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Have you ever stood in front of a mirror and criticized your body? Maybe pinched your stomach or looked at your thighs and thought, “If only my stomach was flatter, or my thighs were leaner…”
Have you ever walked by a window on the street and glanced at yourself, only to suck in your stomach or cringe and think, “Ugh, you’re so fat, so ugly, so x,y,z…”?
Have you ever thought, “If only my body was x,y,z, life would be better,” or “If only I could fix my belly, thighs, boobs, arms, chin, etc., I’d be happy…”?
Do you struggle with your health, your weight, your relationship to food and/or body and wish that there was something or someone who could just fix it?
These are just a few of the thoughts that go through the average woman’s head every day. The woman’s brain is one complex machine and it’s time that we learn how to harness that power and strength for good rather than self-deprecation and misery…
A “Fixing” Culture
Our culture has pretty much set women up to fail for the last 60+ years. We live in a world that has become obsessed with dieting as a way to “control” the mind and body.
(Unfortunately, biology has something different to say about “control,” but I’ll save that for a different post.) 🙂
Everywhere we turn, we are promised a new “fix” and
99.9% 100% of the time it’s a superficial fix that will last for a day, week, or month (if you’re “lucky”).
It’s a new diet, a new pill, a new superfood, a new supplement. All packaged up with grand promises and unicorn sprinkles that THIS will FINALLY be the “fix” you need…
Did you know that over 95% of women who have been polled in North America are dissatisfied with their body and their weight?
That’s a pretty powerful statistic when you realize that it means 9 out of 10 women you know are in a relationship with their body that is based on hate.
In any given week when you poll women, over 80% are on some sort of diet.
Yet, the majority of people who lose weight on a diet gain it back (and then some) within a year. When you do a meta-analysis of all the research on weight loss and diets, you will see that almost ALL people (98%-99%) who lose weight on a weight loss diet GAIN IT BACK (and then some in many cases).
When asked, approximately 4 out of 10 girls, ages 5-7 years old, will say “I’m on a diet.”
Where did they get that idea? Why are little girls, who should be playing, growing, and developing without a care, feeling the need to diet? Umm, they get it from that 80% of women who, when polled above, said they are on a diet. And then, there’s the media…
Our young children are starting their distorted, dysfunctional relationship with food and body at a shockingly young age. This is a silent epidemic because it tears at the deepest level of our hearts and souls as girls and women. It affects our health and it affects who we are in the world.
When we have a world of disempowered women, the world simply cannot progress in the way that it should.
(Info above via my instructor, Marc David, from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.)
It’s Time for a New Paradigm
It’s obvious that what we have been doing as a culture regarding weight and body has not worked. We have not failed the diets, the diets have failed us.
Diet culture has failed us.
We need to change what we are doing and start exploring new ideas. And today, I’ve got a radical new idea for you to try on and explore:
This is a hard one, trust me. I get it. I have been a fixer my entire life and it’s only been in the last year that I have finally released my death grip on my mission to fix myself.
The topic of “fixing” is one that I am pretty passionate about. A long time ago, I remember one of my favorite food and body peace activists, Geneen Roth, saying:
“What would life be like if you stopped trying to fix yourself?”
Those words really made me stop and think.
I have spent a large chunk of my life trying to “fix” myself.
I was trying to “fix” my weight (I was too fat), my health (I was too sick), my looks (I wasn’t pretty enough), my personality (I wasn’t outgoing, or popular, or blah, blah blah, enough).
Essentially, I was trying to “fix” my whole being.
But why? Why do I need fixing? And why do YOU need fixing?
We are humans. We have a soul and a heart. We are not a car or a house or a computer that breaks.
The idea that we need to “fix” ourselves leads to an overarching belief that we, as a human, are broken. This is an idea that is perpetuated by society. It’s in the messages we see every day on TV, in movies, in music, in magazines.
We are a society that loves “quick fixes” for weight loss, health, sexual dysfunction, relationships, and more. We have become disembodied and disempowered from the messages that we have heard our whole life. Messages that, from an early age, give us the impression that we, as we are right now, are not enough.
I’m here to tell you…
We don’t need fixing. We are not broken. What we need is higher consciousness. More awareness. More connection. More love. Reconnecting with God and my spirituality was by far one of the most important things that I have done in this journey.
Growth and evolution can and will happen if you let it, but that’s not the same as “fixing”. It’s a transformational process that simply building upon the amazing person that is already there.
Remember, you are enough just like you are. Right here, right now. Every challenge, every life experience, every issue that comes up in our life is a gift. It’s an opportunity to learn something.
Even chronic illness and eating disorders (or disordered eating), however challenging it can be at times, can serve as a great teacher for our life.
This thought that I needed fixing for so many years led me to believe that I was indeed a broken being. And until I was “fixed”, my life needed to stay on hold because I would never be able to live up to my unrealistic expectations until I was “good enough” to do so.
I have come to realize that I am not broken, I don’t need fixing, and putting my life on hold leads to a wasted life.
Changing the belief that I am broken is not easy. It’s something I still work on every day. I have a long blog post about this that I am currently writing. More on that to come soon, but for now, I would like to ask you:
“What would life be like if you stopped trying to fix yourself?”
What would that look like for you? What kind of space would that open up? What kind of life would present itself?
It’s definitely a question worth pondering.
What to Do If You’re a “Fixer”
If you are a “fixer”, have no fear, you are not alone. Fixing is a habit that can be changed. It’s a mindset that has become so ingrained into the dark reaches of our psyche that it feels like the truth. But when brought into the light, you discover that there is no truth in the belief at all. It’s just another line of bullsh** that we’ve been fed.
The very first thing we can do to stop fixing and start thriving is to cultivate awareness around the idea.
This takes time. It takes some practice. It takes some willingness to dig inside a little and evaluate your desire to fix yourself. This idea goes against pretty much everything we’ve been taught as women and girls. It can be a little painful. But it can also be intensely liberating.
If you are a fixer and feeling a bit overwhelmed with life, health, food, and/or body, maybe it’s time to reach out for some help. There’s nothing wrong about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or you’re broken. It means you’re ready to grow and take your life to the next level. It means you’re ready to have a mentor by your side, cheering you on, and encouraging you to go the distance.
If you’ve been struggling with your relationship to food and body and are ready to tune into your body wisdom, I would love to help. Whether you’re dealing with binge eating, overeating, yo-yo dieting, body shame/hate, or a combination of the above, know that these symptoms are holding a deeper message for you.
Come join my 7-day Food & Body Freedom eCourse (it’s free!) here. This eCourse came from my passion for helping women transform their relationships to food and body. What you desire IS truly possible if you are ready, open, and willing. It is time to say goodbye to the years of control, compulsive behaviors, limiting beliefs, scarcity of joy, and actions driven from a place of fear and feelings of unworthiness, once and for all. Learn more and sign up here.