Food, Dieting & Love

Food, dieting & love

As a young girl growing up I learnt early on to associate my lovability with my body shape, size and appearance.  If I was thin, I was loveable, if I was not, then nothing mattered, life was useless, you see a part of me believed that perhaps I was destined to be alone.

When this happened I consoled and comforted myself with food ~ the beginnings of a vicious and painful cycle!

This pattern played out with me for many years and in many ways.  In order to be happy I would have to be thin so that a man would love me so that I had a sense of self, a sense of self worth.

This required me to control, to restrict myself (because I could not be trusted) and when I did not (which was more often than not), I turned to food uncontrollably yet again.

This pattern I had created simply validated the thoughts that I was useless plus the internal questioning of ‘What’s the point anyway?’.

Within a short time, food became my lover!  I had discovered a false sense of safety in food, you see food never judged me, it never questioned me, it never made me feel anything other than full… which is what I longed for – the fullness of love!

Sadly the truth was that the over fullness of bingeing lead to feelings of guilt, shame, excessive weight which I turned to food to stuff down, and ultimately, prolonged the suffering and aloneness.

Exposing this pattern has been the greatest gift of my life.

To see where this pattern arose: both from my family dynamic, plus the cultural conditioning of what a women should be was indeed liberating as I began to question the validity of whether the beliefs I had taken on and held while growing up where true….

Of course I discovered they were not!

They were just thoughts a little girl had decided upon as a result of her life’s experiences.

What I found to be true was that my sense of self, my lovability was not dependent upon the external, was not dependent another or how I looked, rather it came from within, from the internal.

As this unfolded, what unfolded alongside was a growing sense of self, self belief and self worth as I honoured and loved myself more.

I now realise I am valuable, I am worthy, I am lovable and that I do not have to make myself anything other than what I am to please another or gain a sense of self.

The other benefit of this is that it led me to begin to trust myself and trust my body to the point where I now allow my body, my being to guide my decisions around food.

The result has been that my body weight has naturally fallen into its perfect state of being, vitality and health.

This is just one story, my story.  I have seen this play out in many different and varying degrees with women I have worked with.

So I ask you…  What is your story, how is it you have linked your sense of self and lovability with your image and how another views or values you?

How is it you have used food and exercise to manipulate or fulfil these underlying and perhaps unconscious beliefs that drive compulsive or uncontrollable behaviours with food?

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Jane Caulfield 

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