My inner judge constantly criticizes my actions, body, food, clothes, etc and I'm putting a stop to this self-hatred.
Here are the strategies I'm using:
- Emotional Freedom Technique
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
- Bach Flower Remedies (there's one for believing you're inherently flawed)
- Using Geneen Roth's ideas to be gentle with myself
When my inner critic makes comments such as "I'm not nearly as thin as I used to be" I respond with things like, "And that is not important." I don't want to fight with it, insult it or try to deny that it's telling the truth. I just need to take the sting out of the comment.
When I start to restrict food by thinking, "I really want a cheeseburger, but I should just have the beef patty and some vegetables," I now let myself have the cheeseburger.
And later, if the inner critic thinks, "I shouldn't have had that cheeseburger," I think back, "It's okay. I deserve to have whatever I want. A cheeseburger won't kill me."
I am unseating the inner critic. It's no longer in the front seat. Now it's in the back seat and when it pipes up, I dismiss its self-loathing statements. I'm discovering that if I truly allow myself to eat whatever I want with no judgment and no payback, I don't want to eat everything in the world. My appetite might actually be trustworthy!
The Exercise: relax my entire abdominal section completely, no matter where I am or what I'm doing or how many people can see me. Breathe into my belly three times, letting it expand fully, knowing it's okay no matter it's size. Know my belly is the center of my being and it knows what my body needs and it will guide me to what I really want to eat, if I listen to it. (Yesterday I wanted a shake, but I stopped and checked in with my stomach and knew I'd be in pain if I did it. So I peacefully declined.)
I'm starting to trust my appetites and desires. Staying in tune with my stomach, I know exactly when to start and stop eating and what to eat. I'm doing less eating that gives me a stomach ache later.
This is just a quick summary of what I've been working on extremely hard. Geneen Roth's books have been critical to these shifts and I highly recommend any of her books (she has several). I particularly like this quote:
Our relationship to food is a microcosm of all that we learned about loving and being loved, about our self-worth. It is the stage upon which we reenact our childhood. If we were abused, we will abuse ourselves with food. The degree to which we are violent, abusive, self-punishing is in proportion to the degree of violence, abuse, and punishment we received. We learned how to do it by having it done to us.
- Geneen Roth, When Food Is Love
To everyone who is dealing with these issues, here we go. We can do this.
WARNING: Following Geneen Roth, I put on 50 pounds that I never lost. Don't do it.
-updated 28 Feb. 2018