Stop beating yourself up!
Stop beating yourself up for using food as a coping mechanism. Sometimes humans need to cope, and food has been proven repeatedly to be a brilliant coping mechanism. We feel bad, we eat food, we feel better. Every time. We are brilliant to have figured this out. Why berate yourself for doing what works?
If we find we are relying on food to cope too frequently, then it can be a problem in other ways, but still no need to be harsh with ourselves. It’s simply an opportunity to explore other ways of coping, or to release some of the stressors that make us feel as though we need to cope.
Stop beating yourself up for not eating a “perfect” diet. There is no one PERFECT diet, and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. Finding what’s perfect for your health and your body takes experimentation. Let’s not trash ourselves for experimenting to see what works and what does not.
Stop beating yourself up for not having a media-approved “perfect” body. Who the fuck gave media the right to approve what is perfect and what is not? Beauty is subjective, and attraction is chemistry, often having nothing to do with our looks or our size!
Stopping negative self talk is a CHALLENGING shift because we’ve been beating ourselves up for so many perceived imperfections for so long!
Acceptance of where we are is the first step in transforming our relationship with food and body. We often choose to beat ourselves up because we are not already where we wish to be, but that’s so silly. We are learning. We are on a learning journey. We want to be kind and loving toward ourselves, just like we would be with a toddler as he’s learning to walk. As he’s finding balance, we would never scold him for stumbling, so why do we do it to ourselves?
Diet culture has taught us how NOT to eat, and how to suppress our hunger cues. It’s no wonder we get confused about what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. We are learning how to be eaters. Constantly beating ourselves up for getting it wrong only delays the process, and slows our progress.
So how do we make that mindset shift from harsh inner critic, to loyal, loving, unwavering supporter?
It takes practice, and it takes time, and awareness is key.
We cannot change anything until we become aware of it, so the trick is to catch it when it’s happening. We need to become aware that we are being harsh, in the moment we are criticizing ourselves.
Sometimes the self-criticism is very subtle. It may be an old recording that plays so constantly in the background that it has become white noise, barely audible. But once we start looking for it, we do grow our awareness, and we begin to be aware in the moment. THAT is the magic moment when we can start to shift!
Practice becoming aware when it’s happening. For many people, it’s simply a sudden feeling of being judged or disapproved of. For others, it’s hearing full sentences of disapproval and harsh judgement. It can be different for each of us, so we need to pay attention to try and catch it in the moment we are doing it.
Once we are aware in the moment that it’s happening, we can take action.
As soon as you are aware of the critic voice:
Take a nice deep grounding breath.
Choose a voice who speaks gently to you. Choose a voice you might use with someone you love, and care about, and would never criticize. Instead of criticizing yourself, choose to love yourself for being human.
It’s as simple as ABC, though it takes some practice to become aware and remember to do it in the moment. And if you don’t catch it in the moment, don’t beat yourself up.
When you do catch it with your improving Awareness – Breathe, and Choose love.
Practice cultivating awareness of when the critic is speaking.
Then take a deep grounding breath, and choose love.
Every chance you get.
Need help letting go of that harsh inner critic?
I’m leading a 21 day support group where we learn to let go of beating ourselves up! Click HERE for full details!