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When we listen to the needs of our bodies, eat nurturing, healthful foods when we are hungry and stop when we are satisfied, we settle into our natural weight. Our natural weight isn’t fat, nor is it skinny. So, thus the conundrum, many women (and men) find their natural weights displeasing.

Why?

As we all know, the media portrays certain unrealistic body types as desirable, but why is it that some people are susceptible to that kind of pressure? Is it that we feel inherently unacceptable at the core, so that the ideal matches our own feelings of self?

Body image and self esteem issues arise when somehow you feel that you won’t be acceptable until you look a certain way, have achieved a certain status, goal, body weight, salary, etc. When you are at that goal, you are finally acceptable and are thus allowed to be happy. So, you check in to see if you’ve achieved that goal yet and then, if you have you check and see if you’re allowed to be happy. This is a task of sisyphusian proportions because clearly, (and hopefully) there are always more goals to achieve.

What would it be like if you were able to be happy at this moment?

That certainly doesn’t mean that you will have to put off any of your goals, it just means you will have more love behind you than hate and criticism. It’s easier to move when you are being gently encouraged than when you are being whipped, yelled at, berated.  And if you need a rest, you take a rest.

How do you change from a heavy handed iron first super-ego to an encouraging ego that helps you on your way?

#1. do things that make you happy.

#2. listen to the words that you tell yourself (I must, I must, I must), forget about must and move over to “when I am able to…”

#3. Put encouraging words, mantras, etc. up in your bathroom, on your refrigerator, etc. ie: on the fridge “Treat yourself to something wonderful and relaxing, like a bubble bath, you deserve it.” on the bathroom mirror, “you are beautiful.” And remember you are okay the way you are.

#4. Volunteer. Check out a website like volunteer match that will help you to get out of your routine and your mindset.

#5. Visualize yourself accepting your body no matter what it looks like. Feel what it would be like to love your body. It’s much easier to treat your body right (to eat right and exercise) when you love and respect your body).

Many people with EDs are afraid of self acceptance because they fear that this will lead to slovenliness and thea tthye will have no control withou the harsh superego. But it’s the harshness that leads to the pain and paralysis. Just imagine how much quicker you’d be able to run up the hill if you didn’t have that gigantic rock to push.

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Most recent quote from community member: "Unbelievable progress. I had a slice of cake, wasn't that fussed about it and moved on. Cake is just cake! I never thought I'd get to this place. I keep thinking back to an earlier meditation when all the negative energy left down through my feet. That was really powerful. I'm planning to play it again. I've also drawn up a weekly meal plan of healthy balanced meals. This just helps to give me a bit of guidance and planning and eliminates any need for impulsive decisions when I often feel stressed after work. Amazing, thank you so much. I always hoped for hope, but n ow I feel like I'm living hope! I'm so grateful Leora. Thank you."