“So how long is this going to take?”
The comforting smush of the couch in my therapist’s office invited me to sink downward.
Release. Let go.
The sensation was in direct contrast to the stiffness of my chic Bank Officer’s work wear. The button downs and navy-ness of it all never suited me. But… then again... at that particular moment… nothing felt like it suited me.
I wanted to escape my body and the life I’d somehow locked myself into as much as I wanted to stop the seemingly endless binges that plagued my evenings.
“Well,” Susan began to speak in that matter of fact way that I would soon come to appreciate, “I've been working with a young woman who'd come from an eating disorder rehab center, and after a year of our work, she considers herself recovered. You’re certainly not as bad a case as she was.”
I sucked my cheeks in and gave them a chew, a habit I’d developed some time in my 20’s that I never noticed until a childhood friend pointed it out: “when’d you start doing that? You never used to do that.”
A year seemed like an awfully long time. Too long.
But I nodded, resolve to do it faster and better settling around my shoulders. I’d soon learn that faster and better had no place on my journey, but the resolve to DO IT would remain the only thing that truly mattered in learning to listen to the language of my body.
I realize now how brilliant Susan’s answer to my question was. To learn how to erase the voices reverberating in your head, a cacophony of media and workout videos and well intentioned public figures and diet books and "should"s and "shouldn’t"s and overall food confusion…
Frankly, there’s not a “Best By” date that can be blanketly stated for each and every woman who decides to embark on such a journey.
When you’ve tried it all and you feel equally tired, unmotivated, and at war as you yo-yo diet, swinging wildly between all or nothing…
When you have felt NOT good in your body every day for as long as you can remember, feeling detached and uncomfortable in your body…
When you feel like your body is the enemy, not allowing you to eat whatever you want like the other girls can, feeling hungry when you want to be NOT hungry and out of control with food (especially around dessert and snacks)…
When you feel you swing between being so SO good or so SO bad, using exercise and restriction as a transactional measure for when you've been "BAD" and rewarding yourself for "good" behavior with a cheat day…
When you aren’t seeing the number on the scale you want to see and are beyond frustrated with the health advice, the guilt, and the body discomfort (never wanting to be in pictures or always volunteering to take the picture rather than be IN the picture)...
Have you ever stopped to think that maybe... your relationship with food and body is what's standing in the way of all the things you REALLY want for yourself?
You are a high achiever in all other areas of life: why not this?
You're smart. You're capable. You've been pretty damn great at lots of things in life.
You know you’re capable of making changes and not going back to old habits. You are ready for LASTING change. But somehow it's just not happening.
When you feel the resolve settling around your shoulders, know that you don’t need to do it faster or better. You simply need the resolve to START WHERE YOU ARE and DO IT.
This is how you learn to listen to the language of your body.
This is how you flow from fed up to well fed.