So much of eating disorders is fueled by focusing on the negative. By negative, I mean what we don’t have. There is always this sense of “I would be better if i were thinner, if I had more money, if I had a boyfriend, if I had a baby, if I had new car, if I had a nose job, if I had a big house, if I were popular, if I had better clothes…” etc. etc.
When Zen Buddhist Monks work toward detachment, they practice detaching from their wants. When we attach to our wants so vehemently, we leave little space for enjoying what we have. This causes a great deal of suffering. “I am sad because I don’t have __________________ (fill in the blank).”
The problem here is that when you obsess on what you don’t have, you will never be happy. There will always be something that you don’t have. This doesn’t mean not to have goals and aspirations. This doesn’t mean to settle. This means that you can love yourself and enjoy your life as you’re working toward your goals. You can’t wait to enjoy your life.
A great practice is spending a few minutes each morning having some gratitude for what you do have. Some people make a morning practice of writing a gratitude list. This helps to bring the focus away from what you don’t have toward what you do have.
For instance, rather than, I hate my body, I should be thinner. “I am grateful for a body that works.”
Rather than, I wish I could afford to buy a house. “I am grateful to have a home to live on and I can make it into the home that I choose it to be.
You know the drill!