things on ourselves daily. We become divided against ourselves, separate and unacceptable. We become split; broken.
For me, the pain of feeling so broken all the time finally became greater than the pain of being overweight. My negative feelings about my body, and about the means to sustain it (food), kept me for decades from feeling peaceful and whole. I had no idea of the depth of this until I quit dieting. Things had to change, and it began with repairing these two very important relationships.
I am grateful that I found a whole food style of eating that works for me, allowing me to release the excess weight and heal my ailments. But that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t first made peace with food and my body–and as it turns out that was the real gift. The peace I found there spread into all areas of my life—I became whole.
Our inner world reflects our outer world. Peace on earth starts inside each one of us. Don’t let dieting, and all the self-inflicted pain that comes with it, rob you of the richness of being alive as a human, here on this fascinating and amazing planet.
Gwen is a Reiki Master and Emotional Balance Practitioner, Certified Holistic Health Educator, author, blogger, and green juice connoisseur who is passionate about supporting others to lead more peaceful and joyful lives, with a special focus on helping women release the cycle of chronic dieting and make peace with food and body. Gwen lives in Newburyport, MA where she writes about how everyday events can lead to transformation if we only pay attention.