I have been getting emails all day from people telling me that they overate or binged on Thanksgiving and that they hate themselves, that they are failures, that they are worthless, that they are defective, that they will never be like their cousins look or the way the women in their office look, or the way that that their mother thinks that they should look like, that they can’t stick to a diet and that there is something severely wrong with them.
This breaks my heart severely. These hate letters that women are sending to themselves.
You are not defective. You are not flawed. You are not bad. Eating or overeating or eating off your diet does not make you a bad person. It’s not like you kicked a homeless person or set fire to your neighbors house — you just ate more than you had planned to. How could you not have? It was Thanksgiving. The holiday that is centered around eating too much. Diets don’t work because diets go against human nature and basic biology. You didn’t fail at dieting, you won at being human. And your human self deserves love and kindness most of all from yourself. When you plan to restrict your food – you are sure to crack at some point. Human willpower can only go so far. And when highly palatable food is all around you, it’s very difficult not to eat it. And if you try really hard not to and you’re able to – there is a big chance that you will wind up bingeing on it or something else later. Please don’t beat yourself. Please try your best to take a breath and remind yourself that it was Thanksgiving. That you are allowed to eat. And that today, even if you ate more than you wanted to or planned to, that you can still eat. You don’t have to punish yourself by restricting or bingeing or purging. You need to eat. You don’t have to earn your meals. Eating is a basic human need.
You also don’t need to look like anyone else. As women we have been taught to relentlessly compare ourselves to other women. If we see a beautiful woman, we think to ourselves “she is beautiful – therefore that means that I am not… I should hate myself…” and when we compare ourselves to others, we fail to see what is beautiful and wonderful about ourselves. We believe that what we don’t have makes us flawed. We have all been taught that, to focus on our “perceived” flaws… by the things that make us feel separate from ourselves rather than aligned with ourselves. But what if we thought about focusing on what makes us special? What if we thought about not comparing ourselves to others (we can’t be anyone else nor should we be) and instead thinking about the amazing things that make us who we are? Even if you can focus on one thing that you like about yourself (a self-gratitude list) I think you might find some peace. It doesn’t have to be about the way that you look, it can be about who you are and what makes you feel the most like yourself. And then you might spend some time focusing on that. For instance, if you like that you are a voracious reader – spend time reading, if you like that you are a great writer, spend time writing, if you like that you are a fantastic cook, invite people over for a cooking class, if you like that you are kind, go serve food at a soup kitchen… or whatever. What I mean to say here is that it’s important for you to be you and not to try to be anyone else. And when you get in touch with what makes you you and you truly align to that – you will begin to feel embodied and be able to revel in your own authenticity rather than thinking that you’d be better off being someone else.
I hope that you all had a great long weekend. It’s already December and so my GET THROUGH DECEMBER WITHOUT BINGEING will start in the next couple of days!
And don’t miss out on my black friday sale. Purchase ANYTHING from the Recover shopping page and get 25% off when you use the code “thanksgiving” – ends Sunday night at 11:59pm. This includes the 5 Week Step-by-Step Program to Stop Binge Eating for Good.