When I was a child I learned it was painful to be chubby. I was teased, shamed, and in gym class picked last for any team or game. Chubby was the painful result of my unhealthy eating behaviour. My first weight-loss diet was prescribed by my family doctor at nine years young and by the time I was a teenager I’d joined Weight Watchers. I was obsessed with food and weight-loss at the tender age of thirteen when everything naturally changed – bigger hips, breasts, and curves.
The answer for me then was to count calories, workout, eat muffins, skip lunch, skip breakfast, berate myself, and on and on. At the end of the day it was always the same thing – I needed relief from the constant barrage of negative messages in my mind and I used food and television (unsuccessfully, I might add) to shut out the noise.
Some years later, while trying desperately to stop another painful behaviour, someone said five words to me that stopped me in my tracks: “Nothing changes if nothing changes”. It was so simple, but daunting. It was the beginning of the end of a behaviour that was making me desperately unhappy and self-destructive.
“Nothing changes if nothing changes” I gently remind myself today. In changing my relationship with food, and ultimately with my life, what I know is this: one permanent change can be the beginning of a miracle. The type of change I’m talking about is a shift in perception. The only change that works for me is a change in thought.
“I am lovable no matter what” is my mantra for 2013. And, if I have a day where my relationship with food is a struggle I do not berate myself. I say gently to the little girl inside me, you are lovable, you are lovable, you are lovable.
What little change can you make today towards love?