Stop! I want to hop off! Ending the diet-binge-loathe cycle

Post by Tahlee Rouillon for the Kind Kindred series.


print by kwornson on etsy

Stop! I want to hop off! Ending the diet-binge-loathe cycle

I have learned something incredible about myself.

My quality of health is directly proportional to the quality of my self kindness.

As someone with a long history of both ill health and body hatred, this was a revelation to me.

I used to believe that my body was constantly betraying me. Sabotaging my efforts to be thin, healthy and beautiful.

“Why can’t I lose weight and keep it off?” “Why am I always getting sick?” “Why does my body hate me?”

The answers would always come back – “Because you’re fat failure. You’ll never get what you want because you don’t deserve it. You’re worthless.”

So I decided to hate my body right back. I would punish it with extreme diets, try to “whip it into shape”, and feel full of resentment when I was sick.

Strangely enough, this bitter resentment did nothing to improve my health.

Sure, I could get my weight down if I tried. But I was still miserable when I achieved my goal because I felt I still needed to lose more. My ideal weight was never ideal enough.

And often instead of nurturing and nourishing my body during times of illness, I would turn to junk food as a source of comfort and have a binge-fuelled pity party on the couch.

Fortunately, I was blessed to find an emotional healer and mentor who helped me heal long standing issues around my disordered relationship to food and my body.

So I thought I’d share 3 insights that can help if you’re also stuck on the diet-binge-loathe cycle and would like to hop off.

Recognise your Inner Bully

We all have a critical and harsh inner monologue. We often say the most unkind things to ourselves and about our bodies that we would never say to anyone else.

Recognising that you have an Inner Bully and cultivating awareness around what they sound like helps to take a lot of its power away. You can never really get rid of your Inner Bully, but you sure can reduce the level of influence it has in your life.

First off, start to list some of the messages that your Inner Bully says. These messages will always be loaded with anxiety and criticism, sound overly harsh and above all will be super repetitive.

{NB: “You’re a fat failure” is a classic Inner Bully line for me}

Next, create a character of what your Inner Bully would look like if they were a person. Give them a name like “Miss Perfectionist” or “Anxious Alba”. Describe what they would wear and do for a living. Draw a picture of them. Make it as funny and as absurd as you like. Humour helps a lot.

Then, the next time you hear that anxious critical voice, reassure them that you are in control and then take charge. You could imagine sending them to the back seat of the car as you drive towards your dreams. You could reply “Shush now, I’ve got this”.

I like to the send my Inner Bully to a hammock to chill out by saying “Stop. Hammock time!” and then singing the MC Hammer song. (See – I told you humour helps).

Do a 180 towards your Inner Bestie

Practising kind and positive self talk can feel uncomfortable, vain and down right weird if you’ve let your Inner Bully loose for a long period of time.

But once you accept that you deserve love and compassion as much as your best friend – you can begin to alleviate much of your own suffering.

The next time you catch yourself hating on your body or yourself (Hello Inner Bully) – imagine what you would say if this experience was happening to your best friend.

What are the gracious, utterly kind, uplifting things you would say to help your bestie feel better?

Now say those things to yourself. You can say them in your mind, out loud, journal them, write them on post it notes and stick them around the house.

What are the soothing, calming, nurturing activities that you would do for your bestie who was feeling sick, sad or stuck?

Now brainstorm how can you do and give those things to yourself.

Practice Gratitude

“Have an attitude of gratitude” seems to be a prevalent axiom these days, but it is ancient wisdom that’s hung around for eons. And for good reason.

Showing true appreciation for the blessings in your life helps you to do a 180 towards joy. It turns everything you do, are and have into enough. It helps bring relief and a sense satisfaction – excellent emotions for overall wellbeing.

At the end of each day, list 5 specific things that you are super grateful for and feel the difference it makes to your attitude.

These 3 tips have been revolutionary for me. Learning to undo the damage from years of self hatred has been liberating.

I’m certainly not perfect. And there are still days when I struggle with self doubt and shame (there’s that Inner Bully again!). But I’ve learned that when I return to the practice of self kindness, each and every time, the rewards are immense.

How do you show kindness to yourself?

 

Tahlee Rouillon is the Major Instigator of The Attitude Revolution and a Fighter Pilot of Love. She helps women and men do a 180 towards a body and life they love through her Attitude Coaching practice and meditones music.

If you march over to her website you can grab a free copy of the Tactical Mood Transformer e-book, designed to help you achieve your health goals with ease + consistency. Plus there’s a great community of comrades on Facebook. Join us!

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