Soma means “body”, so it makes sense that in trying to heal our relationship with food we relate to emotions through the body, right?
Much of the common strategy out there to help with making peace with food and body image is mind based. And much of that is good. We need to think differently to have a renewed relationship with our bodies and food.
We do need to be aware and know that we are marketed to daily that thinner is inherently better (it is not and not special or a guarantee of a good life) or healthier (all chronic diseases out there exist in thin, medium and larger bodies).
We do need to challenge our biases, realize the costs of body size prejudices and how it’s a heavy burden to carry that separates us from others and makes us sicker physically and mentally.
But for nearly all of us, that is not enough.
We need to learn how to regulate our systems so that feeling feelings as we stop restricting, binging, over-working and numbing out with distractions isn’t so over-whelming that we loop back to not checking in with our needs and back to behaviors that get in our way to living a full and vital life.
Another reason I am so passionate about building up our nervous systems is to make this embodied eating process safer. I believe for so many of us, the process of not binging, worrying about health or aging or restricting brings up a lot of suppressed stuff that we can easily get overwhelmed with, not feel safe and then “check out” of the process, making learning slower than we’d like. I think this is one of the reasons higher level of care treatment is overwhelming for people and doesn’t “stick”. Our systems just get too overwhelmed and the experience is survived, not embodied.
To make the complicated simple, somatic coaching in the recovery and IE work means we get a chance to settle the fight, flight, freeze and people pleasing that is under-neath the food rules and need to earn love and worthiness with how we look. Instead of our brains spinning with ways to get the food perfect, we can settle in our bodies and be in current time so that our brains can orient to what is good and safe right now.
We get to free up vital energy to not only stay attuned to our needs for food and self-care AND have energy and space for our life. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Career or self-care. Family or taking time for oneself. Relationship with others or being only with self. We no longer must choose. We can manage both.
Finally, to get a little taste of this, I have audios in my shop that are guided audios that help you do this work on your own and include it in your recovery self-care. These and many more of these practices are included in one on one sessions as well to calm anxiety, stay grounded to make recovery decisions and wake us up from hopelessness. Done daily, they truly bring more safety to our systems.
When we feel safe, we learn and connect. Isn’t that what we thought we would get with the food in the first place? Safety, comfort, relief and connection?
Together, let’s create that regulation, relationship and trust we were born to have in our amazing, resilient bodies.
Take the first step to feeling more comfortable in your skin and eating "normally".