I thought I’d share a little (or a lot) about myself and some of the stuff I’m learning and doing so that I can live my best life.
I recently started going to therapy, to address my disordered relationship with food. I am an emotional eater and have been since I was a child. This relationship with food, at times, created a negative body image in my mind. I’ve worked on the body image issues in the last few years, and feel pretty good with how far I’ve come with accepting my body, in whatever size I am, at any given moment. I have realized in the last 1-2 years that just because I’ve become more accepting of my physical self, doesn’t mean I have the greatest relationship with food. I decided to enlist a therapist.
I have been to therapy before, but never for this. I believed I didn’t need the extra guidance, and that I could conquer it on my own. I also very much struggled with the fact that I actually do enjoy food, most of the time. I like going to the new restaurants (and old favourites). I enjoy meeting friends over food or coffee. I think I assumed that because I am a bit of a foodie, that I couldn’t also seek help for something I enjoy.
I’ve only just recently realized that these traits I have are separate. I did need to seek help from a third party to find out why I do what I do and how to change. I know my poor relationship with food has been holding me back from being my truest self.
I went to my first session last week, my therapist is an older man. I’ve never had a male therapist before and was a bit nervous, but we hit it off and it’s a great fit for me. I’ve already noticed some positive mental shifts since meeting with him last week.
Previously, if i had a stressful day or moment, I would tell myself to eat something “bad” because I deserved it. It would help me cope with whatever I was feeling. I would turn to food, usually something sweet and everything would be better.
After seeing the therapist, i’ve come to realize that it was the unhealthy thoughts telling me to cope with food and I never once questioned these thoughts, i just dove into the food as i was told. These thoughts stem from childhood. I have comforted myself with food, overeating when happy, sad, bored, etc. My unhealthy thoughts are childlike because they stem from my childhood, so I’ve been calling these thoughts “a little girl”. He’s got me working on “parenting” these unhealthy thoughts. An example of this would be the unhealthy thought telling me to eat a bunch of chips/cookies/insert random junk food because I had a shit day, my healthy thought needs to then parents that thought with telling it to shut the EFF up, and that I make the decision on what I want to eat, and it’s not chips right now. My unhealthy thoughts tell me to eat whatever I want because I ran that day, My healthy thought replies that I am in need of something nutritional and beneficial to get me closer to how I want to feel.
I know some people may think it’s a bit weird to talk to yourself in your head, but holy shit it has helped so much. I have unhealthy thoughts around food all day, everyday, but only once in the last week have I overate to cope with something. That is a huge accomplishment for me. My therapist gave me homework last week, it was to write down on one side of paper all the unhealthy things I found myself thinking, and then on the opposite side of the paper to write down all of the “parenting” thoughts in response to the unhealthy shit I tell myself. It was mind blowing to read the kind of shit i let myself tell myself.
I saw him just today and read him my inner dialogue that he gave me as homework and it felt so good to read them aloud. Every time an unhealthy thought has popped into my head, I have been able to catch it and parent the fuck out of it. He has helped me figure out that I am the one in control of myself. For better or worse, I am responsible for my actions. I feel better knowing that I’ve gained another tool in my mental toolbox. I know this is a life long journey, but if i can keep on showing up for myself by replacing unhealthy thoughts with healthy thoughts, I know I can do great things.
if you have any questions about the above, let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to answer.