A holiday detox may not be what you believe it to be. This is a tough time of the year for anyone that may be struggling with body image issues and/or any disordered eating as food is abundant and that means so are self-critical thoughts. The important thing to understand is food and your body are not the issue. Rather what you believe about yourself and what you tell yourself internally is.
It is very easy during a challenging emotional time to focus on your surface body and food as the enemy. After all, this has been a challenging relationship for a long time. A time like this is when old thoughts and habits of detoxes and cleanses and diet mentality come flooding back. It is pervasive in our culture to believe that the body somehow is not okay and balanced as it is and that it somehow cannot take care of itself internally but that we have to manipulate it in some way to have it fit into what others want it to be or believe it should be. This is where the idea of food as an enemy and detaching from your body gets reinforced. What would happen with your relationship with food if you could trust your body from the inside out? If you could trust that if you normalized this relationship, balanced it in some way, that your body would also find it’s natural balance? I understand trust in your body is a very scary idea. Fear and mistrust have been there for so long it has become a habit. I tell all my clients that just like any new relationship, it takes time to build this trust. You have to meet your body and food for the first time again. You have to meet it through a door of curiosity and understanding for what it has been through so far. Food and especially your body never meant to cause you any harm. As a matter of fact, your body is trying to call you back home if you listen within. What is needed is developing a real relationship not one based on your surface appearance but rather your internal self-connection.
To move away from toxic thoughts, you need to re-connect with your body in a new way through a new self-understanding about it. I offer a self-reflection practice in my book called Developing a Real Relationship with My Body, it is a self-compassionate practice that explores the history and understanding of your body to keep you moving forward. Answer the questions honestly, not based on weight or look, but rather on freedom and strength. A couple of the questions are below:
1) When was the last time I felt free and easy in my body? Do I ever feel that way now?
2) At what point in my life can I remember feeling most strong and healthy in my body? Where was I? How old? What was I doing? Who was I with?
These are a couple of the questions from the practice. To read more see the information below on my book, Befriending Your Body: A Self-Compassionate Approach to Freeing Yourself From Disordered Eating
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