Posts in Relationship with Self
How You Know You're Done Dieting

You see now that a diet by any other name is still a diet.

Whether it’s the traditional Weight-Watchers or Jenny Craig or the nouveau Paleo or Whole30 you know that if it asks you to follow rules, if it tells you that your body’s cravings can’t be trusted, if it makes someone else the expert, if it demonizes certain foods or entire macronutrients that it’s a diet.

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Participation Optional

Even though we in the developed world are relatively free, we’re still socialized to go along with the crowd. Today’s reminder is that participation is optional. Today I invite you to opt out when you don’t want to do something.

Opt out of being weighed at the doctor’s office. Did you know it’s optional? You can simply say “I pass” and if they pressure you, and you don’t feel you have a choice, you can step on the scale backwards and say “I don’t want to know the number, it’s not useful to me.”

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Dieting is a Violent Act

I believe dieting is a violent act.

I don’t feel neutral, or calm, or indifferent about dieting. I feel quite clearly that dieting is a violent act that (predominantly) women are encouraged to perform against themselves.

I find diets to be physically violent, often leading to exhaustive cycles of weight loss and gain and sometimes insufficient calories (i.e. energy) and nutrition.

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Sola Dosis Facit Venenum

I love television.

That might be a bit taboo to say, but it’s true. I get an enormous amount of pleasure from watching my favorite shows.

And there is nothing wrong with loving television. It gives me a tremendous amount of joy, laughter, and relaxation. Put simply, it feeds me. Most of the time. I can also use TV as a tool for avoiding life when checking in, not out, is would serve me most. A while back I noticed my viewing habits detracting more than helping and no surprise my first thought was “I’m going to just give up TV. Go cold turkey. Block Netflix from my computer. Commit to reading a book a week....” Yes, my initial response was to go on a diet. But the problem for me in this case wasn’t television, but the amount and the way I was using television.

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Sacred Ground

Growing up just outside Washington, DC resulted in my childhood having it’s fair share of visits to historical sites, such as Civil War battlefields, like Gettysburg.

If you’ve ever been to a memorial site, especially one where great loss actually took place, you know that you can feel it. What you’re standing on at these places is sacred ground and each has a powerful energetic fingerprint. Perhaps you’ve felt it while visiting the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, Auschwitz in Poland, or The Killing Fields Museum in Cambodia.

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In Praise of Awkward Toddlersds

As a child, if I couldn’t be assured that I’d do something right the first time, I didn’t even want to try at all. The result of this fearful stance was that I didn’t learn to swim (until I nearly drowned and my parents insisted) or to ride a bike (I’m still working on this).

What I’m talking about is the resistance we feel to being less-than-masterful at anything. We loathe performing awkwardly, even though this is a precursor to doing anything more gracefully.

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Terms of Endearment

I want to show you something. There’s this amazing transformation I’ve been witness to. I wish I could show it to you. What I want to capture is what happens to a woman’s face, body, and whole being when I ask her to identify a meaningful and resonate term of endearment for herself.

As part of some retreats that I’ve lead, after delving into our inner critic, I have each woman identify and share a name for herself that elicits love, safety, and adoration.

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Vitamin P

Pleasure is a food group.

We need servings of it every single day. And most of us aren’t getting it. We’re malnourished of Vitamin P. We’re actually starving for pleasure. By taking care of everyone else. By striving to be loved, liked, approved of, to be the ‘good’ girl, to be the ‘bad’ girl. By seeking to numb ourselves and distract from what's here. It’s exhausting, we're exhausted, and all this clouds out pleasure. We don’t receive pleasure when we do ‘shoulds’, have ‘to do’s, or when we try to fit in, suck it up, suck it in.

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