It’s a mistake to think that eating disorders are all about body image – or even that “body image” is all there is to talk about regarding our relationships to our bodies.
In fact, in many ways, I feel the issue of body image is a distraction for the true issue, which, as I see it, is: we have been given one body this lifetime – this body is our vehicle for accomplishing everything we want in the world. It is our vehicle for helping, for loving, for working (which is one key way of loving), and for becoming out true selves.
The question is, how are we going to treat this body?
Are we going to use it to distract us from life and from our so-called “problems” by over-stimulating our senses?
Are we going to use it to punish ourselves for what we believe we’ve done wrong? Or the ways in which we feel undeserving?
Or are we going to use it as a vehicle for self-love?
What does it mean to love myself?
It means to see and truly accept that I am here for a reason – that I have a divine purpose in this world. My life is meaningful, and what I do with it will make a difference in the world. I honor that the world, the universe, and life itself want me to be happy. They have given me the raw materials to be happy, and now it’s my turn to make something of those raw materials.
And yet, in order to really become the most brilliant, inspiring version of me – I need to care for my body as the most precious gift that it is.
Here’s the thing: there exists a way to take care of the body so well that our experience of living in a body becomes weightless – transparent.
As if our soul is just shining through with zero impediments, so unobstructed is the physical form.
To get there absolutely does include being very aware of what we put into our bodies.
After all, this is the fuel – the fuel that will siphon energy into whatever it is we wish to create. Are we burning clean fuel? Are we burning dirty fuel? Are we being honest about what kind of fuel we are putting into our bodies, day in and day out?
This is actually a major mindset shift.
We’ve been taught to use food emotionally, without ever being taught that if we use food in this way, we will inevitably clog up our fuel metabolizing system.
For some of us, we are in no rush to live our fullest potential. We may feel ok living a mediocre life (but do we, really?), or we just aren’t sure what our true potential is yet. For those of us who are ready to take off, fueling our bodies in a clean and efficient way becomes key. It can make or break our performance in our lives and out in the world.
Here’s another thing: this has nothing to do with body image as we have been taught to perceive it.
- I don’t stand on a scale. I know that if I feed my body its cleanest fuel, and care for it in the most responsible ways I know how, I don’t need an external measurement of my body.
- I am not trying to reach a certain goal weight. This hasn’t felt relevant for me, and in fact, has acted as an impediment to my commitment to fuel my body in the most efficient and clean way possible.
This is a whole new take on relationship to our bodies – and it comes straight from a whole new take on our lives. If we see ourselves as important players in the future of this planet, in the standard of life for generations to come, in the quality of wisdom and spiritual connection our children’s children are going to have passed down to them – we start to take our lives, and our relationships to our bodies, seriously.
This doesn’t mean staying within the markers of “health” based on our western medical system, or any medical system.
It’s about optimal performance. Doing my best.
Living in integrity.
Here’s a confession, and if you’ve read my blogs, listened to my podcasts, and watched my videos, you already know this: it’s taken a long time and a hellacious journey through eating disorders and obsession with nutrition to get to where I am at today. It’s been a slow process, and I’ve tried on different ways of seeing this whole monster of food, eating and nutrition – along the way.
And here’s one thing I have learned:
Health, weight loss and kicking of addictions won’t happen if we are doing them for the wrong reasons.
I.e. trying to look like the magazine cover model, buying into others’ ideas of how we should look, competition, compensation for deep feelings of lack of self-worth, guilt and shame –
These are the wrong reasons.
These all send us into spirals of negative emotions and negative emotions are what fuel addictions.
So, if you struggle with binge eating, first ask yourself:
How do I look at my life?
In my heart of hearts, do I believe that I am here with a divine mission?
Do I believe that how I choose to live my life will inevitably have an impact on others, and that I have the power to make an incredibly significant positive difference?
If the answer is no, that’s wonderful news – because now you know where you stand. You are now aware that you do not see these things as truths, yet. And, I don’t want you to take them as the truth just because I said so. I want you, instead, to search in your heart of hearts to see what your truth is.
Only don’t settle for unclear messages and half-truths. Search the depths, every day, every night, every opportunity you have, until you find your truth.
Then, live it.