Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Lately I've been thinking about what's real and what's perceived.
We all know that many of the things we see on social media are chosen or curated to get the ultimate response. And while sometimes we feel inspired, connected or amused, lots of times we get triggered into "compare and despair" and end up feeling like our lives, our bodies and our selves are somehow lacking. We keep scrolling through, trying to shake off the feeling, forgetting that we're seeing only only a part of a story, not the big picture. It's not a whole truth.
As a Healthy Living coach who helps women eat better, think better and feel better, I want to tell you that part of my whole truth is that I still coach myself, sometimes daily, around negative beliefs regarding body image and diet culture.
Yes, I am a wellness professional. I'm a life coach and a health coach. When you see happy pictures of me surrounded by beautiful vegetables my joy is real. I freaking love vegetables. But I'm also a woman alive in the world today. Decades of crappy and misguided messaging telling telling me that I'm not thin enough or that if I eat too much (fill in the blank with your favorite comfort food) I am "disgusting" or I have no "will power."
Remember this: "slow and steady wins the race" is an aphorism for good reason. It takes time and awareness to heal the damage done by a world that's always eager to throw you into the body-loathing abyss.
One of the main misconceptions of diet culture is that if we just "follow the rules" we will be "successful," i.e. thin, balanced and happy. But that's a lie.
If it were the truth then the diet industry would be dead and we would have saved the thousands of hours and probably thousands of dollars spent beating the sh*t out of ourselves.
My metaphor of the moment is that my mind is like a multi-burner stove. Even if I haven't yet fully removed the old, negative or painful thoughts that come popping up, I can put them on the back burner and turn down the heat. I don't have to keep them up front and constantly stir them. When thoughts like "my thighs are too effing big" or "I really should have my sh*t together by now" or "Ughhhhh. I can't believe I just ate that" pop up and try to bring me down, I can move away from the downward spiral and the ensuing bad feelings it brings.
By using the same coaching tools that I teach my clients, I'm constantly forming new habits and new neural pathways that are changing and reshaping my life.
I've learned how check in with my body to see what she wants and I tell her regularly that she's strong and capable and beautiful and freaking awesome. It doesn't always feel natural or comfortable to speak that way to myself (again, decades of misguided conditioning) but it's getting easier all the time.