However, I have already heard today from a few people that the “RULES” are back in full force.
You know what I am talking about. I can’t have any of the last of the leftovers from Thanksgiving that I might want because I have to get back to being “good”. As opposed to “bad” which is the food you just ate last Thursday?
I see the diet mentality and the morality/self-punishment/rebellion that goes with it go two ways.
The first is the “Containment Rule” option.
These people harness themselves to trying to eat low-calorie to feel better about what they perceive as their flaws. The wrong (too big) body. If only I was “better/took up less space/was more perfect for my family than I wouldn’t feel bad/be criticized/be perfect. At least I am always trying to be good.
They often look at me as if I am from Mars when I suggest that they really aren’t eating healthy because eating to feel less criticized/less shame from external sources and internal self-rejection isn’t eating from honoring the nutrition needs of the body. Restricting enough calories to the body isn’t about health; it’s about the hope that a smaller body will bring safety and certainty.
The second is the “Rebellion of the Free Self” option.
These people have a part of them that wants to relent to the demands on them to “settle down and be good” with their body size and food. But they just can’t do it because they just can’t accept that others’ know better. But that is sometimes hard to just say, so they say it with food. Nothing says, screw you world, better than hiding food wrappers that can be found, not quite making a purge fully disappear or continuously, slowly or not, gaining weight. It’s saying “See me and accept it”.
So whether you are dogedly living by or rebelling against food rules or a combination of both, you have another option. It is possible to live in alignment with your needs. Your relationship with food and weight can be outside of reactions, prejudices and projections from the outside and other people’s stuff around food.
It is a matter of choosing to be aware that following or rebelling against food rules is a way you are trying to communicate your feelings about life and your needs. Know that you can use this struggle to make peace with food and use that freed up energy for what next wants your attention.
Stay posted for more on this topic; there is much more to say.
And to those who signed up for the free Holiday Eating 31 Day Email Series, I hope they provide a spark of attunement in your day. Would love to hear your feedback!