Bingeing is such an emotionally frenetic activity that no other concerns can exist in the same space. It is a hell that people who are food-sensitive are familiar with; and, because it is known, it is therefore not so terrifying as some of the problems that are outside our control. Problems like divorce, illness, death.
It matters whether you see yourself as someone who is capable of effecting change or whether you see yourself as someone whose voice does not count. It matters whether you treat yourself with reverence or with carelessness. Every bit of work you do on yourself matters. Every time you choose love, it matters.
We need to build our friendships on truth and wholeness. We need friends who can be with us in our loneliness, not people who will cheer us up so that we don’t feel it. We need friends who get furious with us when we are not being real or true to ourselves, not when we don’t do what they want us to do.
. . . hell is wanting to be somewhere different from where you are. Being one place and wanting to be somewhere else . . . . Wanting life to be different from what it is. That's also called leaving without leaving. Dying before you die. It's as if there is a part of you that so rails against being shattered by love that you shatter yourself first.
Our work is not to change what you do, but to witness what you do with enough awareness, enough curiosity, enough tenderness that the lies and old decisions upon which the compulsion is based become apparent and fall away. When you no longer believe that eating will save your life when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed or lonely, you will stop. When you believe in yourself more than you believe in food, you will stop using food as if it were your only chance at not falling apart. When the shape of your body no longer matches the shape of... Read more »
Ask yourself if you are in this for the long run-if it's only your weight you want to change or if you are willing to use your eating patterns as a portal to the inner universe. And if the answer is the latter, then there is no end to what you can learn, be, understand, become.
Staying requires being curious about who you actually are when you don't take yourself to be a collection of memories.When you don't infer your existence from replaying what happened to you, when you don't take yourself to be the girl your mother/father/brother/teacher/lover didn't see or adore. When you sense yourself directly, immediately, right now, without preconception, who are you?
When we give up dieting, we take back something we were often too young to know we had given away: our own voice. Our ability to make decisions about what to eat and when. Our belief in ourselves. Our right to decide what goes into our mouths. Unlike the diets that appear monthly in magazines or the thermal pants that sweat off pounds, unlike a lover or a friend or a car, your body is reliable. It doesn't go away, get lost, stolen. If you will listen, it will speak.
I think we all have a hunger that's hard to name. A lot of people who come to my retreats have never named it before, or else they've named it in church, but they can't actually see the connection between what they're doing with food and this yearning. I call it "the flame" that they have: They yearn for big answers to live a big life. But they have to start with the most basic fears.
Our relationship with food -- how, when, what and why we eat -- is a direct expression of our underlying feelings, thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. It has to do with stances we take that get reflected not only in our relationship with food, but in all our relationships. It just so happens that the relationship with food causes enough conflict, grief, shame and hurt that we're willing to look at it.
Diets are based on the unspoken fear that you are a madwoman, a food terrorist, a lunatic…The promise of a diet is not only that you will have a different body; it is that in having a different body, you will have a different life. If you hate yourself enough, you will love yourself. If you torture yourself enough, you will become a peaceful, relaxed human being.
I believe in love. And beauty. I believe that every single person has something they find beautiful and that they truly love. The smell of their child's hair, the silence of a forest, their lover's crooked grin. Their country, their religion, their family. And I believe that if you follow this love all the way to its end, if you start with the thing you find most beautiful and trace it's perfume back to its essence, you will perceive an intangible presence, a swath of stillness that allows the thing you love to be visible like the openness of the... Read more »
No matter where you go, no matter how many gifts you give and receive this holiday season, unless you are actually present, it all flies by as if in a dream. Satisfaction in anything--a meal, an interaction, a gift, a sunset--depends on your willingness to take it in. Breathe. Feel your arms and your legs. You are allowed to love every little thing about yourself and your life. You are allowed to take up space and be all that you are. Really you are.
When you believe in yourself more than you believe in food, you will stop using food as if it were your only chance at not falling apart. When the shape of your body no longer matches the shape of your beliefs, the weight disappears. And yes, it really is that simple.
And if you worry that not finishing the food on your plate is a slap in the face of all the hungry people everywhere, you are not living in reality. The truth is that you either throw the food out or you throw it in, but either way it turns to waste. World hunger will not be solved by finishing the garlic mashed potatoes on your plate.
For some reason, we are truly convinced that if we criticize ourselves, the criticism will lead to change. If we are harsh, we believe we will end up being kind. If we shame ourselves, we believe we end up loving ourselves. It has never been true, not for a moment, that shame leads to love. Only love leads to love.
To discover what you really believe, pay attention to the way you act -- and to what you do when things don't go the way you think they should. Pay attention to what you value. Pay attention to how and on what you spend your time. Your money. And pay attention to the way you eat.
Weight (too much or too little) is a by-product. Weight is what happens when you use food to flatten your life. Even with aching joints, it's not about food. Even with arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure. It's about your desire to flatten your life. It's about the fact that you've given up without saying so. It's about your belief that it's not possible to live any other way - and you're using food to act that out without ever having to admit it.